Why should we be worried about neoliberalism if we are not able to fully appreciate its deleterious effects? How can we fully appreciate its intricacies and power without attending to and seeking to potentially reconcile the various critical theorizations of how it actually operates?
The Discourse of Neoliberalism offers a critical political economy-meets-poststructuralist perspective on the relationship between neoliberalism and power. By advancing a geographical approach to understanding the discursive formations and material consequences of neoliberalism, the book exposes how processes of neoliberalization are shot through with violence. It argues that reading neoliberalism as a discourse better equips us to understand the power of this variegated economic formation as an expansive process of social-spatial transformation that is intimately bound up with the production of poverty, inequality, and violence across the globe. It illuminates the vital and ongoing power of neoliberalism in order to open up a critical space for thinking through how life beyond neoliberalism might be achieved.
Introduction: Neoliberalism- Descanting the Insalubrious / 1. Expansions, Variegations and Formations / 2. Between Hegemony and Governmentality / 3. Anxious Geopolitics / 4. Delusion, Disillusion and Denial / 5. Of Violence and Victims / 6. Zombie Apocalypse / Conclusion: From Enslavement to Obliteration / Bibliography / Index
The Discourse of Neoliberalism: An Anatomy of a Powerful Idea by Simon Springer is a welcome addition to the scholarly body of literature that now traces the intellectual development of an idea and policy platform from the viewpoint of geography. It is a passionate account that works through an approach taking the best of Marx and Foucault to understand the emergence of the most powerful and enduring discourse of the postwar era. Highly recommended.
Simon Springer applies his analysis of neoliberalism as a highly fruitful amalgamation of critical political economy and poststructuralist approaches. He shows how neoliberalism is about a productive and destructive complex of power that is enacted through manifold dimensions. For emancipatory social forces, the "Discourse of Neoliberalism" is important because it helps to formulate ways out of the crisis of capitalism and beyond an increasingly authoritarian neoliberalism. Respective tales and strategies must always start with a clear understanding of what exists and its contradictory dynamics. As the search for alternatives intensifies, this book is a must read.
In this significant work of social and political theory, Simon Springer once again sets the standard for contemporary geographical thought. For anyone who has read Springer's work before then you know what to expect; for those who haven't, then you're in for a treat. Insight, rigour, thoughtfulness, wisdom, and, most important, passion, all too often missing from academic writing; Springer's new book, The Discourse of Neoliberalism, has got it all, and in abundance. In thinking through neoliberalism as a discourse, Springer provides the surgical tools to not only dissect neoliberalism as a violent and degrading project, but also excise its intellectual threads when and where we find them woven throughout our everyday political rationalities.
In The Discourse of Neoliberalism, Simon Springer wields a wrecking ball through the hollow edifice of the neoliberal project. Behind its monolithic facade, neoliberalism is revealed as a miserable rag-bag of perniciously performative discourses that persist despite their ideological putrefaction. Yet beneath the undead hand of the market and the hidden fist of the state, Springer unearths a deeper reality of cooperation, voluntary association, and mutual aid.
Simon Springer is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Victoria, Canada.