Edited by Dieter Plehwe, Quinn Slobodian and Philip Mirowski
- Globalists; The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism (2018)
- Nine Lives of Neoliberalism (2020)
Neoliberalism is dead. Again. Yet the philosophy of the free market and the strong state has an uncanny capacity to survive, and even thrive, in times of crisis. Understanding neoliberalism’s longevity and its latest permutation requires a more detailed understanding of its origins and development.
Nine Lives of Neoliberalism breaks with the caricature of neoliberalism as a simple, unvariegated belief in market fundamentalism and homo economicus. It shows how neoliberal thinkers perceived institutions from the family to the university, disagreed over issues from intellectual property rights and human behavior to social complexity and monetary order, and sought to win consent for their project through the creation of new honors, disciples, and networks. Far from a monolith, neoliberal thought is fractured and, occasionally, even at war with itself.
We can begin to make sense of neoliberalism’s nine lives only by understanding its own tangled and complex history.
"There are at least three, oftentimes overlapping, ways in which we can study neoliberalism: by tracing its intellectual history and the formation of its ideas, by conceiving it as an epistemological program, or by studying it as a product of the structural contradictions of globalized capitalism. In trying to make sense of neoliberalism’s longevity, Plehwe, Slobodian, and Mirowski opt for the first approach, which allows for conclusions regarding the second. And they have ‘no quarrel with’ the third way [...] the book’s central claim: neoliberalism has been able to survive precisely because of its malleability, not least due to how it, almost parasitically, encroaches upon competing worldviews. The book’s object, therefore, is to make these entanglements visible, by observing the historical development and progression of neoliberal ideas, while also ‘tracking the linkages of elements of those worldviews to competing ideologies, or the mixed morphologies of both conservative-neoliberal and progressive-neoliberal perspectives’ (p. 11). [...] Overall, Nine Lives provides a telling and accessible history of the formation of key neoliberal (policy) positions and, therefore, of how neoliberals mobilized the market discursively as a seemingly impartial communication mechanism so as to not merely produce knowledge, but rather to produce the ideological precepts of the ‘right’ kind of knowledge. At the same time, by pointing to the intellectual struggles among neoliberals, and situating them in historical context, the contributions of this volume are careful to point to the fact that neoliberalism is far from homogeneous and consensual – despite the fact that it managed to popularly position itself as such, even within the ranks of its critics. This volume therefore deserves to be read alongside other standard works of the intellectual history of neoliberalism [...] By including understudied figures of neoliberal history, the empirical strength of ‘Nine Lives’ lies in adding to the corpus of either forgotten, or previously invisible, historical actor-network configurations. However, it would have been much welcome if the volume included marginalized neoliberals of the Global South, which continue to be understudied [...] If there is one critique to be made, it is about the relationship between neoliberalism and the ascendance of right-wing populism globally. There are some intriguing questions tacitly lurking in the volume [...] there is surprisingly little that follows regarding the conditions of possibility for fusing neoliberal thought with anti-democratic, authoritarian, at times even racist, positions and state-institutional arrangements. This would have been possible in a conclusion chapter, which is, unfortunately, missing."
Table of Contents of Nine Lives of Neoliberalism
Introduction (Quinn Slobodian and Dieter Plehwe)
Part One - Neoliberal Science beyond Market Fundamentalism
- Recoding Liberalism: Philosophy and Sociology of Science against Planning (Martin Beddeleem)
- On Skinning a Cat: George Stigler on the Marketplace of Ideas (Edward Nik-Khah)
- The Law of the Sea of Ignorance: F.A. Hayek, Fritz Machlup, and other Neoliberals Confront the Intellectual Property Problem (Quinn Slobodian)
Part Two - Neoliberal Subjectivity beyond Homo Economicus
- Neoliberalism’s Family Values: Welfare, Human Capital,and Kinship (Melinda Cooper)
- Schumpeter Revival? How Neoliberals Revised the Image of the Entrepreneur (Dieter Plehwe)
- Human Behavior as a Limit to and a Means of State Intervention: Günter Schmölders and Behavioral Economics (Rüdiger Graf)
Part Three - Neoliberal Internationalism beyond the Washington Consensus
- Embedded Early Neoliberalism: Transnational Origins of the Agenda of Liberalism Reconsidered (Hagen Schulz-Forberg)
- What Comes Aft er Bretton Woods? Neoliberals Debate and Fight for a Future Monetary Order (Matthias Schmelzer)
- The Neoliberal Ersatz Nobel Prize (Philip Mirowski)
Part Four - Neoliberal Influence beyond Reagan, Thatcher, and Pinochet
- How the Neoliberal Think Tank Went Global: The Atlas Network, 1981 to the Present (Marie Laure Djelic and Reza Mousavi)
- Think Tank Networks of German Neoliberalism: Power Structures in Economics and Economic Policies in Postwar Germany (Stephan Pühringer)