By Kean Birch

cover of a research agenda on neoliberalism
Part of the books by Kean Birch series:
Editions:Hardcover: £ 63.00
ISBN: 978 1 78643 358 9
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781786433596

"At a time when neoliberalism has become an accepted term in public debate to refer to the current state of modern societies and their political economies, Kean Birch critically analyses the conflicting theories that shape our understanding of ‘neoliberalism’.

With an ever-expanding variety of perspectives on the concept of neoliberalism, it is increasingly difficult to identify any commonalities. This book explores how different people understand neoliberalism, and the contradictions in thinking of neoliberalism as a market-based ethic, project, or order. Detailing the intellectual history of ‘neoliberal’ thought, the variety of critical approaches and the many analytical ambiguities, Kean Birch presents a new way to conceptualize contemporary political economy and offers potential avenues for future research through a judicious exploration of ‘neoliberal’ practices, processes, and institutions.

This work will be an essential resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students, scholars, and researchers to critically assess the concept of neoliberalism across many disciplines. The book will also serve as a general introduction to a wider audience interested in the term ‘neoliberalism’, its potential pitfalls, and its contested future."

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Reviews:Christopher May on LSE Blog wrote:

"Overall then, Birch’s book is full of valuable detail and insight: it is hardly a substitute for many of the works he cites, but it does an important job of establishing the contours of the discussion of neoliberalism in such a way that anyone reading it will be unlikely to lapse into the lazy straw man forms of commentary which remain all too evident both within and beyond the academy. While as yet there is no paperback, the (cheaper) e- book would be an excellent purchase for any students on degrees or postgraduate programmes with substantial elements of political economy. As it is, if you are teaching political economy, you would likely find this a remarkably useful book to have on your desk (even at the current hardback price)."

Talk by the Author

Kean Birch giving a talk at The Second Forum on Capital as Power, October 2011, York University. Title of his talk: "Have We Ever Been Neoliberal? Corporate Monopoly, Fiancialization and the National Public Debt"


About Kean Birch

Kean BirchKean Birch is associate professor at the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University. On his staffprofile he writes: "I am particularly interested in understanding technoscientific capitalism. As such, my research focuses on the restructuring and transformation of the economy, technoscience and environment. I draw on a range of perspectives from science & technology studies, economic geography, and economic sociology."

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction


  1. An Intellectual History of Neoliberal Thought
  2. How to Think like a Neoliberal


  1. Different Conceptions of Neoliberalism
  2. Struggling with Neoliberalism as a Concept


  1. Neoliberalism and the Problem of the Corporation
  2. From Entrepreneurship to Rentiership in Neoliberalism'
  3. Neoliberalism as a Contract-based Order
  4. Conclusion