Governing the Social in Neoliberal Times

Neoliberalism is most commonly associated with free trade, the minimal state, and competitive individualism. But in this latest stage of capitalism, it is not simply national economies that are being neoliberalized – it is us. Inspired by Michel Foucault and other governmentality theorists, the contributors to this volume reveal how neoliberalism’s power to redefine “normal” is refashioning every facet of our lives. Part 1 focuses on how neoliberalism has transformed how we think about our own achievements and how we understand others, a shift that has profound implications for what it means to be queer, an immigrant, illiterate, disabled, or Indigenous in the twentieth-first century. Part 2 explores how neoliberalism is influencing our ethical reasoning when it comes to our consumer choices and how we approach the environment, whether it be buying yoga pants or a hybrid car. Part 3 widens the lens to examine how a climate of fear and uncertainty is feeding our willingness to surrender our rights and freedoms when facing larger questions of national security and border control. By providing enlightening examples and case studies of neoliberalism in action, this thought-provoking volume not only reveals how we are being constituted as biopolitical and neoliberal subjects, it encourages us to think of the world as more than a marketplace and to open ourselves up to the possibilities of resistance.

Accessible and based on case studies that everyone can relate to, this book will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers interested in sociology, law, political science, and the impact of neoliberalism on our everyday lives.