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The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book contains a really detailed account of the complex and convoluted intellectual and historical development and evolution of neoliberalism - or, more correctly, neoliberalisms in the plural (e.g. German ordoliberalism, Austiran school, American Chicago school) - and this is the key strength of the book. Another one is the discussion of the 'neoliberal' (or, more precisely, ordoliberal) origins of the European Union. This is a very helpful discussion.
Where the book is more frustrating, however, is in other areas. First, don't expect any real theoretical insight beyond a revisiting of Foucault's work on neoliberalism (i.e. Birth of Biopolitics). Second, the overall analysis leaves a lot to be desired since the book's basis argument is that neoliberalism has (is?) transforming us (our subjectivities) such that we become or conduct ourselves like modern corporations. This is problematic on at least two fronts; first, the modern corporation is not defined (so the definition of neoliberalism is simply circular); and second, it is historical anachronistic, largely assuming that the 'modern' corporation is a static entity, form, set of governance processes, etc. - the authors really needed to engage with the conceptualization and manifestation of the corporation and how it has evolved in the same period the authors cover (and they don't do this). Finally, the last two chapters of the book, which represent the key intellectual contribution of the authors, are incredibly weak - they cry out for empirics, of whatever sort, to support the authors' theoretical claims, but it is simply lacking. Apart from those three points, there are a number of minor annoyances, like strawman arguments, that are unnecessary.
Overall, this book provides a helpful and important history of some aspects of neoliberalism(s), but its broader analytical claims are not well supported.
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