Since its intellectual inception in the 1930s and its political emergence in the 1970s, neo-liberalism has sought to disenchant politics by replacing it with economics. This agenda-setting text examines the efforts and failures of economic experts to make government and public life amenable to measurement, and to re-model society and state in terms of competition. In particular, it explores the practical use of economic techniques and conventions by policy-makers, politicians, regulators and judges and how these practices are being adapted to the perceived failings of the neoliberal model. By picking apart the defining contradiction that arises from the conflation of economics and politics, this book asks: to what extent can economics provide government legitimacy? Now with a new preface from the author and a foreword by Aditya Chakrabortty.
Chapter 5: Contingent Neoliberalism : Financial crisis and beyond
Contingent Neoliberalism : Financial crisis and beyond
[Page 152]The classically modern schema of judgement – or crisis – operates according to a certain rhythm, that is found in both the normal governance and the reform of capitalism. Stable empirical and normative situations are periodically punctuated by new events or phenomena, which introduce uncertainty. There is a moment of doubt regarding the empirical nature or value of this interruption, a brief period in which shared reality is suspended. This moment of uncertainty is resolved through the use of some broader principle or measure, through which its quality or quantity can be ascertained, thereby stabilizing the situation once more. The situation is judged, a statement is made, and a consensual reality ...