For more than thirty years neoliberalism has declared that market functioning trumps all other social, political, and economic values. In this book, Nick Couldry passionately argues for voice, the effective opportunity for people to speak and be heard on what affects their lives, as the only value that can truly challenge neoliberal politics. But having voice is not enough: we need to know our voice matters. Insisting that the answer goes much deeper than simply calling for ‘more voices’, whether on the streets or in the media, Couldry presents a dazzling range of analysis from the real world of Blair and Obama to the social theory of Judith Butler and Amartya Sen.

Why Voice Matters breaks open the contradictions in neoliberal thought and shows how the mainstream media not only fails to provide the means for people to give an account of themselves, but also reinforces neoliberal values. Moving beyond the despair common to much of today's analysis, Couldry shows us a vision of a democracy based on social cooperation and offers the resources we need to build a new post-neoliberal politics.

The Crisis of Neoliberal Economics

The crisis of neoliberal economics

We've been through an extraordinary financial crisis. One doesn't have to ask questions about the ‘worst since when’, since it may be hard to find any period when it was actually worse than this. (Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, speech on 12 August 2009)1

The rules that make for a successful community are also necessary for the banking system. (UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown)2

If one narrative dominates our times, it is that of global economic crisis. I first sketched this chapter in early 2007, never expecting that, before I completed it, we would hear Alan Greenspan, former head of the US Federal Reserve Bank, acknowledge the failure of the market system and the ‘intellectual ...

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