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.

Towards a Post-Neoliberal Politics

Towards a post-neoliberal politics

Neoliberalism is a rationality that denies voice and operates with a view of human life that is incoherent. As a culture within the economy, it is unsustainable and, as a template for politics, it produces a democratic process that is self-harming; little within the processes of mainstream media interrupts, and much reinforces, this self-harm. This is the neoliberal crisis of voice analysed in Chapters One to Four. But we still have to ask: is a ‘post-neoliberal’ politics,1 which challenges the ‘rationality’ of neoliberalism, possible? How can we begin to formulate it? The neoliberal crisis of voice presents us with a decision-point (the original meaning of the word ‘crisis’)2 that is both normative and practical.

Neoliberalism, after all, started with ...

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