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Guest editor

Claire Westall is a Lecturer in English and Related Literature at the University of York. She introduces this week's theme:

Neoliberalism, crisis and the world system – an introduction

Image credit

The main image for the 'Neoliberalism, crisis and the world system' guest week is a reproduction of Bansky's 'Dreams Cancelled' at Thomas's of York. Photograph by Claire Westall.

Neoliberalism, crisis and the world system

This week's theme and articles were inspired by an interdisciplinary academic conference that myself and Nick Gane in Sociology organised at the University of York, on 2-3 July, with speakers from the UK, Europe and North America and some 150 people in attendance. The conference was funded by the British Academy, University of York’s Pump Priming Fund and York’s Centre for Modern Studies. As organisers, we wanted to use the funds we had ‘won’ to host a free event that would allow academics and students from across a range of disciplines, as well as anyone else interested in the topics of debate, to help us thinking collaboratively about what it is to live and work in a neoliberal age - one that confusingly was declared over at a certain moment of crisis that has never marked an end-point. Read on...

Car parks for global wealth: the super-rich in London

Over half of the super-prime market is now owned by foreign wealth, funds and individuals – looking to make money by simply parking it there while stock markets and other forms of investment offer scant reward or sleepless nights.

A Greek tragedy on the London stage: the City, the Eurozone crisis and an urban dark age to come

Capitalist perpetrators of the crash are intent on using the opportunity provided by austerity to divert political and economic power to compliant nation states and emergent para-sovereign bodies, such as the EU Troika, that operate outside the constraints of democratic control and public accountability. 

The neo-liberal knowledge regime, inequality and social critique

The argument about students holds that there should not be a direct public subsidy of a private beneficiary. But on the impact agenda the situation is reversed. Here the Government’s view is that there should not be public funding unless there is a private beneficiary and that that beneficiary should not pay.

‘We can’t be content with running alternative coffee shops, while leaving the global financial system to our opponents’

Funded by their sympathisers in business and corporations, the neoliberals worked at promoting that programme, slowly but surely, to people in a position to put it into practice. Lots of people feel helpless and powerless in the face of neoliberalism because they are helpless and powerless.

Neoliberalism, child of the Keynesian state

The desire to see neoliberalism as the ’70s ruination of an earlier public consensus, is a desire to which state-backed capital is all too willing to direct us.

How to kill a zombie: strategizing the end of neoliberalism

An ideology which promised to liberate us from state socialist bureaucracy has instead imposed a bureaucracy all of its own.  This only looks like a paradox if we take neoliberalism at its word. 

The neoliberal trap

Credit isn’t extended to help people get ahead. It’s the means for producing securitizable debt, which means financialization (one of the key features of neoliberalism) needs poor people, poor people cut off from public services and left to fend for themselves.

Neoliberalism and the revenge of the “social”

Neoliberalism was launched as an attack on socialism, as a state-centric project; it is now being subtly reinvented, in ways that take account of the social nature of the individual. 

Dandelions against neoliberalism

It is a commonplace that since the 1970s, capitalism has left the western working class as roadkill on the road to globalization. What is new about our contemporary moment is that the same is increasingly true for the Euro-American middle class.

Neoliberalism, crisis and the world system

An insider glimpse of the conference that inspired this week's theme, plus an outsider view.


Neoliberalism, crisis and the world system – an introduction

This week’s guest editor, Claire Westall, a Lecturer in English and Related Literature at the University of York, guides us through the argument this week:

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