The Neo-Liberal Knowledge Regime and the Displacement of Critique

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 7:30 PM
Room: 501
Oral Presentation
John HOLMWOOD , School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
This paper will address neo-liberalism not as a theory of public policy, but as a theory of knowledge. It will argue that neo-liberalism favours the market as a mechanism for the generation of knowledge. In favouring knowledge under contract, neo-liberalism is explicitly hostile to those forms of social science that provide expertise precisely because that expertise might sanction political intervention. In this context, the forms of social science that are favoured are those that can be commercialised in the form of re-packaging ‘big data’ and ‘behavioural’ interventions.  Sociology’s traditional concern with social structures is displaced by anti-social (structural).