Neoliberalism Beyond Economics

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
Oral Presentation
Márcia CUNHA , Sociology, University of São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Nilton Ken OTA , Laboratoire Sophiapol, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense (Paris X), Nanterre, France
Neoliberalism beyond Economics

The 2008 economic crisis encouraged theses about post-neoliberalism. The idea of expiration of a period and beginning of another, in which hegemonic projects have succeeded, takes neoliberalism mainly as economic doctrine. Would not both diagnoses of few practical alternatives to neoliberalism and difficulty of understanding movements beyond its particular forms of manifestations be a sign that neoliberalism have been consolidated as more than a strictly economic set of measures, policies and practices?

The aim of the presentation is to put this hypothesis in debate, mobilizing three distinct – but potentially productive – approaches. The first and most comprehensive is the understanding of neoliberalism as a political rationality. The second reference is the idea of social neoliberalism, which designates a new function of state, made explicit in its response to demands for social equality and justice. The third one refers to neoliberalism as a shared mental model, ie, a cognitive model oriented to ideological and practical articulation of social groups.

Despite the particularities of each one, the common point among them is the wider view of the social setting in which neoliberal economic policies gained strength. It allows analyzing the conditions that permitted such predominance as well as the required and perennials transformations regarding relations of power and domination, development of public policies and social relations.

These approaches do not discard diagnostics produced by scholars working on post-neoliberalism theses, but open new possibilities of considering them through another point of view. The gain, we believe, is the potential of observing the recent phenomena in historical and more comprehensive perspective.