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Is There an Agenda of Neoliberal Emancipation?

Dekker, Erwin

Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 139 (2019), Iss. 2-4: pp. 213–224

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Dekker, Erwin, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA Rotterdam, Netherlands.

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Abstract

This paper argues that one of the weaknesses of the neoliberals of the 1940s was their failure to develop a positive program of individual emancipation. It is demonstrated that in conversation with the critics of neoliberalism (Foucault, Cooper, and others) such an agenda can be developed. To do so we should disentangle the neoliberal agenda from the conservative social agenda with which it has long been associated. It is argued that in particular the Chicago School approach to the individual and social conditions such as the modern workplace, online communities and city life provides inspiration for an agenda of neoliberal emancipation.