Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Social Democracy
Thin Communitarian Perspectives on Political Philosophy and Education
By Mark Olssen
Routledge – 2009 – 280 pages
The Credit Crunch of 2008 has exposed the fallacies of neoliberalism and its thesis of the self-regulating market, which has been ascendant in both economic theory and policy over the last 30 years. In moving beyond neoliberalism, social democratic arguments are once again coming to the fore; however, in the context of the 21st century, they will need to be theorized in relation to new global concerns. This book critically revisits the core theses of liberalism and neoliberalism that have provided philosophical support to free market economics - as enunciated in the writings of liberal political philosophers such as Friedrich von Hayek, Karl Popper and Isaiah Berlin - and seeks to expose the deficiencies of their beliefs that became hegemonic from the 1970s until the first decades of the present century. In moving beyond the formulas and mantras of liberalism, the book seeks to re-theorize social democracy and articulate a new vision of the political arrangements needed for the 21st century by reconsidering issues such as liberty, autonomy, social dependence and multiculturalism.
1. Introduction: Beyond Neoliberalism 2. Friedrich A. Hayek: Markets, Planning, and the Rule of Law 3. The Politics of Utopia and the Liberal Theory of Totalitarianism: Karl Popper and Michel Foucault 4. Pluralism and Positive Freedom: Toward a Critique of Isaiah Berlin 5. From the Crick Report to the Parekh Report: Multiculturalism, Cultural Difference and Democracy 6. Foucault, Liberal Education and the Issue of Autonomy 7. Saving Martha Nussbaum from Herself: Help from Friends She Didn’t Know She Had 8. Social Democracy in the 21st Century: Hobson, Keynes and Complexity
Mark Olssen is Professor of Political Theory and Education at the University of Surrey. He is the author of Michel Foucault: Materialism and Education; co-author of Education Policy: Globalization, Citizenship, Democracy; and co-editor of Futures of Critical Theory.