From Histories of Liberalism to a History of the Demos: Toward a Democratic Critique of Neoliberalism

Stephen W. Sawyer


The American University of Paris




Abstract: This article proposes to question the relationship between neoliberalism and democracy from three angles. Neo-liberalism is an anti-democratic project in that it aims to restrict the principle and scope of popular sovereignty so that it does not call into question the spontaneous order of the market. Moreover, neoliberal hegemony reaches the very conditions of possibility of democracy by making the constitution of a demos much more complicated. Neoliberalism constitutes in fact a regime of subjectivation, producing a neoliberal subject in tension with the figure of the citizen. Finally, neoliberalism is authoritarian as a governmentality that constrains individuals and seeks to shape/direct their behavior through policies of social control of the unemployed or the establishment of nudges.

Keywords: Neoliberalism; Democracy; Authoritarianism; Governmentality; Sovereignty.

Questa voce è stata pubblicata in Monografica, NUMERO 9. Contrassegna il permalink.

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