"A sparkling, original, and provocative analysis of neoliberalism... a distinctive account of the diverse, sometimes contradictory, conventions and justifications that lend authority to the extension of the spirit of competitiveness to all spheres of social life."
- Professor Bob Jessop, University of Lancaster
"In a world that seems to lurch from one financial crisis to the next, this book questions both the sovereignty of markets and the principles of competition and competitiveness that lie at the heart of the neoliberal project."
- Professor Nicholas Gane, University of Warwick
Since its intellectual inception in the 1930s and its political emergence in the 1970s, neo-liberalism has sought to disenchant politics by replacing it with economics.
This agenda-setting text examines the efforts and failures of economic experts to make government and public life amenable to measurement, and to re-model society and state in terms of competition. In particular, it explores the practical use of economic techniques and conventions by policy-makers, politicians, regulators and judges and how these practices are being adapted to the perceived failings of the neoliberal model.
By picking apart the defining contradiction that arises from the conflation of economics and politics, this book asks: to what extent can economics provide government legitimacy?