What is the nature of the current historical conjuncture?
Does Brexit mark the limit point of the the 30-year phase of neoliberalisation, or a new intensification of the long hegemony of the Right?
Two Events in One Week (at different location):
Who Broke Britain?
Presented by the Centre for Cultural Studies Research at the University of East London as part of the Culture, Power, Politics series
December 12th 2016 6:30-8:30 pm (or a bit later…)
With Ayeisha Thomas-Smith (Compass), Anthony Barnett (open Democracy) and Jeremy Gilbert (UEL)
Open School East
The Rose Lipman Building
43 De Beauvoir Rd
London N1 5SQ
All welcome – no prior booking required
This seminar will be the latest occasional instalment in the ‘Culture, Power and Politics‘ series, bringing together many of the conceptual themes discussed over the past year to understand what is happening to British politics, society and culture at the end of a tumultuous year.
In the 1970s the politics of the New Right created an unlikely fusion between anti-state individualism and authoritarian social conservatisim. Today, the contradictory effects of these agendas have driven the country to breaking point. The UK is falling apart, as England votes for Brexit while the rest of the country, including London, looks on aghast and wonders if there is a way out. A 40-year campaign of misinformation by the popular press has carried our political culture into the age of ‘post-truth politics’ . The inability of the technocratic elite to manage post-democratic societies has been brutally revealed by Brexit. How did we get here and where are we going?
The End Of Neoliberalism?
15th december: 10am-5pm
City university, college building, room a130
272-278 St John St, London EC1V 4PB
Free, all welcome, no need to book
In 2016, almost a decade after the worst financial crisis for eighty years, it seems there are signs that neoliberalism is finally in retreat. The ruling common sense of policy makers, economists, business people, and mainstream journalists on a global basis since the 1980s, neoliberalism had seemed all but indefatigable. Yet a series of signs today point towards a radical shift. From the rise of new populist political movements on the left and the right, to the seeming reversal of global trade, and the calamitous brexit vote in the uk, the existing state of neoliberal affairs is in a process of transition. Underpinning many of these indicators is a shift in political logic, from one which placed the market at the centre of human life, to one which is focused on preservation of the border. The questions that arise from this confluence of events are multiple:
- Is this the end of neoliberalism, or a point of inflection towards a new mutation?
- Is neoliberalism merely equivalent to the process of globalisation, or not?
- Is this a global ‘hegemonic crisis’?
- What happens to existing neoliberal regimes and modes of governance once the border takes precedence over the market?
- Can this transformation be said to have been generated by neoliberalism itself?
- How is this shift inflected by particular local cultural, social, political, and economic conditions?
- Is the future one of ethno-nationalist fascism or some other form of authoritarianism?
- What does rising nationalism look like in an era of global technological communications?
- What are the prospects for contending this crisis from the left?
Christine Berry: principal director for policy & government, New Economics Foundation.
Aditya Chakrabortty: senior economics commentator for The Guardian.
William Davies: reader in political economy at goldsmiths, university of london and author of The Limits Of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty And The Logic Of Competition.
Sara Farris: senior lecturer in sociology at goldsmiths, university of london. She is currently a member of the editorial board of historical materialism and international book review editor for critical sociology.
Alan Finlayson: professor of political and social theory at the university of east anglia. He is also chair of the editorial board of the political journal Renewal.
Jeremy Gilbert: professor of cultural and political theory at the university of east london and the editor of New Formations.
Jo Littler: reader in the centre for cultural industries in the dept of sociology, city, university of london. Her new book Against Meritocracy will be published next year.
James Meadway: economic advisor to the shadow chancellor.
Catherine Rottenberg: marie sklodowska curie fellow in the sociology department, goldsmiths and senior lecturer in the department of foreign literatures and linguistics and the gender studies program, ben-gurion university of the negev, beer sheva, israel. Her most recent publication is
“neoliberal feminism and the future of human capital” forthcoming in Signs.
Alex williams: lecturer in the centre for culture and the creative industries, in the dept. of sociology at city, university of london. He is the author of Inventing The Future: Postcapitalism and A World Without Work.
Please forward to anyone who might be interested.