PSC 339, Advanced Topics in Political Theory: Neoliberalism and Its Alternatives
Tue+Thur, 4:20-5:50, Lincoln Park, Jim Block, Ph.D.
Neoliberalism is often presented as the latest, and perhaps last, stage of Western liberalism. But is it liberalism at all? This course will explore the theoretical logic and political dynamic of neoliberalism--its emergence from (largely) American liberal theory and practice, its transformation of the liberal framework and steady turn toward plutocracy, its operating psychosocial, institutional, educational, and global principles and priorities. The 2016 election will be examined in terms of the claim of a neoliberal corporate coup d'etat. Finally, we will consider the internal tensions and contradictions within the neoliberal framework: its loss of a grounding in social justice and even a sustainable social and political reality. This analysis will lead us to consider and evaluate its likely trajectory in the upcoming era, the instabilities that are likely to ensue, and how to frame and prepare for new social realities that are emerging.