Neoliberalism remains a flashpoint for political contestation around the world. For decades now, neoliberalism has been in the process of becoming a globally ascendant default logic that prioritizes using economic rationality for all major decisions, in all sectors of society, at the collective level of state policymaking as well as the personal level of individual choice-making. Donald Trump's recent presidential victory has been interpreted both as a repudiation and as a validation of neoliberalism’s hegemony. 

Rethinking Neoliberalism brings together theorists, social scientists, and public policy scholars to address neoliberalism as a governing ethic for our times. The chapters interrogate various dimensions of debates about neoliberalism while offering engaging empirical examples of neoliberalism’s effects on social and urban policy in the USA, Europe, Russia, and elsewhere. Themes discussed include:

  • Relationship between neoliberalism, the state, and civil society
  • Neoliberalism and social policy to discipline citizens 
  • Urban policy and how neoliberalism reshapes urban governance  
  • What it will take politically to get beyond neoliberalism.

Written in a clear and accessible style, Rethinking Neoliberalism is a sophisticated synthesis of theory and practice, making it a compelling read for students of Political Science, Public Policy, Sociology, Geography, Urban Planning, Social Work and related fields, at both the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

part I

Theorizing Neoliberalism

chapter 1|22 pages

Nothing Personal

ByJodi Dean

chapter 2|18 pages

The Secret Life of Neoliberal Subjectivity

ByMitchell Dean

chapter 3|19 pages

Foucault’s Three Ways of Decentering the State

ByKaspar Villadsen

part II|77 pages

Reconstructing the Individual via Social Policy

chapter 4|23 pages

Investing in Social Subjects

The European Turn to Social Investment as the Human Capital Theory of Social Citizenship
ByBettina Leibetseder

chapter 5|20 pages

Ontologies of Poverty in Russia and Duplicities of Neoliberalism 1

ByMarianna Pavlovskaya

chapter 6|15 pages

Neoliberalism Viewed from the Bottom Up

A Qualitative Longitudinal Study of Benefit Claimants’ Experiences of the Unemployment System
BySophie Danneris

chapter 7|18 pages

Neoliberal Talk

The Routinized Structures of Document-Focused Social Worker–Client Discourse
ByMaureen T. Matarese, Dorte Caswell

part III|39 pages

The Neoliberal Disciplinary Regime

chapter 8|22 pages

Criminal Justice Predation and Neoliberal Governance

ByJoshua Page, Joe Soss

chapter 9|16 pages

Neoliberalism and Police Reform

ByLeonard Feldman

part IV|37 pages

Urban Governance

chapter 10|20 pages

Neoliberalizing Detroit

ByJamie Peck, Heather Whiteside

chapter 11|16 pages

Political Dissent in Amman, Jordan

Neoliberal Geographies of Protest and Policing
ByJillian Schwedler

part V|43 pages


chapter 12|22 pages

The Knight’s Move

Social Policy Change in an Age of Consolidated Power
BySanford F. Schram

chapter 13|20 pages


Towards A Critical Counter-Conduct 1
ByBarbara Cruikshank