Wendy Brown, "Neoliberalism Contra Democracy: Ten Theses"

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
  • University of Arizona

The RelSec Initiative proudly welcomed Professor Wendy Brown, the Class of 1936 First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Brown delivered a public lecture in the University of Arizona's ENR2 Building entitled "Neoliberalism Contra Democracy: Ten Theses."

Professor Brown argues that "it is a left commonplace that neoliberalism is bad for democracy. But there are divergent arguments about why—intensified inequality, erosion of the political, corporate domination of politics, altered terms of state legitimacy, sovereignty undermined by finance capital, economization of democracy’s terms and meaning, and more. Some of these divergences result from disagreement about what democracy is; others from different accounts of the powers animating and securing neoliberalism. This talk aims not to resolve these differences but to draw them together for reflecting on current predicaments and possibilities."

Wendy Brown is the Class of 1936 First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lectures around the world and has held a number of distinguished visiting fellowships and lectureships. She is the author of Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Zone Books, 2015), Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books, 2010), Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Empire and Identity (Princeton University Press, 2006), and States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (Princeton University Press, 1995), among other influential works.

RelSec is comprised of five partner sites situated in universities around the world. The participating centers conduct parallel research projects whose exact shape reflects the distinct missions of the centers and research profiles of the teams. All will include some combination of public presentations and events, faculty workshops, and/or curricular initiatives, such as the development of team-taught courses on secularism, religion, and political belonging.
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