Neoliberalism is one of those fuzzy words that can mean something different to everyone. Wendy Brown is one of the world’s leading scholars on neoliberalism and argues that a generation of neoliberal worldview among political, business, and intellectual leaders led to the populism we’re seeing throughout the world today. But is it mutually exclusive to democracy? Not necessarily. Wendy joins us this week to help make sense of what neoliberalism is, and where things stand today. We were lucky enough to get an advance copy of her book, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West
(Columbia UP, 2019),
which will be released in July. It’s a follow up to her 2015 book, Undoing the Demos
, and you’ll hear her talk about how her thinking has changed since then.
Wendy is the Class of 1936 First Chair at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches political theory. You might also recognize her from Astra Taylor’s documentary, What Is Democracy?
Democracy Works is created by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and recorded at WPSU Penn State, central Pennsylvania’s NPR station.