Is Social Theory Neoliberal in spite of itself?
seminar presented by PROFESSOR ALAN SCOTT
3pm, 11th February 2015
Paul Barratt Lecture Theatre, Psychology Building UNE
Neo-liberalism is generally thought of as an economic theory associated with New Public Management and Public Choice Theory. It is also thought of a project of the New Right. This paper will argue that social theories – particularly theories of a so-called 'reﬂexive' or 'second' modernity – contributed to an intellectual milieu in which neoliberalism has become hegemonic. The work of Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens and Zygmunt Bauman is taken as examples. The paper also argues that neoliberalism has been a project of the social-democratic left as much as of the New Right and can be understood as a 'bureaucratic revolution' against tradition in Max Weber's sense.