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Violence in Classical Liberalism versus Neoliberalism: Punishment, Threats, and Structural Violence
December 6, 2019, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
This lecture responds to two puzzles. The first is why it is not more widely accepted that the neoliberal era can be effectively understood to be a marriage between an Ordoliberal celebration of free markets and the late twentieth-century rational choice revolution in the social sciences. The second is why neoliberalism continues to be confused with classical liberalism, despite the fact that the latter is a normative system of rights, while the former jettisons moral normativity in favor of hypothetical descriptivism. The conflation of classical and neoliberal forms of capitalism, one at least acknowledging the no-harm principle, the other dispensing with it, is evident in the ongoing neoliberalization of public policies in the Nordic countries, even a decade after the Great Recession.
Amadae considers the political theories of John Rawls and Robert Nozick against the backdrop of post-1980s rational choice policy-making in the form of punishment as deterrence (and not reform), or threats (instead of commitment and promising) as constitutive features of Neoliberalism.