I recently came across this bibliography of neoliberalism assembled by William Davies. My question for you is whether you believe there are any significant gaps in it. Please, please leave your comments here rather than or in addition to Facebook or Twitter — I’m hoping to create a ready reference.
17 thoughts on “Neoliberalism bibliography: Is anything major missing?”
1. Something by Wendy Brown, bringing the Foucault lectures’ discussion of the topic up-to-date from the way they are situated in the late 1970s. I particularly like this in addition to her recent book:
Brown, Wendy. “Neo-liberalism and the end of liberal democracy.” Theory & Event 7.1 (2003).
2. It’s remarkable how few primary sources there are from the movement in these kinds of lists. Situating it in original arguments helps takes away the “this is just a slur” argument, and help push back on the aerosol way the concept is deployed in the literature:
Becker, Gary S. “Human Capital: a Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Schooling.” (1964).
Milton, Friedman. “Capitalism and freedom.” University of Chicago (1962).
Williamson, John. “What Washington Means by Policy Reform.” Latin American Adjustment: How Much Has Happened?. Washington: Peterson Institute for International Economics (1990).
If asked for a quick primer on neoliberalism, I would point to this Dissent interview with Wendy Brown about her book (mentioned above) Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/booked-3-what-exactly-is-neoliberalism-wendy-brown-undoing-the-demos.
Items by some economists not on the list:
Andrew Glyn, Capitalism Unleashed: Finance, Globalization, and Welfare (Oxford, 2006)
G Dumenil and D Levy, The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Harvard 2011)
Fred Block and Margaret Somers, The Power of Market Fundamentalism ( (Harvard 2014)
David Kotz, The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism ( (Harvard 2015)
To the above I’d add:
Scott Lash and John Urry, The End of Organized Capitalism (Polity Press,1987)
Louis W Pauly, Who Elected the Bankers?: Surveillance and Control in the World Economy (Cornell, 1999)
Gordon Clark, Pension Fund Capitalism (Oxford, 2000)
Colin Leys, Market-Driven Politics: Neoliberal Democracy and the Public Interest (Verso, 2001)
Michael Pettis, The Volatility Machine: Emerging Economies and the Threat of Financial Collapse (Oxford, 2001)
Neil Fligstein, The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First Century Capitalist Societies (Princeton, 2001)
David Head, The New Ruthless Economy: Work and Power in the Digital Age (Oxford, 2003)
Robert Pollin, Contours of Descent: US Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity (Verso, 2003)
Alfredo Saad-Filho and Deborah Johnson, eds, Neoliberalism: a Critical Reader (Pluto Press, 2005). See esp the essay by Anwar Shaikh ‘The Econonomic Mythology of Neoliberalism’.
Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, The New Spirit of Capitalism (Verso, 2006)
Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, 2013)
John Weeks, Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy (Anthem Press,2014)
Marc Weisbrot, Failed: What the “Experts” Got Wrong about the Global Economy (Oxford, 2015)
Need more Italians and autonomists:Virno & Hardt (trans) Radical Thought in Italy 1995 is good. There is already one, but I think another book on the French Regulation School would be good, cause they nail it. An original Aglietta, or Ash Amin Post-Fordism
I keep looking, but I don’t have any East Asian/South Asian overviews that are early and not specialized. As far as I am concerned, the South Korean, Taiwanese, and Indian reform gov’ts of the 80s are symptoms of the global forces
Ernest Mandel Late Capitalism 1972 is the foundational Marxist work, although he expands on Sweezy/Baran.
I did find a short paper by Tsutomu Hashimoto “Neoliberalism in Japan” : “In Hyodo’s estimation, the Japanese economy has faced a full-fledged crisis of accumulation since the 1970’s” and “After taking power, the Fukuda cabinet (1976-77) steadily built a policy of privatization of public corporations and reduction of public welfare.” (Hyodo says D Harvey is wrong about Japan.) Hashimoto mentions Hayek, but I have no knowledge of whether Japanese economists and politicians were reading him. I tend to doubt it.
The Marxist view is the 1960s-70s crisis of accumulation created the politics, and Hayek, Friedman, and Mt Pelerin were at most locally and regionally relevant as opportunistically taking credit. It is hard to believe an ideology taking over the developed world in about ten years based on propaganda.
Panitch & Gindin, and Varoufakis Global Minotaur are also good on the left.
Pierre Bourdieu, Contre-feux: Propos pour servir à la résistance contre l’invasion néo-libérale (Raisons d’agir, 1998)
Christian Laval, L’homme économique: Essai sur les racines du néolibéralisme (Gallimard, 2002)
Christian Laval, L’école n’est pas une entreprise: Le néo-libéralisme à l’assaut de l’enseignement public (La Découverte, 2003)
Christian Laval et al., La nouvelle école capitaliste (La Découverte, 2011)
Loïc Wacquant, Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (Duke, 2009)
Perhaps some of the neo-Gramscians:
Henk Overbeek (ed.), Restructuring Hegemony in the Global Political Economy
Stephen Gill, American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission
Robert Cox, Production, Power and World Order
Will’s list is pretty sound in my view and these additions are also great.
If you have German Ralf Ptak, Vom Ordoliberalismus zur Sozialen Marktwirtschaft is really important. I haven’t read it but I am pretty sure lots of people in neoliberal studies would love it if someone translated it!
Also on the Gramscian line Neoliberal Hegemony: A Global Critique edited Dieter Plehwe, Bernhard Welpen and Gisela Neunhöffer.
Primary sources from Hayek, Friedman and Ropke et al are also super important. Ben Jackson is a very important scholar who hasn’t written a book yet and is a good jumping off point. http://oxford.academia.edu/BenJackson
In Geography Simon Springer writes some good stuff too.
Obviously if you really want it I can give you the full bibliography of my much maligned PhD.
A few I’d suggest on Neoliberal Urbanism specifically (though there’s a huge literature in this field):
Brenner, N., & Theodore, N. (2002). Cities and the geographies of “actually existing neoliberalism”. Antipode, 34(3), 349-379.
Davis, M., & Monk, D. B. (Eds.). Evil paradises: dreamworlds of neoliberalism. The New Press. (though you could put 90% of Davis work in here)
Ong, A. (2006). Neoliberalism as exception: Mutations in citizenship and sovereignty. Duke University Press.
Peck, J., & Tickell, A. (2003). Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restructuring in North America and Western Europe
Slater, T. ‘The resilience of Neoliberal Urbanism’ https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/tom-slater/resilience-of-neoliberal-urbanism
Smith, N. (1996). The new urban frontier: gentrification and the Revanchist city. Routledge
So just to be 100% clear: I’ll never have read it all, right?
As the author of the original list, maybe I can offer a brief explanation and/or defence.
Firstly, it’s true that I didn’t include primary texts. That would be a very different task. It would also encounter the (oft pointed out) problem that the ‘neoliberals’ did not refer to themselves as such, other than on a few isolated occasions. They tended to refer to themselves as ‘liberals’, so where to start? With JS Mill? Locke?? Such a list would be useful, but it strikes me as the job of history of economics to guide us through that sort of thing anyway. This is what authors such as Burgin and Van Horn do.
Secondly, my list is specifically looking at a fresh new historicism which has emerged on the topic within the last decade, and which has injected valuable nuance into discussions of neoliberalism. The translation of Foucault’s lectures represents a key moment in this regard, especially for a journal like TCS (who asked me to do the bibliographic review). Political economy of post-Fordism and the crisis of Keynesianism is obviously important here but opens up far larger issues and questions, which end up blurring the meaning of ‘neoliberalism’. Frankly, the Marxist use of the term ‘neoliberal’ has not been all that helpful, especially in the hands of some geographers. My bias towards a more idealistic/historicist/constructivist take is partly with that in mind. As Mirowski argues, neoliberalism is itself a constructivist philosophy, and needs a certain constructivist lens to understand it. Jamie Peck’s book is a great example of a Marxist (and a geographer!) recognising this.
Finally, Wendy Brown’s brilliant book came out after I published this, and would of course have been included.
No defense needed! I think we all agree that you did extraordinary work — but it’s in the nature of a list of this kind that it can be endlessly multiplied.
No inclusion of Charles Peters’ ‘A neoliberal manifesto’, in Washington Monthly?
Oh, sorry – just saw Will’s comment that it’s not about primary texts but a list of the ‘new historicism’. Feel free to delete my previous comment.
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