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Political Economies of Neoliberalism


From: Friday, February 10, 2017, 10:00am

To: Friday, February 10, 2017, 07:30pm

Much of the scholarship on the political economy of global neoliberalism characterizes it as the decisive victory of Western capitalism over both Soviet socialism and the Global South in the late twentieth century. While not denying the coercive power of neoliberal economic imperatives, we are interested in a more complicated and longer history of the ways that neoliberal economic transformations shaped global and local political economies and political and economic ideas. Our panelists and participants will explore how the classical and neoclassical economic theory both molded and responded to global political and economic changes and also how the creation of new regimes of both labor and wages reshaped both local and global political economies.

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The symposium explores complicated and long histories of how neoliberal economic transformations shaped global and local political economies and political and economic ideas.  With scholarship from India to Africa and from the United States to Eastern Europe, the symposium examines how classical and neoclassical economic theory both molded and responded to global economic change, and how new regimes of labor, wages and racial hierarchy reshaped both local and global political economies.



1:00 - 2:45pm | Theorizing Political Economy

♦ Angus Burgin (Johns Hopkins University) - "Neoliberalism and the Historians"

♦ Manu Goswami (New York University) - "Political Economies of Crisis: Keynes, Empire, and Decolonization"

Respondent - Johan Mathew (Rutgers University)


2:45 - 3:15pm | Coffee Break


3:15 - 5:00pm | Political Economy in Action

♦ Martha Lampland (University of California, San Diego) - "Socialist Calculation under Debate and in Action: A Crucible for Neoliberal Imaginaries"

♦ Franco Barchiesi (Ohio State University)- "On the Uses of 'Precarity': Neoliberalism, Time, and the Fact of (Anti)Blackness"

Respondent - Donna Murch (Rutgers University)


5:00pm | Cocktail Reception


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Angus Burgin photograph 1Angus Burgin 

Angus Burgin is Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University.  His research and teaching explores problems at the intersection of ideas, politics, and markets in the United States and the Atlantic world since the late 19th century.  He is the author of The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression (Harvard University Press, 2012), which received the Merle Curti Award from the Organization of American Historians and the Joseph Spengler Prize from the History of Economics Society.  He is currently writing an intellectual history of postindustrialism, exploring how new technological capacities in the postwar era transformed ideas about the future of work, knowledge, leisure, time, and space.


Manu GoswamiManu Goswami

Manu Goswami is Associate Professor of History at New York University. Her research and teaching center on nationalism and internationalism, political economy and the history of economic thought, social theory and historical methods. She is the author of Producing India: From Colonial Economy to National Space (University of Chicago Press, 2004). She is currently working on an intellectual and political history of colonial internationalisms during the interwar decades. Her longer-run research interests include the place and status of empire in the work of major classical and neo-classical economists during the nineteenth and twentieth century.


Martha LamplandMartha Lampland

Martha Lampland is Associate Professor of Sociology and Faculty Director of the Science Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include political economy, social and cultural history in Central Europe (19th-20th c.), and science studies. She is the author of The Value of Labor. The Science of Commodification in Hungary, 1920–1956 (University of Chicago Press, 2016); The Object of Labor. Commodification in Socialist Hungary (University of Chicago Press, 1995); Altering States.  Ethnographies of the Transition in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, co-edited with Daphne Berdahl and Matti Bunzl (University of Michigan Press, 2000); and Standards and their Stories. How Quantifying, Classifying and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life, co-edited with Susan Leigh Star  (Cornell University Press, 2008).


Franco BarchiesiFranco Barchiesi

Franco Barchiesi is Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at Ohio State University. He is the author of Precarious Liberation: Workers, the State, and Contested Social Citizenship in Postapartheid South Africa (State University of New York Press and University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2011), which was the winner of the 2012 CLR James Award of the Working Class Studies Association for best Published Book for Academic or General Audiences in working-class studies. He is the editor (with Tom Bramble) of Rethinking the Labour Movement in the 'New South Africa' (London: Ashgate, 2003). His current research project is titled "Liberalism, Antiblackness, and Labor across the Atlantic, 1880s-1920s."


MathewJohan photoJohan Mathew

Johan Mathew is Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University. His first book, Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism across the Arabian Sea, was published by the University of California Press in May 2016. The book traces the hidden networks of trafficked slaves, guns and gold across the Arabian Sea in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and argues that labor, property and capital – the conceptual foundations of capitalist ideology – were reframed by the interplay between trafficking networks and colonial regulations. He has several published and forthcoming pieces on violence, fraud and diaspora in the Indian Ocean world. His new project is tentatively entitled, “Opiates of the Masses: Labor, Narcotics and Global Capitalism.” This research explores the consumption of cannabis, opium and other narcotics with particular concern for how and why they are consumed by the working classes in Asia and Africa. Initial forays suggest that the physical and psychological strains of capitalist labor regimes were made tolerable through the consumption of narcotics.


Murch2015Donna Murch

Donna Murch is Associate Professor of history at Rutgers University. She is currently completing a new trade press book entitled Crack in Los Angeles: Policing the Crisis and the War on Drugs. She also has a forthcoming books of essays that will be published later this year entitled, Assata Taught Me: State Violence, Mass Incarceration and the Movement for Black Lives. In October 2010, Murch published the award-winning monograph Living for the City: Migration, Education and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California with the University of North Carolina Press, which won the Phillis Wheatley prize in December 2011. She has written for the Sunday Washington Post, New Republic, Nation, Boston Review, Jacobin, Black Scholar, Souls, the Journal of Urban History, Journal of American History, Perspectives and New Politics and appeared on BBC, CNN, Democracy Now and in Stanley Nelson’s new documentary, Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.



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  • Center for Cultural Analysis
  • Center for Global Advancement and International Affairs
  • Department of History
  • Center for European Studies
  • Center for African Studies
  • South Asian Studies Program


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