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Fri Feb 21 07:57:32 MST 2014

The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society

by Pierre Dardot<http://www.versobooks.com/authors/1827-pierre-dardot> and Christian Laval<http://www.versobooks.com/authors/1828-christian-laval>


An acute analysis of the economic and political realities of neoliberalism



An urgent reinterpretation of neoliberalism, Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval’s THE NEW WAY OF THE WORLD provides a comprehensive account of neoliberal thought and practice, examining its intellectual development and interpreting the imposition of its logic on nearly every facet of life.

Neither merely the return of laissez-faire policies nor just new clothing for the old capitalist relations, Dardot and Laval show neoliberalism to be a complex, highly developed political philosophy. Mapping the intellectual currents that have contributed to neoliberal thought, beginning with the Walter Lipmann Colloquium in 1938, the authors take us deep into the debates—between French reformers of classical liberalism, German ordo-liberals, and the major figures of the Austro-American economic school, among others—through which a neoliberal agenda was forged.

Thoroughly expanding upon Foucault’s groundbreaking lectures on biopolitics, Dardot and Laval argue that neoliberalism is more than a narrow economic philosophy, showing it to be a totalizing rationality that has made competition the guiding principle not only of the market, but work, education, and many other spheres. This rationality produces its own subjects who see themselves as enterprises in general competition with other human enterprises.

Offering a detailed history of neoliberal thought and clear-eyed analysis of its dubious achievements, The New Way of the World takes a hard look at the political and intellectual challenges posed by this latest rationality of capitalism.


“To understand these debates [on neoliberalism], the book by Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot on the ‘neoliberal society’ offers us analytical keys. This monument of scholarship draws on the history of ideas, philosophy and sociology.” – Le Monde

“Extremely scholarly, this book is an insistent invitation to push theoretical and social critique of the present order beyond the standard analyses.” – Le Monde diplomatique


Pierre Dardot is a philosopher and specialist in Hegel and Marx. His previous books include Sauver Marx?: Empire, multitude, travail immateriel (with Christian Laval and El Mouhoub Mouhoud) and Marx, prenom: Karl (with Christian Laval).

Christian Laval is Professor of Sociology at the Universite de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense. His other books include L'Ambition sociologique: Saint-Simon, Comte, Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim, Weber; Jeremy Bentham, les artifices du capitalism; L'Ecole n'est pas une entreprise: Le neo-liberalisme a l'assaut de l'enseignement public; and L'Homme economique: Essai sur les racines du neoliberalisme.


Hardback / 352 pages / ISBN: 9781781681763 / February 2014 / $29.95 / £20.00 / $34.95CAN

Also available as an eBook ISBN 9781781682210

To learn more about THE NEW WAY OF THE WORLD and to purchase the book, please visit


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