Discussion: Beyond Neoliberalism


Course Code:
LAW 682B
Law Mandatory P/R/F


Scholars' and policy makers' thinking about political economy evolves as one understanding of the role of government ceases to reflect people's aspirations and views of social reality and is superseded by another. The laissez faire thinking of the 19th century was replaced by Keynesian management in response to the Great Depression. After WWII, Keynesian thinking was challenged, by 'neoliberalism'—a challenge that began to achieve success in the 1970s in response to perceived failures of government, high inflation, and other economic and social woes. By the mid-1980s, neoliberalism had become the new conventional wisdom, and liberals as well as conservatives accepted its core premises: that society consists of atomized individuals competing rationally to advance their own interests; that this behavior, in aggregate, produces good social outcomes and economic growth; that free markets are therefore the best way to allocate societal resources and government should intervene only to remedy market failures. Disagreements about what constitutes such failures and about corrective interventions persisted, but the general premises were widely embraced by policymakers and politicians—the so-called Washington Consensus. Today, that consensus is breaking down. Neoliberal policies have generated profound wealth inequality and have little to offer to address the perceived threats of globalization and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. But what should come next? Our readings in the course will explore a variety of themes related to these debates. How did neoliberalism come to dominate political discourse? What are its core tenets? What kinds of challenges are being presented to them, and what might an alternative approach to political economy for the 21st century look like? Winter Quarter. Five Monday Evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 (precise dates TBD). DISCUSSIONS IN ETHICAL & PROFESSIONAL VALUES COURSES RANKING FORM: To apply for this course, 2L, 3L and Advanced Degree students must complete and submit a Ranking Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline. Elements used in grading: Class attendance at all sessions and class participation.

Current Offerings

2017-2018 Winter

Discussion: Beyond Neoliberalism LAW 682B Section 01 Class #33347

  • 1 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 10
  • Mon
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