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Neoliberalism and After?

Education, Social Policy, and the Crisis of Western Capitalism

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Michael A. Peters

The era that began with the election of the Thatcher and Reagan governments has been dominated by contemporary forms of neoliberalism-based market fundamentalism, globalization as world economic integration and the ideology of «free trade,» and an attack on «big» government and social welfare. This book is a historical and theoretical investigation of contemporary neoliberalism in relation to education policy and its rollback of the Keynesian welfare state. It argues that education is the basis of an open society and is a social welfare right in the merging knowledge economy. Drawing on the theoretical lens of Michel Foucault’s work on governmentality understood as a form of radical political economy, the book explores and critiques neoliberalism as the ruling ideological consensus. It also questions whether and to what extent its influence will continue, in the face of the destabilization of markets that followed the financial crisis and the global recession that began in 2007, in the advanced liberal economies of the United States and the European Union.