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THE RETURN OF THE PUBLIC – DAN HIND BOOK LAUNCH

NEW BOOK AND LAUNCH EVENT: THE RETURN OF THE PUBLIC

By Dan Hind

Published October 11th, 2010

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“A book marked by a sombre and scathing rhetoric that recalls the Frankfurt School critique of thinkers such as Adorno and Marcuse… Pointed, eloquent and forceful.”  Boyd Tonkin, INDEPENDENT

“If there is a future to look forward to, it will come from the invigorated public domain pictured by Dan Hind … This is a handbook for a very modern liberation struggle. Buy it and help set yourself free.“ — Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation and author of Tescopoly

“A brilliant, provocative and sweeping assessment of our current predicament … this is a book that deserves widespread attention and debate.” — Robert W. McChesney, Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and author of Communication Revolution

“Dan Hind provides us with the strategies we will need to reinvigorate the public debate and, in so doing, re-empower the people. Go to Mapquest and ask for directions to the next and better society; the response will be Dan Hind’s The Return of the Public.” — John Nichols, political correspondent of the Nation and author of The Genius of Impeachment

“As the official culture of politics limps from scandal to corruption, Hind turns to the only thing that can save democracy: the people. Dan Hind has produced one of those rare books that transcend the world of “discourse” and become essential levers of historical change.“ — David Miller, co-author of A Century of Spin and professor of sociology at the University of Strathclyde

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AUTHOR EVENTS

Monday 25 October, 7pm at Kings Place, London:

The Return of the Public: Journalism and Democracy in the 21st Century:

Dan Hind in conversation with Professor Natalie Fenton, chaired by Tony Curzon Price, editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy

For decades, the public has been told to leave democracy to the experts. But is it not apparent that our politicians have ever-decreasing legitimacy? Even as they amass ever more riches our financiers are now morally and intellectually bankrupt. In their different ways politicians and those who control the private economy system claim to be acting in the public interest.

Yet we, the public, have little say in decision-making and almost no power to change the terms of a series of increasingly absurd debates about economic and foreign policy. How have we been excluded from so many discussions about the public interest?

Dan Hind is in conversation with Professor Natalie Fenton about public commissioning: a controversial way forwards for a new participatory politics and a regenerated public sphere, one based on the wholesale reform of the media.

For more information and to book: http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/spoken-word/words-on-monday/the-return-of-the-public-journalism-and-democracy-dan-hind-in-conversati

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Eloquent exploration of the public’s exclusion from political participation

Our politicians have ever-decreasing legitimacy. Even as they amass ever more riches our financiers are now morally and intellectually bankrupt. In their different ways politicians and those who control the private economy system claim to be acting in the public interest. Yet we, the public, have little say in decision-making and almost no power to change the terms of a series of increasingly absurd debates about economic and foreign policy. How have we been excluded from so many discussions about the public interest?

Dan Hind traces how, historically, political and intellectual elites constructed deeply ambiguous ideas of the public, designed to serve their own ends and preserve the status quo. After the Second World War, as women, ethnic minorities, the young, and the working majority became more assertive and self-confident, the propertied and their allies in the state made fresh attempts to deny most of us a public identity. The financial crisis, and the ability of those who caused it to preside over policy-making in its aftermath, have made it impossible to ignore what has long been obvious: the institutions on which most of us rely for our knowledge of the wider world have become radically and demonstrably unaccountable and unsafe.

For decades, the public has been told to leave democracy to the experts. Now, Hind outlines a way forwards for a new participatory politics, one based on the wholesale reform of the media. After the failure of the private, now is the time for the return of the public. 

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DAN HIND was a publisher for ten years. In 2009 he left the industry to develop a program of media reform centred around public commissioning. His journalism has appeared in the Guardian, New Scientist, Lobster and the Times Literary Supplement. His first book, The Threat to Reason, was published by Verso in 2007.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 594 4 / £14.99 / $24.95

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For more information and to buy the book visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/478-the-return-of-the-public

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Visit Verso’s new website for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers: http://www.versobooks.com

And get updates on Twitter too! http://twitter.com/VersoBooksUK

END

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Dharma Initiative

THE RISE AND FALL OF NEOLIBERALISM

The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism: The Collapse of an Economic Order?
London and New York: Zed Books, 2010
Edited by Kean Birch and Vlad Mykhnenko

Hardback: £70.00   ISBN: 9781848133488
Paperback: £18.99  ISBN: 9781848133495

Book website: http://www.zedbooks.co.uk/book.asp?bookdetail=4351 

About the Book

The recent, devastating and ongoing economic crisis has exposed the faultlines in the dominant neoliberal economic order, opening debate for the first time in years on alternative visions that do not subscribe to a ‘free’ market ethic. In particular, the core contradiction at the heart of neoliberalism – that states are necessary for the functioning of free markets – provides us with the opportunity to think again about how we want to organise our economies and societies. The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism presents critical perspectives of neoliberal policies, questions the ideas underpinning neoliberalism, and explores diverse response to it from around the world.

In bringing together the work of distinguished scholars and dedicated activists to question neoliberal hegemony, the book exposes the often fractured and multifarious manifestations of neoliberalism which will have to be challenged to bring about meaningful social change.

What People Have Said About the Book

‘Since the 1970s, the politics of “neoliberalism,” based on the purported concern to minimize state interference in the economy and thus to unleash “free” markets, have been mobilized at various sites and scales across the world economy. This book provides useful intellectual tools for deciphering the ideological, social and institutional foundations of neoliberalism and its wide-ranging implications for the still ongoing regulatory reorganization of capitalism.’ – Neil Brenner, New York University 

‘This is an outstanding book not only because of the sophisticated critiques offered by some of the most highly regarded thinkers on the topic of the destruction and misery wrought through neoliberal capitalism, but also because its forward looking emphasis on a more egalitarian and hopeful future offers insights about the work that needs to be done by activists and scholars alike. Moreover, this book helps us recognize that the emergence of any talk of a post-neoliberal era is premature beyond helping to construct a road map for ways citizens of the world can collectively, and deliberately, move forward.’ – Nik Heynen, University of Georgia

‘This timely and wide ranging book traces the changing contours of neoliberalism, demonstrating how market-oriented policies gave rise to a globally hegemonic political-economic project. The emphasis is on identifying the different forms neoliberalism takes and the diverse responses to it. At a juncture when this political-economic project is under increasing scrutiny from supporters and opponents alike, the book challenges existing conceptions of neoliberalism and makes an important contribution to the reinvigorated search for political alternatives.’ – Wendy Larner, Professor of Human Geography and Sociology, University of Bristol

‘A timely volume on the nature, varied manifestations, and above all limitations of a an economic order that is failing so spectacularly with the financial crisis. Highly recommended for academics, students, or for that matter anyone interested in the politics of our times.’ – Magnus Ryner, Professor of International Relations, Oxford Brookes University.

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction: A World Turned Right-Way Up – Kean Birch and Vlad Mykhnenko

Part 1: The Rise of Neoliberalism

2. How Neoliberalism Got Where It Is: Elite Planning, Corporate Lobbying and the Release of the Free Market – David Miller

3. Making Neoliberal Order in the United States – Kean Birch and Adam Tickell

4. Neoliberalism, Intellectual Property and the Global Knowledge Economy – David Tyfield

5. Neoliberalism and the Calculable World: The Rise of Carbon Trading – Larry Lohmann

6. Tightening the Web: The World Bank and Enforced Policy Reform – Elisa van Waeyenberge

7. The Corruption Industry and Transition: Neoliberalising Post-Soviet Space? – Adam Swain, Vlad Mykhnenko and Shaun French

8. Remaking the Welfare State: From Safety Net to Trampoline – Julie MacLeavy
Part 2: The Fall of Neoliberalism

9. Zombieconomics: The Living Death of the Dismal Science – Ben Fine

10. From Hegemony to Crisis? The Continuing Ecological Dominance of Neo-Liberalism – Bob Jessop

11. Do It Yourself: A Politics for Changing Our World – Paul Chatterton

12. Dreaming the Real: A Politics of Ethical Spectacles – Paul Routledge

13. Transnational Companies and Transnational Civil Society – Leonith Hinojosa and Anthony Bebbington

14. Defeating Neo-liberalism: A Marxist Internationalist Perspective and Programme – Jean Shaoul

15. Conclusion: The End of an Economic Order? – Vlad Mykhnenko and Kean Birch

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Scotland

NEOLIBERAL SCOTLAND

CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS PUBLISHING
Academic Publishers
NEOLIBERAL SCOTLAND: Class and Society in a Stateless Nation
ISBN 97814
Edited by Neil Davidson, Patricia McCafferty and David Miller

http://www.c-s-p.org

Email orders to orders@c-s-p.org or by fax to 44 191 2652056

ISBN 9781443816755 470pp £24.99/US$34.99

Neoliberal Scotland argues that far from passing Scotland by, as is so often claimed, neoliberalism has in fact become institutionalised there. As the mainstream political parties converge on market-friendly policies and business interests are equated with the public good, the Scottish population has become more and more distanced from the democratic process, to the extent that an increasing number now fail to vote in elections. This book details for the first time these negative effects of neoliberal policies on Scottish society and takes to task those academics and others who either defend the neoliberal order or refuse to recognise that it exists. Neoliberal Scotland represents both an intervention in contemporary debates about the condition of Scotland and a case study, of more general interest, of how neoliberalism has affected one of the “stateless nations” of the advanced West.

Chapter One takes an overview of the origin and rise of neoliberalism in the developed world, arguing that it repudiates rather than continues the thought of Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment.

Part One addresses the fundamental issue of social class in Scotland over three chapters. Chapter Two attempts to locate the ruling class both internally and externally. Chapter Three explores the changing nature of working class membership and its collective experience. Chapter Four follows the working class into the workplace where heightened tensions in the state sector have provoked an increasingly militant response from trade unionists.

Part Two engages with the broader impact of neoliberalism on Scottish society through a diverse series of studies. Chapter Five assesses claims by successive Scottish governments that they have been pursuing environmental justice. Chapter Six examines how Glasgow has been reconfigured as a classic example of the “neoliberal city”. Chapter Seven looks at another aspect of Glasgow, in this case as the main destination of Eastern European migrants who have arrived in Scotland through the international impact of neoliberal globalisation. Chapter Eight investigates the economic intrusion of private capital into the custodial network and the ideological emphasis on punishment as the main objective in sentencing. Chapter Nine is concerned with the Scottish manifestations of “the happiness industry”, showing how market-fundamentalist notions of individual responsibility now structure even the most seemingly innocuous attempts to resolve supposed attitudinal problems. Finally, Chapter Ten demonstrates that the limited extent to which devolved Scottish governments, particularly the present SNP administration, have been able to go beyond the boundaries of neoliberal orthodoxy has been a function of the peculiarities of party competition in Holyrood, rather than representing a fundamental disavowal of the existing order.

Neil Davidson is a Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Geography and Sociology at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.
Patricia McCafferty is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Sociology at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and Associate Lecturer with the Open University.
David Miller is a Professor of Sociology with the Department of Geography and Sociology at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

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