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Neoliberalism, Crisis and the World System

Tuesday 2 July 2013, 9.00AM to 3 July 2013




An interdisciplinary conference exploring the economic and socio-political dynamics of ‘neoliberalism’ in relation to the contemporary ‘crisis’ of capital and set against a foundational concern with the capitalist world system.

Plenary speakers include:

  • Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
  • Jamie Peck (UBC)

Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths)
  • Will Davies (Warwick)
  • Mark Fisher (Goldsmiths)
  • Ros Gill (King’s, London)
  • John Holmwood (Nottingham)
  • Stephen Shapiro (Warwick)
  • Tiziana Terranova (Naples)
  • Adam Tickell (Birmingham)
  • Couze Venn (Goldsmiths) and
  • Anthony Carrigan (Keele)

Call for Papers

In the wake of the global financial crisis there has been notable and widespread academic, political and public interest in what is meant by ‘neoliberalism’ – where it sprang from, what its relationship with liberalism is/was, what its economic impact has been/is, what it means for political institutions and their decision making, and how it determines our labouring lives. With big-name public intellectuals – such as David Harvey, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek and Stuart Hall – having written on and exposed neoliberalism’s place within capitalism’s development and on-going crises, it seems important that we continue to bring neoliberalism under closer scrutiny by probing its everyday manifestations and its large-scale ambitions, and by working to pinpoint its contradictions and weaknesses. Given that ‘neoliberalism’ is notoriously hard to define, this event seeks to address and track its historical emergence and account for its role in relation to the current economic and political climate. It will do so by placing key critical voices from the social sciences, arts and humanities in dialogue so that socio-cultural understandings of neoliberalism, and the capitalist world system, are offered in direct relation to economic thinking, models, claims and critiques. In short, this interdisciplinary conference will explore and examine the economic and socio-political origins and consequences of ‘neoliberalism’ in relation to the contemporary ‘crisis’ of capital and as set against a foundational concern with the capitalist world system.

A set of key questions underpins the event:

  • Where did neoliberalism come from, how did it ‘take hold’, what is its reach and what are the consequences of its reach  – geographically, economically, politically and culturally?
  • How do we understand neoliberalism in relation to capitalism and the world system?
  • What is the underlying economic logic of neoliberalism and how is it connected to, part of, and/or directing the current crisis?
  • Is neoliberalism determined by particular economic and sociological understandings of what markets are and how they operate?
  • Is neoliberalism tied to the emergence of new forms of subjectivity and cultural expression?
  • In what ways is neoliberalism shaping our aesthetic activities and does it show itself in our contemporary idea/s of culture?
  • How has neoliberalism shaped new forms of bureaucracy, of classification and audit – of accounting for life as opposed to experiencing it?
  • What are the roles of institutions, specifically state-bound institutions and ‘the university’, under neoliberal conditions and how have they been influenced by a supposed ‘neoliberal turn’?
  • In what ways are work and labour altered (if at all) by neoliberalism and our relation to it?

If you wish to speak at this event please contact the organisers (Nick Gane  and by 25th February 2013.


Conference programme

Neoliberalism, Crisis and the World System programme (PDF , 52kb)


This event is not for profit.  There is no conference fee, only a registration form.

If you wish to attend please complete this Neoliberalism conference registration form (MS Word , 17kb) and return by 7th June 2013 to (places are limited).

Conference poster

Neoliberalism, Crisis and the World System poster (PDF , 6,999kb)


For further information about the event please contact the organisers (Nick Gane and

The conference is funded by the British AcademyCentre for Modern Studies (York) and University of York pump priming.

The conference is organised by Dr Nick Gane, Department of Sociology and Dr Claire Westall, Department of English and Centre for Modern Studies.

Location: University of York