Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Conflict, Revolt and Democracy in the Neoliberal World
Thursday, November 7 2013 BST – Friday, November 8 2013

Conference website

Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics, and Ethics,
University of Brighton
Grand Parade
United Kingdom

Keynote speakers:
Wendy Brown
University of California, Berkeley


Neoliberal politics over the past four decades has linked democracy to the extension of markets and competition across the public, private and charitable sectors. These developments have been sustained through the extension of individual debt, ‘humanitarian’ wars and the normalisation of ‘exceptional’ acts of sovereign power including torture and illegal drones. Despite sustained economic crises, disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and marked increased in inequalities both within nation states, and between nation states, neoliberal regimes have flourished. The collapse of the world financial system in 2008 was rearticulated as a crisis of the state. Debts incurred by global financial institutions became sovereign debts while citizens have borne the brunt of the risks generated by the confluence of debt, war and discipline.

These crises have increasingly put in to question the claim that the state is a bulwark of democratic politics, the last outpost for the expression of the sovereign will of the people against the incursion of market mechanisms. States function to regulate and protect actors in markets, extend the remit for markets, and limit the possibility for democratic revolt against the consequences of these freedoms. However, this recognition also opens the possibility of exploring other avenues, other directions and possibilities for the expression of democratic politics. These may involve political actors both below and above the state, as well as the possibility of reconfiguring parts of the state.

This conference investigates neoliberal rationalities, practices and regimes with particular attention to the current conjuncture. It also theorises the limits of the the different theoretical accounts of contemporary capitalist politics, while investigating the news sites and agents of democratic politics. Papers might address any one of these or related topics:

SPECIAL STRAND: Wendy Brown on neoliberal politics

  • Neoliberal ‘Democracies’
  • Marxist critiques of Neoliberalism
  • Critical Theories of Neoliberalism
  • The Politics of Debt
  • Neoliberal property regimes
  • Reconstruction after Invasion: Market and State in Afghanistan and Iraq
  • The Outsourced State
  • Foucault on Neoliberal Governmentality
  • Thinking Resistance: From Cairo to Wall Street
  • Democracy beyond the state

The conference fee is £160. This includes refreshments, lunch on Thursday and Friday and conference dinner on the Thursday evening

There are a limited number of places available for graduate students and for people who have no institutional affiliation at the reduced price of £80. If you wish to be considered for one of these places please contact Ian Sinclair on as soon as possible.

Please note: the conference fee does not include accommodation and, unfortunately, we are unable to offer travel grants or other forms of financial assistance. If you have any questions about the conference or require further information please contact Ian Sinclair

2 thoughts on “Conflict, Revolt and Democracy in the Neoliberal World (2013)

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