Quinn Slobodian

presents

Globalists:
The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism

This event includes a book signing

Date

Mar
2
Friday
March 2, 2018
3:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes QUINN SLOBODIAN, Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College and ACLS Burkhardt Residential Fellow at Harvard University's Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, for a discussion of his latest book, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism. This event is co-sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Weather Update

Today's event is scheduled to proceed as planned, unaffected by the nor'easter. Any changes or updates will be noted here. (Updated 3/2)

About Globalists

Neoliberals hate the state. Or do they? In the first intellectual history of neoliberal globalism, Quinn Slobodian follows a group of thinkers from the ashes of the Habsburg Empire to the creation of the World Trade Organization to show that neoliberalism emerged less to shrink government and abolish regulations than to redeploy them at a global level.

Slobodian begins in Austria in the 1920s. Empires were dissolving and nationalism, socialism, and democratic self-determination threatened the stability of the global capitalist system. In response, Austrian intellectuals called for a new way of organizing the world. But they and their successors in academia and government, from such famous economists as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises to influential but lesser-known figures such as Wilhelm Röpke and Michael Heilperin, did not propose a regime of laissez-faire. Rather they used states and global institutions―the League of Nations, the European Court of Justice, the World Trade Organization, and international investment law―to insulate the markets against sovereign states, political change, and turbulent democratic demands for greater equality and social justice.

Far from discarding the regulatory state, neoliberals wanted to harness it to their grand project of protecting capitalism on a global scale. It was a project, Slobodian shows, that changed the world, but that was also undermined time and again by the inequality, relentless change, and social injustice that accompanied it.

Praise

"Well-executed, engaging, and important. This is by far the best book I have read on neoliberalism, ever." —Bruce Caldwell, Duke University

"A remarkable study, elegant and lucid. Slobodian’s complete mastery of his subject is evident." —Angus Burgin, Johns Hopkins University

"Heraclitus warned us that ‘no man can stand in the same river twice, for it is not the same river,’ yet the temptation to do so is strong when it comes to the history of ideas. Viewing the liberalism of today as simply a return to earlier ideas is similarly tempting, but wrong. Slobodian’s investigation of how ‘Geneva school’ liberals sought to reinvent global liberalism so that capitalism could be made safe from democracy is a fundamental recasting of what modern liberalism is and from whence it came, forcing all of us who theorize on capitalism to rethink the very object of our study." —Mark Blyth, Brown University

Quinn Slobodian
Quinn Slobodian

Quinn Slobodian

Quinn Slobodian is Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College. He is a historian of modern German and international history with a focus on North-South politics, social movements, and the intellectual history of neoliberalism. He is the author of Foreign Front: Third World Politics in Sixties West Germany, and the editor of Comrades of Color: East Germany in the Cold War World. His new project on the rise of international economic law has been supported by an NEH fellowship and an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship. He will spend 2017-18 in residence at the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History at Harvard University.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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Event Series: Friday Forum

Harvard Book Store's Friday Forum series takes place on Friday afternoons during the academic year as a way to highlight scholarly books in a wide range of fields, with a particular focus on local scholars. Friday Forums take place at 3pm in Harvard Book Store.

Event Co-Sponsor(s)

The mission of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is to facilitate the production of pathbreaking social science research on international, comparative, transnational, and global issues by faculty and students at Harvard. Learn more at https://wcfia.harvard.edu/.

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