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Globalists
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About the Author

Quinn Slobodian is Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College.

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The world today works in a distinctive and relatively new way, and those workings need a name. Its critics are right that neoliberalism has multiple meanings and can be used in a way that is more pejorative than precise. But it also has an intellectual genealogy with real bearing on our time, making a careful reconstruction of its history essential to understanding our global economy. Quinn Slobodian provides exactly that in Globalists, showing how neoliberal ideas grew from particular historical circumstances to global influence, while also correcting certain misconceptions about neoliberalism's meaning and goals.-- (05/01/2018)
[Globalists] puts to rest the idea that 'neoliberal' lacks a clear referent. As Slobodian meticulously documents, the term has been used since the 1920s by a distinct group of thinkers and policymakers who are unified both by a shared political vision and a web of personal and professional links... Slobodian definitively establishes the existence of neoliberalism as a coherent intellectual project--one that, at the very least, has been well represented in the circles of power... One of Slobodian's great insights is that the neoliberal program was not simply a move in the distributional fight, but rather about establishing a social order in which distribution was not a political question at all. For money and markets to be the central organizing principle of society, they have to appear natural--beyond the reach of politics... Slobodian has written the definitive history of neoliberalism as a political project.-- (06/01/2018)
[Globalists] is important because it provides a new frame for the history of this movement. For Slobodian, the earliest and most authentic brand of neoliberalism was from the outset defined by its preoccupation with the question of world economic integration and disintegration...Slobodian gives us not only a new history of neoliberalism but a far more diverse image of global policy debates after 1945...It is a measure of the success of this fascinating, innovative history that it forces the question: after Slobodian's reinterpretation, where does the critique of neoliberalism stand? First and foremost, Slobodian has underlined the profound conservatism of the first generation of neoliberals and their fundamental hostility to democracy.-- (07/01/2018)
The term neoliberalism provokes much choleric denial. But Quinn Slobodian's Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism decisively establishes it as a coherent project, tracing it back to the political and intellectual synergies of the 1920s.-- (07/07/2018)
This powerful headlong dive into the history of neoliberalism necessitates rethinking the ways of perpetuating an idea central to the 20th and 21st centuries...Globalists should be required reading for graduate students and scholars whose interests intersect with 20th-century Europe, economic history, and, most broadly, the history of ideas.--D. N. Nelson"Choice" (08/01/2018)
[The] most important story of the rise of neoliberalism cannot be found in the books and lectures by theorists like David Harvey, Michel Foucault, Wendy Brown, or Werner Bonefeld. It is, as far as I can tell, only in Slobodian's Globalists.-- (07/17/2018)
[A] sweeping intellectual history of neoliberalism...Globalists is the work of an historian that relishes the opportunity to excavate, like an archaeologist, the fossils of an idea...As Slobodian's book makes clear, global economic integration in its neoliberal form cannot allow for democracy, because it is precisely predicated on protecting the market from democracies.--Ayan Meer"New Politics" (08/24/2018)
One of the invaluable services provided by Quinn Slobodian's Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism is to trace this anti-democratic tendency's theoretical origins, and demonstrate how for generations, ultra-market intellectuals have viewed democracy as a potential threat to the market...Slobodian's book is at its most engaging when he shows in detail the practically metaphysical dignity the neoliberals bestow upon the market.--Jordan Ecker"American Prospect" (07/03/2019)
A book that is likely to upset enthusiasts of the 'liberal world order.'...Slobodian makes a groundbreaking contribution. Unlike standard accounts, which cast neoliberals as champions of markets against governments and states, Slobodian argues that neoliberals embraced governance--chiefly at the global level...Globalists is intellectual history at its best.-- (05/01/2019)

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