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The Neoliberal Paradox

Ray Kiely

This ambitious work provides a history and critique of neoliberalism, both as a body of ideas and as a political practice. It is an original and compelling contribution to the neoliberalism debate.
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Chapter 2: History and the crisis of liberal modernity: mass society and the crisis of the 1930s and 1940s

Ray Kiely


This chapter contextualises neoliberalism’s emergence as a set of ideas and a political movement in the 1930s, in part in response to the crises of that decade. In particular it focuses on conservative and liberal responses to what came to be called the mass society. It then moves on to consider one particular manifestation of mass society, that of the large, bureaucratic corporation. Much of the argument in this book is that while neoliberalism emerged as a critical response to mass society, its relationship with the large corporation was far more ambivalent and ambiguous, an argument considered in depth in later chapters.

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