Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty (Hardback)
  • Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty (Hardback)
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Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty (Hardback)

(author)
£90.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 19/07/2006
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Neoliberalism is commonly viewed as an economic doctrine that seeks to limit the scope of government. Some consider it a form of predatory capitalism with adverse effects on the Global South. In this groundbreaking work, Aihwa Ong offers an alternative view of neoliberalism as an extraordinarily malleable technology of governing that is taken up in different ways by different regimes, be they authoritarian, democratic, or communist. Ong shows how East and Southeast Asian states are making exceptions to their usual practices of governing in order to position themselves to compete in the global economy. As she demonstrates, a variety of neoliberal strategies of governing are re-engineering political spaces and populations. Ong's ethnographic case studies illuminate experiments and developments such as China's creation of special market zones within its socialist economy; pro-capitalist Islam and women's rights in Malaysia; Singapore's repositioning as a hub of scientific expertise; and flexible labor and knowledge regimes that span the Pacific.

Ong traces how these and other neoliberal exceptions to business as usual are reconfiguring relationships between governing and the governed, power and knowledge, and sovereignty and territoriality. She argues that an interactive mode of citizenship is emerging, one that organizes people-and distributes rights and benefits to them-according to their marketable skills rather than according to their membership within nation-states. Those whose knowledge and skills are not assigned significant market value-such as migrant women working as domestic maids in many Asian cities-are denied citizenship. Nevertheless, Ong suggests that as the seam between sovereignty and citizenship is pried apart, a new space is emerging for NGOs to advocate for the human rights of those excluded by neoliberal measures of human worthiness.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822337362
Number of pages: 304


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Aihwa Ong's keen ethnographic perspective brings into sharp relief some of the differences that are essential not only for understanding the contemporary global economic and political systems but also for struggling against them to make a better world."-Michael Hardt, coauthor of Multitude and Empire
"Armed with big ideas and a sharp sense of where the fault lines lie, Aihwa Ong examines a variety of instances which illuminate the changing relationship between those who govern and the governed. These are brilliant essays."-Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights
"This book by a leading scholar in development studies clearly documents the fact that governments and institutions have a more decisive role than markets in the successful experiences of development in the new global economy. It will become mandatory reading for students and policy makers around the world."-Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California
"Neoliberalism as Exception offers an elegant and vigorous argument which relates and interprets exceptionally dynamic and complex processes with great dexterity, and offers pertinent challenges to thinking in a range of fields-governance, sovereignty, neoliberal rationality, ethics. . . ." -- Kathy Powell * Dialectical Anthropology *
"This subtleness and wealth of insight-particularly her illustrations of neoliberal citizenship, subjectivity, and state strategy-rather than theoretical unity, that constitute the strength of the book. Furthermore, Ong's openness to ambiguous political possibilities, and to both optimism and pessimism, make this book a durable source of insights and tools for understanding the peculiar times we live in." -- Federico Helfgott * Comparative Studies in Society and History *
"In this inspiring, wide-ranging volume, we are indebted to Aihwa Ong for skillfully unmasking and persuasively destabilizing the over-confident certainties of our own troubling era." -- David Ley * Pacific Affairs *
"Ong's great strength as an essayist, this book makes clear, is her focus on contradictions: making them both plain to see and addressing how they must be attended to if we are to understand the cultural and social complexity of neoliberalism as exception and exceptions to neoliberalism, not only in 'emerging countries', but also in the West." -- Don Mitchell * Gender Place and Culture *
"Ong's revelations in Neoliberalism as Exception are so numerous, empirically engaged and imaginatively engaging that at least this moderately informed reader of the developmental and globalization literatures is inclined to regard her as a leading theorist of the global economy in the new millennium. . . . Every student of globalization, neoliberalism, economic sociology and global culture, politics, sociology and political economy might read Ong's Neoliberalism as Exception to great intellectual enjoyment and advantage" -- Alexander Hicks * Contemporary Sociology *
"Ong's arguments are made vigorously and with her customary linguistic verve and virtuosity. . . . This book will be of considerable interest to a wide range of readers interested in exploring neoliberal rhetoric and its complex translations, irrationalities, and contradictions." -- Maila Stivens * Intersections *

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