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Consumption and Public Life

The Sovereign Consumer

A New Intellectual History of Neoliberalism

Authors: Olsen, Niklas

  • Includes nation-specific, comparative and transnational perspectives
  • Offers the first comprehensive and systematic analysis of the making and role of the sovereign consumer in modern and contemporary political economy
  • Illuminates a region (Scandinavia), a period (post 1970) and a theme (neoliberalism’s entrance into the public sector) that has never been explored in depth in the field before
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eBook 63,06 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89584-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 80,24 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89583-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book presents a new intellectual history of neoliberalism through the exploration of the sovereign consumer. Invented by neoliberal thinkers in the interwar period, this figure has been crucial to the construction and legimitization of neoliberal ideology and politics.

Analysis of the sovereign consumer across time and space demonstrates how neoliberals have linked the figure both to the idea of democracy as a method of choice, and also to a re-invention of the market as the democratic forum par excellence. Moreover, Olsen contemplates how the sovereign consumer has served to marketize politics and functioned as a major driver in a wide-ranging transformation in political thinking, subjecting traditional political values to the narrow pursuit of economic growth.

A politically timely project, The Sovereign Consumer will have a wide appeal in academic circles, especially for those interested in consumer and welfare studies, and in political, economic and cultural thought in the twentieth century.



About the authors

Niklas Olsen is Associate Professor at the SAXO-Institute, and Chair of Centre of Modern European Studies, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Reviews

“In the dramaturgy of neoliberal thinking and policy, the character given the starring role is the ‘sovereign consumer,’ as honoring individual preferences amidst a cornucopia of goods and services becomes the touchstone of freedom and justice. Niklas Olsen takes the contemporary analysis of neoliberalism in an exciting and productive new direction by providing a genealogy of the script and a study of this neoliberal persona. It is a thrilling achievement.” (Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History, Yale University, USA)

“Niklas Olsen’s work provides us with a great example of the perplexing ways the original work of neoliberal intellectuals came to matter many years after their original conception. Ridiculed by many due to his apparent backwardness and atavism, Ludwig von Mises idea of “consumer sovereignty” provided neoliberalism with freshwater that came to feed streams of relevant work close to and apparently detached from the neoliberal source. Via George Stigler’s “efficient consumer” and post-Keynesian Social Democracy, Olsen reconnects intellectual origins and subsequent manifestations of neoliberal consumerism. He does a terrific job where others fail in neoliberalism studies: clarifying both the common thread at the ideational level and the wider influences and variety of real world experiences.” (Dieter Plehwe, Research Fellow of the President’s Project Group, Berlin Social Science Center, Germany)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Olsen, Niklas

    Pages 1-18

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • The Birth of the Neoliberal Sovereign Consumer

    Olsen, Niklas

    Pages 19-64

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • Liberating the Consumer: Ludwig Erhard and the Making of the Federal Republic

    Olsen, Niklas

    Pages 65-104

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • From Choice to Welfare: The Concept of the Consumer in the Chicago School of Economics

    Olsen, Niklas

    Pages 105-140

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • The Emergence of the Sovereign Consumer in Post-war Economics

    Olsen, Niklas

    Pages 141-184

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €

Buy this book

eBook 63,06 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89584-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 80,24 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-89583-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Sovereign Consumer
Book Subtitle
A New Intellectual History of Neoliberalism
Authors
Series Title
Consumption and Public Life
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-89584-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-89584-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-89583-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 308
Topics