Call for Contributors for March 2018 Issue, “Is It Time to Bury Neoliberalism?”

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Call for Papers
February 19, 2018
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, World History / Studies, Political Science, Labor History / Studies

The Activist History Review invites proposals for our March issue, “Is It Time to Bury Neoliberalism?: Writing History in the Present Tense.”

In a recent roundtable featured in Dissent magazine, historian Daniel Rodgers questioned whether scholars and activists on the left should continue to use the term “neoliberalism” to describe the disintegration of mid-century social democracy in favor of centrist social legislation and the complete privatization of the economy. Rodgers warned that scholarly overreliance on neoliberalism as a frame of thought runs the risk of “crowding out other terms” and further isolating Americans outside of academia. While scholars Julia Ott, Mike Konczal, N.D.B. Connolly, and Timothy Shenk all brilliantly scrutinized Rodgers’ analysis, an exact definition for, and a proper reckoning with, neoliberalism remains necessary. As Rodgers resolved in his concluding remarks, “analytical words that gain political traction need powerful, visualizable, and experientially graspable legs, too.”

The Activist History Review calls for papers that better define or illustrate neoliberalism. Is neoliberalism a coherent economic and cultural system reliant upon an open market and a globalized economy, or an over-distilled term for a complex political and social climate decades in the making? If academics and activists need to cast neoliberalism aside, how should it be done and what can be used in its place? For this issue, special attention will be given to proposals that historicize neoliberalism and critically analyze the concentration of wealth and dismantling of state-sponsored programs for economic and social equality in the mid-twentieth century.

Potential themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Changing popular renderings of poverty
  • Tasteful considerations of historiographical movements
  • Public education and the welfare state
  • The intersections of finance and party politics
  • Grassroots opposition to or support of neoliberalism on the left and right
  • The global breakdown of the Cold War order
  • Racism, misogyny, and “reverse discrimination”
  • Main Street vs. Wall Street in the historical imagination
  • The relationship between neoliberalism and capitalism (e.g. “Reaganomics,” the Clintons and the New Democrats, and the Great Recession)

Proposals should be no more than 250 words for articles from 1250-2000 words, and should be emailed to Andreas Meyris at by Monday, February 19th at 11:59 PM. Please also include a short bio of no more than 100 words.