What does the history of neoliberalism look like from the bottom-up? In recent years, historians have identified the 1970s and the 1980s as the dawning of a new era in global political economy. Its contours are complex and contradictory: old modes of production have been disrupted by technological transformations, new forms of financialization, and a shifting global geography of work; state regulation of the economy has been rolled back and delegitimized; the emergence of social movements committed to new forms of freedom has been accompanied by new forms of coercion and policing. While intellectual, economic, and political historians have begun to sketch the “commanding heights” of these transformations, we know far less about the lived experience of these important developments. And while these transformations in political economy were clearly global in their implications, our narratives of these years remain largely centered on the U.S. and Western Europe.
The Journal of Social History is preparing a special issue devoted to exploring the history of neoliberalism at the grass-roots, the margins, and the periphery. “Social Histories of Neoliberalism” will feature articles revealing the lived experience of recent economic and political transformations from a variety of ignored locations around the world. We are particularly interested in articles that use empirically grounded case-studies to illuminate or challenge accounts of macro-level historical change, or that deploy or interrogate theoretical categories in innovative ways. And we are very open to transnational or comparative approaches that seek to unite the study of more than one geographic location (particularly non-Western locations). But we are deliberately leaving our terms open and our definitions broad. “Social Histories of Neoliberalism” is intended to draw together a variety of articles that would not otherwise be placed in dialogue and, in so doing, help to define and inspire new approaches to the history of these important decades.
Please send a cv and an abstract of no more than 600 words to Sam Lebovic (slebovic[at]gmu.edu) by September 1. Articles selected for inclusion in the volume will be due by March 15, 2018, and will then be sent out for peer review.
Sam Lebovic (Associate Editor, Journal of Social History)