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Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium - Benoît Dillet


Historicising 1979 as turning point in French Thought

Dr. Benoit Dillet
Loughborough University
Political Theory
Junior Fellow

Historicising 1979 as turning point in French Thought
When May 02, 2016
from 01:15 PM to 02:45 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97353
Attendees universitätsöffentlich / open to university members
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The end of the 1970s saw a radical transformation of the public discourse and the philosophical scene in France. In this presentation, I reassess this period known as the ‘anti-totalitarian moment’ in French thought and question the transition from Marxist discourses to human rights promotion. I want to shift this interpretation by looking at key texts from 1979 and show that French intellectuals did not desert political and economic questions, rather innovative conceptual frameworks were developed to anticipate the changes in the modes of production and social policies. In political theory and other cognate disciplines, the term ‘neoliberalism’ has been widely used in the last decade, yet like other catchwords before (globalisation, postmodernism), its meaning and function differ radically. Studying the birth of neoliberalism therefore requires to map out the complex historical context and compare the points of rupture in French intellectual history with those observed by leading studies in political economy.