HHIK06102U HIS/CEMES Neoliberalism

Volume 2015/2016

Modern European Studies (CEMES: 2. European politics in historical perspective):
Modern European Studies 1 (Subject element HHIK03701E) [2013-Curriculum]
Modern European Studies 2 (Subject element HHIK03711E) [2013-Curriculum]

Module I-VI [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Module I-VI [MA-elective Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
BA-level [Internal BA-elective for BA students of History]
Module T4 (Subject element HHIB10501E) [BA-elective studies, 2007- and 2013-Curriculum]
Module T5 (Subject element HHIB10511E) [BA-elective studies, 2007- and 2013-Curriculum]


This course explores variants of neoliberal ideology in and beyond Europe from around 1900 until today, with a view to classical liberalism, social liberalism and libertarianism.

The aim of the course is to discuss what neoliberalism is, how it has been created, and what role the ideology has played in the field of politics during the twentieth century. Moreover, the course discusses the place of neoliberalism in Europe and the Western world today.

Illuminating a long range of persons, movements and parties that were influential in shaping neoliberal thought and directing it into the arena of practical politics in various European countries as well in the US, the course pays special attention to the rise and development of neo-liberalism as a transnational political and economic ideology in Europe after 1945. Focus is here on the post-war institutionalization of the neo-liberal network that occurred with the founding of the Mont Pèlerin Society, a transnational think tank, in Switzerland in 1947, under the leadership of Friedrich von Hayek, and its development into a global intellectual network with immense political influence by the 1980s, when market-driven approaches re-shaped national societies and the world economy. In addition, the course explores the status of neoliberal values and practices today, discussing notions such as austerity, bleeding heart libertarianism and new public management.

The course moreover gives an introduction to key theoretical and methodological discussions of what neoliberalism is and how the phenomenon can be studied. In line with recent research, we will not view neoliberalism as a phenomenon with a fixed essence and core, but as a set of changeable concepts and patterns of thought that has been constantly defined and redefined in changing context by a variety of historical actors.

Course objectives (on completion of this course students are expected to be able to):
• have knowledge of neoliberal ideologies in twentieth century Europe and beyond
• have knowledge of the place of neoliberal ideology in Europe and the Western world today
• have knowledge of theoretical and methodological tools that can be used to analyze the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of neoliberalism

To be announced

Group instruction / Seminar
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Total
  • 56