The epochal shift toward neoliberalism—a political creed seeking to reduce the footprint of government in society and reassign power to private and market forces—began in the US and the UK in the late 1970s. Across the next three decades, it fundamentally changed the world. Today, the word "neoliberal" is often used to condemn a broad swath of policies thought to valorize the use of illegitimate power abroad or prize free market principles over people. Yet, these negative uses fail to reckon with the full contours of what neoliberalism was and why its worldview exerted such persuasive hold on both the left and right. In this lecture, Gary Gerstle will grapple with these full contours, probe the reasons for the neoliberal order's rise and fall, and offer some thoughts on what comes next.
Gary Gerstle is Paul Mellon Professor of American History Emeritus and Paul Mellon Director of Research in American History at the University of Cambridge. He is the author and editor of more than ten books, including two prizewinners, American Crucible (2001) and Liberty and Coercion (2015). His Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order (2022) was shortlisted for the Financial Times's Best Business Book of the year and named a best book of 2022 by the Financial Times, Prospect Magazine, De Tijn (the Netherlands) and ThePrint (India). Gerstle is a Guardian columnist and has also written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, and the Nation, among others. He appears frequently on radio and podcasts.
A catered reception will follow the lecture. RSVPs are required.