Is it a coincidence that the neoliberal age has also been the age of human rights? In her recent book The Morals of the Market (Verso 2020), Jessica Whyte (Sydney, University of New South Wales) explores how leading neoliberals in the mid-20th century (re-)purposed human rights to create a moral foundation and legal framework for the market economy. She also gives a disturbing account of how the neoliberal conception of human rights was entangled with colonialist and racial notions of civilisation. Doing so, Whyte offers an intellectual history of great contemporary relevance, provoking us to think about how human rights can serve the purpose of dethroning politics and depoliticising the market.
Convenor and discussant, Johan Strang, Centre for Nordic Studies.
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The webinar is arranged by the programme Neoliberalism in the Nordics (Riksbankens jubileumsfond), the Academy of Finland Research Fellowship-project Norden since the End of History, in cooperation with the Helsinki Centre for Intellectual History.