Tea Leaves Blocking a Sink – I

I am starting a new series. The theme will be clear if you can decipher the title of this post and recognise the allusion.  The first person to guess the allusion gets a big hug from me… if you want it, that is.

For many, governance post-1991 is a simple shift to map. Uncomplicated marketisation, privatisation and other -ations and -isms have invaded all spheres of our lives and made the state and all else redundant. I don’t think the picture is this simple. Easy as the pleasure of the damning critique is, and ample the ammunition to do so is, “neoliberalism writ large” offers us little nuance and even less hope. As a great fan of hope, let me suggest another track. Much more useful is an analysis of how an economic logic has entered and shaped our politics, insitutions, and notions of justice and citizenship. We must look, therefore, not for a “neoliberal” state and economy, but a state that uses technologies and techniques of neoliberalism, selectively and not always with full control, and not without other logics and motivations in contexts that vary greatly. Spotting these techniques in particular sites offers us the first articulations of effective counter-discourses. Sometimes, this is a far easier task than one might imagine. Sometimes your prime minister simply questions democracy in a leading daily. (source)

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