The Invisible Hand is an Ideology: Toward a Social Psychology of Neoliberalism

On the one hand, neoliberalism, originally an economic theory, has evolved into a sociopolitical ideology and extended its hegemonic influence to all areas of life, including the production of psychological knowledge in academia and the practice of psychology in various domains. On the other hand, neoliberalism has been criticized as the root of all problems in contemporary societies. Widespread discontent with neoliberalism is seen as the catalyst for the rising popularity of populism, the election of Donald Trump in the United States, and the Brexit referendum. The discontent with neoliberalism has also inspired imaginations of what a post-neoliberal society may be like, as evidenced by the rise of neosocialists such as Alexandria Ocasio‐Cortez in the United States or Jeremy Corbyn in the United Kingdom. In this issue, we have gathered multidisciplinary insights to answer questions that would constitute a preliminary agenda of social psychology of neoliberalism. These questions include: how neoliberalism can be studied social psychologically? What are the neoliberalist constraints on knowledge creation and social practices? How can social psychology shed light on the psychological responses to the hegemonic impact of neoliberalism and contribute to the imagination of a post-neoliberal world? In short, is social psychology of neoliberalism a feasible and useful intellectual project for producing actionable social knowledge?

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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