Dean’s Book Published – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Dean’s Book Published

September 1 marks the release of Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean’s new book, “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics,” published by Duke University Press.

“Dean’s critique ranges from her argument that the term ‘democracy’ has become a meaningless cipher invoked by the left and right alike, to an analysis of the fantasy of free trade underlying neoliberalism, to an examination of new theories of sovereignty advanced by politicians and left academics, to a look at the changing meanings of ‘evil’ in the speeches of U.S. presidents since the mid-twentieth century,” according to the Duke University Press description of the book.

The description continues, “Through an assessment of the ideologies underlying contemporary political culture, Jodi Dean takes the left to task for its capitulations to conservatives and its failure to take responsibility for the extensive neoliberalization implemented during the Clinton presidency.”

Philosopher Slavoj Žižek writes that “Dean’s new book provides what we have all been waiting for: the authentic theoretical analysis of how ideology functions in today’s global capitalism. To anyone who continues to dwell on illusions about liberal democracy one should simply say: ‘Hey didn’t you read Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies?'”

“This is a frank polemic that will stimulate many arguments about the past and future of critical theory and democratic politics in the United States,” writes Lauren Berlant, author of “The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship.”

Dean, a member of the faculty since 1993, holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton, and her master’s and Ph.D. from Columbia. In recent years, she has given invited lectures in Peru, England, Wales, Croatia, the Netherlands, and various colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S.  She is currently Erasmus Professor of the Humanities in the Faculty of Philosophy at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.  “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies” is Dean’s ninth authored or edited book.  Co-editor of the journal Theory and Event, Dean was recently elected to the Council of the American Political Science Association.