This course offers a political economic analysis of the neoliberal state through the analytical lens of comparative materialist utopias. It focuses on neoliberal and Soviet political economic regimes as the two dominant economic utopias of the Twentieth Century. The course opens with an exploration of the neoclassical and Austrian, Leninist and Stalinist economic theories that underpin these respective regimes. The middle section focuses on statecraft and public policy, and the final section focuses on the consequences of utopian economic doctrine for liberal democracy, party political competition and political culture. The course focues on the UK's 'supply-side revolution' of the last forty years, with Soviet developments as an analytical reference point: the UK is Europe's most neoliberal economy, hence a 'crucial case', but our discussions are open to comparisons across Europe, where neoliberal measures are highly advanced in many policy sectors and regulatory regimes. The goals of the course are to explore the unexpected affinities between neoliberal and Soviet economic doctrines, as mirror forms of materialist utopias, and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those forms of statecraft, policy-making and political regime rooted in utopian economic thought. 

Course Teacher: Abby Innes


Office hours: Tuesday afternoons 14.00-16.00, also by appointment