The Morals of the Market: Human Rights and the Rise of Neoliberalism

From the publisher:

The fatal embrace of human rights and neoliberalism.

Drawing on detailed archival research on the parallel histories of human rights and neoliberalism, Jessica Whyte uncovers the place of human rights in neoliberal attempts to develop a moral framework for a market society.

In the wake of the Second World War, neoliberals saw demands for new rights to social welfare and self-determination as threats to “civilisation”. Yet, rather than rejecting rights, they developed a distinctive account of human rights as tools to depoliticise civil society, protect private investments and shape liberal subjects.

“With its intrepid documentation of how Friedrich Hayek and his fellows engaged with the annunciation of human rights in the 1940s, and its fascinating wealth of evidence about how deeply neoliberal assumptions about markets and nations affected the rise of humanitarian advocacy in the 1970s, The Morals of the Market is a fundamental challenge that no one can avoid.”
– Samuel Moyn, author of Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World

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