review

The promise and paradise of austerity

Certain questions dog progressive thought: why, in view of the manifest failures of financial capitalism, is its hold on our society stronger than ever? Why, despite the empirical evidence of foreclosures, vacant building lots and food banks are people unable to see the catastrophic consequences of current economic arrangements? How has neoliberalism emerged from calamity ever stronger (Mirowski, 2013)? Why, as Crouch (2011) puts it, will neoliberalism simply not die?

Reframing finance: From cultures of fictitious capital to de-regulating financial markets

Financialization – the leverage and promotion of anything to be turned into a tradable product – and its cultures are what Haiven addresses in his book Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life. Like many authors before him, he indicates that financialization is not only reduced to the transformation of currencies, goods, loans, etc. into tradable financial products such as swaps and futures, but that culture itself is under transformation and is being turned into an object of financial capitalism.

Seeing organization ‘slant’

The power of poetry and of poetic writing is that it plays with language in ways that subvert meaning, convey affect, enable embodiment and passion, and jolt and discomfort our perceptions of the world. To paraphrase the words of Emily Dickinson, through poetry we can see all the world but see it slant as it shifts our perspectives and we consider new understandings.

Redemption between politics and ontology: Agamben on the coming politics

There is a prevailing view of the thought of Giorgio Agamben that reads him as a decidedly pessimistic thinker, and a modern day Cassandra, or even a philosopher who is channelling Chicken Little, telling all and sundry that the sky is collapsing and the modern world is on an inexorable path to destruction. This prevailing view has held sway for much of the past decade and a half, but it is, slowly, and thankfully, being challenged by a new wave of scholarship. This ‘negative’ reading of Agamben was not without apparent justification.

Total bureaucratisation, neo-liberalism, and Weberian oligarchy

David Graeber’s book on rules and bureaucracy examines the topic from a refreshing standpoint. Much management literature, since at least Bennis (1965), has made the claim that bureaucracy and competitive markets and/or change are somehow incompatible. The world needs to be post-bureaucratic ­­– ‘bureaucracy must die’ (Hamel, 2014), organizations must be more entrepreneurial (Drucker, 1984). These are the refrains we hear – if we are to survive and grow, creativity must be unleashed from the shackles of bureaucracy.

The working unwell

‘Be well’. This is what you hear now at the checkout counter at Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in America. Employees offer this valediction as they hand over the receipt, and it comes across as eerily sincere. In fact, the phrase was so effective at rattling me out of my consumerist stupor that I said it back – ‘Be well as well’ – but it didn’t quite come out the same way. It sounded mangled, faux-British, and for some strange reason I raised my voice at the end, turning it into a question. I left feeling confused.

Identity as a category of theory and practice

Identity has emerged as a major theme in management and organisation studies. This is perhaps unsurprising since questions of who one is or who one might become are particularly important in organisational settings (Watson, 2008).

Neo-liberalism is dead! Long live neo-liberalism!

It was November 2008 and it happened at the London School of Economics’ School of Management. The city was trembling above the shockwaves of a devastating financial crisis yet Professor Luis Garicano had good reason to be cheerful, at least on the beginning of the particular day we’ve got scene-setting cause to look back on him. As the Departmental Head he was leading The New Academic Building’s[1] opening ceremony and the event had attracted a large and illustrious crowd.

‘Belonging’ as politicized projects and the broadening of intersectional analysis

What does it mean to feel at home, to feel safe – to belong? As the intricacy of the question unfolds it seems no easy answers come right to mind. One approach to explore this further is by rephrasing the question, asking oneself: How is such a feeling of belonging constructed and politicized?

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