Civil Society in the Shadow of the Neoliberal State: Neoliberalism and Civil Society in Denmark

Mathias Hein Jessen*

*Kontaktforfatter af dette arbejde

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review

Resumé

In the 1970s and 1980s, civil society re-emerged on the political scene and has been the centre of a massive interest publically, politically and academically as a third ‘sphere’ or ‘sector’ outside state and market. Civil society was seen both as a hallmark of a well-functioning liberal democracy by guaranteeing a free, independent sphere of contestation and critique, but was at the same time up until today seen as a resource of public governance that could take over public service provision from an ailing welfare state. This has also been the case in Denmark, where, since the 1970s, references to the vitality of civil society in contradistinction to a cold, distant and bureaucratic state has served as an argument for changes and cutbacks to public sector welfare service provision.
The paper views neoliberalism through a Foucauldian understanding as a form of state-craft that attempts to fashion every aspect of social life on the model of the market and introduce the logic of competition everywhere. This entails a specific production of civil society and of the collective and corporate subjects within it. The (neoliberal) state thereby creates a specific form of civil society by producing collective subjects conducive to its order. To Foucault, furthermore, civil society functions as a key site of veridiction and plane of reference that forms the principle of self-limitation of a liberal and neoliberal governmentality.
In this paper, I argue that civil society has functioned as a double legitimatory trope that both hails the progressiveness and special values of Danish society, and at the same time has been used to legitimize cut-backs and privatization of public sector service provision by increasingly putting the responsibility of welfare provision on civil society (and the market). The notion of civil society has therefore played a central role in the neoliberalization process in Denmark where references to the vitality and progressiveness of civil society has served as an apt legitimatory trope for public sector reforms in a country where public sector service provision enjoys a great deal of legitimacy. However, the result has been an instrumentalization and depoliticization of civil society.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato2019
Antal sider24
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedSASE 31st Annual Conference 2019: Fathomless Futures: Algorithmic and Imagined - The New School, New York, USA
Varighed: 27 jun. 201929 jun. 2019
Konferencens nummer: 31
https://sase.org/event/2019-new-york-city/

Konference

KonferenceSASE 31st Annual Conference 2019
Nummer31
LokationThe New School
LandUSA
ByNew York
Periode27/06/201929/06/2019
Internetadresse

Bibliografisk note

CBS Bibliotek har ikke adgang til materialet

Citer dette

Hein Jessen, M. (2019). Civil Society in the Shadow of the Neoliberal State: Neoliberalism and Civil Society in Denmark. Afhandling præsenteret på SASE 31st Annual Conference 2019, New York, USA.
Hein Jessen, Mathias . / Civil Society in the Shadow of the Neoliberal State : Neoliberalism and Civil Society in Denmark. Afhandling præsenteret på SASE 31st Annual Conference 2019, New York, USA.24 s.
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abstract = "In the 1970s and 1980s, civil society re-emerged on the political scene and has been the centre of a massive interest publically, politically and academically as a third ‘sphere’ or ‘sector’ outside state and market. Civil society was seen both as a hallmark of a well-functioning liberal democracy by guaranteeing a free, independent sphere of contestation and critique, but was at the same time up until today seen as a resource of public governance that could take over public service provision from an ailing welfare state. This has also been the case in Denmark, where, since the 1970s, references to the vitality of civil society in contradistinction to a cold, distant and bureaucratic state has served as an argument for changes and cutbacks to public sector welfare service provision. The paper views neoliberalism through a Foucauldian understanding as a form of state-craft that attempts to fashion every aspect of social life on the model of the market and introduce the logic of competition everywhere. This entails a specific production of civil society and of the collective and corporate subjects within it. The (neoliberal) state thereby creates a specific form of civil society by producing collective subjects conducive to its order. To Foucault, furthermore, civil society functions as a key site of veridiction and plane of reference that forms the principle of self-limitation of a liberal and neoliberal governmentality.In this paper, I argue that civil society has functioned as a double legitimatory trope that both hails the progressiveness and special values of Danish society, and at the same time has been used to legitimize cut-backs and privatization of public sector service provision by increasingly putting the responsibility of welfare provision on civil society (and the market). The notion of civil society has therefore played a central role in the neoliberalization process in Denmark where references to the vitality and progressiveness of civil society has served as an apt legitimatory trope for public sector reforms in a country where public sector service provision enjoys a great deal of legitimacy. However, the result has been an instrumentalization and depoliticization of civil society.",
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Hein Jessen, M 2019, 'Civil Society in the Shadow of the Neoliberal State: Neoliberalism and Civil Society in Denmark' Paper fremlagt ved SASE 31st Annual Conference 2019, New York, USA, 27/06/2019 - 29/06/2019, .

Civil Society in the Shadow of the Neoliberal State : Neoliberalism and Civil Society in Denmark. / Hein Jessen, Mathias .

2019. Afhandling præsenteret på SASE 31st Annual Conference 2019, New York, USA.

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review

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T1 - Civil Society in the Shadow of the Neoliberal State

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PY - 2019

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Hein Jessen M. Civil Society in the Shadow of the Neoliberal State: Neoliberalism and Civil Society in Denmark. 2019. Afhandling præsenteret på SASE 31st Annual Conference 2019, New York, USA.