Today neoliberals argue that we should let ourselves be guided by
market forces and that there is little we can do to stem the flow
of economic globalization. On the other hand, thinkers on the left
continue to denounce domination and claim to speak in the name of
victims who are powerless to change the circumstances of their
lives. Despite the differences between these two political
positions, they suffer from a common weakness: they underestimate
the role of autonomous social actors who are capable of influencing
In this important new book Alain Touraine - the leading
sociologist and social theorist - attacks the positions of the
neoliberals and certain thinkers on the left and develops an
alternative view of the tasks for political thought and action
today. He argues that the globalization of the economy has not
dissolved our capacity for political action, and that the actions
of the most underprivileged sections of society are not restricted
to rebellion against domination: they can also demand rights (in
particular, cultural rights), and can therefore put forward an
innovative and not merely critical conception of society and its
"Beyond Neoliberalism" is an original and timely contribution to
current debates about the changing nature and goals of politics in
our contemporary, globalized age. It will be of great interest to
students of politics and sociology and will also appeal to a
broader readership interested in contemporary politics and current
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