Peter Triantafillou
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Epistemological finitude or infinite freedom?
in Neoliberal power and public management reforms
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The chapter discusses the principal ways in which neoliberalism has been addressed in political theory. It describes neoliberalism as a critical problematisation of government, that is the kind of intellectual thinking and debates informed by the questioning of the epistemological capacity of the state and the dangers of excessive state intervention. The chapter explores the emergence of social investment rationalities in the context of making the European Union a competitive knowledge economy. It examines recent attempts to mobilise the self-steering capacities of public administrations in order to increase their performance and their ability to tap into the resources of the societies they serve. The chapter also explores two general constructivist problematisations of public administration: how to create competition and how to create collaboration. It further discusses the relationship between the critical and constructivist dimensions of contemporary neoliberalism.

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