Lost in Transition: On the Failure to Name the Present Condition

  • Thierry LabicaEmail author


For sometime now, a number of social scientists have expressed something like dismay in their attempts to name the historical sequence specific to the ongoing experience of global capital. In this intellectual environment, marked by confusion and hesitation as well as inventiveness and experimentation, ‘neoliberalism’ appears to have increasingly functioned as a last resort umbrella-term accommodating a considerable diversity of heterogeneous phenomena. As such, ‘neoliberalism’ has been of critical assistance to the cause of totalization in an age of continued and deepening fragmentations. But as the world drifts further away from neoliberalism’s inaugural experiences, questioning the relevance and usefulness of the word may have acquired some urgency. This chapter offers to record at least some of those expressions of perplexity. It then proceeds to look at objective factors of unintelligibility and eventually points to the descriptive difficulties possibly bequeathed by earlier assumptions about historical ‘transitions’.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paris Nanterre UniversityNanterreFrance

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