Will We Miss Liberalism When It’s Gone?
Will Davies with Alex Niven
Britain’s 2016 EU referendum triggered a series of political and constitutional crises that cast doubt on the survival of liberalism in its conventional political and economic form. From the abandoning of mainstream economic rationality, through the proroguing of parliament, up to the victory of Boris Johnson’s brand of celebrity populism, the liberal establishment has been circumvented in various ways, mostly by the Right. William Davies’ new book, This Is Not Normal, surveys the events of the past four years, from the referendum through to the failed pandemic response, to look at the roots of this crisis. Davies is joined by Alex Niven to discuss the underlying roots of this collapse, in neoliberal economics and the rise of digital platforms, and to explore the place and role of the Left in this political crisis.
William Davies is a political economist and sociologist who teaches at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work explores the history of ideas, especially the history of economics, and how this helps us understand the present. His writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, Guardian, Atlantic, New York Times, Washington Post and New Left Review. His new essay collection, This is Not Normal, is published in September.
Alex Niven is a writer and editor from Northumberland. Currently lecturer in English at Newcastle University, his writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New Statesman, Jacobin, The Independent, Pitchfork and LA Review of Books. His latest book, New Model Island, was published last year. @alex_niven