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Neoliberalism as Exception


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Through a series of ethnographic case studies, Aihwa Ong reconceptualizes neoliberalism as an extraordinarily malleable technology of governing that is taken up in different ways by different regimes, be they authoritarian, democratic, or communist.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Introduction: Neoliberalism as Exception, Exception to Neoliberalism 1
I. Ethics in Contention
1. Sisterly Solidarity: Feminist Virtue under "Moderate Islam" 31
2. Cyberpublics and the Pitfalls of Diasporic Chinese Politics 53
II. Spaces of Governing
3. Graduated Sovereignty 75
4. Zoning Technologies in East Asia 97
III. Circuits of Expertise
5. Latitudes, or How Markets Stretch the Bounds of Governmentality 121
6. Higher Learning in Global Space 139
7. Labor Arbitrage: Displacements and Betrayals in Silicon Valley 157
IV. The Edge of Emergence
8. Baroque Ecology, Effervescent Citizenship 177
9. A Biocartography: Maids, Neoslavery, and NGOs 195
10. Reengineering the "Chinese Soul" in Shanghai? 219
Notes 241
Bibliography 261
Index 279

About the Author

Aihwa Ong is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (coedited with Stephen J. Collier); Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America; and Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality, winner of the Association for Asian American Studies' Cultural Studies Book Award and also published by Duke University Press.


"Aihwa Ong's keen ethnographic perspective brings into sharp relief some of the differences that are essential not only for understanding the contemporary global economic and political systems but also for struggling against them to make a better world." Michael Hardt, coauthor of Multitude and Empire " Armed with big ideas and a sharp sense of where the fault lines lie, Aihwa Ong examines a variety of instances which illuminate the changing relationship between those who govern and the governed. These are brilliant essays." Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights "This book by a leading scholar in development studies clearly documents the fact that governments and institutions have a more decisive role than markets in the successful experiences of development in the new global economy. It will become mandatory reading for students and policy makers around the world."--Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California

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