How Labour Built Neoliberalism

In December I was delighted to launch my first book, How Labour Built Neoliberalism, published with Brill’s Studies in Critical Social Sciences Series. From the cover blurb:

Why do we always assume it was the New Right that was at the centre of constructing neoliberalism? How might corporatism have advanced neoliberalism? And, more controversially, were the trade unions only victims of neoliberal change, or did they play a more contradictory role? In How Labour Built Neoliberalism, Elizabeth Humphrys examines the role of the Labor Party and trade unions in constructing neoliberalism in Australia, and the implications of this for understanding neoliberalism’s global advance. These questions are central to understanding the present condition of the labour movement and its prospects for the future.

The book was launched at the Australasian Historical Materialism Conference, by a panel including Andreas Bieler (Nottingham), Lee Rhiannon (former Commonwealth Senator) and Jess Whyte (UNSW). I was humbled by having 100 people attend, which may well be testament to my book (!) but also speaks to the political moment and issues that will be central once again with a new ALP government likely. With calls for a new compact between the Labor Party and the unions, from Shorten and others, the issues raised in the book and at the launch are timely.

There are a few ways to get the book:

  • Please order the Brill hardcover book for your library. Libraries have a suggestion page and all the details you need are here:
  • Once your library has a copy, you can order a paperback to be sent to you for US$25 (approx. AUD$35).
  • The hardcover is currently US$148, but I have 50% discount code and flyers (it would make it after the discount approx. AUD$100). The discount code is 71012 and is valid until 31 January 2019.
  • A Haymarket published paperback with be out in about a year (approx. US$30 / AUD$40).


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