Neoliberal rationality¿ubiquitous today in statecraft and the workplace, in jurisprudence, education, and culture¿remakes everything and everyone in the image of homo oeconomicus. What happens when this rationality transposes the constituent elements of democracy into an economic register? In Undoing the Demos, Wendy Brown explains how democracy itself is imperiled. The demos disintegrates into bits of human capital; concerns with justice bow to the mandates of growth rates, credit ratings, and investment climates; liberty submits to the imperative of human capital appreciation; equality dissolves into market competition; and popular sovereignty grows incoherent. Liberal democratic practices may not survive these transformations. Radical democratic dreams may not either
Wendy Brown is Class of 1936 First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books).