Social Resilience In The Neo-Liberal Era Edited By Peter A .

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Social Resilience in the Neo-Liberal EraEdited byPeter A. Hall and Michèle LamontJune 20121

SOCIAL RESLIENCE IN THE NEO-LIBERAL ERAContributorsForewordAlan BernsteinPrefaceJonathan AracIntroductionPeter A. Hall and Michèle LamontI.Neo-Liberalism: Policy Regimes, International Regimes and Social Effects1. The Neo-liberal Era: Ideology, Policy and Social EffectsPeter Evans and William H. Sewell, Jr.2. Narratives and Regimes of Social and Human Rights: The Jack Pines of the Neo-Liberal Era.Jane Jenson and Ron Levi3. Neo-liberal Multiculturalism?Will KymlickaII.The Social Sources of Individual Resilience4. Responses To Discrimination And Social Resilience Under Neo-Liberalism:The Case Of Brazil, Israel, And The United StatesMichèle Lamont, Jessica S. Welburn and Crystal Fleming5. Stigmatization, Neoliberalism, and ResilienceLeanne S. Son Hing6. Security, Meaning, and the Home: Conceptualizing Multi-Scalar Resiliencein a Neo-Liberal EraJames DunnIII.Social Resilience on a Macro-Scale7. Neo-Liberalism and Social Resilience in the Developed DemocraciesLucy Barnes and Peter A. Hall2

8. Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era: National Differences in Population Health andDevelopmentDaniel Keating, Arjumand Siddiqi, and Quynh NguyenIV.Communities and Organizations as Sites for Social Resilience9. Neo-Liberalism In Québec: The Response of a Small Nation under PressureGérard Bouchard10. Can Communities Succeed When States Fail Them?A Case Study of Early Human Development and Social Resilience in a Neo-Liberal EraClyde Hertzman and Arjumand Siddiqi11. Cultural Sources of Institutional Resilience: Lessons from Chieftaincy in Rural MalawiAnn Swidler12. The Origins and Dynamics of Organizational Resilience: A Comparative Study of TwoFrench Labor OrganizationsMarcos AnceloviciAcknowledgments3

This book is dedicated to Chaviva Hošek – visionary for a better society4

Introduction: Social Resilience in the Neo-Liberal Era 1Peter A. Hall and Michèle LamontThis book is an effort to assess developments in a neo-liberal era spanning the last three decadesof global history. Although social science examines many phenomena, it looks only rarely atwhat Pierson (2003) calls ‘big, slow-moving processes’. We are often not aware of the sandsshifting beneath our feet as events change the character of the times in diffuse ways. Beginningin the 1980s, the growing influence of market-oriented ideas constituted just such a process,global in scope, pervasive in effects. We want to know: what consequences did neo-liberal ideasand policies have for social, economic and political life? But even more central to this inquiry isa desire to understand the process whereby neo-liberal ideas worked their way into the policiesof governments, the operation of organizations and the lives of ordinary people. In that respect,this volume is an investigation into the dynamics of social change.Compared to many studies, this one involves a shift in optics. Neo-liberalism is oftenanalyzed as a set of policy reforms reflecting a class politics that ranges capital against labor(Duménil and Lévy 2004; Harvey 2005).While that approach has some validity, suchperspectives tend to treat a multidimensional set of developments ideas in largely economicterms and sometimes overemphasize the negative effects of neo-liberalism. Perspectives thattreat neo-liberalism as a cultural phenomenon offer a useful corrective but often overstate thedomination of neo-liberal ideas over social life. In this volume, we try to integrate economic,political and cultural analyses of neo-liberalism; and, instead of seeing it as a development with1For their comments and suggestions, we thank the members of the Successful Societies program, andparticularly William Sewell, Jr., as well as Mary Brinton, Paul Leduc Browne, Mazen Elfakhani, RobertFishman, Marion Fourcade, Francois Harelimana, Devesh Kapur Robert Sampson, Jennifer Silva, andMartin Schröder.5

homogenous effects across space and time, we view it as a more open-ended stimulus thatprovoked a diversity of responses.Developments associated with neo-liberalism, such as the opening of markets and newpolicy regimes, put important constraints on many people, usually linked to their social positions.But it also offered opportunities and new tools from which a response to such developmentscould be fashioned. In short, one of the core arguments of this book is that neo-liberalismbrought forth various types of creative responses. The results were far from similar acrosspopulations and national settings, not only because neo-liberal initiatives were more intense insome times and places, but because people responded to them differently, drawing upon culturaland institutional resources distinctive to those settings. The effects of neo-liberalism must beseen as the product of syncretic social processes that engaged many actors mobilizing multipleinstruments in the social, economic and political environment.This is also a book about social resilience. Although neo-liberal initiatives improved thelives of some people, it also posed profound challenges to the well-being of many groups,communities and individuals, as more intense market competition reallocated resources andmarket logics worked their way into ever more spheres of social life. We are interested in theways in which groups sustained their well-being in the face of such challenges, and we see thisas a problem of social resilience. We use the term ‘social resilience’ to refer to the capacity ofgroups of people bound together in an organization, class, racial group, community or nation tosustain and advance their well-being in the face of challenges to it. Although our focus here is onthe response to neo-liberalism, we conceptualize social resilience broadly to encompass thecapacities of societies to cope with many kinds of challenges.6

Social resilience is an essential characteristic of what we call successful societies –namely, societies that provide their members with the resources to live healthy, secure andfulfilling lives. We are especially interested in understanding the sources of social resilience, andwe look for them in the institutional and cultural resources that groups and individuals peoplemobilize them to sustain their well-being. In that respect, this book builds on our previousendeavor, Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health (Hall and Lamont2009) which was also concerned with the resources that sustain people’s capabilities for copingwith challenges. Both books are the product of intensive intellectual collaboration over severalyears among a group of scholars drawn from a wide range of disciplines.Our approach to social resilience can be contrasted with influential perspectives thatemphasize the psychological qualities needed to cope with various types of shocks. We are lessinterested in individual traits than in the social and cultural frameworks underpinning resilience,and we are skeptical about the efforts of some governments to find in individual resilience thesolution to social problems. 2 Even though many working class Americans believe they shouldfind within themselves the psychological energy and resources to deal with structural insecurityand rising inequality (e.g. Silva 2012; Sharone 2013), we look for the institutional and culturalresources that underpin resilience in the wider social environment.Studying social resilience entails making linkages between the micro, meso, and macrolevels of inquiry. Therefore, drawing on a range of analytical and disciplinary tools, we integrateaccounts of the shifts in macro and meso contexts associated with neo-liberalism with anexamination of the impact those shifts had on what is perceived, conceived and experienced at2On resilience as an object of government policy and sponsored research, see and

the individual level (Lefebvre 1974). While the emphasis of each chapter varies, our focus is notonly on the institutional and cultural changes structuring the contexts in which people live, buton self-concepts, orders of worth and criteria of evaluation linked to the social dynamics ofinclusion and exclusion (Boltanski and Thévenot 2006; Lamont 1992, 2000; Foucault 2008).The Challenges and Impact of the Neo-liberal EraThe past three decades, which we term the ‘neo-liberal era’, have seen profound economic,political and cultural changes with global reach. We are most interested in those associated withneo-liberalism, understood as a wide-ranging shift in prevalent ideas and social relationshipsprivileging more intense market competition, less state intervention, and an entrepreneurialorientation to action (Harvey 2005). To some extent, of course, these are longstanding featuresof capitalism, whose prominence has ebbed and flowed over time (Sewell 2008). But we see therecent period as one in which they have come to the fore again with a new intensity.While there are important economic dimensions to these developments, includingheightened competition in more open markets for goods, capital and labor, at their heart was aseries of shifts in thinking and discourse among ordinary citizens and elites. Some of thesedevelopments are bound up with globalization, but even the opening of global markets wascontingent on changes in policy inspired by neo-liberal paradigms. Therefore, we group a widerange of developments together under the rubric of neo-liberalism. 3 Many are described in moredetail in the next chapter by Peter Evans and William Sewell, which also describes the historicalemergence of neo-liberalism, initially as an economic ideology and then as a social and political3Of course, many elements of neo-liberalism are closely tied to the history of capitalism itself (seeHarvey 2005; Jobert and Theret 1994)and Centeno and Cohen 2012).8

phenomenon inspired, at least in part, by the economic crises of the 1970s. However, we beginwith a brief summary of what we mean by the term.Neo-LiberalismThe defining feature of the neo-liberal age has been the rise of market ideologies which, at theirapogee, approached the ‘market fundamentalism’ Somers (2008) has described. They weremarked by a resurgent faith in the power of markets to secure efficient outcomes, whosecorollary was declining confidence in the capacity of states to allocate resources efficiently. Assuch ideologies gained traction in domestic politics and the international sphere, they called intoquestion the principles used to justify many kinds of state intervention, forcing governments toreconsider how they delivered public services and the division of labor between the public andprivate sectors (Blyth 2002; Prasad 2006).Such issues are central to the collective imaginary of a society.We use the termcollective imaginary to describe the overarching narratives that tell people what their society isabout, what its past embodies and its future portends, who belongs to it, and what kinds ofbehavior merit social respect. Although there are distinctive features to every national imaginary,the latter also draw on international imaginaries, considered in chapters by Will Kymlicka, JaneJenson and Ron Levi on human rights, social rights and multiculturalism. In line with otheranalyses, we see the neo-liberal era as one defined, not only by a new set of policy regimes, butby a collective reimagining of communities (Anderson 1983). The effects were far-reaching andmultifaceted.Governments and international agencies were called upon to rethink theirmissions, and individuals faced profound redefinitions in the criteria for social worth, as9

economic performance and market status became more central markers for social and culturalmembership. 4This process of change was never simple or seamless. Even in the most settled of times,people subscribe with varying degrees of enthusiasm to some elements in the collectiveimaginary, while rejecting others. As neo-liberal narratives came to prominence, they weretaken up with fervor by some groups and stoutly resisted by others. Neo-liberalism did notimpose a new framework of ideas so much as set in motion a series of contests over ideologicaland material resources – inside societies and states. It shifted the context in which everyone hadto operate, generating new opportunities and constraints that are the focal points of our analysis.One reason we emphasize the neo-liberal imaginary is the range of its import. In theirmost familiar forms, neo-liberal ideas endorsed the value of market competition. They called fora rearrangement of state-market relations and, in some guises, for a shift to more robust civilsocieties that could perform the tasks at which states were no longer thought to be efficient.Where others had once seen families or communities, growing numbers of economists and policymakers began to posit congeries of economic actors driven by a market calculus. In someinstances, market competition was deliberately extended to new spheres, including the deliveryof health care and public services. In others, the growing popularity of market logics altered themodus operandi of organizations through ancillary processes, such as the adoption of rankingsystems that promote competitive behavior (Espeland and Sauder 2007).These developments can be seen as a contemporary manifestation of the dictum thatdifferent historical periods typically authorize different modes of action. Ours is a period thathas authorized self-interested market behavior in settings where it might once not have been4On social and cultural membership, see Lamont (1992; 2000), Jenson and Papillon (2000) and Ong(2006 )10

legitimate. That, in turn, has inspired some reconfiguration in social relationships. If neverfreeing people completely from the restraining bonds of moral sentiment, neo-liberal ways ofthinking often led to a decline in the respect accorded norms of