Moral Re-engineering: the Neoliberal Predicament

Alexander Somek

in Engineering Equality

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693375
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729737 | DOI:
Moral Re-engineering: the Neoliberal Predicament

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The final truth about anti-discrimination law comes to the fore in what can be called its neoliberal predicament. It is manifest in attempts to defeat the normative deficiency without transcending the horizon of morality. Some such attempts identify themselves, self-confidently, as belonging to the ‘second generation’ of anti-discrimination scholarship. The respective approaches are based on the assumption that discrimination arises and exists as the result of the unconscious operation of biases against groups. They seek to entrust problem-solving not to general legislation but to various management strategies for the improvement of relations among employees. Nowhere is the market seen to be the source of the problem. Nowhere does organised labour enter the picture. The purity of the market economy remains unchallenged. The neoliberal predicament exposes the truth about anti-discrimination law. As a medium of social policy, it is powerless. Or, more adequately put, it represents social policy in the state of disempowerment.

Keywords: Second generation anti-discrimination law; US American anti-discrimination scholarship; diversity training; neo-liberal predicament; pedagogy; morality

Chapter.  8743 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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