Friday, June 18, 2010

Lost Histories of Economic Rights article-download

Hello. Here's the MS Word version of my article
published in Cultural Studies, Volume 24, Issue 3 May 2010 , pages 333 - 355
Abstract: This article examines the concept and the discontinuous historical usage of the term “economic rights” in American political discourse from the perspective of democratic political freedom. It views the idea and ideology of “economic rights” as a discursive marker pointing to historically contingent relations between government, national economy and individual freedom. It focuses on the only two American presidential articulations of an Economic Bill of Rights and their conjunctures: one by Franklin Roosevelt and another by Ronald Reagan. These two articulations represent two opposing political traditions of economic rights in the United States: the neo-liberal laissez-faire free market tradition and the liberal welfare-state tradition. Both of these liberal traditions are haunted by an older democratic-republican discourse of economic rights, from which they continue to draw normative and affective energy without ever confronting its guiding premises. Contemporary popular discourses about the economic crisis demonstrate the continuation of deeply entrenched though historically outdated understandings of the promise and possibilities of individual freedom and autonomy within the folds of a society completely transformed by capitalist modernity. Present considerations of this history reveal possible resources for political struggles.

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