Language and Neoliberal Governmentality: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Language and Neoliberal Governmentality

1st Edition

Edited by Luisa Martín Rojo, Alfonso Del Percio


232 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Against a background of the ongoing crisis of global capitalism and the fracturing of the neoliberal project, this book provides a detailed account of the ways in which language is profoundly imbricated in the neoliberalising of the fabric of social life.

With chapters from a cast list of international scholars covering topics such as the commodification of education and language, unemployment, and the governmentality of the self, and discussion chapters from Monica Heller and Jackie Urla bringing the various strands together, the book ultimately helps us to understand how language is part of political economy and the everyday making and remaking of society and individuals. It provides both a theoretical framework and a significant methodological "tool-box" to critically detect, understand, and resist the impact of neoliberalism on everyday social spheres, particularly in relation to language.

Presenting richly empirical studies that expand our understanding of how neoliberalism as a regime of truth and as a practice of governance performs within the terrain of language, this book is an essential resource for researchers and graduate students in English language, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, linguistic anthropology, and related areas.


"Led by a lucid introduction that outlines the idea of governmentality, contributions to this book open up a new space for debating the role of language and subjectivity in the persistence of neoliberalism. Their critique of neoliberal rationality offers a timely reflection on how to resist and counter the logic of the market."

Joseph Sung-Yul Park, National University of Singapore, Singapore

"This book reveals the faultlines in neoliberalism which scholars can uncover when they examine the ways people use neoliberal technologies of the self to manage language use and representations of language. With an expansive approach to educational sites, this imaginative volume lays important groundwork for understanding when neoliberal logics go awry."

Ilana Gershon, Indiana University, USA

Table of Contents

List of contributors



Luisa Martín Rojo & Alfonso Del Percio

Neoliberalism, language, and governmentality


Language and the neoliberalisation of institutions


Kamila Kraft

Linguistic securitisation as a governmentality in the neoliberalising welfare state


Nelson Flores

Producing national and neoliberal subjects: Bilingual education and governmentality in the United States


Elisa A. Hidalgo McCabe and Noelia Fernández-González

Framing 'choice' in language education: The case of freedom in constructing inequality


Bonnie Urciuoli

Leadership communication ‘skills’ and undergraduate neoliberal subjectivity


Language and the neoliberal subject


Joan Pujolar

Linguistic entrepreneurship: Neoliberalism, language learning, and class


Andrea Sunyol & Eva Codó

Fabricating neoliberal subjects through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme


Luisa Martín Rojo

The ‘self-made speaker’: The neoliberal governance of speakers


Alfonso Del Percio & Sze Wan Vivian Wong

Resetting minds and souls: Language, employability and the making of neoliberal subjects


Jacqueline Urla

Towards an ethnography of linguistic governmentalities

Monica Heller

Neoliberalism as a régime of truth: Studies in hegemony




About the Editor

Luisa Martín Rojo is Professor in Linguistics at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid.

Alfonso Del Percio is Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at UCL Institute of Education in London.

About the Series

Language, Society and Political Economy

This series aims to publish broadly accessible monographs which directly address how theoretical frameworks in political economy can directly inform the critical analysis and discussion of language in society issues. Contributions to the series include extensive theoretical background, dealing with an aspect or area of political economy, before moving to an application of this theoretical discussion to a particular language in society issue. The series takes up the challenge of interdisciplinarity, linking scholarship in the social sciences in general (and political economy in particular) with the kinds of issues which language in society researchers have traditionally focused on. The series also aims to publish books by authors whose ideas fall outside the mainstream of language in society scholarship and by authors in parts of the world which have traditionally been underrepresented in relevant international journals and book series.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General