1st Edition

Language and Neoliberal Governmentality

Edited By Luisa Martín Rojo, Alfonso Del Percio Copyright 2020
    242 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    List of contributors



    Luisa Martín Rojo & Alfonso Del Percio

    Neoliberalism, language, and governmentality

    PART I

    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





    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.

    "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