In the new book Social democracy versus neoliberalism Sociologist Svein Hammer tries to give us a deeper understanding of the present by pointing out changes in the way society is governed, what Hammer calls "governing art". An important point for him is that the transition from social democracy to neoliberalism has not been that the state has withdrawn or become less important, but that statone is used in a different way. There it social democracyIf governance was about more direct governance and planning, neoliberal governance is about creating norms and frameworks that promote competition and market structures.
Hammer lays out a wide-ranging critique of growth and modernity that affects social democracy and neoliberalism to an equal degree.
To understand the change or transformation of Norway, Hammer not only draws on academic insights, but also in his early years as an active member of the Young Conservatives and a period with various administrative and development positions in the Housing Bank and the Municipality of Norway. These experiences enrich his analysis. Since he himself has been attracted to the ideals of freedom of the 80s and 90s and "settlement with social democracy", he can understand more of their appeal. And because Hammer has later been in the middle of the more subtle, but at least as important changes in the public sector, he also sees that the New Public Management wave has involved far more than just tinkering with an already existing system.
Michel Foucault's lectures
A sneaking feeling that something, on the contrary, was fundamentally changed through endless attempts at efficiency and reorganization, seems to have been a triggering reason why Hammer began to look at his own contemporary prevailing ideas with a more critical eye.
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