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AUS professor’s new book takes a look at neoliberalism and state security
A new book that focuses on a range of contemporary global topics was launched recently at American University of Sharjah (AUS). Entitled Neoliberalism, the Security State and the Quantification of Reality, the book is written by Dr. David Lea, Professor of Philosophy at Department of international Studies at AUS, and takes a look at pertinent issues such as those related to higher education, science, professional practice, financialization, state governance, relations between the West and the Islamic world, terrorism and state security.
"Humans in their efforts to correct society and other social relationships have become overly reliant on a form of problem solving narrowly focused on gathering statistics and applying mathematical formula," explained Dr. Lea. "Unfortunately this has resulted in systems that purport to represent reality but which are actually detached from and unconnected to the realities of social and environmental life. My book demonstrates how policies based on such systems have not only failed but also distorted our collective existence and our ability to deal with pressing social and environmental issues."
The book addresses the relation between the growing power and dominance of the security state and a neoliberal reality in which commercial and financial interests increasingly penetrate our social existence. It is primarily aimed at a university audience of students and faculty such as philosophers, political scientists, sociologists and policy makers.
During the book launch, a critical discussion of the work was held, led by faculty member and philosopher Dr. Arianne Conty, Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies.
Commenting on the book, Michael Power, Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "David R. Lea provides a wide ranging and impressive exploration of the interrelations between neoliberalism, financialization, and managerialism, encompassing topics as large as the future of democracy in the security state, and seemingly small and technical as the design of performance indicators in public organizations. The common theme that links all these things together is the pervasive influence of quantification in social, political and economic life."
The book is published by Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield.