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Surfing ignorance: Covid-19 and the rise of fatalistic liberalism

Bacevic, Jana and McGoey, Linsey (2021) Surfing ignorance: Covid-19 and the rise of fatalistic liberalism. Working Paper. SocArXiv. (Unpublished)

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How liberal governments manage knowledge, ignorance, prediction, and uncertainty has attracted increased attention in sociology. In this paper, we analyse the strategy of the UK Government during the Covid-19 pandemic to argue it entails a form of productive enrolment of ‘unknowns’ we label ‘surfing ignorance’. This strategy exploits inevitable limits to knowledge of any particular group of actors, and attempts to steer them to maintain political control. We argue this approach departs from the uses of knowledge and ignorance in both classical liberalism and neoliberalism, and theorize a new, hybrid form of governance which can be dubbed fatalistic liberalism. We discuss the relevance of this new form of governance for political futures of an increasingly volatile world.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2021 17:48
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:25

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