Talk: William Davies, Britain's Nervous States

Jerwood Space, London
4 Apr 2019, 7-8:30pm

The circumstances and implications of Brexit have done damage to many core assumptions of conventional politics in Britain. Amongst these is the idea that matters of economic policy and regulation are best handled by experts, who will decide how best to achieve collective betterment for the nation as a whole. Responding to the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2019: Going, Gone, William Davies examines how Brexit poses fundamental questions about the standing of experts and knowledge in society, and what kinds of alternative politics might arise where questions of belonging and recognition are elevated above those of progress and welfare. Drawing on his recent book, Nervous States, Davies explores where our assumptions about expertise come from, and what rival ideas of truth and authority have emerged to challenge them.

William Davies is a writer, academic and political economist with particular interests in neoliberalism, history of economics and economic sociology. His work explores the way in which economics influences our understanding of politics, society and ourselves, themes which he has addressed in two books, The Happiness Industry: How the government & big business sold us wellbeing and The Limits of Neoliberalism: authority, sovereignty & the logic of competition. Davies is Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Centre, which explores critical, cultural and political perspectives on economic life. Davies teaches at Goldsmiths University, London and has written for publications such as The Guardian, The New Statesman, London Review of Books, New Left Review, openDemocracy, The New York Times and The Atlantic.

This talk is programmed as part of the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2019: Going, Gone exhibition, featuring two new moving-image commissions by Webb-Ellis and Richard Whitby. The galleries are open late before the event (5-7pm) giving you the chance to enjoy our exhibition and refreshments.

This event is free to attend but capacity is limited. Booking is required via Eventbrite.