François Cusset

François Cusset is Professor of American Studies at the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre, François Cusset is a writer and intellectual historian. A specialist in contemporary intellectual and political history, he is the author of French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States and The Inverted Gaze: Queering the French Literary Classics in America.

  • How the World Swung to the Right

    How the World Swung to the Right

    Fifty Years of Counterrevolutions

    François Cusset

    An examination of the reactionary, individualist, cynical, and belligerent shift in global politics to the right, implemented both by the right and the establishment left.

    Systemic, euphemized, insidious and structural violence has increased. It is now objectively measurable by the gulf in revenues, by subjective malaise, or by the menace of ecological apocalypse, and also by their constant exacerbation.—from How the World Swung to the Right

    Despite a few zones of active resistance—the alter-globalization movement, the Chiapas uprisings, the Arab springs, and the recent resistance to racialized police brutality and environmental and genocidal warfare in the United States—the last half-century has been witness to an undeniable global shift to the right. How the World Swung to the Right provides a comprehensive overview of this reactionary, individualist, cynical, and belligerent shift, which often has been cloaked in the guise of entertainment and good intentions. The counterrevolutions began with a first phase of deregulation and ideological counter-attacks, and the fall of the so-called “real” communisms. The 1990s inaugurated a global biopolitical turn and the financialization of the economy; the 2000s hammered in neoliberal gains through the alliance of ultraliberalism with neoconservatism. These policies were implemented, surprisingly, not only by the right but often by the establishment left. Cusset argues that in the face of this betrayal, conflict is the one thing we can still salvage from the notion of the “left.” What we need today, he contends, are new sites of conflict that multiply the causes of struggle and the sites of mobilization, linking socioeconomic struggle with questions of identity and the urgency of ecology.

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