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‘A new world rising’: Albert Camus and the absurdity of neo-liberalism

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This article investigates the writings of Albert Camus in light of neo-liberal governmentality. Camus, a pied noir born in Algeria, was a key figure in the debates regarding the trajectory of French colonial rule. While his absurdist sensibility denounced absolute conceptions of justice and history, his cosmopolitan humanism rejected the possibility of an independent Algerian nation-state. By examining his literary and political writings, this article sheds light on his conceptions of the individual, natural limits, and legitimate violence. In so doing, it identifies assumptions common to Camus’ notion of the absurd and neo-liberalism while also arguing that the current neo-liberal climate has shaped many of the recent discussions of his work.
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Keywords: Albert Camus; Algeria; absurdism; decolonization; neo-liberalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, New York University, New York, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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