Archive for the 'neoliberalism' Category

The world war of the intellect

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

A snippet from my dissertation chapter on the French university strike of 2009. Nicholas Sarkozy was elected President of the Republic on May 6, 2007, and took office on May 16. He appointed Valérie Pécresse, a legislator and former UMP spokeswoman, as Minister of Research and Higher Education, and on May 18th, at a meeting […]

Fetishized and degraded academic labor

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The precarity of academic workers, far from being a merely local or institutional problem in academia, indicates the foundational contradiction of universities’ missions in neoliberalizing times: the university becomes an instrument for fetishizing labor, fetishizing work at the same time as it degrades and undermines labor, degrades and undermines work, making it unavailable, destroying it. […]

Between Crisis and New Public Management

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

A while ago I wrote a book review in LATISS of an interesting 2010 essay collection that appeared in France, Higher Education between New Public Management and Systemic Crisis (L’enseignement supérieur entre nouvelle gestion publique et crise systémique), edited by Annie Vinokur and Carole Sigman. I thought I’d post the text of my review here in […]

The moment of human resources

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, French debates over university reform have often dwelt on the question of human resources, and even on the very desirability of thinking about universities in those terms. The advocates of a more “modern,” “competitive” university — who are themselves often products of business and public administration schools […]

OECD on French university reforms

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

I’ve had the impression for some time that French faculty critics of government university reforms tended to view them as a neoliberal project originating with the OECD, but until this week I’d never looked into the OECD’s actual position on France. It turns out that they have taken a stance that supports the government reforms […]

Coca-Cola and postwar market liberalization

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

From time to time I find myself reading about episodes in French history that, while not strictly related to the university system, nonetheless seem like important points of historical reference. This one will, I guess, probably be well known to any French historian, but it was a surprise to me. It has to do with […]

Class analysis as farce

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

One of the things that always bothers me about universities is how cagey they are when it comes to talking about their place in class reproduction. (For those of you who are uneasy about “class,” try asking yourself about the possible place of universities in hierarchical, even antagonistic social systems of status, prestige, exploitation, wealth, […]

Professors’ status loss

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Christine Musselin, a French sociologist of higher education, ventures an interesting interpretation of the changing relation between professional status, salary, and the overall size of the academic profession. In short, she argues that the larger academia gets, the lower status professors will have. The massification of higher education has not only had demographic implications. It […]

“Everything is going great”: the official lie of campus newsletters

Monday, May 10th, 2010

As someone who’s young, as someone who hasn’t known the academic world for decades and decades and decades, this hadn’t occurred to me, but it turns out that something as seemingly innocuous as the campus newsletter may have a political history. At least that’s what I infer from this fairly bitter critique of campus newsletters […]

Pécresse, business and the human sciences

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I started to feel that I’d been over-privileging the protestors in this blog, so I thought I’d translate a recent speech by the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Valérie Pécresse. Pécresse has had a controversial time in the Ministry and is now running for regional offices in Ile-de-France. This week she spoke at a […]