Each Against All: Neoliberalism and Higher Education, Part 3

For Part One, click HERE.
For Part Two, click HERE.

In the first two parts of this series, I looked at both the larger philosophical climate and specific historical context for neoliberalism, its emergence, and its growing domination of our political-economic-cultural landscape. Having established that neoliberalism, in the words of Henry Giroux, sustains “a form of economic Darwinism” in and for institutions of higher education, it’s time to examine what that means for our own practice. How has neoliberalism shaped higher education, and what do the answers to that question mean for our work with and among students? Continue reading “Each Against All: Neoliberalism and Higher Education, Part 3”

Each Against All: Neoliberalism and Higher Education, Part 2

[Click here to read Part One]

In the 1970s, neoliberalism came into its own as a coherent ideological platform and political-economic policy toolkit. As politicians, economists, and intellectuals struggled to explain both the causes of their present crisis and propose solutions for it, “an entirely new breed of liberals sought a way forward by reviving the old doctrine of classical liberalism under the novel conditions of globalization.”[1] The emergence of neoliberalism and its rapid ascent to hegemonic status in the 1970s, then, represents a watershed historical moment, the significance of which we are only now really beginning to grasp. Continue reading “Each Against All: Neoliberalism and Higher Education, Part 2”

  1. [1] Manfred B. Steger and Ravi K. Roy, Neoliberalism: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 9

Each Against All: Neoliberalism and Higher Education, Part One.

Which things, tell me, are yours? Whence have you brought your goods into life? You are like one occupying a place in a theater, who should prohibit others from entering, treating that as his own which was designed for the common use of all.

-St. Basil of Caesaria, ca. 300s CE

I have some questions.

Why does higher education find such warm support in the abstract, but such sharp disdain in practice? Why do we (speaking broadly) tell young people to be sure to earn their degree, but also that universities are failing and their professors are out-of-touch elites who don’t know how the “real world” works?  Continue reading “Each Against All: Neoliberalism and Higher Education, Part One.”