Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education
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Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education

Edited by Brendan Cantwell, Hamish Coates and Roger King

Understanding the politics of Higher Education is becoming more important as the sector is increasingly recognised as a vital source of innovation, skills, economic prosperity, and personal wellbeing. Yet key political differences remain over such issues as who should pay for higher education, how should it be accountable, and how we measure its quality and productivity. Particularly, are states or markets the key in helping to address such matters. The Handbook provides framing perspectives and perspectives, chapters on funding, governance and regulation, and pieces on the political economy of higher education and on the increased role of external stakeholders and indicators.
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Chapter 25: Neoliberalism and faculty roles: the politics of academic work

Adrianna Kezar and Tom DePaola

Abstract

In this chapter the authors describe the changing patterns of faculty work that are creating a deprofessionalized, contingent and marketized labour force. They place these current patterns in a broader historical and sociological context that acknowledges the manner in which definitions of faculty roles are necessarily recognized for what they are: the tentative product of ongoing power struggles. Having an informed awareness of how faculty initially organized to gain power on campuses and leveraged their collective expertise to secure academic rights is an important first step to developing a sense of political consciousness and collective agency, and eventually knowledge of how to productively wield them. The authors review three broad ideas that they argue have universal importance: the analytic framework they deploy of putting politics in historical context; neoliberalism, which is affecting most countries worldwide; and the need for new political tactics related to faculty work, which have clear implications for other countries.

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