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Death of the Public University?: Uncertain Futures for Higher Education in the Knowledge Economy

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Volume 3

Higher Education in Critical Perspective: Practices and Policies

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Death of the Public University?

Uncertain Futures for Higher Education in the Knowledge Economy

Edited by Susan Wright and Cris Shore

350 pages, 7 illus., 2 figures, 6 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-542-6 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (May 2017)

ISBN  978-1-78920-091-1 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-543-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“…this book makes a unique and ethnographically-based contribution to the study of universities. Chapters are well written and avoid repetition, despite their overlapping concerns. Finally, as Shore and Wright note in their introduction, the volume focuses on contexts in the Global North, where the ‘neoliberal’ university is seen as most pervasive and enduring. Explorations of public universities elsewhere, which have received virtually no attention to date, may in future build on the work presented here, exposing further radical possibilities.” • Anthropological Forum

“The book is a challenging approach to higher education studies and beyond. Dynamically questioning the relationship between the university and the dominant political economy at present, this book assumes a multidisciplinary approach and brings together macro and micro level analyses allowing the transformations in contemporary higher education to be mapped.” • António M. Magalhães, University of Porto


Universities have been subjected to continuous government reforms since the 1980s, to make them ‘entrepreneurial’, ‘efficient’ and aligned to the predicted needs and challenges of a global knowledge economy. Under increasing pressure to pursue ‘excellence’ and ‘innovation’, many universities are struggling to maintain their traditional mission to be inclusive, improve social mobility and equality and act as the ‘critic and conscience’ of society. Drawing on a multi-disciplinary research project, University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation (URGE), this collection analyses the new landscapes of public universities emerging across Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and the different ways that academics are engaging with them.

Susan Wright is Professor of Educational Anthropology at Aarhus University and Director of the Centre for Higher Education Futures (CHEF). She coordinated the EU project ‘University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation’ and the EU ITN project ‘Universities in the Knowledge Economy’ in Europe and the Asia-Pacific Rim. She co-edits (with Penny Welch) the journal LATISS (Learning and Teaching: International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences) and with Cris Shore and Davide Peró published Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Anatomy of Contemporary Power (2011, Berghahn).

Cris Shore is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland. He is founding editor of the journal Anthropology in Action, inaugural Director of Auckland University’s Europe Institute and, with Susan Wright, is editor of the Stanford University Press book series, Anthropology of Policy. His recent books include Up Close and Personal: On Peripheral Perspectives and the Production of Anthropological Knowledge, (with Susanna Trnka, 2013, Berghahn).

Subject: Educational StudiesAnthropology (General)
Area: EuropeAsia-Pacific


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