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Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy

Peters, Michael A. / Marginson, Simon / Murphy, Peter

Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy

Year of Publication: 2009

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. X, 289 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0426-8 pb.  (Softcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-0425-1 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.430 kg, 0.948 lbs

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Book synopsis

This is a major work by three international scholars at the cutting edge of new research that investigates the emerging set of complex relationships between creativity, design, research, higher education and knowledge capitalism. It highlights the role of the creative and expressive arts, of performance, of aesthetics in general, and the significant role of design as an underlying infrastructure for the creative economy. This book tracks the most recent mutation of these serial shifts – from postindustrial economy to the information economy to the digital economy to the knowledge economy to the ‘creative economy’ – to summarize the underlying and essential trends in knowledge capitalism and to investigate post-market notions of open source public space. The book hypothesizes that creative economy might constitute an enlargement of its predecessors that not only democratizes creativity and relativizes intellectual property law, but also emphasizes the social conditions of creative work. It documents how these profound shifts have brought to the forefront forms of knowledge production based on the commons and driven by ideas, not profitability per se; and have given rise to the notion of not just ‘knowledge management’ but the design of ‘creative institutions’ embodying new patterns of work.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Authors: Michael A. Peters is Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Adjunct Professor at the School of Art of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is the executive editor of Educational Philosophy and Theory and editor of two international e-journals, Policy Futures in Education and E-Learning. His interests are broadly defined in areas of education, philosophy and social theory, and he has written over forty books and three hundred academic papers, including most recently: Showing and Doing: Wittgenstein as Pedagogical Philosopher (with N. Burbules and P. Smeyers, 2008); Global Citizenship Education (with H. Blee and A. Britton, 2008); Global Knowledge Cultures (with C. Kapitzke, 2008); Knowledge Economy, Development, and the Future of the University (2007); and Building Knowledge Cultures: Education and Development in the Age of Knowledge Capitalism (with T. Besley, 2006).
Simon Marginson is Professor of Higher Education in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He writes about problems of education policy (especially higher education and research), democracy and creativity in the context of global relations. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and the Society for Research into Higher Education, United Kingdom and a board member of, among others, Higher Education, Higher Education Policy, Higher Education Quarterly, Journal of Education and Work and Thesis Eleven. He has prepared three reports for the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development), his papers have been widely translated into Spanish, and five of his books have been or are about to be published in China. His most recent book is Prospects of Higher Education (2007).
Peter Murphy is Associate Professor of Communications at Monash University. He is Coordinating Editor of the international critical theory and historical sociology journal Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology. His body of work includes more than sixty journal articles and chapters in edited collections. He is co-author of Dialectic of Romanticism: A Critique of Modernism (2004); author of Civic Justice: from Greek Antiquity to the Modern World (2001); editor of Agon, Logos, Polis (2000); co-editor of The Left In Search of a Center (1996); and editor of a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly (1998) on friendship.


«‘Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy’ is an important work of intellectual synthesis as well as a significantly original contribution to the global conversation about the contemporary economic and social significance of knowledge. The authors address key practical questions of the changing role of knowledge in the so-called post-industrial society. They also critically interrogate the rhetoric of the knowledge economy. This book is a comprehensive overview of the origins of the key debates, and at the same time sets an exciting agenda for future lines of discussion and action.» (Bill Cope, Research Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
«This insightful and engaging book addresses questions of pressing significance for educationists in the twenty-first century. Peters, Marginson and Murphy provide a perceptive, well-argued account of economic, political and intellectual changes under global knowledge capitalism. They highlight the importance of creativity, imagination and education in the growth and ongoing development of knowledge societies. In these uncertain times, thoughtful, rigorous analysis of the kind demonstrated in this volume is much needed. ‘Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy’ looks to the future while acknowledging the past. This book makes a valuable contribution to this growing field of research and deserves wide reading.» (Peter Roberts, Professor of Education, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
«This is first-rate social science. Often there is a huge chasm between the prophets of the ‘new’ and the critics who want to puncture holes in their inflated claims, between social theorists spinning new concepts for understanding changes in economy, society and culture and social scientists who want to demonstrate that these zeitgeist-definers lack empirical depth or that their claims apply to only the few. This book cuts through those kinds of limiting debates by showing that the notion of a ‘global knowledge economy’ points to something real but that the term nonetheless requires unpacking and contextualization. Peters, Marginson and Murphy feel equally at home in the analytical world of Austrian economics or the sociology of post-industrialism, the discipline of management or the study of higher education, a discussion of creativity or the Web 2.0 system. They provide a material and institutional context for the ideas surrounding the ‘global knowledge economy’ and identify key carriers of this new social force – the ‘global knowledge worker’, the ‘academic entrepreneur’, the ‘sojourning student’, and other types of ‘creative cosmopolitans’ who inhabit the new economy.» (Eduardo de la Fuente, Communications and Media Studies, Monash University)
«Not without irony, ‘Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy’ is a creative, insightful survey and evaluation of the exploding theoretical and applied thinking about the emergence of a knowledge-based global economy and society. The editors and authors plumb the exciting prospects of a knowledge capitalism for ceaseless scientific discovery and technological innovation and for affording millions seemingly limitless opportunities for self-determination. The volume’s chapters also brilliantly problematize both the increasingly outdated balkanization of academic agendas and outmoded top-down corporate models that impede rather than foster innovation and creative entrepreneurship. A world where ideas rule and where knowledge is openly and collectively arrived at and universally accessible to everyone at negligible cost challenges the assumption of scarce resources as insurmountable constraints on economic development and widening human development. This volume merits wide circulation and serious reflection as an important guide forunderstanding and designing a post-industrial world.» (Edward A. Kolodziej, Director, Center for Global Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
«This book, the first of a proposed trilogy, represents a fascinating interdisciplinary collaboration across education, political economy, the arts and technology studies. It identifies a new phase of the ‘knowledge economy’, which the authors call the ‘creative economy’. This refers to a context in which the capacity for invention and innovation becomes itself a strategic priority for business and for society generally. What is creativity? Where does it come from? How can it be fostered, for individuals and for productive organizations? These questions, the authors suggest, have become paramount in a globally competitive environment. But, cases of individual genius aside, the endeavors of consciously teaching, planning, and managing creativity give rise to a number of paradoxes, which the authors trace out in a variety of educational and workplace settings, because creativity is multidimensional and unruly. How individuals and learning organizations manage these paradoxes will determine their competitive advantage for the future.» (Nicholas C. Burbules, University of Illinois)
«Michael A. Peters, Simon Marginson and Peter Murphy deconstruct neo-liberal accounts of the knowledge economy. In so doing, they traverse a vast array of the scholarly literature on knowledge’s relationship to economic development and broader social arrangements and suggest possible ways forward for more creative modes of knowledge production and dissemination, for the university and enlightenment commitments to social progress.» (Bob Lingard, School of Education, The University of Queensland)