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Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education

Resistance, Reclaiming, Organizing, and Black Lives Matter in Education

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Edited By Anthony J. Nocella and Erik Juergensmeyer

Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education is a cutting-edge investigation of the alarming state of education today. This practical how-to handbook gives readers tactics and strategies to organize and challenge forces that threaten liberatory critical education. Drawn from scholars and activists from across the world, the fifteen chapters guide readers through a strategic method of understanding the academic industrial complex and corporate education in the twenty-first century. Education is being hijacked by banks and corporations that are tearing apart the foundational fabric of academic freedom, resulting in mass standardized education and debt for all students and furthering racial inequity. This is a must-read for anyone interested in democracy, education, social justice, critical pedagogy, and Black Lives Matter.

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1. Striking Out! Challenging Academic Repression in the Neoliberal University through Alternative Forms of Resistance: Some Lessons from the United Kingdom (Nick Clare / Gregory White / Richard J. White)

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CHAPTER  ONE

Striking Out! Challenging Academic Repression in the Neoliberal University through Alternative Forms of Resistance: Some Lessons from the United Kingdom

NICK CLARE, GREGORY WHITE, AND RICHARD J. WHITE

 

INTRODUCTION: THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF THE NEOLIBERAL UNIVERSITY

“Neoliberalism is not an enduring, inescapable hegemony but instead a reversible set of political-economic practices. It can thus be continually contested… “ (Chun, 2009, p.112).

This chapter argues that embracing diverse, alternative, and experimental types of activism is vital in order to more successfully resist and fight the multiple forms of (academic) repression evident within the neoliberal university. In this context, neoliberalization can be recognized by drawing attention toward “the infusion of market and competitive logics throughout universities, the rise of audit process and cultures or accountability, and the replacement of public with private (student and private business) funding” (Dowling, 2008, p. 2). Moreover, the great reluctance by many university staff to passively accept these neoliberal processes has ← 15 | 16 → resulted in universities being subjected to “a particular combination of Stalinist hierarchical control and the so-called free market, in which the values, structures and processes of private sector management are imposed” (Radice, 2013, p. 408). In the face of this, the success of top-down forms of collective resistance—exemplified in calls for industrial action in the form of a strike—have been worryingly limited, ineffective, and, in places, highly counterproductive. Thus there is an urgent need to...

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