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Education, Science and Knowledge Capitalism

Creativity and the Promise of Openness


Michael A. Peters

We live in the age of global science – but not, primarily, in the sense of ‘universal knowledge’ that has characterized the liberal metanarrative of ‘free’ science and the ‘free society’ since its early development in the Enlightenment. Today, an economic logic links science to national economic policy, while globalized multinational science dominates an environment where quality assurance replaces truth as the new regulative ideal. This book examines the nature of educational and science-based capitalism in its cybernetic, knowledge, algorithmic and bioinformational forms before turning to the emergence of the global science system and the promise of openness in the growth of international research collaboration, the development of the global knowledge commons and the rise of the open science economy. Education, Science and Knowledge Capitalism explores the nature of cognitive capitalism, the emerging mode of social production for public education and science and its promise for the democratization of knowledge.
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Chapter Two: Education, Creativity and the Economy of Passions: New Forms of Educational Capitalism


Chapter 2

The notion of the ‘creative economy’ is a concept and discourse that developed during the late 1990s and was strongly promoted by John Howkins (2002), a British media entrepreneur, who bases his analysis on the relationship between IP, creativity and money. Howkin’s thesis is in part a rejuvenation and democratic reworking of the notion of entrepreneurship based on the understanding that it is ideas, people and things rather than land, labor or capital that have become the most important factors of production in the leading-edge liberal-capitalist economies. Howkins’s thesis is echoed by Richard Florida (2002) in his The Rise of the Creative Class where he argues ‘Human creativity is the ultimate economic resource’ (p. xiii).

In one sense these new studies of the ‘creative economy’ grow out of a long gestation of blended discourses that go back at least to the early literatures in the economics of knowledge initiated by Friedrich von Hayek and Fritz Machlup in the 1940s and 1950s, to studies of the ‘information economy’ by Marc Porat in the late 1960s, and to the sociology of postindustrialism, a discourse developed differently by Daniel Bell and Alain Touraine in the early 1970s. The creative economy also highlights and builds upon important ideas given a distinctive formulation by Paul Romer under the aegis of endogenous growth theory in the 1990s, and aspects of the emerging literatures concerning national systems of innovations and entrepreneurship that figure in public policy formulation from the 1980s. Indeed,...

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