The era that began with the election of the Thatcher and Reagan governments has been dominated by contemporary forms of neoliberalism-based market fundamentalism, globalization as world economic integration and the ideology of «free trade,» and an attack on «big» government and social welfare. This book is a historical and theoretical investigation of contemporary neoliberalism in relation to education policy and its rollback of the Keynesian welfare state. It argues that education is the basis of an open society and is a social welfare right in the merging knowledge economy. Drawing on the theoretical lens of Michel Foucault’s work on governmentality understood as a form of radical political economy, the book explores and critiques neoliberalism as the ruling ideological consensus. It also questions whether and to what extent its influence will continue, in the face of the destabilization of markets that followed the financial crisis and the global recession that began in 2007, in the advanced liberal economies of the United States and the European Union.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. X, 222 pp.
Michael A. Peters is Professor of Education in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign and Adjunct Professor in the School of Art at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.
He is the editor of three journals: Educational Philosophy and Theory, Policy Futures in Education, and E-Learning
and Digital Media. His most recent books include: The Last Book of Postmodernism: Apocalyptic Thinking, Philosophy
and Education in the Twenty-First Century (Peter Lang, 2011); Governmentality Studies in Education (2009); Creativity
and the Global Knowledge Economy (with P. Murphy & S. Marginson) (Peter Lang, 2009); Global Knowledge Cultures
(with C. Kapitzke) (2007); Subjectivity and Truth: Foucault, Education and the Culture of the Self (with Tina Besley)
(Peter Lang, 2008); Building Knowledge Cultures: Educational and Development in the Age of Knowledge Capitalism (with
Tina Besley) (2006); and Knowledge Economy, Development and the Future of the University (2007).