- Welcome to the blog Universities as a public good
Academic capitalism is the involvement of universities - professors, teachers, faculty leaders - in market-like behaviors. This has become a key feature of higher education, not only in the United States and Europe but world-wide. These institutional practices are detrimental to academic freedom, free inquiry and a university system that serves the whole society as a public good.
This blog is made to contest and challenge the increasing dominance of the academic capitalist knowledge regime over a more classic public good knowledge regime that values knowledge as a public good to which citizenry has claims. Norms such as communalism, universality, free flow of knowledge and organized skepticism are associated with the public good model, and even though they as norms may never fully be realized, they govern behavior and help securing academic freedom.
We urge academic faculty and professionals to engage more deeply in shaping and controlling both academic work and the relationship between the institution and the marketplace. There is a growing need to “republicize” colleges and universities, that is, to reaffirm the university’s public purposes and financing. Help the universities to restore a more healthy balance between the two knowledge regimes.
Theoretical inspiration (at least so far - more to follow!) for this group:
Gary Rhoades and Sheila Slaughter: "Academic Capitalism in the New Economy: Challenges and Choices". American Academic 1 (1) - June 2004. (Can be downloaded here:
- Terence Karran (2007): "Academic Freedom in Europe: A Preliminary Comparative Analysis". Higher Education Policy 20: 289–313. (abstract and html version; download pdf file).
- a related global project: Edu-factory, www.edu-factory.org
- a Danish science policy blog Forskningsfrihed?
- The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education: part 1 (in the USA), part 2 (in UK), both from the Improbable Science blog.
- The lists of literature for this blog.