The Academic Caesar: University Leadership is Hard


Steve Fuller

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    About the Author

    Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Originally trained in history and philosophy of science, he is the author of more than 20 books. In recent years, his work has focused on the future of the intellectual life as well as the future of humanity more generally, which he calls ‘Humanity 2.0’.


    Many people have spurred me – directly and indirectly – to write this book, which is about academic leadership at the start of the 21st century, taking both the past and the future perhaps a bit more seriously than current preoccupations would allow. These people include Thomas Basbøll (who brings out my inner Ezra Pound), Kean Birch, Rebecca Boden, Craig Calhoun, Mark Carrigan, Jim Collier, Robert Frodeman, Davydd Greenwood, Reiner Grundmann, Greg Hearn, Britt Holbrook, Jonathan Imber, David Rooney, Roger Sugden, Wu Wei, Emilie Whitaker, James Wilsdon and Susan Wright. The book is dedicated to my long-time friend, the radical institutionalist economist Philip Mirowski. About ten years ago, he pulled me aside after a talk I had given at the University of Ghent and warned me against highlighting the rent-seeking character of academic knowledge production, as that was a gift to the Robespierre-like epistemic horizons of neo-liberalism. Mirowski (2013) went on to develop this warning into a full-blown jeremiad about neo-liberalism, but I have always had a soft spot for Nietzsche’s Zarathustra: ‘What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’.

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