Academic Capitalism, Conceptualizations of

‘Academic capitalism’ has been defined not only as the yoking of higher education to the shifting needs of state and supra-state economies but also as the building and trading of academic capital, with corresponding modes of administration and collaboration. Since the 1980s, the movement of higher education away from its socio-political mediating role and the state’s default financial one have consolidated this concept. However, whilst this is a more-or-less global phenomenon, there is relatively little explicit consideration of the ‘capital’ component of academic capitalism.

This entry reviews the consensus characteristics of academic capitalism with a focus on concrete and especially monetary conceptualisations of ‘capital’. It also reviews paradigmatic explanations of academic capitalism’s evolution: as the production of a source of human and political capital, as a ...

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