Universities at War

“Docherty is one of our finest literary critics whose writing on the university illuminates it’s corridors... another important intervention by a true resistant for critical thought and the university.” – Professor Martin McQuillan, Kingston University “A powerful, erudite polemical study of everything that fails to work so drastically in the institution of higher education. Resisting any temptation to proceed with business as usual, Docherty explores and exposes, with wit, insight, and not a little panache, the Realpolitik of the university–as–business.” – Professor Julian Wolfreys, University of Portsmouth There is a war on for the future of the university worldwide. The stakes are high, and they reach deep into our social condition. On one side are self–proclaimed modernisers who view the institution as vital to national economic success. Here the university is a servant of the national economy in the context of globalization, its driving principles of private and personal enrichment necessary conditions of ‘progress’ and modernity. Others see this as a radical impoverishment of the university’s capacities to extend human possibilities and freedoms, to seek earnestly for social justice, and to participate in the endless need for the extension of democracy. This book analyses the former position, and argues for the necessity of taking sides with the latter. It does so with a sense of urgency, because the market fundamentalists are on the march. The fundamental war that is being fought is not just for scholars, but for a better – more democratic, more just, more emancipatory – form of life. Choose sides.

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