Monday, 2 September 2019

Book review of Steve Fuller's "Academic Caesar" (2016)

I read Steve Fuller's recent book Academic Caesar (Sage, 2016) some time ago - during my sabbatical in 2017, I think - with the intent of writing a review of it. Which I did, but it sat on my laptop in a liminal state for some time as I tried to work out how to frame it (and then find the time to rework it properly).

I finally got round to writing it, and have published in on medium.com:

"Academic Caesar starts with an outline of the threats to the university in our neoliberal times, although Fuller avoids taking an easy pot(-shot) at neoliberalism as the cause of all our scholarly suffering.

Fuller points out that the changing political economy of the last few decades has left the university increasingly bereft of its original purpose, which he defines as ‘producing knowledge as a public good’ (p.15). As the state’s role has changed, especially through its inf(l)ection by neoliberal principles, this has transformed the rationale for university education, since the latter had been so dependent on the former since and during the post-WW2 golden age of capitalism. Consequently, as the state has changed, so does, necessarily, the university, becoming increasingly driven by the consumers of knowledge (i.e. students) rather than its producers (i.e. academics) (p.17)."
Here is the rest of the review.

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