Universities after neoliberalism

We’re used to one-way neoliberalism, regardless of party, in which we keep getting more of its familiar features: public budget austerity, marketisation, privatisation, selective cross-subsidies favouring business and technology, precarisation of professional labour, and structural racism. But under the pressure of international social forces, neoliberalism is increasingly breaking down. These forces include the Covid-19-induced public […]

Who will survive the university?

We write as organisers of #CoronaContract, a campaign we co-founded shortly after the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, demanding a two-year contract extension for all casualised university staff (academic and non-academic). In the early days of COVID-19, when previously unthinkable forms of economic rescue took place, this demand functioned as a ‘transitional demand’ […]

A liberal poetics of policy

In The Evolution of Educational Thought (1938), Emile Durkheim recounted the historical irony that undergirds the idea of institutionality – by pitting it against the birth of the university in medieval Europe. He noted how the coming into being of a corporative organisation – the universitas – was effectively an attempt at ‘unionising’ the body […]

Of what is Bolsonaro the name?

[O]ne might refer to the fascist movements as the wounds, the scars, of a democracy that, to this day, has not lived up to its own concept. Theodor Adorno What’s in a name? First things first: to speak of ‘Bolsonarismo’ is not the same as speaking of Bolsonaro voters. Evidently, whatever we can call ‘Bolsonarismo’ […]

Neoliberal antiracism and the British university

While debates over race and higher education in the UK have long focused on questions of access, in recent years a host of campaigns have drawn attention to the alienation of students and staff of colour who succeed in entering white-dominated institutions. Their claims, often articulated on social media with the pithiness that hashtags require, […]

Ruined resentments

Wendy Brown, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019). 264pp., £62.00hb., £22.00 pb., 978 0 23155 053 6 hb., 978 0 23119 385 6 pb. Wendy Brown has been one of the foremost critical theorists and political commentators on the left since the […]

From one Arab Spring to another

The crisis of the neoliberal stage of capitalism has been unfolding spectacularly under our eyes in recent months, provoking ever greater social upheavals in an ever greater number of places. 1 Events in the Arab region fit into this general global crisis, to be sure, but there is also something specific about the region. There, […]

Who’s a feminist?

Catherine Rottenberg, The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). 239pp., £19.99 hb., 978 0 19090 122 6 It is the best of times and it is the worst of times to declare oneself a feminist today. Presentations of that creature have been shape shifting for decades, though right now she suddenly seems […]

What are popular economies?

What forms does living labour take, today, outside of the factory? In an Argentinian context, this question has grown in importance ever since the eruption of movements of unemployed workers at the beginning of this century. Such collective movements dis-located the workers’ ‘picket line’ – that classic deployment of force in the factory – by […]

Powerless companions or fellow travellers?

The aim must be to reduce inequality in every area where it is found. To do this therefore we must refashion, or ‘revolutionise’, the laws which lead to the reproduction of the relations of domination and exploitation. Mohammed Bedjaoui 1 Attempts to enforce the NIEO [New International Economic Order] would lead to a Hobbesian war […]

Unlikely hegemons

Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right (Alresford: Zero Books, 2017). 136pp., £9.99 pb., 978 1 78535 543 1 Kill All Normies sets out to provide an anatomy of the internet spaces in which contemporary ‘culture wars’ are being fought out, and an account of […]

The impossibility of precarity

6. ^ https://sciencefiles.org/tag/lann [archive]‑hornscheidt/page/3 (accessed 9 May 2016). 7. ^ Cf. Bożena Chołuj, ‘“Gender‑Ideologie” – ein Schlüsselbegriff des polnischen Anti‑Genderismus’, in Hark and Vil a, eds, Anti-Genderismus, pp. 219–38. 8. ^ Juliane Lang, ‘Familie und Vaterland in der Krise. Der extrem rechte Diskurs um Gender’, in Hark and Vil a, eds, Anti-Genderismus, pp. 167–82, pp. […]

A neo-Horthyist restoration

A neo-Horthyist restoration Tamás Krausz Since winning the Hungarian general elections in 2010 with a two-thirds majority, Viktor Orbán’s nationalist-populist party Fidesz has introduced an authoritarian administration that is reminiscent of Hungary’s interwar regime, when Miklós Horthy ruled as an ally of Hitler. When state socialism collapsed in 1989, liberal ideologists propagated the idea that […]

A is for apocalypse

A is for apocalypseDavid J. Blacker, The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame, Zero Books, Winchester and Washington DC, 2013. 319 pp., £15.99 pb., 978 1 78099 578 6. Amidst the recent flood of lachrymose reports on the neoliberal assault upon education, this book stands out for its unflinching survey of the extent […]

Smells like Gezi spirit

Commentary Smells like Gezi spirit Democratic sensibilities and carnivalesque politics in Turkey Meyda yeğenoğlu A small protest in Istanbul, which began by aiming to protect the urban greenery, was rapidly turned into a full-blown nationwide resistance. The protests should be regarded as the most important outcry of the Turkish people since the 1980 coup, and […]

Culture and admin

Reviews Culture and adminBéatrice Hibou, La bureaucratisation du monde à l’ère néolibérale, La Découverte, Paris, 2012. 223 pp., €17.00 pb., 978 2 70717 439 0. ^ Ben Kafka, The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork, Zone Books, New York, 2012. 182 pp., £19.95 hb., 978 1 93540 826 0. The ascendancy of neoliberalism […]

Debt society: Greece and the future of post-democracy

Debt society Greece and the future of post-democracy Yannis stavrakakis The passage from early to late modernity is generally associated with a gradual process of democratization, in both political and economic realms. Politically speaking, representative democracy has enjoyed an unprecedented global spread. In the West, especially, political and social rights seemed to have flourished until […]

Aló Presidente

Commentary Aló Presidente Hugo Chávez and populist leadership Martin marinos If capitalism resists, we are obliged to take up a battle against capitalism and open the way for the salvation of the human species. It’s up to us, raising the banners of Christ, Mohammed, equality, love, justice, humanity, the true and most profound humanism. If […]