ABSTRACT. The discursive politics of neoliberal governmentality have had a profound impact on all aspects of the work of universities. Global discourses of knowledge capitalism that reinforce the idea of the university as an ‘engine of capitalism’ reverberate from supranational sources such as the OECD and World Bank into national and regional postsecondary education policy, and are in turn enacted in funding decisions and grants policies. The idea that universities might be ‘steered’ to help act as engines for knowledge capitalism is foundational in this discourse, and its impact on the framing of social sciences and humanities work in a neoliberal context needs continual interrogation and unpacking. This paper suggests an interpretation of the role of academic workers and public intellectuals through Foucault’s concept of ‘parrhesia’, as a mode of critical response to prevailing neoliberal agendas for higher education. pp. 41–49

Keywords: higher education; universities; governmentality; neoliberalism


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