Signs of Dystopia and Demoralization in global academia: Reflections on the precarious and destructive effects of the colonization of the Lebenswelt

Mike Geppert, Graham Hollinshead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose

Our paper has been written in the style of a provocative essay. It starts with the observation that neo-liberalism has become the leading “policy doctrine” in Higher Education (HE) systems across the globe. This has put increasing systemic political and economic pressure on many universities which not only undermine but also “colonize” the Lebenswelt or “lifeworld” (Habermas, 1987) of academics.

Design/methodology/approach

Our essay draws on concrete empirical examples based on our subjective experiences within the higher educational sector and secondary sources.

Findings

We are going to highlight and illustrate how the increasing dominance of “neo-liberal science” principles (Lave et al., 2010) severely damage the quality of knowledge production and working conditions of ordinary academics in both national and international academic communities.

Practical implications

Our essay provides insights into the practical implications of the spread of “neo-liberal science” principles on the work and employment of academics.

Originality/value

We aim to trigger critical discussion concerning how emancipatory principles of teaching and research can be brought back into the Lebenswelt of academics in order to reverse some of the destructive effects to which our essay refers to.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-150
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Perspectives on International Business
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017

Keywords

  • Neo-liberalization
  • Colonization of lifeworld of academia
  • Precariousness of work and employment in higher education
  • Destructive leadership in universities

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