The Neo-liberal Turn in Education
This paper analyses the impact of neo-liberalism on organisations generally and universities specifically. Neo-liberalism, as it operates in modern organisations, is characterised by a number of practices, including the following, which are derived from the work of Nikolas Rose: an emphasis on service; a relentless measurement of performance, especially linked to external benchmarks; a fragmentation of large inefficient groups into sub-units and structural subdivisions; an insistence on self-development and constant self-scrutiny. These four characteristics of neo-liberalism can be linked back some theoretical innovations of the Ordoliberalen (especially Alexander von Rüstow) and the Chicago School (especially Gary S. Becker). The writings of Friedrich von Hayek are also analysed for the light they throw on the development of neo-liberal political rationalities. Having established these characteristics of neo-liberalism 'in action' in modern organisations, a specific case study of the university sector will be developed.
Keywords: Neo-liberalism, University
A/Prof Gavin Patrick Kendall
Associate Professor of Sociology, School of Humanities and Human Services, Queensland University of Technology