1st Edition

Education and Political Subjectivities in Neoliberal Times and Places
Emergences of norms and possibilities

ISBN 9781138602045
Published May 4, 2018 by Routledge
160 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Education and Political Subjectivities in Neoliberal Times and Places investigates the conditions and possibilities for political subjectivities to emerge in international educational contexts, where neoliberal norms are repeated, performed and transformed. Through demonstrating the possibility of political subjectivities, this book argues that neoliberalism should neither be considered post-political, nor a natural law by which educational practices have to abide.

This book considers how political subjectivities are made possible in education in spite of dominant neoliberal norms. Chapters address key theoretical discussions surrounding these different, sometimes contradicting, norms and their relationship to education, economy and politics. This innovative approach considers diverse educational and political initiatives in the wake of new public management, postcolonial perspectives on neoliberal education, and educational practices and critical possibilities. The book advocates understanding and enacting democracy as an experiment, based on the conception that democracy is constantly constructed and constitutes a transformative process in society in general as well as in education.

This book advances the argument that there is still room for political subjectivity in spite of the dominance of neoliberal educational governance. It will appeal to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of higher education, education policy and politics, sociology of education and comparative and international education, as well as those interested in neoliberalism, new public management, and inequality.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Making trouble with neoliberalism, education and political subjectivity Lena Martinsson and Eva Reimers

2. Politics, subjectivity and education in neoliberal times: An interview with Gert Biesta Gert Biesta, Lena Martinsson, Eva Reimers

3. Messy norms and desire for education Lena Martinsson

4. Competition, accountability and performativity: Exploring schizoid neo-liberal ‘equality objectives’ in a UK primary school Jos Harvey and Jessica Ringrose

5. Towards de-cold-war politics: Nationalism, democracy and new politics of/for education in Japan Keita Takayama

6. Post-political governing of welfare state education in Sweden Rita Foss Lindblad and Sverker Lindblad

7. Why education? Economic and political subjectivities in public discourses on education Eva Reimers

8. Political subjectivity, political struggle and political education in times of precarization Eva Reimers and Lena Martinsson

9. Political subjectivity and the experiment of democracy – A conclusion Lena Martinsson and Eva Reimers

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Eva Reimers is Professor of Educational Practice at Linköping University, Sweden.

Lena Martinsson is Professor of Gender Studies in the Department for Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


‘A much needed rethinking of the variability of neoliberal education projects and neoliberal subjectivities in different national contexts.’
Steven Ward, Professor of Sociology, Western Connecticut State University, USA

‘Considering how neoliberalism works and what it does to education in specific national and local settings has been a key concern of critical sociology of education for some time. This collection of essays by Reimers, Martinson and colleagues extends this work by engaging in the crucial task of detailing the political subjects that are called up and curtailed in these conditions. Understanding the possibilities for responding to neoliberal tendencies in education remains a pressing task for scholars, activists and educators and so this collection provides important resources for thinking about and doing politics in and against neoliberal education.’ 
Deborah Youdell, Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Birmingham, UK