1st Edition

Neoliberalism and Education

Edited By Bronwen M.A. Jones, Stephen J. Ball Copyright 2023

    The ongoing neoliberalisation of education is complex, varied and relentless. It involves increasingly diverse material and structural changes to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment and at the same time transforms how we are made up as educational subjects. It rearticulates what it means to be educated. This collection brings together creative and unanticipated examples of the adoption and adaptation of neoliberal practice, both collective and individual. These examples not only demonstrate the insidiousness of neoliberal reform but also suggest that its trajectory is uncertain and unfixed. The intention is that these examples might embolden education scholars and practitioners to think differently about education.

    This book is shaped by a reading of the processes of the neoliberalisation of education as a dispositif. This heterogeneous dispositif encompasses and spans an uneven, miscellaneous and evolving network of educational regimes of knowledge, practice and subjectivities, as well as artifacts and non-human actants. The papers included address different aspects or points within this complex arrangement at different levels and in different sectors of education. They have been chosen to illustrate the evolving and multi-faceted penetration of market thinking and practice in education and also points of deflection and dissent. They also offer coverage of some of the uneven geography of neoliberalisation. They consider the potential for the production of subjectivities to provide the ‘wriggle’ room that can exist to refuse or subvert neoliberal identities. This book will have appeal across the social sciences and specifically to those working in education. The chapters included here were originally published in various Taylor & Francis journals.

    1. Introduction: Neoliberalism is dead—Long live neoliberalism

    Bronwen M.A. Jones and Stephen J. Ball

    2. Explaining (with) neoliberalism

    Jamie Peck

    3. Neoliberalization, uneven development, and Brexit: further reflections on the organic crisis of the British state and society

    Bob Jessop

    4. Neoliberalism, urbanism and the education economy: producing Hyderabad as a ‘global city’

    Sangeeta Kamat

    5. Neoliberalism and the demise of public education: the corporatization of schools of education

    Marta Baltodano

    6. Fixing contradictions of education commercialisation: Pearson plc and the construction of its efficacy brand

    Curtis B. Riep

    7. ‘Make money, get money’: how two autonomous schools have commercialised their services

    Jessica Holloway and Amanda Keddie

    8. Care of the self, resistance and subjectivity under neoliberal governmentalities

    Stephen J. Ball and Antonio Olmedo

    9. Nuancing the critique of commercialisation in schools: recognising teacher agency

    Anne Hogan, Eimear Enright, Michael Stylianou and Louise McCuaig

    10. Students as consumers? A counter perspective from student assessment as a disciplinary technology

    Rille Raaper

    11. Preoccupied with the self: towards self-responsible, enterprising, flexible and self-centered subjectivity in education

    Kristiina Brunila and Päivi Siivonen


    Bronwen M.A. Jones received her PhD from University College London, Institute of Education, UK, in 2020. Her thesis entitled Educating the Neoliberal Whole Child: A Genealogical Approach was published by Routledge in 2021. She spent a number of years as a Postgraduate Tutor on BA and MA programmes and continues to research and write on the construction of the child in neoliberal education policy.

    Stephen J. Ball is Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education at the University College London, Institute of Education, UK. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2006 and is also Fellow of the Society of Educational Studies and a Laureate of Kappa Delta Phi; he has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Turku, Finland, and Leicester. He is co-founder of the Journal of Education Policy.