The Contentious Politics of Higher Education Struggles and Power Relations within English and Italian Universities
Drawing on neo-institutionalist and social movement approaches, this book analyses the impact that recent student mobilizations have brought about within Italian and English universities in terms of student services, curriculum organization, and governance structures. Arguing that the university context is central to explaining the variety and diversity of this impact, the author examines the effects of the type of governance on the strategies and tactics of the students and the responses of the challenged, considering the differences that exist between Italy, where universities are largely run by academics, and England, where universities tend to be governed by academic managers.
1. Introduction, Part I: Framework and context, 2. The contentious politics of higher education, 3. The marketization of higher education in Italy and England and its resistances, Part II: Empirical analysis, 4. The “contested HE reforms.” The university mobilizations in Italy and England, 5. What is at stake? The impact of student activism on Italian universities, 6. What is at stake? The impact of student activism on English universities, Part III: Conclusion, 7. The contentious politics of higher education. Some concluding remarks
"This is a fascinating book which draws on rich, original data from England and Italy to explore the nature and impact of recent student mobilisations, and the differing responses to these protests by university leaders. In arguing that modes of university leadership and governance can have a significant impact on student politics, the book makes an important contribution to debates within both the sociology of education and political science, and takes forward our understanding of a relatively under-researched area of contemporary higher education."
Rachel Brooks, Professor of Sociology, University of Surrey, UK
"This book makes a hugely important and very interesting contribution to the growing body of literature on contemporary student movements, not least by way of the perspective provided by looking at six universities across two different countries. It offers a rigorous analysis of very interesting and rich data, yielding numerous new insights for social movement scholars and genuinely moving debates forward. Anybody with an interest in this area will find much to engage with and chew over in Cini's text."
Nick Crossley, Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester, UK
"Notwithstanding their relevance for contentious politics, the student movements have received only scant attention in social movement studies. And notwithstanding the dramatic impacts of neoliberal development for progressive politics, capitalism is still a silence in the field. Through a careful comparison of episodes of conflicts within universities in Italy and the UK, this volume convincingly contributes to filling these gaps, looking at the interactions of structure and agency in the policy field of higher education."
Donatella della Porta, Dean of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of COSMOS, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy