The Knowledge Business : The Commodification of Urban and Housing Research book cover
1st Edition

The Knowledge Business
The Commodification of Urban and Housing Research

ISBN 9780367602581
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
298 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book provides a critique of the knowledge business, and describes and evaluates its different manifestations in, and impacts on, the university sector. Its focus is the social sciences and, in particular, housing and urban studies. Drawing on a wide range of experiences, both in the UK and elsewhere, it illustrates the changing management of the academy, and the development, by university managers, of instruments or techniques of control to ensure that academics are disciplined in ways that are commensurate with achieving commercial goals. The individual chapters highlight the different ways in which the academy is being put to work for commercial gain, and they evaluate how far the public service ethos of the universities is coming apart in a context in which what is to be serviced is increasingly a private clientele defined by their 'ability to pay'. The Knowledge Business examines the contradictions and tensions associated with these processes, highlighting the implications for the academic labour process, and the future of the academy.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The knowledge business: a critical introduction, Chris Allen and Rob Imrie; Part I The Institutional Politics of the Knowledge Business: The interrelationships between contract research and the knowledge business, Rob Imrie; The political economy of contract research, Jim Kemeny; In the name of the people?: the state, social science and the 'public interest' in urban regeneration, Chris Allen and Pauline Marne; Knowing the city: local coalitions, knowledge and research, Huw Thomas; Entrepreneurial_research at, Chris Allen and Pauline Marne; Knowledge intermediaries and evidence based policy, Gary Bridge. Part II Entrepreneurialism and the Academic Labour Process: Partnership, servitude or expert scholarship? The academic labour process in contract housing research, Tony Manzi and Bill Smith-Bowers; Managing sensitive social relations in planning policy research: co-production and critical friendship in the enterprising university, Paul O'Hare, Jon Coaffee and Marian Hawkesworth; Collaborative postgraduate research in a contract research culture, Loretta Lees and David Demeritt; Cultivating the business researcher: a biographical account of postgraduate educational research training, Victoria Cooper; The knowledge business and the neo-managerialisation of research and academia in France, Gilles Pinson. Part III Conclusions: Contract research, universities and the 'knowledge society': back to the future, Noel Castree; Reconstructing the knowledge business, Rob Imrie and Chris Allen; Bibliography; Index.

View More



Chris Allen is Professor of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and Rob Imrie is Professor of Geography at King's College London, UK and Director of the Cities Group


'Expectations of universities and celebrations of their enterprising activities appear unbounded. Far fewer are prepared to critically examine their effects on the knowledge production process. This book does that with insightful contributions from those newer and more established in urban and housing research. It is a significant contribution to debate in this area and deserves a wide readership.' Tim May, University of Salford, UK 'The most comprehensive collection to date on the impacts of neo-liberalism on academic life, especially in the UK. Ranging from the impact of contract-based employment on individuals to the institutional fixation on ’impacts’ as such, this book takes seriously the idea that the norms governing a nation’s universities afford a unique opportunity to peer into the state of a society’s soul - and the view in either case is not pretty.' Steve Fuller , University of Warwick, UK 'The editors and contributors have produced a wide-ranging, historically, theoretically and empirically informed collection that should be required reading for all those engaged in housing and urban studies... The editors are to be commended on the diversity of views presented across the contributions... the book works because of the willingness of authors to provide honest and damning accounts (Allen & Marne and Pinson) and to present controversial solutions (Crabtree). One may disagree with some of the forthright arguments but it is impossible not to engage with these debates, which is the very purpose of the book and why it achieves its aims so successfully. International Journal of Housing Policy 'Allen and Imrie have started an important conversation here with a collection of bold arguments that are intended to raise ire amongst European (especially UK) faculty... This book should prompt researchers outside the UK to join the conversation with more empirical studies and constructive counter-points...' Urban Geography Research Group 'Publication of T