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Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization

, 296 pages

4 line drawings

October 2014



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Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization

Today, nearly every aspect of higher education—including student recruitment, classroom instruction, faculty research, administrative governance, and the control of intellectual property—is embedded in a political economy with links to the market and the state. Academic capitalism offers a powerful framework for understanding this relationship. Essentially, it allows us to understand higher education’s shift from creating scholarship and learning as a public good to generating knowledge as a commodity to be monetized in market activities.

In Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization, Brendan Cantwell and Ilkka Kauppinen assemble an international team of leading scholars to explore the profound ways in which globalization and the knowledge economy have transformed higher education around the world. The book offers an in-depth assessment of the theoretical foundations of academic capitalism, as well as new empirical insights into how the process of academic capitalism has played out. Chapters address academic capitalism from historical, transnational, national, and local perspectives. Each contributor offers fascinating insights into both new conceptual interpretations of and practical institutional and national responses to academic capitalism.

Incorporating years of research by influential theorists and building on the work of Sheila Slaughter, Larry Leslie, and Gary Rhoades, Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization provides a provocative update for understanding academic capitalism. The book will appeal to anyone trying to make sense of contemporary higher education.

Brendan Cantwell is an assistant professor of higher, adult, and lifelong education at Michigan State University. Ilkka Kauppinen is a university lecturer in sociology in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at University of Jyväskylä and a fellow at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education.

"This timely and necessary book makes a very significant contribution to the study of the changing global context of higher education."

"In Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization, Cantwell and Kauppinen offer a well-organized and thorough treatment of academic capitalism. This is a superbly edited volume that furthers our understanding of globalization and the political economy of higher education. A must-read for anyone concerned about the future of higher education."

" Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization clarifies our understanding of the now rather cluttered intersections between universities and the political economy, using key categories such as time, academic labor and commodified knowledge, and exploring the new organizational mechanisms inside higher education. It tests the relevance of notions of academic capitalism across history and in different countries. Theoretically sophisticated and accessible, policy sharp, highly practical in its implications. An inevitable book and one that opens up further lines of inquiry."

"This book represents one of the most important scholarly interrogations of the theory of academic capitalism within the context of globalization. By drawing on different national settings, local, national, and global scales, and a vast array of topics, the book not only extends the theory of academic capitalism but enhances contemporary understandings of the social, political, and economic conditions of globalized higher education systems."

"As a collection, Academic Capitalism in the Age of Globalization presents ways that universities have become more entrepreneurial, more interdisciplinary, more competitive, and more marketable as postsecondary institutions and labor markets have become progressively globalized."

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