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Universities at War
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Universities at War


Series:
SAGE Swifts

December 2014 | 160 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Docherty is not only is a brilliant critic of those forces that would like to transform higher education into an extension of the market-place... he is also a man of great moral and civic courage, who under intense pressure from the punishing neoliberal state has risked a great deal to remind us that higher education is a civic institution crucial to creating the formative cultures necessary for a democracy to survive, if not flourish."
- Henry Giroux, McMasters University

"Docherty engages with the secular university in its present crisis, reflecting on its origins and on its role in the future of democracy. He tackles the urgent issue of inequality with a compelling denunciation of the ways of entrenched privilege; he offers a view of governance and representation from the perspective of those who are silenced; and exposes the fundamental damage done to thought by management-speak. Docherty is moral, passionate and committed and this is a fierce and important book."
- Mary Margaret McCabe, King's College London

There is a war on for the future of the university worldwide. The stakes are high, and they reach deep into our social condition.

On one side are self-proclaimed modernisers who view the institution as vital to national economic success. Here the university is a servant of the national economy in the context of globalization, its driving principles of private and personal enrichment necessary conditions of ‘progress’ and modernity.

Others see this as a radical impoverishment of the university’s capacities to extend human possibilities and freedoms, to seek earnestly for social justice, and to participate in the endless need for the extension of democracy.

This book analyses the former position, and argues for the necessity of taking sides with the latter. It does so with a sense of urgency, because the market fundamentalists are on the march. The fundamental war that is being fought is not just for scholars, but for a better – more democratic, more just, more emancipatory – form of life.

Choose sides.
Introduction: Universities at War  
 
Chapter 1: Force
 
Chapter 2: Debts and Duties
 
Chapter 3: Citizens
 
Chapter 4: Of Government and Governance

A book that ought to be in the welcome pack for every university student and member of staff: a cogent critique of authoritarianism within the academy and a stirring defence of universities.

Mary Evans, Gender Institute, London School of Economics
Times Higher Education (THE)

Thomas Docherty’s Universities at War is a powerful, erudite polemical study of everything that fails to work so drastically in the institution of higher education. Resisting any temptation to proceed with business as usual, Docherty explores and exposes, with wit, insight, and not a little panache, the Realpolitik of the university-as-business. To ignore this book is to be culpable of the crimes against education, in the name of ‘education’, which Docherty indicts.

Professor Julian Wolfreys
University of Portsmouth

Thomas Docherty not only is a brilliant critic of those forces that would like to transform higher education into an extension of the market-place and a recruiting tool for the conformist prone, low-paid workforce needed by corporate powers, he is also a man of great moral and civic courage, who under intense pressure from the punishing neoliberal state has risked a great deal to remind us that higher education is a civic institution crucial to creating the formative cultures necessary for a democracy to survive, if not flourish. Universities at War is both insightful and accessible, and one of the most important books published that deals with the ongoing attacks being waged worldwide on higher education. Docherty defines the university as a worldly institution that cannot be separated from the economic, social, cultural, and political forces in which it is shaped and acts. Few writers make the case for the civic purpose of higher education, for its centrality to democracy, and for its responsibility to educate young people and others to be engaged, critical citizens of the world. This book is a tour de force.

Henry Giroux
McMaster University, Canada

This is the polemos of Thomas Docherty, both polemic and war. It is a polemic about the struggle for the university and the right to higher education. It does not just report that war but participates fully in the ongoing debate, taking a position against the market and in the name of the academy. Docherty is one of our finest literary critics whose writing on the university illuminates its corridors. This is another important intervention by a true resistant for critical thought and the university.

Professor Martin McQuillan
Kingston University

With Stefan Collini, Thomas Docherty is a major contemporary heir to Newman, a defender of a sober, principled, honourable, sophisticated, demanding and by no means idealized concept of the university; this when, in the UK, actual universities sometimes seem increasingly populated by aliens from outer space. The serious intellectual life is in danger of being ruthlessly marginalized, left to a new breed of peripatetic. If this is not to happen, powerful, ferocious, clever, learned books like Universities at War are much-needed.

Andrew Gibson
Former Professor of Modern Literature and Theory, Royal Holloway, University of London

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Force or the body politic and the 'sovereignty of nature'


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ISBN: 9781473907782

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