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Producing anxiety in the neoliberal university

Berg, Lawrence D.; Huijbens, Edward H. and Larsen, Henrik Gutzon LU (2016) In The Canadian Geographer 60(2). p.168-180
Abstract
This paper presents a theoretical analysis of the neoliberal production of anxiety in academic faculty members in universities in Northern Europe. The paper focuses on neoliberalization as it is instantiated through audit and ranking systems designed to produce academia as a space of economic efficiency and intensifying competition. We suggest that powerful forms of competition and ranking of academic performance have been developed in Northern Europe. These systems are differentiated and differentiating, and they serve to both index and facilitate the neoliberalization of the academy. Moreover, these audit and ranking systems produce an ongoing sense of anxiety among academic workers. We argue that neoliberalism in the academy is part of... (More)
This paper presents a theoretical analysis of the neoliberal production of anxiety in academic faculty members in universities in Northern Europe. The paper focuses on neoliberalization as it is instantiated through audit and ranking systems designed to produce academia as a space of economic efficiency and intensifying competition. We suggest that powerful forms of competition and ranking of academic performance have been developed in Northern Europe. These systems are differentiated and differentiating, and they serve to both index and facilitate the neoliberalization of the academy. Moreover, these audit and ranking systems produce an ongoing sense of anxiety among academic workers. We argue that neoliberalism in the academy is part of a wider system of anxiety production arising as part of the so-called “soft governance” of everything, including life itself, in contemporary late liberalism. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
neoliberalism, higher education, human capital, academic audit systems, anxiety and mental health
in
The Canadian Geographer
volume
60
issue
2
pages
13 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84963777865
  • wos:000388281800010
ISSN
1541-0064
DOI
10.1111/cag.12261
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
20a7a035-b9ae-4d2f-9624-e845a21ee218
date added to LUP
2016-04-11 17:45:11
date last changed
2017-11-19 04:29:53
@article{20a7a035-b9ae-4d2f-9624-e845a21ee218,
  abstract     = {This paper presents a theoretical analysis of the neoliberal production of anxiety in academic faculty members in universities in Northern Europe. The paper focuses on neoliberalization as it is instantiated through audit and ranking systems designed to produce academia as a space of economic efficiency and intensifying competition. We suggest that powerful forms of competition and ranking of academic performance have been developed in Northern Europe. These systems are differentiated and differentiating, and they serve to both index and facilitate the neoliberalization of the academy. Moreover, these audit and ranking systems produce an ongoing sense of anxiety among academic workers. We argue that neoliberalism in the academy is part of a wider system of anxiety production arising as part of the so-called “soft governance” of everything, including life itself, in contemporary late liberalism.},
  author       = {Berg, Lawrence D. and Huijbens, Edward H. and Larsen, Henrik Gutzon},
  issn         = {1541-0064},
  keyword      = {neoliberalism,higher education,human capital,academic audit systems,anxiety and mental health},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {168--180},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {The Canadian Geographer},
  title        = {Producing anxiety in the neoliberal university},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cag.12261},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {2016},
}