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Student Participation, Democracy and University Reform in a Global Knowledge Economy
Gritt B. Nielsen
276 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-771-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2015)
eISBN 978-1-78238-772-5 eBook
“Figuration Work speaks to many academic constituencies, not only to the anthropology of policy and the anthropology of education generally, to administrative studies and conflict management, but also to those who cast their research nets into the complexities of university culture… Most importantly, the volume encourages those committed to researching university cultures to suggest new envisioned futures and make some seductive intellectual stabs at the ‘not-yet-thought-of university’.” · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
“[A] well-written piece of work [which] draws upon extensive interdisciplinary studies of higher education and recent theoretical approaches to capitalism and globalization . . . The analysis is careful, detailed, and always points beyond the event analyzed to the social implication and to the change in the theories of civism and citizenship.” · Monica Heintz, University of Paris 10 – Nanterre
“I found myself engrossed by Nielsen’s discussion of a number of topics that are of crucial significance for universities today. And I found myself learning from her and using her stories and analyses to think about issues I’m struggling with here [in the U.S].” · Richard Handler, University of Virginia
What role should students take in shaping their education, their university, and the wider society? These questions have assumed new importance in recent years as universities are reformed to become more competitive in the “global knowledge economy.” With Denmark as the prism, this book shows how negotiations over student participation — influenced by demands for efficiency, flexibility, and student-centered education — reflect broader concerns about democracy and citizen participation in increasingly neoliberalised states. Combining anthropological and historical research, Gritt B. Nielsen develops a novel approach to the study of policy processes and opens a timely discussion about the kinds of future citizens who will emerge from current reforms.
Gritt B. Nielsen is Associate Professor of Educational Anthropology at Aarhus University.