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Defending the public university, defending democracy

Defending the public university, defending democracy

In a recent article for Truthout, Simon Dawes, from the journal Theory, Culture and Society, addresses the dilemmas brought about by the marketization of universities. How do we defend the public values of higher education when universities are losing their character as publicly-funded institutions? The issue is not one of different forms of funding or ownership, but of the nature of the relation between the private and the public as a process: “If the democratic process is premised in part on the ability to ‘translate private troubles into public issues’ … and the political efficacy of the public sphere … asserted through the capacity of the private realm to influence public authority, then the neoliberal assault on the public realm and the links between public and private – of which the privatization of higher education is a part – risks reducing the extent to which this translation and influence can take place, thus weakening the public sphere and threatening democracy.”


  1. Essay on the ‘Public University’ and the Marketisation of Higher Education in the UK | Simon Dawes - […] This essay was commissioned by Henry Giroux and published as ‘The “Public University” as Response to Funding Cuts to…

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