Skip navigation

New public management of Higher education, Foucault and power

New public management of Higher education, Foucault and power

Brunskell-Evans, Heather (2008) New public management of Higher education, Foucault and power. In: Power: Forms, Dynamics and Consequences, 22-24 Sep 2008, University of Tampere, Finland. (Unpublished)

Full text not available from this repository.


The theory of New Public Management (NPM) suggest that one of the features of advanced liberal rule is the tendency to define social, economic and political issues as problems to be solved through management. This paper argues that the restructuring of Higher Education (HE) in many Western countries since the 1980s has involved a shift from an emphasis on administration and policy to one of its efficient management. Utilising Foucault’s concept of governmentality rather than the liberal discourse of management as a politically neutral technology, managerialism can be seen as a newly emergent and increasingly rationalised disciplinary regime of governmentalising practices in advanced liberalism. As such the contemporary University as an institution governed by NPM can be demonstrated to have emerged not as the direct outcome of democratic policies that have rationalised its activities (so that the emancipatory aims of personal development, an educated workforce and of true research can be fully realised), nor can it be understood as the instrument through which individuals or self-realising classes are defeated through the calculations of the state acting on behalf of economic interests, rather it can be seen as the contingent and intractable outcome of the complex power/knowledge relations of advanced liberalism. I analyse the interlocking of the ‘tutor-subject’ and ‘student-subject’ as a local enacting of policy discourse informed by the NPM of HE that reshapes subjectivity and retunes the relationship between tutor and student. I put forward suggestions for how resistance to these new modes of disciplinary subjectification can be enacted.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: Presented at Power: Forms, Dynamics and Consequences. University of Tampere, Finland. 22-24 September 2008.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher Education, New Public Management, NPM, HE, Foucault
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education > Department of Education & Community Studies
School of Education
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 13:14

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item