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My job at Medical Museion is to is a university museum, and as such we are subordinated to the rules of the university system in Denmark — a system working according to the same rules of neoliberal managerial governance that dominates most Western countries.

Academics are bureaucratized intellectuals: they work in hierarchies, have set positions in the structure, positions defined through required procedures, and elaborate, rule-bound protocols through which they relate to their colleagues. The individuals in this kind of system are easily manipulated by rules—do so much publishing in order to be promoted or, under the Research Assessment Exercise in the UK, to not lose money for your department. If each is also in a competitive rivalry with everyone else, there’s little basis for opposition to the ground rules—which in any living system need constant revision. More importantly, there’s less incentive to innovate, to deviate. In a competitive system, the easiest way to lose is to digress from the core assumptions …

Christopher Newfield, ‘Can the Cognitariat Speak?’ (2008)

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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