Category Archives: university reforms

Critical Intellectuals and Global Politics

Several videos associated with  events I organized in May 2010 were made by the Columbian filmmaker Gustavo Consuegra Solórzano.

The videos are edited versions of conversations that were held with Upendra Baxi (Professor Emeritus of Law Universities of Delhi and Warwick, President Emeritus, University of Delhi), Richard A Falk (Professor Emeritus of Law and Politics, University of Princeton and Distinguished Research Professor University of California, Santa Barbara) and Teivo Teivainen (Professor of Global Politics, University of Helsinki).

The conversations took place at the Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki on 9 May 2010.

The first deals with the role and responsibilities of critical intellectuals:  ‘Critical Engagement in Dark Times’ (this is in 2 parts)

The second deals with present and future global challenges: ‘Global Capitalism and Global Crisis’.

To access the videos, see http://uni-utopia.net/

Capitalism, Karl Marx & the European protests against the Bologna Process

The deep, profound and continuing global economic crisis has prompted a global revival of interest in the work of Karl Marx as well as much greater militancy in European universities. One example of this was at a one-day conference that was organized by graduate students at the University of Tampere in Finland on 16 October 2009, which was called Economic Crisis and Marx’s Comeback. For details of this conference (in Finnish) and the podcasts of the lectures click here. The PowerPoint of my lecture can be accessed here (1.1MB PPT file) and a shorter version of the lecture may be downloaded here (33MB OGG file – can be played in VLC Media Player).

The conference was linked to wider trends: sales of Das Kapital have multiplied enormously, with Karl Marx reading groups sprouting on campuses throughout the world, whilst in Europe, campus protests have erupted across the continent, most recently at the University of Vienna.

The protests link a critique of capitalist development to an outcry against the so-called Bologna Process, which involves neo-liberal reforms to the higher education systems of the member states of the European Union.

As readers of this website will know, I am currently a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Helsinki, where earlier this year there were occupations of the administration buildings and similar protests to those in Vienna – opposing reforms which are being implemented within Finland to make its university system consistent with the Bologna process.

Many of the protests concern how Bologna involves a shift in the governance of universities towards North American models and standards in ways that will eliminate many of the progressive reforms and intellectual freedoms won in the aftermath of the 1968 protests.