The ‘Renaissance of the University’ in the European knowledge society: An exploration of principled and governmental approaches

Studies in Philosophy and Education 26 (5):433-447 (2007)
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A ‘renaissance of the university’ in the European knowledge society is regarded today as a necessity. However, there is an ongoing debate about what that renaissance should look like. The aim of this article is to take a closer look at these debates, and in particular, the disputes related to the public role of the university in the European knowledge society. The aim however is not to assess the validity of the arguments of each of the protagonists but to place the discussion within a broader socio-historical context. From a genealogical point of view, and drawing upon the work of Foucault and Hunter, it is possible to distinguish two kinds of milieu, each embodying their own “intellectual technology” and each leading to a specific conception of the public role of the university: firstly the principled milieu, and secondly the governmental milieu. From this genealogical point of view, I will argue that the modern university was from the very beginning a hybrid institution due to the claims and scopes of both milieus. Furthermore, I will argue that the current discussions reveal the ongoing influence of both milieus and their respective gazes and approaches.



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Review of Ronald Barnett, Being a University: Routledge, 2011. [REVIEW]Pavel Zgaga - 2012 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 31 (4):419-426.

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The taming of chance.Ian Hacking - 1990 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The history of theory.Ian Hunter - 2006 - Critical Inquiry 33 (1):78-112.

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