New Article: Universities after Neoliberalism: How to Build a Democratic Civic University

Posted by Nonprofit Quarterly on August 31, 2021

Truth be told, many if not most universities have lost their way, embracing private gain and economic advancement over what are supposed to be their core purposes of educating ethical democratic citizens and advancing knowledge for the public good.

US democratic institutions, always profoundly imperfect, are clearly in crisis. The chasm-like inequities laid bare by COVID-19, the visible and ongoing killing of Black Americans, and the violent insurrection at the Capitol encouraged by an outgoing president are powerful recent indicators. These developments are also signs of deep and chronic problems, including:

  1. Increasing economic, political, social, educational, and health inequalities
  2. Increasing racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia
  3. Increasing attacks on science, knowledge, and democracy itself
  4. Declining trust in nearly all major institutions

Many things, obviously, contribute to the current situation. Among the most significant is neoliberal capitalism, with its emphasis on privatization and deregulation. Government, business, foundations, schools, hospitals, and large nonprofits have not effectively countered it.

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