Policing Academics : The Arkhè of Transformation in Academic Ranking

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Welsh , J 2018 , ' Policing Academics : The Arkhè of Transformation in Academic Ranking ' , Critical Horizons , vol. 19 , no. 3 , pp. 246-263 . https://doi.org/10.1080/14409917.2018.1485251

Title: Policing Academics : The Arkhè of Transformation in Academic Ranking
Author: Welsh, John
Contributor organization: Department of Political and Economic Studies (2010-2017)
Date: 2018-07
Language: eng
Belongs to series: Critical Horizons
ISSN: 1440-9917
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14409917.2018.1485251
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/240385
Abstract: This article attempts a properly critical and political analysis of the “police power” immanent to the form and logic of academic rankings, and which is reproduced in the extant academic literature generated around them. In contrast to the democratising claims made of rankings, this police power short-circuits the moment of democratic politics and establishes the basis for the oligarchic power of the State and its status quo. Central in this founding political moment is the notion of the Arkhè, a necessarily asymmetric “distribution of the sensible” that establishes the basis of the political order, in this case an oligarchic political order. Drawing on Foucault and Rancière, the article argues for a necessary “dissensus” with both the ranking practice and its attendant academic literature, as the first step towards a politics of ranking that is properly critical, and therefore genuinely political.
Subject: 517 Political science
Academic politics
democratic theory
Foucault & Ranciere
sociology of education
political aesthetics
university ranking
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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