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Last year, Scholarly Communication Research Group held a seminar with Simon Marginson and Xin Xu on their working paper discussing the validity of world-system theory and the concept of hegemony in analysing global science and higher education. I post my response highlighting omissions resulting from approaching the problem of centre-peripheries from a non-Marxist perspective and encourage going deeper into the issue.
The ability to differentiate between productive/unproductive labour lies at the foundation of a well-functioning capitalist economy in any sphere (higher education included). This conceptual pair has been a topic of long discussion within both, Marxism and the Marxist reflection on higher education. A recent article, “Academic Labor and its Exploitation” by David Bates aims to contribute to this debate and I want to discuss it in some details.
Marxist scholarship on the topic seems to be scattered and barely forming a common discussion. There are classical works that seem cited more often than studied and criticized. There are new articles regularly being published in more or less random journals, as there is no single venue where they could be read and understood. The idea behind this blog is to provide a space where the newest contributions to the conversation will be noticed and given the attention they deserve.
The promise that Marxism gives us is a hope to free the imagination from the shackles and influence of those forces interested not in opening the horizon of the future, but in entrenching the present status quo.