Neoliberal re-structuring of education and welfare services – adaptation, resistance, refusals and forms of critique? – University of Copenhagen

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On the occasion of Affiliated Professor Stephen Ball’s visit

All-day seminar: Neoliberal re-structuring of education and welfare services – adaptation, resistance, refusals and forms of critique?

Since the cold war ended in the 1980s, and the critique of the welfare state was voiced even stronger, global liberalism in terms of neoliberalism gained territory. The domination of neoliberalism has led state activities to be directed at marketization, competition, accountability, and performativity within education and welfare provision in general. These state activities are also directed at behavioural matters and cultural and social change (e.g., in terms of valuational standards and normalisations), compelling agents of education and welfare services to adapt, resist or refuse the structural transformations. The question we want to pursue in this seminar is how these processes and transformations proceed and are enacted and/or contested, what they mean to agents of education and welfare services (both professionals/providers and participants/users), and how they frame, influence and ‘make sense’ in the actual practices of the institutions that provide education and welfare services.

The seminar presentations will inquire into how this sense-making and these struggles unfolds both within the fields of education and welfare services, and within the scientific and intellectual fields related to the study of education and welfare services.

More information on the seminar and Stephen Ball.


10.00-11.00: A politics of ourselves: Foucault and refusing neoliberalism – Professor Stephen J Ball, University College London (presentation and discussion)

11.15-12.30: Presentations and discussion

A critical approach to daycare work as civilizing welfare work – PhD scholar Sofie Rosengaard, University of Copenhagen

Ethics as Critique: Foucault’s Contribution to Research EthicsAssociate Professor Gerd Christensen, University of Copenhagen

The use of irrelevant educational researchAssistant Professor Marta Padovan-Özdemir, University College VIA

12.30-13.30: LUNCH

13.30-14.30: Presentations and discussion

Critical ethnographic research - challenged by the new orders of magnitudesProfessor Karen Borgnakke, University of Copenhagen

Carnevalization and Cannibalization. Working with Baudrillard in the field of education and globalization – Associate Professor Ulla Ambrosius Madsen, University of Roskilde

14.45-16.00: Presentations and discussion

Other voices - day care centers working for democracy and children’s agency – Professor Jan Kampmann, University of Roskilde

Critique, truth-telling and the spongy dynamic of welfare work in the marginAssociate Professor Trine Øland, University of Copenhagen

Foucault as analytical strategy for studying neo-liberal governance: A talk about concepts, potentials and limitations – Professor Kaspar Villadsen, Copenhagen Business School


Registration: If you wish to participate in the event, please send an e-mail to Trine Øland: before September 26, 2016.

PDF-version of the programme.