The University and the Public Good

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209 Scopus citations


Universities have flourished in the modern era as central public institutions and bases for critical thought. They are currently challenged by a variety of social forces and undergoing a deep transformation in both their internal structure and their relationship to the rest of society. Critical theorists need to assess this both in order to grasp adequately the social conditions of their own work and because the transformation of universities is central to a more general intensification of social inequality, privatization of public institutions, and reorganization of the relation of access to knowledge. This is also a pivotal instance for asking basic questions about the senses in which the university is or may be ‘public’: (1) where does its money come from? (2) who governs? (3) who benefits? and (4) how is knowledge produced and circulated?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-43
Number of pages37
JournalThesis Eleven
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • critical theory
  • privatization
  • public good
  • public interest
  • university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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