Prophetically, almost thirty years ago Jean-François Lyotard forecast the end of the modern research university based on Enlightenment principles. He envisaged the emergence of technical institutes in the service of the information-rich global multinationals. This book reflects on the post-war Western university and its discourses charting the crisis of the concept of the modern university. First, it examines the university within a global networked economy; second, it adopts poststructuralist perspectives in epistemology, politics and ethics to appraise the role of the contemporary university; third, it introduces the notion of 'development' in a critical fashion as a way of explaining its potentially new regional and international learning roles; fourth, it analyzes the rise of global science and the disciplines in the context of the global economy; and, finally, it raises Lyotard's 'logic of performativity' and the assessment of research quality within a neoliberal economy, linking it firmly to the question of freedom and the republic of science.
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