Roundtable: “Working in international organisations”

Have you ever considered working or undertaking an internship in an international organisation? If so, come along to the upcoming Doctoral Roundtable organised jointly by the Centre for Globalisation Education & Social Futures (GESF) and the Centre for Comparative and International Research (CIRE), to talk to a group of GSoE researchers, who have been involved in education-related projects in large international organisations, including UNESCO, the European Commission and the European University Association.

1st March 2:00-3:15 pm

Room 4.01, Graduate School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol.

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GPE SEMINAR: Managerial Lineages of Neoliberalism – Samuel Knafo

Samuel Knafo (University of Sussex) will be giving the second Global Political Economy research seminar at 4pm on Tuesday 16 February 2016  in G.15, 15-19 Tyndall’s Park Road, University of Bristol. Sam’s research focuses upon issues of financialisation, liberal financial governance, social theory and critical methodologies of social research. His 2013 book, ‘The Making of Modern Finance: Liberal Governance and the Gold Standard’, received the IPEG prize for best book in International Political Economy.

The Managerial Lineages of Neoliberalism

Managerialism is often depicted as a key practice of neoliberalism. Yet, beyond this general acknowledgement, scholars have written very little on the actual relationship between the two. Instead managerial practices are subsumed under a functional reading of neoliberalism. Here, managerial technologies of governance are understood as a straightforward extension of neoliberal theory – the means through which to pursue the self-proclaimed neoliberal goal of promoting market competition.This paper challenges this perspective by emphasising that scholars of neoliberalism too often conflate two very different social lineages: the trajectory of neoliberal theory which, runs through the Mont Pélerin Society; and the development of managerial technologies of governance, which trace back to the 1950s and the pivotal role of the RAND corporation. By making this epistemological shift, it argues instead for the need to analyse managerialism on its own terms, in order to specify both its key features, and the way in which it constituted a paradigmatic shift in governance.

Further information:

Call for Papers and Registration: ‘University Futures’ international conference

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Interested in higher education and the future directions of universities?

‘University Futures’ international conference, organised by Universities in the Knowledge Economy (UNIKE), aims to promote collective thinking about the future directions of universities in the knowledge economies of Europe and the Asia-Pacific Rim.

The conference asks:
How is a wide range of businesses and other stakeholders engaging with and reassembling the university? What is meant by internationalisation? Must it only be a strategic aim or can it be a participatory process? How are universities mobilised by nations and regions in the global knowledge economy? How can ideas from feminism and post-capitalism be used to create a liveable university? What would it mean to have an open system of higher education? Are there alternative ways of organising the university and its relations with society?

Call for Papers: If you would like to send an abstract of a contribution to the conference, you should address one of the six themes. Read more about the call for abstracts here. The deadline for abstracts is 28 February 2016.

Registration for the conference is open through the official conference page, and will close on 9 June 2016.

The conference takes place on 15-17 June 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Department of Education (DPU), Aarhus University.

GESF and Centre for Asian Pacific Studies run a joint event at Lingnan University (HK)

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Lingnan University hosted an International Workshop on Globalisation, Education and Social Futures on 26 January, drawing distinguished scholars from the UK, Mainland China and Hong Kong, and local postgraduate students for academic discussion and exchange. The workshop was co-organized by the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, and the Centre for Globalisation, Education and Social Futures at the University of Bristol, UK. Continue reading

Prof. Roger King to speak on the ‘Risk University’

Centre for Globalisation, Education & Social Futures is delighted to invite you to the following event: Professor Roger King, Higher Education Commission, “The Risk University in an Age of Academic Capitalism and Globalisation”

The presentation examines the development of the ‘risk university’ and its diffusion as both an organizational and regulatory template in higher education systems. How appropriate is the concept of risk and risk theories for understanding contemporary universities? Are notions of uncertainty rather than risk more fruitful for higher education researchers?

Friday, 19 February 2016, 13:30-15:00, Room 3.13 in the Graduate School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol.

This is a free event. No booking required. Continue reading

2nd International Conference on Cultural Political Economy 25th-26th August 2016 @UoB

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The Second International Conference on Cultural Political Economy: “Putting culture in its place in Political Economy” will be held on 25th-26th August 2016 at the University of Bristol. The conference will be hosted by Professor Susan L. Robertson and Professor Roger Dale at the Centre for Globalisation, Education & Social Futures.

This year’s conference builds upon a highly successful event held at the University of Lancaster in 2015 hosted by Bob Jessop and Ngaio-Ling Sum, and reflects the ongoing development of a theoretical and empirical engagement with Cultural Political Economy.

Call for Papers is now open and will close on 29 April.

Key dates for your diary:

– abstract submission deadline: 29 April 2016

– notification of abstract acceptance: 27 May 201

– registration opens: 27 May 2016

– registration closes: 27 July 2016

– full paper submission (of selected abstracts): 27 July 2016

– conference: 25-26 August 2016

For further information about the conference, please visit our website:

GESF members at SRHE conference 2015 – “Challenges of Access and Equity”

By Susan L. Robertson

You have often heard colleagues saying that they often catch up with what their colleagues are up to, not in a conversation along the corridor, but at a conference held in another part of the world. Well this ‘other part of the world’ is the Society for Research in Higher Education conference held at the fantastically set Celtic Manor in Wales, UK.

My GESF corridor colleagues are Lisa Lucas and Sheila Trahar, who this morning have just been reporting on a study they are engaged in funded by the World Universities Network (with South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia). It is on a study of doctoral students, with a focus on how these students talk about access and equity. Theirs is work in progress, so these are the headline themes that have emerged so far.


Lucia Thesen (U of Cape Town) with Sheila Trahar and Lisa Lucas (UoB)

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Susan Robertson delivers a keynote at SRHE Annual Research Conference 9-11 December 2015

Susan Robertson delivered a keynote lecture at the  SRHE Annual Research Conference on “Converging Concepts in Global Higher Education Research: Local, national and international perspectives”

The conference was held on 9-11 December 2015, at Celtic Manor, Newport in South Wales, United Kingdom. See also the TES’s coverage of this speech.


Higher Education: A Solution to, or Problem in, Rising Social Inequalities?

When Thomas Piketty’s book on Capital in the 21st Century was released in 2014, it became a remarkable overnight success and best seller in that it Piketty focused attention not only on the concentration of enormous wealth in a tiny social elite in countries such as the UK and the USA, but showed that their wealth had increased following the financial crisis in 2008. Yet what was particularly striking about one of Piketty’s solutions was his argument for more emphasis on education and skills delivered through institutions of higher education. Continue reading

International Conference on Research into Higher Education: Registration Now Open

SRHE Annual Research Conference 9-11 December 2015
Celtic Manor, Newport in South Wales, United Kingdom

Converging Concepts in Global Higher Education Research:
Local, national and international perspectives

International Conference on Research into Higher Education:
Registration now open

Keynote Speakers:

Simon Marginson, Professor of International Higher Education, UCL Institute of Education, University College London.

Susan Robertson, Professor of Education (Sociology), University of Bristol

The Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) extends a very warm welcome to all who wish to participate in this vibrant three-day conference. The SRHE Conference provides a stimulating international forum for papers relating to research into higher education in the widest sense, to disseminate and exchange ideas across a range of research domains, focusing on international and local contexts. The conference is highly participative, offering plenaries, smaller discussion groups and seminars.

Originally posted on

Call for Papers and Panels: Frontiers & Borders of Superdiversity (23-24 June 2016)

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham is organising the second international interdisciplinary conference on super diversity:

The aim of the conference is to map the state of the art in knowledge on superdiversity and reflect on the analytical and heuristic uses of the concept, its potential and limits. The Call for Papers and Panels is now open:

Deadline for submission: 15 January 2016. Keynote and plenary speakers to be announced shortly!