Chad Lavin : https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1264-9424


Neoliberalism, Economics, liberal arts, Bourdieu, Public Choice Theory

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Research Article


The paper examines the concerns about the enduring value of liberal education in the broader context of a shift from a liberal to a neoliberal society. While so much literature on “the neoliberal university” tends to characterize neoliberalism as a hostile force invading the sacred space of the university, the knowledge comprising neoliberalism is in large part the product of research coming out of universities. Using the concept of symbolic capital to explore the role of university researchers in developing and consecrating neoliberal ideas, the paper argues that even in this era of heightened skepticism toward experts and expertise, university researchers play a key role in shaping both formal policy and popular common sense. The paper ultimately characterizes the university as a key site of struggle over what gets to be considered knowledge, and academic workers as central to this ongoing and urgent political struggle.




November 10, 2023


April 26, 2024