Bullshit towers: neoliberalism and managerialism in universities in Australia

Margaret Sims

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    This book explores the impact of neoliberal managerialism, framed by the language of bullshit, on higher education in Australia. The book explores the figured world of management, leadership and followership in seeking to understand the changes that have shaped a sector characterised by unacceptably high rates of bullying, disrespect, lack of trust, micromanagement and poor health and wellbeing. In a world context where post-truth rules, the role of the higher education sector in creating citizens unable (or unwilling) to deconstruct the post-truths to which they are exposed is foregrounded. Quality education, increasingly defined as that which transmits the values and ‘truths’ of the privileged, has become a tool designed to create a compliant neoliberal citizenship willing to accept their allocated status in life. Critical thinking is discouraged despite bullshit words that parody its importance. University staff are de-professionalised, disrespected and disregarded and managers increasingly define themselves as ‘the university.’ Democracy is dead. Do we join the chorus shouting «long live the autocracy» or do we fight
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherPeter Lang
    Number of pages196
    ISBN (Electronic)9781789978094, 9781789978100
    ISBN (Print)9781789978124
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2020


    • higher education
    • neoliberalism
    • managerialism
    • autoethnography


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