Video and Audio

Social Theory and the Politics of Austerity

A round table session exploring how social theory can help us understand the politics of austerity. How do theoretical justifications of austerity work to constrain public debate? How does the current government’s incongruous blend of neoliberal realism and superficial progressivism relate to what went before it? What resources can we find in social theory to critique the coalition’s agenda and it’s relationship to the wider crisis of late capitalism?

Ruth Levitas, University of Bristol – The necessity of utopian thinking


Sasha Roseneil, Birkbeck, University of London – Criticality, not paranoia: Registers of critical social theory


Karen Rowlingson, Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham – Why doesn’t the British public seem to care about inequality or the cuts in public spending?

Public Universities and Public Futures

A round table session investigating how academic research, with a particular focus on social theory, might help us articulate and work towards a positive vision of shared futures which escape the discursive constraints which have defined the public life of the UK since the 1980s.

The session will also explore the practical resolution of the tensions facing the university system. What are the most pressing issues faced by universities? Is a satisfactory resolution of these tensions possible without radical reform? Is there a need to move beyond critique?

Steve Fuller, University of Warwick – What are we defending when we defend public universities?

Dan Hind – Media Reform and the Public University

John Holmwood, University of Nottingham – The idea of the public

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