"Reforming" the University: The neoliberalization of the Greek Higher education in the post-junat era

George Souvlis
  george.souvlis@eui.eu
  
George Souvlis
  george.souvlis@eui.eu
  European University Institute

Abstract

The main aim of this paper is to offer an overview of the relation between the state and the higher education in Greece the last forty years. Having this objective we locate the historical development of this relationship within the wider context of the period under examination. My central argument is that any effort to map the trajectory of the Greek Universities should take necessarily into account the general historical context of the period. More precisely with that we mean both the students protests from below and the wider global transformations from above. These dynamics, however, have their own historicity. For its better conception I suggest a periodization in three temporally discreet, though dialectically interlinked, time periods. The first one lasts from 1974 to 1990 and it is the first phase of the Metapolitfsi (translated as "polity or regime change") in which predominates the demand for the democratization of all public institutions. This demand includes also universities. The second period expands between 1991 and 2008 and can be described as the era of the rather incomplete neoliberal modernization of Greek universities. The third period begins in 2009 and lasts until today. It is, of course, the period of the Global Crisis of overaccumulation. In the Greek context this crisis took the form of the country’s public debt crisis and of the implementation, as an antidote, of draconian austerity policies trying unsuccessfully to heal it.

Neoliberalism - University - Higher Education - Struggles - Austeriy