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Tag Archives: Wealth of Nations

Marketisation of Higher EDucation

Marketisation of Higher Education


October 4-6, 2012, Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven, Belgium


Confirmed speakers include:

Gareth Dale (Brunel University, UK)

Andrew Levine (University of Maryland, USA)

Katharina Pistor (Columbia University, USA)

Frank Vandenbroucke (University of Leuven, Belgium)

What has happened to the wealth of nations – and to their sovereignty? In Europe and theUS, the symbiosis of democratic political systems and a mixed capitalist economy has long been regarded as the best way to increase stability and prosperity. However, the nature of this symbiosis seems to be undergoing a radical change. What seems to be truly new is the extent to which processes of decision-making are dominated by markets, technocrats and non-democratic financial institutions.

This development raises a number of questions. If democratic policies are increasingly geared toward the demands of the markets, is this accidental or due to inherent features of democracy and/or markets? Will states and groups of states that deliberately released the force of the market be able to preserve their democratic nature and the values bound up with the very idea of democracy, or are we entering the era of so-called post-democracy? Has the market, in its turn, become a locus of political power in its own right or does it put pressure on the political sphere without modifying its nature? What kind of thing is a market at any rate? Does it make sense to attribute political power to something that operates completely anonymously and cannot be held accountable?

We now invite abstracts for papers that address one or more of these questions from a contemporary perspective and/or by reconsidering the legacy of thinkers such as Smith, Hegel and Marx.

Papers should be suitable for 30 minutes presentations (+ 15 minutes discussion). Please send an abstract of about 500 words to: no later than May 15. Those who submit abstracts will be notified by June 15. Unfortunately, we cannot provide for travel and lodging costs. For any questions, please contact

The conference is hosted by the ‘Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies’ and ‘Research in Political Philosophy Leuven’ (RIPPLE) of theUniversityofLeuven.

For information about the host institutions see and and


Organizing Committee

Prof. dr. Karin de Boer (UniversityofLeuven)

Prof. dr. Antoon Braeckman (UniversityofLeuven)

Dr. Lisa Herzog (University St. Gallen)

Dr. Matthias Lievens (UniversityofLeuven)

Dr. Nicholas Vrousalis (UniversityofLeuven)



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UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT: Nature, Capital and the Production of Space


New and updated edition with a new foreword by DAVID HARVEY
“Smith provides a brilliant formulation of how the production of a particular kind of nature and space under historical capitalism is essential to the unequal development of a landscape that integrates poverty with wealth.” –– EDWARD SAID
In UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, a classic in its field, NEIL SMITH offers the first full theory of uneven geographical development, entwining theories of space and nature with a critique of capitalism.

Featuring groundbreaking analyses of the production of nature and the politics of scale, Smith’s work anticipated many of the uneven contours that now mark neoliberal globalization.

DAVID HARVEY’S new foreword highlights the increasingly uneven nature of the globalized economy, and notes that this inequality, along with accelerating levels of urbanisation and environmental degradation, have only accelerated since the book was first published. Smith’s analysis is thus more urgent and relevant than ever.

While globalisation has not led to a weakening of state power in the political sphere, it is increasingly difficult to conceive of distinct state economies – for example by the 1980s the majority of trade across national borders took place within corporations. National and international organisations rival states in economic power – in 2007 Harvard University had more money in its bank account than the GDP of some 39 countries. Thus, Smith argues, the global system can increasingly be defined more in terms of geoeconomics than traditional geopolitics.

In recognition of the dramatic changes in capitalism and its geography over the quarter century since this volume was written, Neil Smith has updated the text with a discussion of the current crisis of neoliberalism and the rise of geoeconomics.

UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT is a radical attempt to reconstruct the politicalbasis of society, in order to produce a genuinely social geography by encouraging a revolutionary imaginary.

“A foundational text of great historical significance, constantly worthy of reappraisal…You will not be disappointed.” David Harvey

“Smith attempts no less than the integration of nature and space in the Marxian theory of capitalist development … he improves the clarity even of the arguments made in disagreement with him. His book should be widely read, used, and discussed.’ –ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING

“UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT provides a theoretical discussion of immense range – from nature through space and the economy – whereby Neil Smith extends David Harvey’s Marxist conception of the geography of capitalism” – GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW

“One of the most important books of specifically geographical social theory to be written in the English language in the last thirty years.” – Scott Prudham, author of KNOCK ON WOOD: NATURE AS COMMODITY IN DOUGLAS-FIR COUNTY
NEIL SMITH is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the City University of New York and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. He is author or editor of nine books that explore the broad intersection between space, nature, social theory, and history and is co-organizer of the International Critical Geography Group. His website is
ISBN: 978 1 84467 643 9 / £16.99 / Paperback / 344 pages
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