Neoliberalism, Universities and the Discourse of Crisis
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5070/L27323492
Neoliberal ideology has enjoyed tremendous success over the past thirty-five years by discursively suppressing structural dissent among working and middle class citizens of industrialized countries. The general decline in economic conditions faced by contemporary workers, coupled with the 2008 global financial crisis, forced neoliberal advocates to become more aggressive in their defense of prevailing structural policies and precepts. The suppression of public dissent and the related implementation of austerity measures are frequently justified by a discourse of crisis. In this article and using the methodological as well as theoretical tools afforded by Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), we trace the rise of this discourse within universities as a mechanism to justify attacks on academic freedom, collegial governance, and democratic discourse. We also offer a SFL-inspired tool that critical language educators might employ to counter the neoliberal attack on universities as sites of democratic dialogue and debate.