Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A good European is a neo-liberal

18.01.2008
Flexible, competitive, efficient, well-educated, good at languages, perpetually studying, and employable. These neo-liberal ideals distinguish a good European, according the EU Commission, whose documents have been studied at Linköping University in Sweden.

From the outset the EC/EU has tried to identify what constitutes a European identity. Cultural symbols like the flag and the anthem were established in order to strengthen this identity. Characteristics like a penchant for democracy and human rights are regarded as typical of EU citizens.

But in recent years what has come more and more to dominate descriptions of a good EU citizen are geographic and professional flexibility, openness to life-long learning, and greater competitiveness.

In her dissertation in political science, being submitted at Linköping University, Jonna Johansson identifies these characteristics as neo-liberal, prompted by the needs of the globalized market. She has studied the ideal picture of the EU citizen that is conveyed by official EU documents.

"The reasoning is that Europe can't compete with cheap labor," she explains. "Instead the EU speaks in terms of the knowledge-based society and life-long learning. European labor must be well-educated and competitive in order to assert itself in a global market."

In 2001 the Lisbon Strategy was adopted, with the objective of making the EU a knowledge-based society and the world's most competitive economy. That represented a change in direction, according to Jonna Johansson.

"With the Lisbon Strategy, the social dimension of the EU was toned down. Now the stress is on the personal responsibility of the individual. Solidarity means today that you take the responsibility for your own employability and do not become a burden to society. The welfare system is being dismantled in EU countries."

There is one exception, however: higher education. Universities take on a more central role in the EU when the ideal is life-long learning, flexibility, and well-educated citizens. This is why funding for universities has not declined. On the other hand, new demands are being made of them, resulting from the dominance of neo-liberal ideology. They are no longer expected to provide education in general but rather knowledge that is competitive on the market. The universities' relations are also becoming more market-driven, and they are being run more and more like enterprises. Both national governments and the EU are pressuring the universities to strengthen their connections with the business world.

"In the past students saw education as a way of bettering themselves," writes Jonna Johansson. "Today they want knowledge that will make it easier for them to get a job, rather than to develop personally." Students choose universities more on the basis of what they represent and what reputation they have than on what education they can provide.

Dissertation: Learning to be(come) a good European.

Jonna Johansson can be reached at phone: +46 (0)13-282508 or +46 (0)13-310513; e-mail: jonna.johansson@liu.se

Pressofficer Anika Agebjörn; anika.agebjorn@liu.se; +46-709 79 13 34

Anika Agebjörn | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.ep.liu.se/abstract.xsql?dbid=10384

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>