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 Lying in a foreign language is easier
19.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Engineering cooperation
05.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Maturation Pattern of the Hippocampus Drives Human Memory Deve

23.07.2018 | Science Education

FAU researchers identify Parkinson's disease as a possible autoimmune disease

23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

O2 stable hydrogenases for applications

23.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>