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Towards (more) integrity in academia: transcending neo-liberal assumption of research and knowledge creation and the “rules” supressing academic freedom

Akrivou, K. (2015) Towards (more) integrity in academia: transcending neo-liberal assumption of research and knowledge creation and the “rules” supressing academic freedom. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, 15 (1). pp. 1-6. ISSN 1611-8014

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3354/esep00156


European researchers across heterogeneous disciplines voice concerns and argue for new paths towards a brighter future regarding scientific and knowledge creation and communication. Recently, in biological and natural sciences concerns have been expressed that major threats are intentionally ignored. These threats are challenging Europe’s future sustainability towards creating knowledge that effectively deals with emerging social, environmental, health, and economic problems of a planetary scope. Within social science circles however, the root cause regarding the above challenges, have been linked with macro level forces of neo-liberal ways of valuing and relevant rules in academia and beyond which we take for granted. These concerns raised by heterogeneous scholars in natural and the applied social sciences concern the ethics of today’s research and academic integrity. Applying Bourdieu’s sociology may not allow an optimistic lens if change is possible. Rather than attributing the replication of neo-liberal habitus in intentional agent and institutional choices, Bourdieu’s work raises the importance of thoughtlessly internalised habits in human and social action. Accordingly, most action within a given paradigm (in this case, neo-liberalism) is understood as habituated, i.e. unconsciously reproducing external social fields, even ill-defined ways of valuing. This essay analyses these and how they may help critically analyse the current habitus surrounding research and knowledge production, evaluation, and communication and related aspects of academic freedom. Although it is acknowledged that transformation is not easy, the essay presents arguments and recent theory paths to suggest that change nevertheless may be a realistic hope once certain action logics are encouraged.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:38978
Uncontrolled Keywords:common good, ethics, habitus, history of science, integrity, neo-liberalism, prosperity, sustainability


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