Vehicularity: The Idea of the Knowledge Economy

  • Filip Vostal
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy book series


Academic institutions today are often run as market-driven businesses and expected to be core drivers of economic growth (for critical appraisals of this trend see e.g. De Angelis and Harvie 2009; Holmwood 2011c; Halffman and Radder 2015). Additionally policy focus on higher education and state intervention in the modes of academic governance has increased to an unprecedented degree. In higher education policy documents, in speeches delivered by the top political class and in university statements, it has become the new normal to read things like this:

As part of our long-term plan to help secure Britain’s economic future, I want to see higher education and enterprise work hand in glove to boost growth and create even more jobs. Our world-leading universities have historically been at the heart of innovation but we need to give them the tools to be even better at cultivating the seeds of growth as well as knowledge. (Cameron 2013)

Boosting growth, securing the economic future, the heart of innovation -this is common language in higher education policy discourse now dominant everywhere, not only the UK (see e.g. Kenney and Mowery 2014). Yet from where did such rhetoric and emphasis on economic gains deliverable by academic institutions emerge? Progressives and conservatives alike are preoccupied by the latent and overriding imperative of change.


Knowledge Production Knowledge Economy Theoretical Knowledge Emphasis Original High Education Policy 
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Copyright information

© Filip Vostal 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filip Vostal
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of SciencesCzech Republic

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