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What's wrong with democracy at the moment, and why it matters for research and education

Schostak, John F. and Goodson, Ivor F. (2012) What's wrong with democracy at the moment, and why it matters for research and education. ISSN 1757-7438

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Abstract

The article provides historical and political background to contemporary issues facing education and research. In doing so, it argues that there has been a fundamental inversion of democracy. What this means is that instead of democracy providing a political framework for the voices of people, it is employed as a cover for the interests of the wealthy. The article explores this inversion, drawing upon the theoretical insights of the Annaliste school of history and its contemporary expression in the work of such people as David Harvey and Immanuel Wallerstein. It is argued that, rather than an effective public historically emerging, there is what Walter Lipmann in 1927 called a 'phantom public' whose views, beliefs and conduct are open to manipulation. He called it the 'manufacture of consent'. The article explores the implications of the transformations of the economic and political scenes in conjunction with this shaping of public opinion for both research and education.

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