Working Paper 66
Globalisation: The good, the bad and the ugly
Published May 2021

Watch the conference session recording

This Working Paper is a transcript of the keynote that Professor Marginson planned to give at Day 2 of the sixth annual conference of the Centre for Global Higher Education held online on 11 & 12 May 2021.

This 2021 CGHE conference keynote paper reflects on the last three decades of globalisation (tendencies to global convergence and integration) in higher education and research. Globalisation can take many forms and carry many projects and agendas, and the formation of the networked global science system is a major gain. However, the dominant globalisation has been hegemonic in form and high capitalist and Euro-American in content. There are three critiques of Euro-American globalisation that explain different aspects of it in higher education: globalisation as neoliberalism; globalisation as an English-language monoculture, which has limited the benefits of the science system; and globalisation as White Supremacy. Despite the potency of Euro-American globalisation there is scope for positive global projects: there is always scope for agency, and the growing multi-polarity at world level has opened up more room to move, as shown by the resurgence of decolonial and anti-racist activism in higher education in many countries. The paper concludes by arguing for closer focus on issues of institutional autonomy and academic freedom, and a more inclusive ‘ecology of knowledges’ approach.

Read the full Working Paper here.