Supercomplexity and the university: Ronald Barnett and the social philosophy of higher education

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Ronald Barnett’s modern classic Realizing the University in an Age of Supercomplexity (published December 1999), has had a crucial impact internationally on the field of Higher Education research and develop- ment since the book was published now nearly 20 years ago. Bridging an academic oeuvre across almost 30 years with close to 30 published volumes, Realizing the University in an Age of Supercomplexity plays an important role in the development and transformation of Barnett’s social theory of Higher Education into a social philosophy of Higher Education. In the book Barnett performs an important move from a focus on knowledge and epistemology to a focus on being and ontol- ogy in relation to Higher Education practices. Barnett shifts his fundamental perspective and view on the relation between universities and the wider society from one of caution and worry to a perspective of hope and vision that fully embraces the future of Higher Education. This way, Realizing the University in an Age of Supercomplexity has not only paved the way for Barnett’s own devel- opment of a social philosophy of Higher Education, but also contributed invaluably to the rise and maturing of philosophy of Higher Education as a research field in its own right.
TidsskriftHigher Education Quarterly
Sider (fra-til)65-74
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 3 jan. 2018


  • Higher Education, Philosophy of Higher Education, Ronald Barnett, Supercomplexity

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