Be Realistic: Demand the Impossible

On the 25th of February 2015, students of the University of Amsterdam occupied the Maagdenhuis building in order to raise awareness for ongoing ‘financialization’ of Universities and the effect it has on the departments, employees and students within Universities. The discussion on the financialization of University policies is one that can be framed in a wider public debate on the effect of the hegemony of the Neoliberal discourse. Like other movements that have challenged this discourse, the New University suffered two types of critique: it is said that the movement is not offering an alternative to the existing system, and the demands made are unrealistic. This paper explores how these two points of critique are, contrary to popular belief, valuable aspects of what the movement has to offer. With careful consideration of the evolving concept of ‘utopia’, it will become evident that a utopian movement like the New University, but also utopianism in general, is alive, kicking, and necessary.


Be Realistic: Demand the Impossible

The New University as a Utopian Movement

I know that you have noticed how the empire is falling
Time to replace it, time to quit stalling
Let the flood come and wash it away
No looking back here comes a new day now
To come to the heart of it
All that you can do is not become part of it
Like, fight the system and break the machine
Every bit of reality always starts with a dream
Only the educated want revolution to come
But the budgets being cut, so there will be none

Pete Philly and Perquisite, “Empire”

In the first chapter of Utopie, Hans Achterhuis states that he began his research for writing a book about utopia(s) with the thesis that the era of utopian thought was over.[1] Contrary to his thesis, and contrary to the common conception, Achterhuis admits that his research has led him to conclude that the utopian tradition is in fact very much alive.[2] Since Thomas More’s Utopia, the term has become subjected to debate, and utopia has shown itself as being capable of evolving: not only it’s literary form, but also the concept ‘utopia’ has proven itself to be able to “turn a different profile to every advancing generation, and respond in a different way to every set of questions” addressed to the concept.[3] In order to grasp the implications of the evolvement of utopia, and to give an overview of how the term can be understood in the contemporary world, this paper will explore the development of the term. Four theorists who have formulated an understanding of utopia guide this exploration: Karl Mannheim, Ernst Bloch, Michel Foucault and Ruth Levitas. It will be examined how this re-conceptualized version of utopia can shed light on a contemporary social movement, the ‘New University’, and the public discussion about education this movement has sparked. It will become apparent that the utopian tradition is not only very much alive, but even of indispensable value in public debate.

Karl Mannheim

Karl Mannheim explored utopia and utopian thought in Ideology and Utopia. According to Mannheim, there are two modes of thought, which transcend “reality”: Ideology, and Utopia. Both should be understood as being transcendent, or incompatible with the reality in which they occur.[4] Every “real” situation has ideas transcending that reality: “[e]very period in history has contained ideas transcending the existing order, but these did not function as utopias: they were rather the appropriate ideology of existence as long as they were “organically” and harmoniously integrated into the world view characteristic of the period”.[5] Ideology is different from Utopia because it is situationally transcendent, which means that ideologies never succeed in the realization of their project. Rather, they become the “good intended motives” of the actions of individuals, which mostly result in the distortion of the meaning of the ideology by putting it into practice.[6] Opposed to ideology, utopia is characterized by its transformative aim: “[o]nly those orientations transcending reality will be referred to as utopian which, when they pass over into conduct, tend to shatter, either partially or wholly, the order of things prevailing at the time”.[7]

The contemporary usage of the word utopian as ‘something that is unrealizable’ is the result of its usage by the representatives of a given order in society. The representatives of a given order will label all conceptions of reality which, from their point of view, can never be realized as ‘utopian’.[8] That is why Mannheim defined utopia as that which “seems to be unrealizable from the point of view of a given social order which is already in existence”.[9]

Rather than completely separating the two concepts, Mannheim saw the relationship between ideology and utopia as dialectical. Every existing form of existence gives rise to utopias which aim to break with this existing order, aiming to develop into a new order of existence which complies with the needs of that age.[10] The dialectical relationship between ideology and utopia shapes history, but it is impossible to know at the present moment whether an idea is ideological or utopian:

[b]ecause the concrete determination of what is utopian proceeds always from a certain stage of existence, it is possible that the utopias of to-day may become the realities of to-morrow: utopias are often only premature truths […] Whenever an idea is labelled utopian it is usually by a representative of an epoch that has already passed. […] It is always the dominant group which is in full accord with the existing order that determines what is to be regarded as utopian, while the ascendant group which is in conflict with things as they are is the one that determines what is regarded as ideological.[11]

As Ruth Levitas has summarized this statement: “Karl Mannheim defined ideology and utopia as functional opposites, with ideology serving to sustain the status quo and utopia serving to transform it”.[12]

The dialectical relationship described by Mannheim entails that the two ends of the ideological and utopian spectrum, the established order and the absolute utopian, both formulate a one-sided view of history: “[i]t is thus clear that in order to find the correct conception of utopia, or more modestly, the analysis based on the sociology of knowledge must be employed to set the one-sidedness of those individual positions over against one another and eliminate them”.[13] When both one-sided views are posed against one another, these one-sided conceptions of history can be eliminated in order to give rise to the dialectical progress of history. The ultimate utopian and the representative of the established order imagine a world in which the other side does not exist: this would be a world in which the dialectical progress of history is comes to a halt.

Ernst Bloch

Ernst Bloch extensively wrote about utopia. His work The Principle of Hope is an extensive inquiry into the manifestation of utopian thought in everyday life, culture and religion.[14] In his work, Bloch elaborates on his worldview, which conceives of utopian thought as one of the elementary activities of the human mind, because it has to do with yearning, anticipation and fantasy.[15]

Bloch’s philosophical understanding of the utopian is distinguished from Mannheim’s sociological approach. Mannheim sees reality as given, and does not address the question of what is real: he considers both ideology and utopia as ideas which are located outside reality.[16] For Mannheim, the real exists, and Ideology and Utopia merely compete over its interpretation, but according to Bloch Utopia (partly) constitutes reality: the world holds in itself an indefinite amount of possibilities which have not been put into practice, and according to Bloch this is the significance of the utopian.[17]

According to Bloch, reality is something that is always unfinished[18] because it holds in itself, it is constituted by, the anticipation of the possible.[19] It is now easy to grasp the at first sight esoterical statement made by Bloch in the introduction of The Principle of Hope: “[e]xpectation, hope, intention towards possibility that has still not become: this is not only a basic feature of human consciousness, but, concretely corrected and grasped, a basic determination within objective reality as a whole”.[20] Bloch turns thinking in causality around. Instead of a cause leading to effect, the end gives shape to effects: that which conditions consciousness, and the consciousness which processes these conditions, can only be understood from and towards which it is aimed.[21] This is one of Bloch’s unique additions to the debate on history and Utopia: he was able to describe the history of humankind not as something that should be explained by its beginning, but by its end.[22]

Because of his understanding of being as not historically determined (“been-ness”) but as something that is directed to the future (“becoming”), Bloch argues that contemplative knowledge can only refer to “what has become”, while conscious theory-practice addresses “becoming”.[23]

Drawing on the distinction between theory-practice and contemplative knowledge, Bloch makes another distinction, this time between abstract and concrete utopia. The former refers to its conceptuality, while the latter refers to “a praxis-oriented category characterized by ‘militant optimism’ […] [and] with the removal of abstract utopia, the utopian function turns the concerns of human culture away from … an idle bed of contemplation”.[24] Concrete utopia is therefore understood as “an act of hope”, combining knowledge of the anticipated world and the will to practically create it.[25] The process of separating mere wishful thinking, abstract utopia, from acting, “the move from the dream to the dream come true” is what is called “educated hope”.[26]

Michel Foucault

Besides the nuances in utopian thinking formulated by Mannheim and Bloch, there is another concept that has emerged out of the critical evaluation of utopia: heterotopia.[27] This concept was coined by Michel Foucault in the essay Of Other Spaces, Heterotopias.

Like Mannheim, Foucault does not address the question of what is real. Foucault considers utopias to not be located in reality, and coins the concept of Heterotopias as real social counter-sites: they are localizable in reality[28]. According to Foucault, every civilization constructs real and effective spaces which are part of the institution of society, but at the same rime are a counter-arrangement of this institution. These counter-arrangements are effectively realized utopias in which the institution of society is challenged and overturned.[29]

Heterotopias do not have one specific form, and can serve different functions. Amongst the heterotopias mentioned by Foucault are the honeymoon trip (where one can lose his/her virginity “nowhere”), (psychiatric) hospitals, prison, retirement homes and cemeteries.[30] Heterotopias are capable of juxtaposing places which are considered incompatible in one place (just as a carpet, which is originally inspired by a garden, combines inside and outside), and they most fully function at the moment when men finds itself at a break with “absolute traditional time” (the cemetery deals with the eternal, a festival deals with the absolute temporal).[31]

Heterotopias have a function that relates them to all the other spaces in society, and this function can be fulfilled in two ways. Either their role is to expose all the other spaces in society as illusory by creating a space of illusion, or their role is to create a space that is other by being real, and at the same time perfect, exposing human life as messy and ill-constructed.[32] In a word, maybe heterotopias can be understood as effectively enacted spaces of otherness.

Ruth Levitas

The final important thinker to be mentioned in the debate on utopia is contemporary sociologist Ruth Levitas, who has worked with utopia extensively. Amongst her work is the book Utopia as a Method. Confirming Mannheim’s observations, Levites states that the dominant political contemporary political culture is anti-utopian, but that she is convinced that political utopianism can be rescued.[33]

According to Levitas, there are two dominant modes of thinking of utopia: either as a totalitarian political project, or as a literary genre about perfect societies.[34] More importantly, the most common objection against utopia simply derives from a hostile stance against the utopian with to change the world.[35] For example, Imanuel Wallerstein argued that “[t]he real problem, with all utopias … is not only that they have existed nowhere heretofore but that they seem to me, and to many others, dreams of heaven that could never exist on earth. … And utopias can be used, have been used, as justifications for terrible wrongs. The last thing we really need is still more utopian visions”.[36] The voices that construe utopia as dangerous serve to solidify the idea that there is no alternative to the status quo, in which we observe the ravages of global capital. All social initiatives aimed at transforming society as we know it are labelled illegitimate, except when they can be incorporated in the already existing system.[37]

Thus, the anti-utopian discourse serves to provide justification for global economic and military interceptions, and to suppress political critique and opposition by rendering it invalid.[38] This invalidation of political critique, which appears in its most radical form as utopian thought, is often justified on the basis of (political) realism, or pragmatism. This means that the popular mode of action in the contemporary political discourse has been to favor what is considered to ‘work’, or what is ‘possible’, and it has been demanded that the utopian should be ‘more feasible’.[39] Of course, it might be argued that this pragmatic approach seems much safer than to bet on the unknown.[40] But one can only agree with this pragmatic, short term political discourse from the position which agrees on the statement that the current system is ‘working’. Capitalist hegemony relies on the claim that capitalism works, while socialism is said not to work, which is claimed to be the effect of its utopian nature.[41] As we have seen, Mannheim already argued that that which is deemed impossible should be regarded as impossible from the point of view of the representatives to a given order.[42] Therefore, the desire for the abandonment of utopianism should be understood as being a political decision, rather than a decision taken with “one’s feet firmly on the ground”.[43]

That which works is not an objective category, but a subjective one that should be open for debate seems to have no place in contemporary politics. The demand of feasibility from the utopian is, in Mannheim’s words, incorporating the utopian into the world view of the established order, thereby deriving the concept of its content, leaving it in existence as only a name. From this point of view, it becomes evident that the boundary between the possible and the utopian is not fixed, and in fact contestable.[44] When discussing the subject of possibility, Levitas cites Bloch: “possibility has had a bad press, and [t]here is a very clear interest that has prevented the world being changed into the possible”.[45] The discussion on that which is possible is silenced in current political discourse, but according to Levitas, “only that which seems impossible is remotely adequate to the extremity of the condition of the world. Hence the resonance of the 1968 slogan, ‘Be Realistic: Demand the Impossible’”.[46] Allowing the debate on possibility, or letting different utopian visions enter the political sphere would allow for the legitimization of long term thought about a good society (as opposed to a society which ‘works).[47] It would also mean acknowledging that it is important for humans to identify and express their and other’s deepest desires of their minds and hearts, because these are a legitimate, and in fact necessary source of knowledge and truth.[48]

Levitas advocates for a shift in utopianism from the classical, social blueprint towards seeing the utopian as of metaphor, or “an invitation to think, dream and consider possibilities in a cognitive context that is free from the usual constraints imposed by the now”.[49] In this sense, the utopian category has met the postmodern requirements of provisionality, reflexivity and pluralism[50] by insisting on its provisional nature and defining it as a method, instead of the stipulation of a goal.[51] Utopia as a method would therefore, this time, not be a constructive method, but a hermeneutic one.[52] Utopia as a method will allow for the adventurous journey of discovering multiple utopian visions, and it will open up debate on what is needed for human fulfilment, because of its formulating of aspirations in terms radically different than those offered by the present.[53]

Besides that that which is considered the right, good, normal, obvious, or inescapable image of the future is challenged by allowing the utopian back into the political discourse, it would give rise to a new space: the education of desire. This education is not the same as education as it is now understood: it is not a “moral education” which is aimed at some given end, but it is a form of education aimed at opening up a way to aspiration. The education of desire is open ended, by teaching to but explicitly not how to desire, desire better, and to desire more: it teaches how to desire differently.[54]

Utopia and education

We have seen Levitas mentioning the education of desire, but what else links utopian thought to educational theory? It can be argued that education in general is inseparably intertwined with the utopian. When discussing educating the young, one quickly arrives at the question ‘education for what’? All theories on education have to do with the utopian, because educational institutes are the institutions in society, which should be, but in reality are rarely, concerned with a world which lies beyond the status quo. We all know the cliché “children are our future”.[55] Thus, education provides the ground for an imagined future society. In contemporary practice in educational institutes, the future imagined is a future that is ready-made, or as Mannheim would state, it is the future imagined by the established order. The future, in educational thought, is ruled by policy analysis and prescription that characterize the contemporary anti-utopian age as it has been described by Levitas. The formula is as follows: “future = more of the present = policy analysis and fine-tuning”.[56] The disruption of the administrative order, thinking beyond the confines of the current established order, is out of question. In fact, in this anti-utopian age, it is unlikely that categories of education like “school, learning, curriculum, leisure, sport, work, art, or vocation” will be subjected to utopian exploration, but this fact alone shows how pressingly this exploration is needed.[57]

Anti-utopia and universities

How does this anti-utopian mentality affect universities?  In the age of Neoliberalism, what is the answer to the question ‘education for what’? As Stephan Collini states in What are Universities For?: “[a]sking what something is for all too often turns out to be asking for trouble […] [b]ut sometimes asking what something is ‘for’, can, if understood as expository tactic; a starting point rather than a ruling, be a means of helping us to clear away the discursive debris that accumulates round any widely used theory”.[58]

The influence of the Neoliberal paradigm is clearly visible in the structure of the university. Since roughly the 1990s, universities around the world have been forced to accept the implementation of commercial models of curriculum, finance, accounting, and management organization.[59] Universities have become structured as businesses, in which education is valued as a product by accountants and managers, who are looking for measurable economic profit.[60] Now, the instrumental discourse of market democracies, aimed at economic profit and growth, cannot measure the product of the tradition of “open ended inquiry” – which can be said to be one alternative way of defining what a university should be for – and is therefore becoming fed up with these traditions.[61] Thus, education has become “re-profiled in a technical managerialist dystopia”, making it “a ‘resource’ to be used as part of the standing reserve in the game of national economic competition”[62], and the university has, therefore, been renamed as “knowledge factory”, “corporate university” and “multiversity”.[63] Especially the Humanities departments of universities are experiencing the consequences of this restructuring of education. Since these departments provide with little measurable financial profit, they have been subjected to financial cuts: multiple Dutch universities have successfully fused different faculties into one broadly-oriented program, others are planning to do so[64], and some plan to discontinue humanities programs.[65]

Thinking of alternative ways of structuring universities has suffered the same criticism as utopian social thought, referring to “failed social experiments”, arguing that through capitalism the world has become a “post scarcity society” and that some societies in fact live in the “utopia now”.[66] That the current structure of societies should be considered to be ‘right’ because the paradigm that shapes it is ‘right’ is, as we have seen, contested by Mannheim, Bloch and Levitas. That that which is right is to be understood as being right according to an established order, and one does not have to agree with the idea that capitalism ‘works’. Discourses on a “post-industrial”, “information society”, and on a “globalized”, “pan-capitalistic” world are defined as forming “rationalistic” and “realistic” futures, “where discussion about the desired is taken out of the equation”.[67] As Levitas argued, the boundary between that which is “realistic” and “utopian” is by no means as obvious as it is presented in the current discourse: this boundary is, and remains to be, contestable.

It is, in the struggle over this boundary, essential to keep in sight that the definition of education has two possibilities: it can be defined as utopian or as factual theory.[68] As factual theory, education gives in to the ‘destiny of being’ imagined on the premises provided by the now, and awaits the result of that now, but as utopian theory education can show interest in and in fact take part in social processes, and thereby contribute to opening up towards utopian consideration.[69] The question thus far remains: how to bring the desired, the education of desire, back into contemporary (educational) discourse?

Dutch universities and the New University

At Dutch universities, the responsibility of bringing the desired back into discourse could not be placed with the staff. At the University of Amsterdam for example, 55 percent of the teaching staff is employed through a flexible contract.[70] This flexible contract allows the university management to dispose of teaching staff by not renewing the contract when student amounts decrease. These flexible contracts, and the power that they give to university management, have led to fear amongst staff.[71] Without long-term job security, the staff of universities is subjected to the will of the management: this makes critically evaluating the institutional structure of the university a risky business.

On Wednesday evening, 25th of February, students in Amsterdam took the responsibility that could only be theirs to take. Without any random acts of vandalism they peacefully occupied one of the main administrative buildings of the UvA, the Maagdenhuis.[72] About a month later, a student protest against cutbacks of ten percent in the humanities department, developed into a more broad based commentary against the hegemony of “new public management” in all public services in Holland. This new public management is considered to have taken the soul out of universities and transformed them into profit-based corporations which deal mainly with real estate development, speculation and management.[73] Contrary to the lyrics cited on the first page of this essay, “the budgets being cut”, have proven to spark a revolution.

Students have organized themselves under the name The New University of Amsterdam, and teachers have joined the action under the collective Rethink UvA.[74] The demands formulated by both initiatives are mostly formulated against current policies, and express a call for democratization and decentralization of management finance based on quality instead of quantity, sustainable career paths for employees.[75] At universities in other Dutch cities similar organizations have been set up, and a number of international academics like Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, and David Harvey have stated to support the revolution.[76] Student organizations over the globe are expressing their sympathy[77] and students at the London school of Economics have occupied the Vera Anstey Suite of LSE under the name New University of London.[78] The (inter)national media is becoming more and more aware of the ongoing affairs, and it is said that the struggle within universities is symbolic for the ideological struggle of our time, by being an example of the discussion about what our institutions are based on.[79]

The New University suffers the same criticism as (anti-capitalist) social movement Occupy: it is argued that there is no alternative offered by the protesters.[80] When the New University movement is regarded as a utopian movement rather than a factual one, it becomes clear that offering a blueprint of an alternative is exactly what the New University cannot, and should not, do in order to become more than another totalitarian imagining of the future. As a utopian movement, the New University refuses to succumb to the destiny of being in order to await the result: instead, it contributes to “the opening out of thought and culture to utopian considerations, thus developing a campaigning movement”.[81]

The value of the initiative should therefore not be determined by its ability of formulating alternative, ready-made, implementable structures. What the movement has offered is an interruption of the established order of things, “an invitation to think, dream and consider possibilities in a cognitive context that is free from the usual constraints imposed by the now”.[82] Silence has been broken, and room for public discussion has been created. This space created will hopefully be able to continue to spark dialogue between various (educational) futures imagined, in order to discuss and re-discuss which futures are realistic, and which ones utopian. Hopefully, the New University, by giving new life to the question ‘what are universities for?’, will also make room for the re-entering of desire in educational discourse. The question everyone involved has to ask him- or herself, should then be ‘what do I want a university to be for’?

Final words

When stating that others should think about what they would want a university to be for, I of course had to subject myself to the same question. With me being fully aware of my lack of knowledge about pedagogy, the institutional organization of universities, scientific practice, or economics, this seems like an impossible thing to do. Moreover, whenever I would have an idea about what I would desire, I would not have a clue how to achieve that goal. It is clear that I am an exemplary case of an educational system, which does not regard “the deepest desires of our hearts and minds” as “a necessary form of knowledge and truth”.[83]

According to me, a Utopian University would not succumb to Foucault’s attempt to locate the utopian in social reality, or to Mannheim’s conception of reality as given. Instead, the Utopian University imagined by myself would address the question of what is real, and moreover constantly reflect and act on its unique position on the border of the world in which we now live, and the future. [84]. This University would stay faithful to its tradition of open-ended inquiry by not teaching towards a given end, but instead provide an education of desire. By providing this education of desire the Utopian University would play an active part in the transformation of society, instead of taking on a preservative role.

Mostly, I hope the current upheavals will lead to more discussion and communication amongst anyone involved and/or interested. This will allow for others and myself to become aware of the multiplicity of answers to the question I leave whoever is reading this with: What do you want a university to be for?

By Aster Hoving

[1] Hans Achterhuis, Utopie, (Amsterdam: Ambo, 2006), 9.

[2] Hans Achterhuis, Utopie, 9.

[3] Thomas More, Utopia (London: Norton, 2011), ix.

[4] Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia (New York: Routledge, 1936), 173.

[5] Ibid., 173-174.

[6] Ibid., 175.

[7] Ibid., 173.

[8] Ibid., 177.

[9] Ibid., 177.

[10] Ibid., 179.

[11] Ibid., 183.

[12] Ruth Levitas, “Looking for the blue: the necessity of utopia”, Journal of Political Ideologies 12-3 (2007): 289

[13] Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia, 178.

[14] Ruth Levitas, “For Utopia: The (limits of the) Utopian function in late capitalist society”, Critical Review of International Social and Political philosophy 3:2-3 (2007): 27

[15] Ze’ev Levy, “Utopia and Reality in the Philosophy of Ernst Bloch”, Utopian Studies 1-2 (1990): 3.

[16] Ruth Levitas, “Educated Hope: Ernst Bloch on Abstract and Concrete Utopia”, Utopian Studies, 1-2 (1990): 19.

[17] Levy, “Utopia and Reality in the Philosophy of Ernst Bloch”, 3.

[18] Levitas, “Educated Hope: Ernst Bloch on Abstract and Concrete Utopa”, 19.

[19] Levy, “Utopia and Reality in the Philosophy of Ernst Bloch”, 5.

[20] Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope (Cambridge: MIT, 1996), 7.

[21] Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 18.

[22] Levy, “Utopia and Reality in the Philosophy of Ernst Bloch”, 4.

[23] Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 8.

[24] Levitas, “Educated Hope: Ernst Bloch on Abstract and Concrete Utopa”, 18.

[25] Leszek Kolakowsk, Main Currents of Marxism: 3 – the Breakdown (Oxford: OUP, 1981), 432.

[26] Levitas, “Educated Hope: Ernst Bloch on Abstract and Concrete Utopa”, 20.

[27] Ivana Milojevic, “Hegemonic and Marginalised Educational Utopias in the Contemporary Western World”, Edutopias, (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2006): 25.

[28] Michael A. Peters and John Freeman-Moir. “Introducing Edutopias: Concept, Genealogy, Futures”. Edutopias Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2006), 7.

[29] Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces: Heterotopias”, Architecture, Mouvement, Continuité 5 (1984).

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Foucault, “Of Other Spaces: Heterotopias”.

[33] Levitas, “Looking for the blue: the necessity of utopia”, 290.

[34] Ruth Levitas, “For Utopia: The (limits of the) Utopian function in late capitalist society”, 27.

[35] Ruth Levitas, Utopia as a Method (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) 7.

[36] Levitas, Utopia as a Method, 6.

[37] Ibid., 10.

[38] Levitas, “Looking for the blue: the necessity of utopia”, 299.

[39] Ibid., 297.

[40] Ibid., 300.

[41] Ibid., 300.

[42] Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia, 177.

[43] Ivana Milojevic, “Hegemonic and Marginalised Educational Utopias in the Contemporary Western World”, Edutopias, (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2006): 27.

[44] Levitas, Utopia as a Method, 128-129.

[45] Ibid., 128-129.

[46] Ibid., 128-129.

[47] Levitas, “Looking for the blue: the necessity of utopia”, 300.

[48] Levitas, Utopia as a Method, 3.

[49] Peters and Freeman-Moir, “Introducing Edutopias”, 4.

[50] Levitas, “For Utopia”, 39.

[51] Levitas, “Looking for the blue: the necessity of utopia”, 33.

[52] Levitas, Utopia as a Method, 19.

[53] Ibid., 19.

[54] Ibid., 19.

[55] Peters and Freeman-Moir, “Introducing Edutopias”, 3.

[56] Ibid., 4.

[57] Ibid., 4.

[58] Stefan Collini, What are universities for? (London: Penguin, 2012), 1.

[59] Alfredo Saad Filho and Deborah Johnston, Neoliberalism: a critical reader (London: Pluto Press, 2005), 156.

[60] Ibid., 161.

[61] Collini, What are universities for?, 2.

[62] Peters and Freeman-Moir, “Introducing Edutopias”, 10.

[63] Stanley Aronowitz, The Knowledge Factory (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000).
Collini, What are universities for?
Henry A. Giroux and Kostas Myrsiades, Beyond the Corporate University (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield publishers, 2001).
Clark Kerr, The uses of the University (Cambridge: HUP, 2001).

[64] Marijke de Vries, “Gooit de UvA de geesteswetenschappen in de ramsj?”, Trouw, November 24, 2014, accessed March 22, 2015.

[65] Rob Wijnberg, “De dag dat leren nadenken te duur werd bevonden”, De Correspondent, December 4, 2014, accessed January 19, 2015.

[66] Milojevic, “Hegemonic and Marginalised Educational Utopias in the Contemporary Western World”, 23.

[67] Ibid., 27.

[68] Michele Borrelli, “The Utopianism of Critique: the Tension between Education Conceived as a Utopian Concept and as one Grounded in Empirical Reality”, Journal of Philosophy of Education, 38-3 (2004): 448.

[69] Borrelli, “The Utopianism of Critique”, 448.

[70] Ewald Engelen, “De uni is geen zakenbank”, De Groene Amsterdammer, March 19, 2015, accessed March 22, 2015.

[71] Latara Schellen, “De angst aan de UvA”,, March 16, 2015, accessed March 22, 2015.

[72] Ewald Engelen, “Financialization sucks: How the academic community of the University of Amsterdam has taken up the fight against neoliberal managerialism”,, N.d., accessed March 22, 2015.

[73] Engelen, “Financialization sucks”



[76] Christopher Lindner, “Rebel City Amsterdam: Reflections on the Occupied University, The New Metropolitan, March 16, 2015, accessed March 22, 2015.

[77] “Solidarity from Venezuele with the LSE occupation and the MSF”,, March 20, 2015, accessed March 22, 2015.

[78] Nadia Khomami, “LSE students stage occupation in protest at ‘profit-driven education’”, The Guardian, March 18 2015, accessed March 22, 2015.

[79] Casper Thomas, “De botsing op de UvA staat model voor de grote ideologische strijd van deze tijd”, De Groene Amsterdammer, March 4, 2015, accessed March 22, 2015.

[80] Thomas, “De botsing op de UvA”.

[81] Borrelli, “The Utopianism of Critique”, 448.

[82] Peters and Freeman-Moir, “Introducing Edutopias”, 4.

[83] Levitas, Utopia as a Method, 3.

[84] Peters and Freeman-Moir, “Introducing Edutopias”, 3.

Work Cited:

Achterhuis, Hans. Utopie. Amsterdam: Ambo, 2006.

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