Bureaucratic and Neoliberal Management in Chinese Academia

Le numéro de décembre 2020 de l’European Journal of Turkish studies consacre un dossier thématique à la lutte contre la LPPR/LPR et aux difficultés que traverse le monde académique. L’intégralité du numéro est accessible gratuitement en ligne.

Le dossier comprend un texte de Katiana Le Mentec (CECMC-CCJ), Tang Yun (professeur d’ethnologie à la SMU, Chengdu) et Camille Noûs (Collective entity, Laboratoire Cogitamus https://www.cogitamus.fr/)

« Bureaucratic and Neoliberal Management in Academia. A Franco-Chinese Dialogue between Two Anthropologists »

This dialogue was first launched as an informal, off the cut discussion on a vast array of topics, we then both continued the discussion remotely, swinging the text back and forth to refine arguments and push further the reflection. The choice to keep the original structure of the discussion entails a quite long piece, coming back in some parts to similar topics but from various angles. Understanding downside of time-consuming readings, we humbly think that this timely subject deserves such development. Here is a roadmap of this dialogue: We first explore the training of students emphasising systemic structures possibly harmful to critical thinking development. Then, the pression of publication from Master degree to professorship in China is discussed pointing out serious flaws such evaluation system induces. In the third part we present the few decades old academic points system in China. We discuss its origin, the “points’ world view” generalisation and show how problematic are the current indicators, on which rely recruitment, evaluation and the calculation of the salary, failing in nurturing stimulating and creative academic work. Hence representing a serious threat for our profession. The following parts discusses targeted research topics and assigned tasks from the government as well as national projects selection. They highlight different kinds of posture scholars take to survive and even thrive in such system. After few reflexions on integrity and possibility to change the academic system, the dialogue ends on the vision for Chinese Anthropology and the social role of social sciences.
Pitfalls in the current academia system mentioned here are not all associated to the neoliberal management turn and the capitalisation worldview but can be brough about by Kafkian bureaucracy as well as old and deeply anchored scholar practices. This dialogue is not all about criticism though, we try to be productive by proposing or identifying inspiring suggestion from colleagues, both at the systemic and the individual level.

Accès vers le texte dans son intégralité : https://journals.openedition.org/ejts/6638


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