MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Public Parents. Reclaiming publicness of education in the new tyrannies

    Cervinkova, Hana (2023) Public Parents. Reclaiming publicness of education in the new tyrannies. In: The New Publicness of Education. Democratic Possibilities After the Critique of Neo-Liberalism. Routledge, Oxon, New York, pp. 132-147.

    Download (2MB) | Preview

    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...

    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    In this chapter, we explore the publicness of education from the vantage point of contemporary East/Central Europe, a geopolitical area which in 1989 expe­rienced the liberation from Communist totalitarian state systems and Soviet colonial control. In places such as Hungary or Poland, after an initial period of embrace­ment of liberal democracy, we are now observing the formation of new non­democratic systems, referred to by the Hungarian philosopher Agnes Heller as tyrannies (2019). In the new tyrannies, power is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a single person who strives for limitless control by transforming all democratic and participatory processes into mechanisms that help execute his will. Contemporary tyrannies rely for their popularity and success on populism and negative ideology, which mobilizes nationalist sentiments vis-a-vis external and internal "enemies," and on mechanisms that help silence dissent and same loyal­ties through oligarchical arrangements and public corruption. Public schools and universities, whose fragile post-totalitarian autonomy has been eroded by more than three decades of neoliberal restructuring and gradually also the renewed tightening of state control, are now platforms for the fortl1ering of anti-democratic and anti-liberal ag(SI)da. After Habermas (1992, 1998), we understand public sphere as fundamental for democracy but suggest that traditional understanding of the public requires reconsideration, taking into account critiques of his 01iginal concept in light of its exclusiveness and uniformity (Fraser 1990; :Rully 2012) and contemporary applicability in specific geopolitical contexts. How can we understand publicness in the conditions where tl1e public sphere, including public education, is appropriated by an undemocratic state power? What are the possibilities for reclaiming publicness in general and publicness of education in particular in politi­cal conditions, which undermine traditional meaning of publicness as an area outside of the state where free and unrestrained discussion concerning public good is possible (Habermas 1992, 1998)? How can we use a particular case (Wittgenstein 1965, p. 23) of a geopolitical situation to illuminate publicness's conceptual entanglement and its possible political uses and implications?

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: Cite as: Anders Säfström, C., & Biesta, G. (Eds.). (2023). The New Publicness of Education: Democratic Possibilities After the Critique of Neo-Liberalism (1st ed.). Routledge.
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Anthropology
    Item ID: 18007
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Hana Cervinkova
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2024 09:18
    Journal or Publication Title: The New Publicness of Education. Democratic Possibilities After the Critique of Neo-Liberalism
    Publisher: Routledge
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

      Repository Staff Only(login required)

      View Item Item control page


      Downloads per month over past year

      Origin of downloads