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Friday, December 6 • 11:30am - 1:30pm
BREAKOUT SESSION EIGHT: Politics & Policy

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Session Chair: Bruce Curtis

Chamsy el-Ojeili: Liberalism in Splinters

This paper focuses on liberalism following the Global Financial Crisis. Examining the work of prominent liberal thinkers and the publications of global institutions, I suggest that we see both a splintering effect and a pronounced wearing down of utopian significations within Western liberalism. In the realm of liberal intellectual production today, three strands are most significant, and these provide a contrast to the period of “normative neo-liberalism” (Davies, 2016): first, a post-hegemonic, contingent (Davies, 2016) neo-liberalism of austerity, dedicated to the preservation of power; second, a reinvigorated neo-Keynesian position, which merges certain neo-liberal emphases with an attempt to raise the profile of the political; and, third, a “liberalism of fear” (Schiller, 2016), which issues a set of dystopian warnings about looming civilizational threats – in particular, by drawing analogies between the 1930s and today. In this paper, I will explore these three fragments, and also consider the residualization of utopian reference, expressed in a predominant language of “risks”, “vulnerabilities”, “uncertainties”, “resilience”, “volatility”, “stabilization”, “dangers”.


Avery Smith: The role of schools in shaping the cultural identity of Pākehā teachers and influencing their views about the cultures of their students

What role do schools play in shaping Pākehā teachers’ views of culture and cultural identity of both themselves and their students? Given that majority of Aotearoa New Zealand’s teaching force is Pākehā (Education Counts, 2019), these teachers play a significant role in the school system. Currently, little research examines how Pākehā teachers conceptualise culture and cultural identity, and if these views are influenced by the schools in which they work. This study argues that Pākehā teachers within Aotearoa New Zealand’s education system are an important creator and mediator of culture within their classrooms. Drawing on original ethnographic fieldwork in-progress at two primary schools, this presentation will explore the tacit and active processes that are present in schools that may shape the ways Pākehā teachers conceive of culture and cultural identity. Additionally, this research examines how teachers may enact their understandings of culture in the classroom. The fieldwork for this research is nearing completion and the data will be analysed in the months prior to the conference using the theoretical frameworks of Settler Colonial Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Critical Whiteness Studies. The presentation will consist of briefly outlining the methodology of the research and then move to identifying emerging themes supported by examples.


Colin McLeay: Affordable housing, democratic erosion, and the inevitability of capitalism

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Recent New Zealand governments have sought to increase the provision of affordable housing. Responding to a severe home affordability and ownership crisis, National-led Governments in office between 2008 and 2017 implemented initiatives designed to encourage ownership among first-home buyers. State-directed efforts around affordable housing focused on increasing the supply of land for housing and encouraging builders to include affordable housing in their developments. Evidence from New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) shows the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 introduced by a National-led Government reinforced the inevitably of the mechanisms of neoliberal capitalism. Members of Parliament tacitly accepted the worth of market mechanisms and the centrality of capitalism to the provision of affordable housing. This paper identifies ways in which recent state intervention in the affordable housing market was expressive of neoliberal capture of the political process. Parliamentary debates associated with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 failed to provide a challenge to the place of the market in the organisation and regulation of the state and society.


Oluwakemi Igiebor: Why gender equity policies fail to advance women to academic leadership positions in Nigeria

Concerted efforts to transform gender cultures within Nigerian universities have yielded the adoption of gender policies, aimed at reinforcing gender equity principles and practice within universities. However, existing literature reveals that gender imbalance in academic leadership positions is still prevalent in Nigerian Universities. Institutional discourses in the Nigeria context have focused mainly on cultural and structural barriers that hold women back from advancing to leadership positions. Empirical research on why gender equity policies have failed to gain real traction in advancing women to academic leadership positions in
Nigeria are almost non-existent. Using documentary data gathered from two purposively selected universities in Nigeria, this paper unveils the various ways in which the content and enactment of institutional gender
policies are gendered and potentially reinforce systems of inequality. Informed by the Feminist Institutionalism and McPhail’s Feminist Policy Analysis framework, I analysed policy contents and identify areas of silence, women's exclusion and how male dominance is perpetuated in policy content. The study concludes that 'policy silences’ on the strategic tool for achieving policy goal/intent; exclusion of women-specific initiative(s) in policy action plan and, ‘embeddedness’ of male dominance in the policy documents are dominant explanations as to why existing equity policies have failed to advance women to academic leadership over time.


Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

Presenters
avatar for Avery Smith

Avery Smith

PhD Candidate, Victoria University of Wellington
My current research focuses on how schools may impact Pākeha teachers’ conceptions of culture. My research interests include: race, culture and ethnicity in education, decolonisation, Settler Colonial Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Critical Whiteness Studies.
CM

Colin McLeay

University of Waikato