Assessment Policy and “Pockets of Freedom” in a Neoliberal University: A Foucauldian Perspective

  • Rille RaaperEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Critical University Studies book series (PCU)


Guided by a Foucauldian theorisation, this chapter conducts a discourse analysis of assessment policy documents in one neoliberalised UK university. Furthermore, it traces the ways in which academics and graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) as assessors negotiate this policy space. The findings demonstrate that the assessment policy has become increasingly restrictive but also ambiguous in the university. It includes a high number of policy documents, a wide range of assessment stakeholders and increasingly abstract language of instruction. However, the findings also suggest that this policy ambiguity is not utterly negative but can be exploited by academics and GTAs, allowing them to have some ownership over assessment processes and their own subjectivities as assessors.


Assessment policy Neoliberalism Foucault Subjectification Discourse 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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