Affective Subjectivation in the Precarious Neoliberal Academia

  • Paola ValeroEmail author
  • Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen
  • Kristiina Brunila
Part of the Palgrave Critical University Studies book series (PCU)


Affective subjectivation is a notion that describes the processes by which academics are inclined to turn themselves into manageable subjects within the context of precarious academic life. Based on three fictional, realistic stories, three topics are discussed: precaritisation in academia as an organisation and the relationship between managers and academics; the governing through affect in the constant ambivalence between anxiety and self-development; and the power effects of these two together in creating neoliberal academic subjects. Both the strategy of working with fictional stories and the analytical stance allows opening up the public secrets of the ways in which neoliberal precarious conditions govern the lives and bodies of academics nowadays. Disclosing those secrets is a form of resistance against the violence of current affective subjectivation.


Affective subjectivation Neoliberal ethos Academia Precaritisation Governing through affect 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Valero
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen
    • 2
  • Kristiina Brunila
    • 3
  1. 1.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  3. 3.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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