Democracy and the Doubling-Down of Neoliberal Reform Failure

  • Kendall A. Taylor
Part of the New Frontiers in Education, Culture, and Politics book series (NFECP)


This chapter begins with a description of the 2012 movie “Won’t Back Down” as an entrance point to discuss the use of democratic norms to support neoliberal education reform at the urban level. The chapter argues that education reform is an a-historical policy ensemble which seeks out spaces of disinvestment as targets while using the norms of democracy as a legitimizing trope. The use of democratic concepts to promote illiberal spaces, what the author calls Bizarro Democracy, seeks to both ideologically scaffold reform while simultaneously alter the public’s ability to use democratic norms as tools of resistance. The body of the book analyzes specific instances of Bizarro Democracy during the contentious years between 2010 and 2014 in Chicago.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kendall A. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Hubert Humphrey Elementary SchoolAlbuquerqueUSA

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