Academic Wellbeing Under Rampant Managerialism: From Neoliberal to Critical Resilience

  • Dorothy BottrellEmail author
  • Maree Keating
Part of the Palgrave Critical University Studies book series (PCU)


In this chapter we explore university and academic discourses on resilience and wellbeing. University policies texts acknowledge the importance of workplace culture and management and espouse commitments to collegial processes but are mainly compliance-focused and articulate a business case for improved employee productivity and institutional performance. Academic discourses of resilience during processes of ‘transformation’ in one university capture the actualities of punitive managerialism, including removal of communication platforms necessary for collegial decision-making, protection of resilient staff from harmful voices of dissent and public displays of managerial disrespect for discarded and continuing staff. We argue for a critical resilience that resists a nihilistic appropriation and maintains commitment to emancipatory projects through collective and political support and action.


Resilience and wellbeing discourses Nihilistic resilience University transformation Critical resilience praxis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Social WorkUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Swinburne UniversityHawthornAustralia

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