Neoliberalism, the Public Intellectual, and the Decline of History

Public Intellectuals

The Activist History Review

by Eric Medlin


Fifty years ago, American academic historians reached the public and influenced politics to an extent unimaginable by today’s standards. Since then, supporters of neoliberalism have squeezed the budgets of humanities departments, and university-based historians have further withdrawn into the academy. Modern scholars who want their work to reach audiences beyond their students and colleagues may find role models in the history of their own discipline.

Neoliberalism, a political ideology based on globalization and free trade that has dominated global political economy for the past forty years, has undercut many American economic sectors that rely on domestic government spending, including education. Legislators who target public universities for budget cuts also expect them to generate economic growth. As a result, departments have cut degree programs in women’s studies and rural sociology at a rapid pace. Former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory summarized this viewpoint in a 2013 radio…

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Author: ALawlessLog

Always learning

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