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Colloquium Series: Didem Turkoglu
November 1, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
As Tuition Rises: Opposition to the Neoliberalization of Higher Education
Over the past two decades, every country in the OECD has tried to raise tuitions for public universities. Not all of these proposals succeeded. Opposition arose and in half of them, they successfully blocked tuition hikes. This study focuses on of how opposition did manage to defeat tuition hike proposals despite the overall late neoliberal tide. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, late neoliberalism meant austerity policies and reduced public spending. The success of mobilization against tuitions hikes provides insight into the fault lines of neoliberal policy making. I use Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) of 33 OECD countries based on a unique dataset I compiled on tuition hike proposals, political party opposition, and protests. The findings of QCA will be further analyzed in four detailed contrasting case studies based on archival evidence and interviews: England, Germany, Turkey, and the United States. Consequently, this talk details how alliances between student groups and oppositional political parties, brokered by labor, have successfully overturned tuition hikes. These findings have important implications for analyzing the interaction of contentious politics and institutional politics. They also offer a new insight into dynamics of welfare state retrenchment by bridging social movement studies and political economy.