NEW BOOK: Castells in Africa: Universities and Development


NEW BOOK: Castells in Africa: Universities and Development

Castells in Africa: Universities and Development collects the papers produced by Manuel Castells on his visits to South Africa, and publishes them in a single volume for the first time. The book also publishes a series of empirically-based papers which together display the multi-faceted and far-sighted scope of his theoretical framework, and its fecundity for fine-grained, detailed empirical investigations on universities and development in Africa. Castells, in his afterword to this book, always looking forward, assesses the role of the university in the wake of the upheavals to the global economic order. He decides the university’s function not only remains, but is more important than ever. And as the editors conclude:

"The conclusions of these chapters should not be taken as cataloguing the failure of African academia only. The intention is the opposite. We already know from international indicators that African universities do not perform well by comparison with their global peers. The question is why and how. This is the path opened by Castells’s trilogy. His work shines a particularly powerful light on the developmental predicament, and is especially valuable in pointing to the many structural impediments that must be acknowledged and strategically accommodated if they are to be overcome."

Endorsements for Castells in Africa:

“Castells in Africa is by far the best book-length publication yet on what went wrong with higher education after apartheid and why South Africa struggled to create from among its more promising universities leading producers of new knowledge in this part of the world system. In the work of this incomparable intellectual we find not only powerful diagnoses of what holds back our universities but also compelling solutions about what can (still) be done to harness the intellectual resources of Africa’s best institutions.” Jonathan Jansen, President of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa

“This book is doubly important. First, it showcases the work of Manuel Castells re-emphasising its continuing endurance as a framework for thinking creatively about the evolution of higher education globally. Second, it focuses on development, a preoccupation that has rather got lost in the self-referential squabbles about tuition fees and marketisation that have obsessed higher education in the developed ‘West’ in these dog days of neoliberalism. This collection brings us back to fundamental issues of reform, social justice and global equity.” Peter Scott, University College London Institute of Education

Download the full-text PDF of the book.

Download individual chapters from the book.

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