Opening up the Pandora's box of sustainability league tables of universities: a Kafkaesque perspective.

Jones, D., 2015. Opening up the Pandora's box of sustainability league tables of universities: a Kafkaesque perspective. Studies in Higher Education, 42 (3), pp. 1-24.

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DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1052737

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the institutional impact of sustainability league tables on current university agendas. It focuses on a narrative critique of one such league table, the UK's ‘Green League Table', compiled and reported by the student campaigning NGO, ‘People & Planet’ annually between 2007 and 2013. Through a Kafkaesque perspective, this paper offers the proposition that such league tables could be acting as an institutional hegemonic mechanism for social legitimacy, through the desire by universities to show that environmental issues are effectively under control. Espoused eco-narratives of the ‘carbon targets imperative’ and ‘engagement' can serve as a form of deception, by merely embracing the narrative as a rhetorical device. Moreover, they can serve the exclusive, particularistic self-interests of a growing legion of ‘carbon managers’, ‘sustainability managers’ and ‘environmental managers' in satisfying the neo-liberal institutional drive from their vice chancellors.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0307-5079
Uncontrolled Keywords:university ranking; neo-liberalism; narrative analysis; sustainability; role of higher education
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:25182
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:06 Dec 2016 16:50
Last Modified:13 Mar 2017 11:19

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