Power-Knowledge in Australian Legal Education: Corporatism’s Reign

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 26, No.4, pp. 587-612, 2009

University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 09-28

27 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009  

Nick James

Bond University - School of Law; The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Date Written: October 13, 2009

Abstract

“Corporatism” is the name commonly given to the approach to legal education which priorities the accountability of staff and students, the efficiency of the teaching process and the marketability of the law school. It is an approach which is frequently questioned and criticised by legal scholars but which is nevertheless increasingly widespread. This paper seeks to determine how and why corporatism exists and persists within Australian law schools. It does so not by proving or disproving corporatism’s claims to truth, but by conducting an analysis of corporatism as a vector of power-knowledge. As a form of knowledge, corporatism’s success is attributable to the convergence of a range of historical, social and political contingencies. As an expression of power, corporatism deploys a range of compelling disciplinary strategies - including normalisation, hierarchical observation and the enforcement of micro-rewards and micro-penalties - in the achievement of its objectives.

Keywords: Australian legal education, Foucault, corporatism, managerialism

Suggested Citation

James, Nick, Power-Knowledge in Australian Legal Education: Corporatism’s Reign (October 13, 2009). Sydney Law Review, Vol. 26, No.4, pp. 587-612, 2009; University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 09-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1487891

Nick James (Contact Author)

Bond University - School of Law ( email )

Gold Coast, QLD 4229
Australia

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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