Power-knowledge in Australian legal education: Corporatism's reign

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Abstract

"Corporatism” is the name commonly given to the approach to legal education which prioritises 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-612
Number of pages26
JournalThe Sydney Law Review
Volume26
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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