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Call for Papers on Theoretical and Empirical Notions of Critique

Antti Saari (Tampere University), Nelli Piattoeva (Tampere University), Radhika Gorur (Deakin University), and Katja Brøgger (University of Aarhus) invite paper submissions for an Educational Philosophy and Theory Special Issue on “Critical Times? Conditions, Constraints, and Cooptions in Contemporary Educational Critique.”

The Issue will cover theoretical and empirical notions of critique and what it means to be critical while interrogating the diverse conditions, constraints and cooptions of critique in contemporary education.

The call welcomes texts that can address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Subjugated and subversive onto-epistemologies in education today: postcolonial and feminist critique, situated knowledges, critique and/as activism, critique as embodied-affective and aesthetic.
  • Ethics and contextuality of critique: e.g., fearless speech, the dangers and threats of being critical and exposing vulnerable communities, challenges of and new demands on critique such as awareness of traumatization and triggering.
  • Being critical in media/mediatization of critique, e.g., social media delimiting forms of critique, critique of education policy in or by the media.
  • Genealogies of contemporary conditions of critique
  • Trivialization and cooptation of critique: e.g., right-wing/conservative based critique of academic criticism (critique of/opposition to academic critique as ideologically biased and activist), conspiracy theories, populist and anti-elitist critique of education.
  • Constraints and conditions of critique in informing and influencing education (policy) and the public: e.g., academic critique and activism, critique, and evidence.”

Abstracts should be submitted to Antti Saari (ant.saari@tuni.fi) no later than November 1st. 2023.

Read more about the special issue, deadlines, and how to submit papers.

Seminar: 'Affective imaginaries in higher education' with Michalinos Zembylas

On the 27th of September 2023, the Policy Futures research program and the Affective investments in diversity work in STEM at Danish universities research project will host a talk by Michalinos Zembylas.

The talk titled Affective imaginaries in higher education will touch upon the Professor’s work including research on emotion and affect in relation to social justice pedagogies, intercultural and peace education, human rights education and citizenship education. The event invites all Policy Futures program members as well as the Ethnicity, Diversity and Education research unit at DPU for participation.

Michalinos is a Professor at the Open University of Cyprus and Honorary Professor and Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University. Among his publications are the books Critical Human Rights Education: Advancing Social-Justice-Oriented Educational Praxes (with A. Keet), and Socially Just Pedagogies in Higher Education (co-edited with V. Bozalek, R. Braidotti, and T. Shefer).

’Engaging with diversity work as atmospheric work – Performative experiments and careful critiques’ Conference

On the 27th and 28th of November, a conference on ‘Engaging with diversity work as atmospheric work – Performative experiments and careful critiques’ led by Dorthe Staunæs, Mantè Vertelytè, and Iram Khawaja will be held at Egitved Pakhus, Copenhagen.

Through experimental formats combining research, the arts, and forum theatre, the conference will offer two inspiring and stimulating days and an opportunity to engage with different ideas – both one’s own and those of others. It will be a forum for collective reflection on ways to transform and transgress the boundaries of knowledge production on diversity work as an atmospheric endeavour. Keynote speakers are Erin Manning and Nahum Nyinco Welang.

For further information and to sign-up for the conference, please contact Malvina Miranda Schirmer at masc@edu.au.dk.

Sign-up deadline: August 15th, 2023

Arts Diversity Lab

On the 30th of May to June 1st, the Arts Diversity Lab led by Dorthe Staunæs, Marie Vejrup and Lone Koefoed will be hosted at DPU, Aarhus University. The three-day event holds several writing sessions, and Pat Thomson will lead a session on “Insights from Abstracts & Fostering Creative Writing” on the first day. The lab will also include evening talks and discussions. On the first evening, Britta Tim Knudsen will give a talk on her project "Playing with Ghosts". The second evening will be framed by Tobias Skiveren's talk, "Environmental Literacy in L1 Education: Greening Danish Literary History."

For further information or to sign-up for the event, please contact Malvina Schirmer at masc@edu.au.dk.

Registration deadline: May 9th, 2023

Katja Brøgger as Visiting Senior Fellow for the academic year 2023-2024 at the Faculty of Education and Culture (EDU) at Tampere University

The Policy Futures program director, Katja Brøgger, has been selected as Visiting Senior Fellow for the academic year 2023-2024 at the Faculty of Education and Culture (EDU) at Tampere University, Finland.

As commencement to a long-term partnership between the research centre TRANSIT and the Policy Futures Research Program, the Visiting Senior Fellow programme includes collaborative workshops and research activities, such as, an international TRANSIT workshop, “Methodologies of research on nationalism in education: critical and interdisciplinary perspectives” as part of the ongoing “Collaboratory of nationalism in education”, and a public seminar and workshop “Slow science and academic freedom” further involving researchers from the Centre for Social Sciences (Budapest, Hungary). 

For additional information about the workshops, seminars, consultation opportunities for young researchers, and other questions, please check Tampere University’s webpage.

Two Associate Professors admitted into Program for promotion to professor

Two Associate Professors from the Policy Futures research program have been admitted into the Program for promotion to professor at the Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University, Policy Futures program director, Katja Brøgger and Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen.

Admitting Katja Brøgger and Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen into the program testifies to an important strengthening of the research into higher education at Danish School of Education.

Read more about it here.

More News

Workshop at Sciences Po Aix: Universities in Times of Crisis

On the 18th of January, Sciences Po Aix, the Mesopolhis, Centre Méditerranéen de Sociologie, de Science Politique & d’Histoire, hosted a workshop on Universities in Times of Crisis bringing international scholars from Denmark and France to present and discuss their studies on the transformations in the higher education sector in Europe. Among the discussed transformations were new managerial schemes, privatization of the sector, protectionist and neo-nationalist tendencies, the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and the Russian war in Ukraine.

The workshop was organized by Policy Futures program director and Associate Professor at Aarhus University, Katja Brøgger, and Professor in political sciences from Sciences Po Aix, Dorota Dakowska. The seminar included presentations by the organizers, Corine Eyraud (Aix-Marseille Université), Ester Zangrandi (Aarhus University), Hicham Jamid (Institut de Reserche pour le Développement), Rasmus Harsbo (Aarhus University), Hannah Moscovitz (Aarhus University), Théotime Chabre (Sciences Po Aix, IC Migrations) and Olga Gille-Belova (Université Bourdeaux Montaigne).

The workshop was finalized with a roundtable discussion on Ukrainian academics in wartime, in which Oksana chepelyk (Modern Art Research Institute of NAAU, AMU), Olga Gold (Universi of Odessa, AMU), Oksana Shostak (National Aviation University, Kyiv, AMU), Iryna Sikorska (Mariupol State University), and Dorota Dakowska (Sciences Po Aix) participated.

The seminar and following workshop at Sciences Po Aix was part of the 'Asserting the Nation' project led by Katja Brøgger.


On the 26th of October, the Centre for Education Policy Research from Aalborg University together with the Aarhus University Policy Futures program will host a public seminar on Antiracist education – reforming public education through perspectives from below. The event will be initiated by Professor George J. Sefa Dei from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education with a keynote presentation on “Anti-racism education as decolonial and anti-colonial practice”. With the purpose of acknowledging the importance of anti-racism and contributing to theoretical and practical tools for thinking beyond Equity, Diversity and Inclusion [EDI] models from an anti-colonial lens, the presentation addresses discursive links between race, indigeneity, decolonization and anti-racist education. The lecture further discusses possible ways to develop research and scholarship for decolonial and anti-colonial framings of anti-racism, how institutions can support this work and the required future steps as “Way Forward”. Professor Sefa Dei’s keynote will be followed by seven contributing presentations by Jin Hui Li, Gro Hellesdatter, Manté Vertelyté, Tine Brøndum, Iram Khawaja, Dorthe Staunæs, and Mira Chandhok Skadegård.



Keynote by Professor George J. Sefa Dei




Panel 1: Jin Hui Li and Gro Hellesdatter Jacobsen




Panel 2: Manté Vertelyté, Tine Brøndum, and Iram Khawaja




Panel 3: Dorthe Staunæs and Mira Chandhok Skadegård

To sign up for the seminar, please contact Research Assistant, Hatice Filikci at haticef@ikl.aau.dk

Upcoming Book Launch

On the 8th of November, the Policy Future Program is hosting the launch of the recently published Springer book Governing by Numbers and Human Capital in Education Policy Beyond Neoliberalism. Social Democratic Governance Practices in Public Higher Education, authored by Miriam Madsen and published in the Educational Governance Research book series (volume 19).

The book addresses governing by numbers and human capital policy in higher education by asking how higher education is quantified, how the quantitative information is used in educational governance, and how the information is perceived by students, teachers, managers, and policymakers, and affects decision-making. It also thematically discusses how human capital theory affects the quantification practices and, thereby, their effects. Based on these analyses, the book asks whether governing by numbers and human capital in education policy are necessarily neoliberal practices, and thus questions the theory of global convergence in educational governance.

The launch will be chaired by John B. Krejsler and include a presentation by the book author Miriam Madsen and editor of the Educational Governance Research book series, Lejf Moos.

Policy Futures Seminar

On September 15, the Policy Futures program hosted a seminar for the local 25 members at Danish School of Education. The seminar included an introduction by the program director, Katja Brøgger and inspiring presentations by associate professor Gritt Nielsen, associate professor Lise Degn and assistant professor Miriam Madsen on their respective projects. The presentations sparked lively discussions on diversity, how categories come into being, the performative effects of budgets and numbers, research integrity and much more. The event was chaired by the program director in collaboration with early careers scholars, Manté Vertelyté and Hannah Moscovitz.

Trans-continental lab on affects, diversity and higher education

In connection to the project, Affective investments in diversity work in STEM at Danish universities, Policy Futures is launching a trans-continental lab on affects, diversity, and higher education. The lab is designed by program member, Dorthe Staunæs and hosted by her and another program member, Manté Vertelyté. The  lab gathers 10 international researchers. With the goal of sharing, comparing, and learning about the diversity work carried out by humans and educational organization across different academic contexts and ‘diversity histories', the lab functions through online spaces, allowing researchers to work together from the distinct locations they are situated in. Based on a variety of data, the lab aims at considering the findings through theories and concepts of new materialism, posthumanism, poststructuralism and different strands of ‘the affective turn’.

To read more about the lab, check out the Affective investments in diversity work in STEM

Dorthe Staunæs as a member of new expert group in the Ministry of Children and Education

The Danish Ministry of Children and Education has recently set up an expert group to consult on how the influence and significance of gender can be reduced in both day care, primary and lower secondary education and in upper secondary education. The group will be responsible for investigating possible reasons for the gender differences among children and youth’s results in school education. The Policy Futures member Dorthe Staunæs has been appointed as one of the contributing experts of the project.

Read more about it at the Ministry of Children and Education’s website.

Upcoming PhD course on the “New Geopolitics of Higher Education”

June 8-10, 2022, the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University offers a PhD course on the "New Geopolitics of Higher Education". The course will explore the current geopolitical landscape, a conflicting EU, new nationalisms, and the paradoxes and contradictions around state power, nationalism, and higher education. Lecturers: Katja Brøgger (coordinator), Gerard DelantyMarijk Van der WendeJo DillaboughRamona Coman and Hannah Moscovitz. The course is especially targeted for students of nationalism, European integration, geopolitics, and higher education, and it can be attended both online and in person.

For additional information and application click here

For further information/questions, please send an e-mail to Katja Brøgger and Hannah Moscovitz

Brown Bag Seminars

Starting from the spring semester of 2022, the Policy Futures research program will facilitate Brown Bag seminars for the program's Phd Students, Postdocs, Assistant Professors, students, and research assistants. To support and encourage talent development, the seminars function as a platform for collaborative exchange and discussion. These exchanges can range from already developed papers to work-in-progress presentations as well as dialogues in relation to specific theoretical, methodological, or empirical questions.

The seminars will be held online, twice a month, during lunch time, guaranteeing the participation of as many scholars involved as possible.

Governing Education Pasts, Presents, and Futures with Data

The Policy Futures member, Miriam Madsen, has recently received funding from the joint committee for Nordic research councils in the humanities and social sciences, under the grant NOS-HS Explanatory Worshop, for a network with three workshops addressing Governing Education Pasts, Presents, and Futures with Data. The network is organized in collaboration with Berit Karseth from Oslo University, Nelli Piattoeva from Tampere University, and Ida Cheyenne Martinez Lunde from Oslo University. It will be running from January 2022, to June 2024. The first workshop will be held in Copenhagen, in February of 2022; the second one in Oslo, in August of 2022; and the third in Tampere, in February of 2023.

About the workshops:

Data practices of progression measurement, projection, prediction, risk assessment, policymaking, management, and memory crafting play a growing role in the governance of public education, especially in the Nordic countries. The workshop series will explore how these data practices create specific relations between the past, the present, and the future. To this end, the workshops bring together the latest theoretical developments, international scholars, both young and experienced Nordic researchers, and examples of data practices from the Nordic countries.

Asserting the Nation: Project Launch

The research project, Asserting the Nation, explores how neo-nationalism has affected national and European higher education policy. The project centers on universities and compares how neo-nationalism has affected higher education policy in Poland, France, UK and Denmark.   

Read more about Asserting the Nation. 

The project is being launched with two introductory webinars. The first, on the 29th of October, 2021, and the second, on the 10th of November, 2021. For information on the webinars, check the events calendar to the left.

International Seminar on Education Politics and Hidden Cold War Schemes

On the 29th of September, the Centre for Education Policy Research (CfU) at Aalborg University hosted an international seminar in collaboration with the Policy Futures research program. The seminar was organized and led by Director and Associate Professor, Katja Brøgger, Policy Futures research program, DPU, Aarhus University and Professor Mette Buchardt, Centre for Education Policy Research, Aalborg University. 

Read more about the international seminar.  

Policy Futures members receive the Sapere aude and Inge Lehmann grant

Research program Director and Associate Professor, Katja Brøgger, received a Sapere Aude Research Leadership grant and an Inge Lehmann grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark to conduct a large-scale international research project on the rise neo-nationalism in higher education. Policy Futures member and Associate Professor, Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen, received the Sapere Aude Research Leadership grant to study how the cohesion between doctoral education societal impact and value may be increased.  

Learn more about the projects here: https://dff.dk/en/grants/copy_of_research-leaders-2020?set_language=en 

Honorary professors of Policy Futures

August 07 2020

We are happy to announce that Professor of Education Susan Robertson at Cambridge University and Professor of Sociology, Romuald Nordmand from Strasbourg University have been conferred the title of honorary professors of Policy Futures for the period 1 September 2020.

Global Trends in Education: Commercialization – Why should we care?

January 22, 2020

Together with Oxfam Ibis, the Policy Futures PRIVATOPIA Network hosted this event on January 22. with Dr. Prachi Sristava from University of Western Ontario, one of the leading experts on commercialization of education and low-fee private schooling: Global Trends in Education: Commercialization – Why should we care?

The event was a great success – a packed room with students, researchers and political activists interested in education, development and the politics around the private and the public sector. Many thanks to Lucas Cone and Oxfam Ibis for organizing this.

DPU's Policy Futures and AAU's Centre for Education Policy Research seminar, September 2019

This week Danish School of Education's research program "Policy Futures" teamed up with Centre for Education Policy Research at Aalborg University for the seminar titled: "Education Politics between the transnational and re-nationalizing pressures ". Jana Bacevic (University of Cambridge) and Bob Lingard (University of Queensland) participated as guest lecturers.

Danish School of Education's (DPU) research programme 'Policy Futures' at Aarhus University and Aalborg University's Center for Education Policy Research (directed by Professor Mette Buchardt) shares the distinct feature of engaging with education policy studies. In late September, they joined forces on a 2-day collaborative seminar. This seminar aimed at strengthening cross-institutional collaboration and sharing of knowledge and new trends within the field.

The seminar centered around themes such as "Transnational institutions and identity politics", "Repositioning educational responsibilities", "Breaking or (re-)making the (trans-)national?", "Pedagogy and reforms between national and universalist narratives", and "Data, numbers, and measurements".  The seminar took place at DPU's location in Copenhagen. With another planned seminar in the spring in Aalborg, the two research groups expand horizons, achieve valuable insights into the work of colleagues, and receive appreciated feedback on ongoing projects. The joint initiatives on collaborative seminars promises well for a future successful partnership and not least for future examinations of education policy.

Read more about the seminar

Latest publications

Take a look at previous events in the Policy Futures International Webinar Series:

For upcoming events, check calendar above.

'Illiberal transformations, academic freedom and gender in Poland and Hungary'

Keynotes: Andrea Petö and Marta Bucholc 

April 25th 2023

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#FeesMustFall and related changes in student politics in twenty-first century Africa

Keynote: Thierry Luescher 

March 16th 2023

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Education Policy Futures in the Anthropocene

Keynote: Iveta Silova

February 28th 2023

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Student Politics and Agency: Policy effects of student movements on higher education

Keynotes: Donatella della Porta and Manja Klemenčič

November 17th 2022

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Constructing new digital assets in higher education: The (im)possibility of digital disruption

Keynote: Jania Komljenovic

September 26th 2022

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Infrastructuring Numbers: The Education Sustainable Development Goal and the Generative Power of Failing Metrics

Keynote: Sotiria Grek

May 11th 2022

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Genetic associations, architectures, and algorithms: surveying the sociotechnical infrastructure of data-intensive educational genomics by Ben Williamson

Keynote: Ben Williamson

April 28th 2022

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Desires, Calculations, and Making Kinds of People: The Modern University Has Never Been "An Ivory Tower"

Keynote: Tom Popkewitz

March 10th 2022

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Previous Webinars

Synthetic governance and the role of algorithms/AI in education policy and governance

Keynote: Sam Sellar

February 24 2022

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The performativity of quantitative data of education policy

Keynote: Ezekiel Jr. Dixon-Roman 

November 26 2021

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Neo-nationalism and Universities in a Geopolitical Perspective

Keynote: Katja Brøgger, Hannah Moscovitz, Marijk van der Wende, Elizabeth Balbachevsky, Pundy Pillay, Meng-Hsuan Chou, and Vincent Carpentier

November 10th 2021

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Neo-Nationalism, Anti-liberal ideas, and a conflicting EU

Keynote: Gregory Jusdanis, Eirikur Bergmann and Florian Bieber

October 29 2021

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What does the Surplus of Data do to Policy Making?

Keynote: Gita Steiner-Khamsi

May 28 2021

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Guardians of the Future

Keynote: Susan Robertson

April 23 2021

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The Policy Futures of Intersectionality and Diversity

Keynote: Ann Phoenix, Dorthe Staunæs, John Krejsler and Nina Lykke

March 19, 2021

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The Academic Self and Expert Knowledge

Keynote: Romuald Normand

March 09 2021

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Digitalization, Neo/liberalization and the Re-making of the School Form

Keynote: Paolo Landri and Emiliano Grimaldi

December 03 2020

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Trust in Education

Keynote: Inka Bornmann

November 13 2020

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The Radical Right and Education

Keynote: Anja Giudici

November 02 2020

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