Qualitative Qualities, Meaningful Measurements? A Collaborative Exploration of the Performativity of “Quality” in the Audit Culture

Christina Hee Pedersen, Louise Jane Phillips

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Many colleagues appear to have lost interest in critique of practices and subjectivities in the neoliberal university. In this article, we insist on the value of keeping the critical debate on the neoliberal university alive, and we aim to contribute to it with thoughts about the ways in which “quality” is construed and measured in the evaluation practices which take up an increasingly large amount of academics’ time. We use collaborative writing as a method of inquiry in a process which began with preparations for a panel at the first European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in 2017 to explore how the use of “quality” criteria is performative in dynamics of inclusion and exclusion that inscribe us as subjects within neoliberal discourse. Finally, we argue that such reflexive exploration is important in order to cultivate meaningful pockets of critical, collaborative research and teaching practices.
TidsskriftInternational Review of Qualitative Research
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)433–452
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019


  • collaborative writing as inquiry; entrepreneurial academic subjects; evaluation practices; neoliberal university; quality.

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