Piketty, Wealth and Education: Solution or Problem?

April 22, 2015, 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Wisconsin Idea Room 159, Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall

Susan L. Robertson

Centre for Globalisation, Education and Social Futures, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Susan L. Robertson

Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the 21st Century became an overnight sensation when it was released in 2014. The book focused attention on the excessive concentration of wealth among a small elite in countries such as France, the United Kingdom and United Sates.

However, Piketty’s proposals for how education might play a role in bringing about a more equitable future do not recognize that education is also being influenced by this shift in wealth. Robertson will discuss how ongoing political and economic projects in education not only have exaggerated educational inequalities, but how commodification and privatization in education have furthered this concentration of wealth.

Robertson will address debates on how education might be governed differently if it is to play a role in addressing wider inequalities and increasing social justice. She will explore the key issues at stake through a discussion of five crises, and urge public debate about the governance of education.