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ERIC Number: EJ1068088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
Precarity in the Ivory Cage: Neoliberalism and Casualisation of Work in the Irish Higher Education Sector
Courtois, Aline; O'Keefe, Theresa
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v13 n1 p43-66 Jun 2015
The higher education sector in Ireland has undergone major changes under the effect of neoliberalism including severe budget cuts, transfer of research funding to external agencies, reduction in permanent contracts and increased reliance on part-time, temporary staff for teaching and research roles. The neoliberalisation of the university, as in other countries, has dramatically changed the nature of work undertaken on behalf of the institution. Permanent jobs increasingly disappear in favour of low-paid, temporary employment. Such work comes without security, proper remuneration or benefits, and renders invisible the precarious workers whose labour the university relies on to function. Based on the results of an outreach project on casual academic labour practices, this paper reports on the discernible patterns in the work of the precariat in Irish higher education. Our results indicate that casualisation in the Irish context is systemic, gendered, and not the preserve of junior academics. We also suggest it predates austerity and has become so endemic that there are now few exit points out of precarious work and as such, many are now trapped in a hamster wheel of precarity.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A