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Power-knowledge in Australian legal education: Corporatism's reign
Sydney Law Review (2004)
  • Nickolas J James, University of Queensland

"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.

  • accountability,
  • efficiency of teaching,
  • legal education
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publisher Statement
Published version

James, N. (2004). Power-knowledge in Australian legal education: Corporatism's reign. Sydney Law Review, 26(4), 587-612

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© Copyright Sydney Law Review and its contributors, 2004
Citation Information
Nickolas J James. "Power-knowledge in Australian legal education: Corporatism's reign" Sydney Law Review Vol. 26 Iss. 4 (2004)
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