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The Politics of Teaching Biopolitics

David A. Gugin
Politics and the Life Sciences
Vol. 5, No. 1, Teaching about Politics and the Life Sciences (Aug., 1986), pp. 31-35
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4235479
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Politics of Teaching Biopolitics
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Abstract

Curriculum change in colleges and universities depends in some situations on issues other than the substance or content of the proposed changes. If introduction of courses such as those which incorporate the literature of biopolitics take the inter-disciplinary form, the innovator must develop appropriate political strategies and tactics. The particular politics so developed must identify critical environmental constraints, including departmental jurisdiction, the prevailing reward structure within the institution, and relative importance of the formal and informal governance procedures. Most critical in certain relatively small and not particularly "bureaucratized" institutions are the attitude of the institution's president toward academic innovation and the degree of threat posed by the new course to the traditional turf of relevant departments. If presidential and vice presidential support for academic innovation are widely perceived and if departmental concerns are satisfied, much latitude for the persistent academic politician exists. It is entirely possible that a politics which understands and accepts the institution's formal and informal governance procedures is more critical than the content of proposed courses even when the course content is biopolitics.

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