Abstract Anxieties regarding colonial and neoliberal education have generated multiple calls for critical international pedagogies. Scholars of critical pedagogy have analyzed the pedagogies of the neoliberal project, whose ethos and economic imperatives aim to produce apolitical consumers and future citizens. Such calls, this article argues, articulate a concern about other-regardedness, critiquing the impact of neoliberalism on the cultivation of student values and relations toward politics, society, and others. How can we articulate a critical international pedagogy informed by, and enhancing, students’ and future citizens’ other-regardedness toward those “superfluous” and “disposable” others outside the classroom and the formal curriculum? To this end, we mobilize Michel Foucault’s thinking of “counter-conduct” to illuminate how students resist being conducted as self-interested and apolitical consumers. Such practices remain largely unexplored in examinations of recent student protests and occupations. Examining the 2005 student occupation of a French university against the local government’s abandonment of asylum-seekers, we discuss students’ own processes of social participation and self-formation, thus exploring the possibilities and tensions for advancing a critical and other-regarding pedagogy. Greater attention to students resisting the historically blind and market-driven rationalities and techniques of governing—inside and outside classrooms and curricula—marks an important point of departure for critical pedagogies of the international. critical pedagogy, student resistance, counter-conduct, neoliberalism, disposability, occupation Calls for critical pedagogies of “the international” or in International Relations (IR) as a disciplinary space have been gaining momentum alongside, and fueled by, concerns with decolonizing and gendering the academy (Arnot 2007; Abdi and Shultz 2009; Abdi 2012). Although such calls have appeared late in IR, they are likely to increase in regularity and intensity following recent excavations of the discipline’s central role in carrying out the imperatives of colonial administration for the purposes of sustaining white supremacy—its counter-history, if you like (Hobson 2012; Vitalis 2015). At the same time, educators and students are concerned with pressing changes brought about by neoliberal reforms of education and of the university (Holmwood and Bhambra 2012). Neoliberal reforms within the changing policy environment for education have a long lineage. Yet these have undeniably intensified in recent years following austerity measures in the context of the ongoing financial and economic crises, and there is currently resurgent concern regarding the impact of neoliberal policies, and neoliberal austerity more specifically, on students’ educational contexts, social existence, and life chances. The ever-increasing debt burden of university students has been a source of growing anxiety and discontent when university tuition and auxiliary expenditures for education have grown disproportionately, even for those enrolled in public universities, which had to pass public funding shortages on to student populations in the form of ever-rising fees. The student protests against increased fees in the University of California system, for example, exposed student disquiet and opposition to the neoliberal restructuring of the public university, as well as the often repressive responses of management they have faced (Maira and Chatterjee 2014, 1–4). Universities across the world have for the past decade or so been confronted with a variety of student-led protests emerging alongside, and resisting against, the intensification of neoliberal upheaval in education and wider (global) society. Such student actions, importantly, appear to co-articulate with broader forms of resistance against disposability, including continuing forms of coloniality and gender-based discrimination and violence. It is for this reason that these emerging forms of student resistance to, as well as subversion and evasion of, neoliberalism form the focus of this article. A notable example was the June 2016 occupation of the Federal University of Goiás in Brazil, a protest against an alleged rape on campus that was said to be the first woman-led occupation (Mulheres Ocupam Reitoria DaUFG 2016). This protest preempted a wave of over a thousand occupations and protests across Brazil against a far-reaching austerity package and constitutional reform—“PEC 241”—put in place by President Temer’s administration (Ortellado 2015; Ribeiro 2016). Similarly, the “Mattress Performance/Carry That Weight” protests swept across US campuses in 2014 and 2015. Starting as a one-woman protest and art performance against her alleged rapist at Columbia University, it developed into a National Day of Action, with protests against sexual and domestic violence across 130 campuses (Svokos 2014). Regarding student actions against coloniality, the Rhodes Must Fall campaigns led by students in South Africa, and also at the University of Oxford, in the UK, have pushed for university curricular reform, as well as making broader public demands regarding the unquestioned celebration of colonial symbols and histories. In Oxford and in Cape Town, students have demanded the removal of statues of colonial figures, particularly Cecil Rhodes. Although the campaign achieved its “decolonization” of university public spaces in South Africa, it was not successful in Oxford, although it has contributed to national debates on the reshaping of Oxford’s IR undergraduate degree curriculum by fostering an undeniable need to include student input in the process (Hussain 2015; Chaudhuri 2016). It is worth noting that the Rhodes Must Fall campaigns in South Africa have continued to expand and intersect in interesting ways with anti-neoliberal reform protests. Specifically, a Fees Must Fall movement gained momentum in late 2016, protesting against tuition fees and thwarting daily access to universities (Lyster 2016). Together, academic interest and student resistance bring a sense of urgency to reflections on pedagogy in/and the university, including the university’s broader social context, its role in politics and society, and its socialization of future citizens and workers. It is not surprising in this context that the long-standing Marxist and anti-colonial project of critical pedagogy has become a central site, first, for developing thoroughgoing critiques of neoliberal reforms and their repercussions, not only on university sectors worldwide, but also on society and the sustenance of democratic culture (Giroux 2010b); and second, for revitalizing educational values and pedagogic practices that disrupt, and enable subjects to resist, the neoliberal transformation of citizens into self-interested and individualistic shoppers and consumers and also the social construction of postcolonial (and now also economically “unsuccessful”) groups into blame-worthy and ultimately “disposable people” (Wacquant 2007, 2009; Ilcan and Lacey 2011). In this vein, critical studies in pedagogy and education examine the impact of “agile” (Gillies 2011) or “comfort” pedagogy (Amsler 2011) on student self-understandings, political socialization, and action. Giroux’s work, in particular, resounds with the need to analyze neoliberalism as an economic doctrine with tremendous “pedagogical force” (Giroux 2005) that teaches and rewards radically individualistic, careerist, and consumerist conduct. Ong (2006), too, critically documents US universities’ bifurcated responses to neoliberal opportunities, as well as pressures, which socialize future citizens through continued liberal arts education “at home” while training career-driven “knowledge-workers” for the elites of emerging economies (2006; see specifically the insightful analysis in chapter 6). Political theorists and anthropologists have joined scholars of critical pedagogy to examine systematically the variable impacts of neoliberalism, including its attack on teachers (Giroux 2013), its disregard of youth as politically pertinent (Giroux 2011, 2014; Peters 2012), its role in the militarization of education (Giroux 2008b), its moral requirement for self-sacrifice (Brown 2015), and, not least, its abandonment of those most vulnerable to the repercussions of deregulation, market neoliberalization, and the withering of social safety nets (Giroux 2007, 2008a, 2010c). To what extent and in what ways, such analyses ask, do neoliberal structural reforms of the university sector and neoliberal conceptions of education encourage students to privilege considerations of self-interest in the sense of personal monetary and other forms of advancement? To what extent do such reforms lead to an interrelated political disengagement from wider social struggles? And, as Giroux (2008a) seems to suggest, is neoliberal education and university reform implicated in the emergence of a new “gilded age” where the disposability of others is unquestioned and condoned? We share these important concerns of critics of neoliberal and colonial education. Indeed, we argue that such critiques are defined, albeit implicitly, by a central concern with other-regardedness: that is, by a dissatisfaction and apprehension about the ways in which historically blind and currently neoliberal education transforms students’ and citizens’ relations to, and care for, “the other,” and sanctions ever-evolving forms of disposability. Following recent discussions in wide-ranging fields such as cultural studies, political economy, and history, we understand disposability to denote the prevalence of relations of abandonment, dispossession, impoverishment, incarceration, as well as other forms of management of superfluous or non-pertinent others.1 Although some authors call for pedagogy to advance “a global sociality based on human fate as a shared enterprise” (Ong 2006, 156; see also Suárez-Orozco and Sattin 2007; Suárez-Orozco 2015), we argue that capacities for other-regardedness are a significant and as-yet-underexplored site of tension for pedagogical thought, especially in light of colonial and contemporary practices of disposability under the auspices of neoliberalism. IR educators and the discipline of international relations have only recently begun to question their own implicit and unquestioned commitments to comfort or agile pedagogies of neoliberalism, and to reflect more acutely on the possibility of critical international pedagogies that entail critiques of the processes of disposability and marginality (Anievas, Manchanda, and Shilliam 2014; Shapiro 2015). Some IR scholars, working on the complex terrain of “teaching Africa,” call for making the classroom “uncomfortable” and confronting openly one’s own discomfort as an educator (Routley 2016, 483); others rightly note the dangers of misappropriating the decolonizing agenda by essentializing or tokenizing objects of study, minimizing its impact by reducing it to conventional “area studies” (Niang 2016, 461; for analyses of the various challenges—in North and South institutional contexts—of how to practice a decolonial pedagogy, see Gallagher et al. 2016). However, a research agenda to examine the serious world-political and ethical repercussions of the content, purpose, and form of university education on student other-regardedness, particularly toward others’ disposability, still has not been forged.2 We argue that critical pedagogies for the international, articulated within IR’s disciplinary space, have to come to terms with how other-regardedness is being currently transformed. By exploring other-regardedness in concrete and situated struggles, we argue that the present neoliberal moment reverberates with the need to reflect on the capacity to form subjectivities through the care for others. While we do not historicize or explain the cycles and causal processes of other-regardedness in the broader international economic and social contexts, in this article we begin a critical intervention into how this ethico-political dimension is experienced today and how it is lived through the intersection of other social, political, and economic capacities and/or subjectivities. Our orientations inflect those of critical and decolonial pedagogy in certain respects, however. Avoiding the temptation to assume that ethico-political capacities for other-regardedness in neoliberal education are bound to diminish for students and/as future citizens, instead we first call for an examination of students’ conduct and practices toward resisting the acceptance, or even normalization, of the disposability of others. Second, we call for a more nuanced analysis of the links between students as future workers and citizens, seeking in this way to both illuminate how neoliberal education and citizenship conduct students by fashioning their relations to others considered non-legitimate, for example migrants, and also to reflect on students’ unease with, and subversion of, being conducted in this manner. We refer to students’ multifarious resistance as their “counter-conduct” (Foucault 2007b; Davidson 2011; Odysseos, Death, and Malmvig 2016), a term we introduce to capture their reflexive questioning and resisting of the disposability of others, which is frequently assessed in terms of their potential as workers, as well as their self-formation in the very same process. Finally, we urge that discussion around other-regardedness in IR has to involve “more than teaching and learning about distant places…more, even, than developing the ‘habits of mind…needed to engage in an ever more complex globally linked world’” (Suárez-Orozco and Sattin 2007, 12; cited in De Lissovoy 2010a, 286–87). It is other-regardedness as a question that requires urgent attention in future research, not in denial but in explicit acknowledgment of, and differentiation from, its long legacies. In other words, we proceed by recognizing that other-regardedness has often historically manifested in solidarist and progressive movements, which have included (colonial) humanitarianism and (liberal) charity, with abetting scholarly practices in numerous disciplinary spaces (Mohanty 1984; Wynter 1984; Said 2003). Acknowledging the complicity of scholarly production to the legacies of elite humanitarianism and charity directs us to look outside the classroom and curricula into other spaces developed by students and educators—either separately or together—and in which IR is made sense of as a process of (developing and teaching) other-regardedness. Naturally, students in the humanities and in the social sciences are inevitably also learning and applying an “IR” discourse, as the term “globalization” aptly exemplifies,3 and hence this article is concerned with students and educators in IR and the wider social sciences and humanities. To this end, we proceed in two interconnected and reinforcing paths: first, by specifically examining other-regardedness against disposability in the context of a student-led occupation, which sought to reinstate rights and demand the social integration of asylum-seekers and migrants in the wider city community. Our concrete engagement with a student occupation that focused on questioning disposability highlights our rejoinder to emergent calls for critical pedagogies of the international: we argue that it is important that such calls acknowledge, engage with, and further enhance students’ own attempts to critically understand their subject-positions as activists, thinkers, and citizens, away from exclusively self-centered career achievements as the very purpose of neoliberal university education. We propose that greater attentiveness to students’ processes of reflexive self-formation can importantly enhance existing efforts in critical studies of education and pedagogy to revitalize, direct, and reshape student political conduct (Grenier 2016) without colonizing such attempts. We argue that endeavors to forge a new pedagogy best emerge alongside, and are informed by, students’ initiatives that speak of their ethico-political conduct toward others and themselves in a complex transgression of the imperatives of self-interest and self-responsibility (McNay 2009). Therefore, in a second move, we theoretically bring together critical pedagogy and “counter-conduct,” a concept that denotes those forms of resistance aimed to counter, evade, and/or redirect the mechanisms and objectives that govern our conduct, as contrasted with resistance to sovereign power or economic exploitation (Foucault 2007b). Struggles aimed at resisting and reshaping our conduct question the operations of power that entail directing, guiding, and leading subjects into appropriate forms of reflection, behavior, and social action, be this about their health, education, and/or political existence (Foucault 1980, 1983, 2007b). “Counter-conduct,” we argue, offers a framework for illuminating the interactions of students with the wider social context in which their education and universities are located, and in which their processes of self-formation unfold through resistive and, at times, accommodating engagements with their socio-political milieu. The discussion proceeds as follows: The first section recounts the pressing concerns regarding neoliberalism’s pedagogical repercussions, aligning them with those of scholars informed by decolonial critique. Both cohere around anxieties regarding education’s role in students’ social participation and other-regardedness toward entrenched and naturalized practices of disposability. A second section outlines our more differentiated approach toward a critical international pedagogy, questioning the role of citizenship in the above literature and reflecting on student trends in IR and social sciences. We argue that students’ choices and resistive potential are less predictable than critical pedagogy’s analysis of neoliberalism and citizenship allows. To better theorize this unpredictability, a third section explores what possibilities the thinking of “counter-conduct” brings to reflections on pedagogy, and the ways it further enhances the rearticulation of a critical, political, and other-regarding pedagogy. The 2005 campus occupation by a collective of students and local actors in Tours, France, to house asylum-seeker and migrant families in need, coupled with the political debate the occupiers generated against the abandonment of such “disposable people,” forms the fourth section of the article. Locating this occupation amid other cognate student protests that seek to problematize—and make us uncomfortable in—the neoliberal university, we suggest that the university occupation in Tours may be read as calling for forms of other-regardedness that marshal the space of the university and redirect the aim of higher education in order to question both the disposability of others and also students’ own social subject-positions and self-formation. These are processes wrought with tensions and possibilities. The article concludes with a discussion of the tensions and limits of the engagement between critical pedagogy and counter-conduct, and calls for further research into the intersections of pedagogic practice, students’ self-formation, and/as resistance in the neoliberal university. Dominative Pedagogies: Neoliberalism, Coloniality, and Disposability Historically, and drawing on often combative interactions among numerous philosophical traditions (Breuing 2011), studies in education and pedagogy were concerned with the possibilities of change within a broader “crisis of schooling” brought about by the exclusion, and the project of genuine integration, of the poor, marginalized, and “uneducated” (Freire 1996; Giroux 2010a, 2010b). The ways in which education is intimately connected to (often deformative) processes of self-understanding and self-formation, and how these affect economic, social, and political integration, were lasting themes for, and critical precursors to, the project of critical pedagogy. In the 1930s, Carter Godwin Woodson’s (2013),Mis-Education of the Negro, for instance, was an exemplary and stark premonition regarding the “blighting effects” (Wesley and Perry 1969) of educational processes and curricula on processes of exclusion and marginalization. Since the late 1960s, critical research in pedagogy sought to analyze how implicit “societal, institutional or lecturers’ values”—the “hidden curriculum”—became “transmitted unconsciously” to students in the process of conveying the formal curriculum and, as a result, legitimated a range of unequal and exploitative social relations, “reproduc[ing] class dominance,” as well as gender and racial stereotypes (Cotton, Winter, and Bailey 2013, 192–93). The value-laden hidden curriculum, scholars argued, entailed the “privileging of dominant identifications, modes of understanding, and sexualities … a process which is nevertheless essentially instrumental in its reinforcement of the privilege of the normal and powerful” (De Lissovoy 2012, 469). More recently, however, critical pedagogy shifted focus toward an interrogation of the “public pedagogy” of advanced capitalism or neoliberalism. For Giroux, McLaren, and other scholars, the “dominant” values of neoliberalism were no longer “hidden” or in any way implicit: liberalism’s wider societal-educational project appears intent on “cancel[ing] the possibility of critical citizenship, democracy, and social well-being” (Giroux, cited in Stevenson 2010, 67). McLaren’s polemical wakeup call to pedagogy is illuminating of the depth of the concerns: “we are witnessing the progressive and unchecked merging of pedagogy to the productive processes within advanced capitalism. Education has been reduced to a subsector of the economy, designed to create cybercitizens within a teledemocracy of fast-moving images, representations, and lifestyle choices” (1998, 435). Such neoliberal trends are intricately connected to the logic of “coloniality” (Wynter 2003; Mignolo 2007) and its own dominative pedagogies (De Lissovoy 2010a, 2010b, 2012). Postcolonial and decolonial scholars note the “deformative process” that colonial education entailed (Abdi 2012, 2) and expose the pervasiveness and longevity of “coloniality”: those “long-standing patterns of power that emerged as a result of colonialism, but that define culture, labor, intersubjective relations, and knowledge production well beyond the strict limits of colonial administrations” that are “maintained alive in books, in the criteria for academic performance, in cultural patterns, in common sense, in the self-image of peoples, in aspirations of self” (Maldonado-Torres 2007, 243). Conventional pedagogies are undeniably sustained through “the deep collaboration between capitalism and imperialism,” but how do we use this understanding to question the “ideological and discursive common sense” (De Lissovoy 2010a, 285) and to develop a critical sensibility toward race and whiteness (Leonardo 2002, 2013)? For decolonial scholars, critical pedagogy must resist a myopic analysis of the neoliberal conjuncture and seek to engage in “a directed political and educational effort … to confront and challenge the sources and centers of Eurocentrism, imperialism, and dominative power” in the present (De Lissovoy 2010a, 288). Indeed, much of the critical engagement with neoliberalism’s educational impact in the broadest sense has examined the particular “deformations” of neoliberal education, whose logics “produce[s] social reality more broadly,” as seen in the “pathologization of student selves by contemporary clinical and academic languages” (De Lissovoy 2012, 464). Looking beyond neoliberalism’s narrow economic doctrine, scholars identify its tripartite functions “as a regulative force, political rationale, and mode of governmentality” (Giroux 2008a, 589). Ideologically, this free-market “fundamentalism” renounces “big government (a code word for the social state)” and reshapes “relations between the state and the economy,” which valorizes, and enshrines, the lack of “government regulation of corporate behaviour…transform[ing] the social state into a corporate state” (Giroux 2008a, 589). Neoliberalism privatizes state economic assets, public goods, and also the provision of social “safety net” and welfare; this effectively constitutes “an attack on the idea of the social contract—the state’s provision of minimum guarantees of security” (Giroux 2009, 570). Neoliberalism is a broader social project whose processes of subjectification aim to incite self-responsible subjects (McNay 2009; Brown 2015). Giroux condemns neoliberalism’s “endless reproduction of the much-narrowed registers of character and individual self-reliance” that displace any serious analysis of “the politics, ideologies, and mechanisms of power at work in the construction of socially created problems” and lay a multitude of issues “on the doorstep of the individual, regardless of how unlikely they might have been involved in creating them” (2009, 571). This renders citizens, rather than market actors and the state, responsible for structural and socially perpetuated problems and ultimately sanctions blaming “the poor, homeless, uninsured, jobless, and other disadvantaged individuals and groups for their problems, while reinforcing the merging of the market state with the punishing state” (Giroux 2009, 571; McNay 2009). Emphasizing the intimate ways in which neoliberalism produces “partner” subjectivities of self-responsible and self-interested subjects (Foucault 2008) reveals its “pedagogical force, shaping our lives, memories, and daily experiences while attempting to erase everything critical and emancipatory about history, justice, solidarity, freedom, and the meaning of democracy” (Giroux 2008b, 60). Its values, and the life expectations they engender, are “intent on producing new forms of subjectivity and on sanctioning particular modes of conduct” (Giroux 2009, 572), which co-articulate with, and leave unquestioned, multiple forms of neoliberal disposability and abandonment worldwide (Selmeczi 2009; Povinelli 2011; Biehl 2012). Importantly, critical pedagogy suggests that such norms and values are spread and legitimated by political and other public institutions, including universities, themselves remade in the neoliberal image. Universities are integral to the public “pedagogy” of neoliberalism. Scholars in critical studies in education, therefore, continue to call for “critical education and democratically inspired modes of literacy” (Giroux 2015, 28) that may disrupt the prevalent “comfort pedagogy” focused on student satisfaction and revitalize critical student and citizen conduct (Stevenson 2010, 67). “This democratic transformation” must make vitally possible the “reintroduction of educational policies, values, and social practices that help produce civic identifications and commitments, teach young people how to participate in and shape public life and exercise critical judgment, and provide the pedagogical conditions that enable them to exercise civic courage” (emphasis added, Giroux 2009, 572). Such aspirations reassert the fundamentally “political nature of teaching” and aim to reconnect pedagogic practice to broader concerns with justice and social change (Giroux 2003, 6). In particular, such a perspective reorients Giroux’s 1980s “concrete utopianism” that aimed to connect “critical learning to the experiences and histories that students brought to the classroom,” and to “engage the space of schooling as a site of contestation, resistance, and possibility” (2003, 6). Moving further than the earlier “pedagogy of hope,” Giroux’s (2004) response to neoliberal pedagogy aims to forge an understanding of pedagogy as political and of the political as explicitly and more pedagogical. Central to this rethinking of pedagogy is a conception of resistance that is irreducible to “what goes on in schools”; indeed, Giroux links “the attack on public schooling and higher education” to “the wider assault on all forms of public life not driven by the logic of the market,” which threaten “democracy itself” (2003, 7–8). Hence, “any viable theory of radical pedagogy must not only be concerned with issues of curriculum and classroom practices, but must also emphasize the institutional constraints and larger social formations that bear down on forms of resistance waged by educators, teachers, students” (Giroux 2003, 8). In this sense, “education is a unique social sphere and practice, since it is at once real, and a laboratory for the real” (De Lissovoy 2011, 1120). It is important to note that for Giroux and other scholars a political pedagogy mobilized against the enculturation of neoliberal values needs to proceed by recovering analyses of education as a critical site through which exploitation and inequality are reproduced and normalized (Giroux 1983; Peters 2012). It critically questions the reduction of education to training and reconnects learning “with the imperatives of social responsibility and political agency,” which makes it vital as a resource “to the democratic and civic life of the nation” (Giroux 2003, 9). This entails in part “strongly oppos[ing] those approaches to schooling that corporatize and bureaucratize the teaching process, processes that deskill as they disempower” (Giroux 2003, 10). As the above discussion makes clear, we appreciate both the urgency and importance of these calls for a radical pedagogy that can no longer be confined to schooling, spatially or in terms of focus, and that engages the pedagogical force of normative neoliberalism. The section below, however, differentiates and further specifies our approach. Toward a Critical International Pedagogy Reorienting in important ways the prominent strands within critical pedagogy, we argue that the struggle for any recovery of a civic, public-oriented ethic of engagement and care for the common cannot leave unquestioned how disposability is condoned through the values at the heart of liberal democratic comportment and education. The university’s involvement in producing different subjectivities for educators, students, and citizens shows the intricate links between pedagogy and self-formation as a site of tension and struggle, but also, significantly, locates processes of subject-formation within broader socio-economic processes. The neoliberal deskilling and disempowerment that Giroux identifies above do not only pertain to practical considerations or a politics of accommodation but also involve resistive ethico-political self-formation and contestations of society and politics. In other words, the political project of pedagogy and for pedagogy requires that we recognize the multiplicity of ongoing struggles and their overlapping and at times contradictory positioning. These are not only struggles by pedagogues for pedagogues, which involve resistance “against the corporate takeover of schools, fight to protect the power of unions, expand the rights and benefits of staff personnel, and put more power into the hands of faculties and students” (Giroux 2003, 10). Being attentive to the potential, multiplicity, and contradictions of intersecting student struggles, we argue, enhances our analysis of how pedagogy more broadly, and the university more specifically, are themselves implicated in these shifts. To do so requires, first, greater acknowledgment of the ways in which the university today—as a center of “Eurocentrism, imperialism, and dominative power” (De Lissovoy 2010a, 288)—plays a growing role in conducting individuals, encouraging, and directing the self-perceptions, economic behavior, and socio-political actions of students, citizens, and workers. If critical pedagogy focuses on the relation between students and citizens, it tends to eclipse the ways in which, under neoliberalism, individuals need to become particular kinds of workers. Beyond the general coercion of being separated from one’s means of production as well as one’s products under capitalism, neoliberal or post-Fordist employment requires “happy labour” and “desires for ‘fulfilment’ and ‘self-realisation’ in and through work”, where “employees increasingly function by themselves” (Lordon 2014, 52–53).4 The university is a cornerstone institution that is best placed to fulfill the imperatives of neoliberalism, as it provides and represents a space for “perpetual education, the omnipresent requirement to be employable, and the constant need for self-reinvention” (Srnicek and Williams 2015, 64). Simultaneously, these imperatives give the university a new lease on life, in which it can justify itself in a market-driven logic by making itself available to a workforce that can never rest, and can passionately engage in desires for being trained and retrained. The university therefore reinforces the neoliberal process of worker self-realization by making itself dependent on its logic. It becomes caught in this cycle, notably by increasingly bringing employability to the fore of pedagogy as a key criterion of academic success.5 With educators whose subjects and institutions will increasingly be ranked according to their graduates’ employment statistics,6 and with students with indebtedness, demands for workplace modules and skills, and increasing reliance on part-time work during their studies, it becomes difficult to argue that universities are more involved in the business of creating citizens rather than workers. This cannot help but make us question those strands within the project of critical pedagogy to return to notions of citizen and civic engagement without explicit interrogation of the co-articulation of such engagement with labor and work. Second, an international critical pedagogy must simultaneously analyze broader contemporary practices of capitalism and historical processes of colonialism, alongside the diminutions of citizenship, for these processes provide the parameters in which the university’s transfiguration of neoliberal workers—incited within both its confines and the wider global society—into particular citizens or public subjects occurs. In other words, we must explore how students are trained to think as worker-citizens, for whom less successful workers—such as migrants, asylum-seekers, and people with disabilities—can thereby in turn be easily disqualified as subjects (not) worth caring for. The figure of the migrant becomes particularly problematic for neoliberal identity as an “other,” who often remains legally outside the public and private spheres, and who is constructed as a political threat simultaneously as s/he is being exploited economically. Citizenship, rather than a condition that can be recovered so as to “save” students from neoliberalism, is itself implicated in the multiple processes of neoliberalism (Hindess 2002). Observing refusals of this form of worker-citizenship in the cases of students’ protests in the sections below shows that solidarity and other-regardedness can be found in much more extreme and resistive situations than any scholarly desire for a recovery of citizenship could conjure up. Moreover, students’ attempts to manage their tactics of resistance to disposability and practice other-regardedness—as we discuss in the case of the university occupation housing asylum-seekers in Tours, France—reveal how helping others obtain citizenship (by filing papers, negotiating with public authorities, etc.) necessarily takes them outside the realm of political principle and ethical regard and locks them instead into short-term pragmatism, albeit necessary in each context. Third, critical international pedagogy needs to discuss how IR is a specific space for these struggles and ideas of other-regardedness to develop, either through pedagogic effort and/or as a site of emergence for critical self-formation or “counter-conduct.” IR plays a key role in these broader processes, though again we cannot overemphasize the indeterminacy and malleability of both these governing imperatives and also resisting practices. If neoliberal higher education shapes student and citizen conduct according to market imperatives, and if students are expected to become more rational consumers driven by employability, it would follow that subjects or programs that seem less likely to ensure a safe career path would suffer in terms of university admission applications. In the UK,7 where statistics are available, science subjects as well as law and engineering provide a safer route to employment compared to the social sciences, in which political science and IR are situated.8 Moreover, although business and administrative studies attracted by far the highest number of all higher education students in 2012/2013 in the UK, with over 200,000 individuals (10.6 percent of total undergraduates), social studies—including IR—comes in tied for third with subjects allied to medicine, both with just under 150,000 students, behind biological sciences with just over 150,000 (respectively, 9.7 percent and 10.3 percent of total undergraduates).9 Although disaggregated numbers for political science and IR students are not available, these figures coupled with our professional experience show that the discipline is far from suffering from a decline in student numbers, even though its employability rate is lower than other subjects with lower student numbers. Moreover, in 2013, 41 percent of graduates were in work concentrated in the public administration, education, and health industry (in contrast to 22 percent of non-graduates in the same industry), while the banking and finance sector took 14 percent of the share of graduates, and the second biggest employer of non-graduates was the sector of distribution, hotels, and restaurants (Office for National Statistics 2013). This shows a large proportion of graduates and non-graduates (respectively, 41 and 44 percent) being employed in activities where they care or provide for others, rather than pursuing more profit-driven, private, and self-centered enterprises. Of course, we need to read these figures bearing in mind the neoliberal changes to these sectors and the overall shift to more flexible, casualized, temporary employment, as well as the fact that these are not “free” choices without market constraints. Students are driven toward higher education partly in response to market logics, which enable them to compete on the job market or risk unemployment.10 But these general figures do show neoliberal subjectivity to be less predictable than recent critiques of neoliberal pedagogy posit. Social studies and IR, therefore, constitute a useful subject area in which to analyze in a more nuanced manner the interplay between student resistance, self-formation, and other-regardedness. Therefore, it is significant that we examine the neoliberal university as a particular ethical site for producing and contesting subjectivities of citizens and workers, one that reflects the tensions between the political and economic, public and private spheres and that cannot be reduced to—or explained by—either of these spheres alone. Put otherwise, the neoliberal university is a site for governing conduct but also a site open to evading, resisting, and redirecting such imperatives and forging new subjectivities. Students pursuing political science and IR degrees or specializations may be understood to be “unworking” and remaking their subject-positions through the modes of subjectification that the wider location of IR as a disciplinary and ethical space offers as they reshape their ethos and comportment toward others defined as “disposable” or superfluous in colonial and contemporary discursive practices. At the same time, political science and IR have undeniably become attractive programs for shaping subjectivities that students consider essential for becoming successful globalized, mobile, and entrepreneurial actors. IR specifically is also a program that questions or exacerbates the categories of citizen and migrant, public and private, international and domestic workers and is, therefore, particularly illuminating as an illustration and test case for critical pedagogies of the international, as well as for examining the values of neoliberal society. In the following section, we outline how conceptions of resistance as counter-conduct, developed in the context of Foucault’s examination of pastoral power and conduct in the Christian pastorate, may advance our thinking of critical pedagogy. We illuminate the significance of self-formation, its relations to broader social formations and economic processes, and argue that the framework of counter-conduct demands that critical pedagogy pays closer attention to students’ own critical and other-regarding conduct outside the classroom and the formal curriculum. Pedagogy, Conduct, and Counter-Conduct In his 1977–1978 lectures at the Collège de France on Security, Territory, Population, Foucault locates counter-conduct within his episodic history of the Christian pastorate as dissent against “governing” practices aimed to shape, regulate, and refine (religious and spiritual) conduct (Foucault 2007b). Acknowledging the scholarly impact of Foucault’s “analytics of power” and “governmentality,” we draw on his pertinent mobilization of “government” as the “conduct of conduct”11 (1983) in order to provide the context for his nascent interest in the emergence of “counter-conduct.” Foucault recounts the multiple nuances of the verb “to govern” identifiable within the rising religious and social pastoralism, its cultivation and reshaping of conduct, and its later secularization. He notes that governing is done by a range of “governors” and entails multiple practices of direction and encouragement: for example, one governs by “imposing a regimen,” as a doctor may do to a patient under his supervision; a family-head conducts his spouse and other dependents “support[ing], provid[ing] for and giv[ing] means of subsistence” (Foucault 2007b, 121). Governing may also consist of “medical and spiritual direction towards health and salvation,” as well as entailing “processes of exchange between individuals” (Savoia 2012, 17). Crucial to governing as the conduct of conduct is guidance and direction, but also an incitement of selves able to self-govern. The pastoral objectives of governing highlight the positive, caring, improving dimension of governing and also its focus on people as a group and on each and every individual (Foucault 2007b, 126). Much like in their classical emergence, modern forms of education and teaching, as well as the practice and discipline of pedagogy, are directly related to the “conduct of conduct” of children, minors, and citizens more generally. Isolating the suffix agogy and tracing its etymology from the Greek agōgos (meaning leading) and the verb agein (meaning to lead, guide, bring, take, promote, and stimulate) reveals the connections between pedagogy and the conduct of conduct. Pedagogy is integral, moreover, to modes of subjectification, which maintain historically specific, but always potentially reversible, structures and stratifications of society (Woodson 2013). Recognition of the status-quo-preserving potentiality of pedagogic endeavor clarifies why calls for a critical international pedagogy ought to question modes of student and educator subjectification and to think of resistance in the sense of countering subject-positions, including those of class, worker or laborer, student and citizen. How might counter-conduct as a framework allow us to probe into resistances to pedagogy, its objectives and mechanisms, as a form of governing of self and others (Foucault 2011)? For Foucault, counter-conducts become significant as efforts by the subjects of conduct to invoke new directions, priorities, objectives, and ways of being conducted and of conducting others (Foucault 2007b). He searched for an appropriate term for such ethos and practices, but he was discouraged by the limitations of alternative concepts, such as “revolt,” “disobedience,” “insubordination,” “dissidence,” and “misconduct, that potentially could not capture the “ethical” and “political dimensions” nor could they adequately “recognize their nexus” (Davidson 2011, 28). Foucault’s choice of a “badly constructed word” (Demetriou 2016, 220)—“counter-conduct”—kept visible the inseparable link and circular relationship to conduct (Foucault 2007b, 196) and foregrounded the aims of revolts of conduct to “redistribute, reverse, nullify and partially or totally discredit pastoral power in the systems of salvation, obedience, and truth” (Foucault 2007b, 204) as forms of religious dissent, such as asceticism and mysticism, illuminate. Individual, group, self, and other-regarding practices of counter-conduct attempted to articulate and exercise “a whole new attitude, [religious] comportment, way of doing things and being and a whole new way of relating to God, obligations, morality, as well as civil life” (Foucault 2007b, 204). Counter-conducts both strived for “a different form of conduct” but also questioned who should lead and direct others (Foucault 2007b, 194). Counter-conducts in the Christian pastorate manifested as desires “to be conducted differently, by other leaders (conducteurs) and other shepherds, towards other objectives and forms of salvation, and through other procedures and methods” or not to be conducted by others at all and to engage in new experiments of self-conduct (Foucault 2007b, 194). The specificity of counter-conduct as a concept illuminates the ways in which subjects are both incited by, and themselves are the “vehicles” of, power (Foucault 1980). Moreover, counter-conduct need not entail a rejection of conduct but may emerge as critical reflections and attempts to co-govern, in the sense of remaking and redirecting the objectives, rationalities, and techniques of governing, and this too is an important element of critical pedagogy (Nişancıoğlu and Pal 2016; Odysseos 2016). Counter-conducts are not necessarily oppositional to conduct in a dichotomous and unchanging sense; rather, Foucault illustrates how “pastoral conduct evolved, transformed and intensified in the midst of, and in response to, anxieties, concerns and resistances about its evolving operations and functions”; indeed, its continued development “emerges in a co-constitutive and circular fashion as both a response to, and resulting in, distinct counter-conducts” (Odysseos 2016, 184). Finally, what is significant is the imbrication of counter-conduct and/as self-formation through alternative or counter modes of subjectification (Allen 2011; Odysseos 2016). Scholars have noted that counter-conducts entail an “experience of desubjugation,” which “opens up a space to question the ethical relationship of the self to itself” through the recovery of “the critical attitude” necessary for the articulation of “a political ethos as well” (Cadman 2010, 553). Defined by Foucault “as the movement by which the subject gives [it]self the right to question” (2007a, 47), the critical attitude encourages self-formation by sanctioning the “right to question” regimes of “truth” and operations of power and that seek to shape ethical subjects (Cadman 2010, 553). At the same time, however, the emergence of counter-conduct does not entail the absence or cessation of conduct, as we shall see below in our discussion of the student occupation in Tours, France. Critical pedagogy scholarship is increasingly interested in exploring the resistive possibilities of subjectification for/of education and its links to wider social formations and possibilities of social change: “if education has to make persons, and not just scholars…then our parsimonious senses of the ethical requirements of personhood must be challenged at the same time” (De Lissovoy 2010a, 289). An analysis of student counter-conducts can facilitate the recognition of “agency in students even where the force of the hegemonic norm appears to be strongest” (De Lissovoy 2012, 464). In other words, focusing on counter-conduct reveals that dominative pedagogies do not necessarily or exhaustively overcome their subjects: their violences “even at the intimate level of the formation of selves, [are] always at the same time survived and refused by students” (De Lissovoy 2012, 464). It is to this insight that we turn next in a discussion of the 12-week occupation of the François Rabelais University in France in 2005, which temporarily housed and aimed to reinstate eight asylum-seeking families into city-provided social housing. Although politics and international relations were not subjects taught at the Faculté “Les Tanneurs,” most of the occupiers were undergraduates in history, sociology, and art history, and more broadly in the social sciences and humanities. Notably, many members of the occupation continued working on issues of migrant rights, and some in international development and aid, in their postgraduate studies and/or employment and activism (Beltran 2016). Their experience therefore provides a useful case to exemplify student counter-conduct, here in the form of other-regarding agency and social praxis. We reflect on the occupation as coherent with the aims of a critical pedagogy questioning the meaning of the university as a public space and by reclaiming who should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of citizenry, that is, who qualifies as a public subject. This is not to say, however, that the coming together of critical pedagogy and counter-conduct is without tensions or limits; indeed, we outline some of these by way of conclusion and for the purpose of forging future areas of research in the area of student self-formation, resistance, and pedagogy in the neoliberal university. “University, Land of Asylum”: Occupying as Other-Regardedness and the Wider Context of Student Protest In the spring of 2005, a group oscillating between 60 and 100 students occupied “Les Tanneurs,” a site of the François Rabelais University in Tours, France. The occupation lasted just shy of three months and was planned as part of the work of a collective—the Collectif de Soutien aux Demandeurs d’Asile (CSDA)—of students, activists, trade unionists, and Chrétiens Migrants, a pro-migrant local charity (Beltran 2011, 53). The collective was invigorated by a growing governmental discourse against migrants, and by specific cases in their community of Roma and asylum-seeking families left by the authorities to the care of increasingly saturated charities. A vote was taken after a series of talks organized at the university to occupy a part of its buildings to support and house asylum-seeking families. The occupation, which occurred on the back of a demonstration in the city of Tours on March 30, 2005, was far from the university’s first—or last—manifestation of student activism. Most of the politically active students during this period were in fact involved in flash occupations and other actions against the education reforms contained in the Loi Organique relative aux Lois de Finance. However, none of these managed to garner as much support, interest, commitment—and successful results—as the occupation nicknamed Les Tanneurs. According to Beltran, it was the process of occupation, the visibility it gave, and the physical, concrete experience it offered to the issue of asylum-seekers and other “vulnerable victims” (2011, 75)—in our words, “disposable others”—that made the occupation a transfiguring moment in the lives of the participants, the local community, and those they set out to help. An anecdotal but symbolic testament of this impact is the annual visits paid to the university, despite the absence of any remaining participants, by one of the children hosted by the occupation (Beltran 2016). One of these children also appears throughout the documentary Université terre d’asile12 (Wolff and Kartmann 2007), riding a toy car throughout the site of the occupation, providing an alternative rhythmic function to the otherwise monotonous and increasingly tense unfolding of the 86 days of the occupation. By highlighting this more mundane yet out-of-place scene of a child’s play, in the midst of endless political debates and serious humanitarian challenges, the documentary helps show the originality and potential for “other-regardedness” of the occupation. The action consisted first in temporarily housing eight asylum-seeking families (13 adults and 18 children) from Chechnya, Darfur, Angola, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; and second, the group planned to pressure the authorities to respect their legal obligations under the 1951 Geneva Convention and provide a definitive housing solution for these families while their demands were being processed (Beltran 2011, 58). In the context of a general political reluctance and lack of central government funding to house asylum-seekers through the official Centre d’Accueil de Demandeurs d’Asile (CADA), local public authorities increasingly relied on local charities and civic associations to shoulder the burden of housing and provision of services more broadly. Consequently, the collective decided to intervene against this abandonment (Biehl 2012) through an occupation of the university. Their aims were diverse, both practical and ethico-political: they sought, first, to house and provide minimum care for the families on university premises; second, to problematize these conditions and their root causes; third, to inform, as well as morally and politically engage, the local community on the situation; and, fourth, to reflect critically on new directions and objectives regarding asylum policy and the broader category of “sans papiers”—the undocumented—indicating in this way both their political self-mobilization and desire for “co-governing” (Massey 2014; Odysseos 2016) and their ethical relationality toward others.13 While a seemingly distinct set of circumstances, the occupation of “Les Tanneurs” can only be fully understood within the broader context of twenty-first-century student protests. Understanding this landscape aids us in recasting such actions not only as politically significant interventions into the present state and future of universities, communities, and public life, but also as key to student-citizens’ own processes of self-transfiguration. In other words, student occupations and protests can be illuminated analytically as instances of counter-conduct (Nişancıoğlu and Pal 2016).14 The mid-2000s, it is often remarked, saw a significant rise of activism worldwide (Ortiz et al. 2013), further emboldened still since the 2008 financial crisis and the post-2010 “movement of the squares” (Symeonides 2011; Gerbaudo 2012; Dalakoglou 2013). In this context, student protests have become a prominent feature of public and university life. In France, Loi d’orientation et de programmation pour la recherche et l’innovation (LOPRI), proposed in 2003, generated very strong resistance from academic staff and the scientific community, who organized into collectives such as “Sauvons la Recherche !” In spite of this particular law being promulgated in 2006, the movement continued, supported by trade unions and students, well into the late 2000s. There were, moreover, protests against similar legislation in 2007 and 2009. The collective renamed itself Sauvons L’Université in 2007 and Chercheurs Sans Frontières in 2011 (Bayart 2011; Bruno and Didier 2013). Worldwide, 2009 and 2010 saw a series of occupations against the neoliberal university and for free education, specifically in Austria, Italy, Germany, the United States, and Croatia. Notably, the pamphlet The Occupation Cookbook relates to a 35-day occupation—or, in their own terms, a “student control over the faculty” (Bousquet 2009, 17)—of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences [Filozofski Fakultet] in Zagreb, Croatia, which led to further occupations across the country. Later, from 2011 to 2013, successful protests in Chile and Québec were powerful and inspiring models for protests in the UK and elsewhere (Ibrahim 2014; Bergfeld 2016). In the UK, the rise of tuition fees from £3,000 to £9,000 saw a focused “cut tuition fees” national student movement in 2010–2011. From 2012 onward, as Parliament approved the fees’ rise and the movement faced a sobering defeat, several more localized protests and direct actions erupted, targeting their local colleges, universities, and research institutions regarding local issues, while linking these to broader systemic neoliberal processes symbolized by the rise in fees. For example, and as we have argued elsewhere, “Occupy Sussex” was a particularly long and well-supported occupation that attracted global and mainstream media attention for over two months (Nişancıoğlu and Pal 2016). As part of a campaign against the university’s senior management decision to outsource 235 members of service/professional staff, it was linked to a broader national wave of protests and occupations against privatization and other restructurings of the neoliberal university influenced by academic and student critiques of the “University Factory” (Johnson, Kavanagh, and Mattson 2003; Edu-Factory Collective 2009; McGettigan 2013). Counter-conduct offers a particularly compelling framework to understand the form of these protests as refusals of subjectivities and as acts of disobedience against being conducted as “consumer-students.” Counter-conduct, moreover, allows us to grasp the forging of new critical or counter-subjectivities conscious of and resisting the rise of home-grown and distant forms of disposability. Like Les Tanneurs and “Occupy Sussex,” the case of the student occupation in Zagreb exemplifies a particular shift in student forms of self-formation toward a reclaiming of self-care, albeit one that undeniably reflects the focus on the self and the ethical as modes of neoliberal society. As a commentator notes in a foreword to the pamphlet: “Quite untypical for a classic youth revolt, in the Occupation Cookbook one talks time and again of control, meaning first of all self-control: order, discipline, punctuality, systematicity, coordination, cleanliness” (Buden 2009, 14). Counter-conduct, we argue, captures the complex and messy relationships between governed and self-directed subjects, terms now possibly more accurate than the older perceptions of “dominating” and “dominated” subjects (Nişancıoğlu and Pal 2016). For example, there are notable coherences between student protest and management strategy, as both compete for the privilege of defining the form, content, and purpose of higher education in ethical terms. Students’ ephemeral status weighs the competition disproportionately toward management, just as student protest and other forms of critical student engagement are particularly prone to being tolerated, and even appropriated, as part of the “student experience”: Sussex’s new website logo, for example, is “You want to change things, we want to meet you,”15 signaling management’s capitalization of the same protest and the university’s long history of critique. This is an important feature captured by the framework of counter-conduct. In Tours, Beltran’s emphasis on the reproduction of certain categories of “victims” by the occupation can be read through the lens of conducts and counter-conducts of vulnerable subjectivities (Beltran 2011, 56–57). Families with children were prioritized and heavily publicized—their names and numbers being read out loud every day and during demonstrations—as opposed to the single and mostly male asylum-seekers and undocumented others who remain considered as less worthy of care and mobilization (Beltran 2011, 93). Moreover, the occupation eventually fractured on whether to accept new families and whether their conditions met those set by the original aims of the occupation. A distinction was established between those the occupation would host and those it could support through other means—“personnes accueuillies” and “personnes soutenues”—to classify degrees of vulnerability and justify the amount of help provided by the occupation (Beltran 2011, 92). Subjectivities of the “victims” were increasingly distinguished as a group from those of the activists, and hierarchical power relations between them were gradually established as issues around access to goods and property arose (Beltran 2011, 71). Finally, multiple and contradictory subjectivities of the activists emerged as they became divided, and indeed at times clashed, between “humanitarian, legalist, and radical” objectives and roles (Beltran 2011, 62). Such divisions were reinforced by the creation of four commissions charged with specific tasks (famille, action, animation, medias). The “family” commission—composed mainly of female activists—adopted the more humanitarian, logistical, short-term approach, while the “action” group took on a more political, radical, and long-term approach to the struggle. As we discuss further below, counter-conduct allows us to not dwell on these binaries but to account for their various intersections, which provided for the rich and ultimately effective role of the occupation as a “cohabitation” (Beltran, 2011, 101) of various subjectivities, as care for others, and as self-care and self-formation. What is worth highlighting about the case of the Tours student occupation in particular is the campaign’s concern for others outside the immediate university environment. The subverting of the use of university premises for a moral and political public critique of the welfare and integration of asylum-seekers was initially dissociated from any critique of the university. Moreover, the university was specifically chosen as a “safer” space than other locations to house the families, since a lengthier bureaucratic process was required before the president of the university could authorize an eviction by the police (Beltran 2011, 91).16 Laure, a member of the student collective, explains that “All efforts are concentrated on making sure the university does not become a palliative hostel fixing the failures of an illegitimate system” (Alternative Libertaire 2005).17 The president of the university, interviewed in the documentary by the students and local media, was keen to emphasize that if the university was firstly “un lieu de recherche et de formation,” it was also a public institution that had a duty of care for others. However, he also stressed the fear that the university would increasingly become “un site de réponse publique permament” (Wolff and Kartmann 2007), a concern also echoed by the collective above, which showed awareness of the limitations of this strategy and the need to place pressure on the responsibility of the state in providing for people whose policies had rendered destitute. The university’s response to the occupation was to tolerate the hosting of the families until a solution could be found. A proposal was made by the university authorities to house five families in a 100-square-meter apartment at the university’s expense until the public authorities could find a more permanent and workable solution. This move to end the occupation was rejected by the students and the collective as a whole, since neither the university nor the public authorities could guarantee the families a definitive housing solution in the long run. An important aspect of the story, missed by a simple recounting, is how the occupation, and the students’ response to events during its course, facilitates practices that question, redirect, or evade processes of conducting students (and citizens) as individualistic consumers, who are conceived as capable only of apathetic consumerism or, at best, self-interested political participation. Understood in terms of counter-conduct, however, the occupation in Tours illuminates how the students intervened, not exclusively for their own benefit and toward the improvement of their own educational and social conditions, but to publicize and contest the practices that cause and discourses that sanction the disposability of others. By expressing their concerns regarding public authority failures in this regard, students at the same time transfigured themselves as publicly engaged, globally aware citizens attuned to the university as a place to precisely cultivate and render other-regardedness socially visible. This latter aspect in particular helps us recast critical pedagogy as a mode of counter-conduct that is developed and promoted outwards, toward wider society and formal political institutions, by the students themselves. In their counter-conduct, students subvert ordinary and expected uses of classrooms and campus buildings and, in so doing, forge inventive ethical relations to those others, constructed as disposable, outside the classroom. Capturing this intricate relationship between counter-conduct and pedagogy, Beltran quotes a participant for whom meeting the families was the key factor convincing her to join the occupation, and which led to a defining pedagogical process: “You’re more and more affected, because you learn…you take the time to talk with the asylum-seekers and, well, there you go, connections are formed and even if you don’t want to you are obligated” (2011, 76).18 This pedagogical process, which can be likened to Kolb’s (1983) experiential learning cycle, was also observed in the more legalistic terrain of the movement, as activists dedicated a considerable amount of time to understanding and explaining to their peers the intricacies of immigration statuses, rights, and procedures during marches, through the distribution of flyers, and during other demonstrations and events (Beltran 2011, 59). Illuminating the counter-conductive elements of the students’ occupation reveals, however, that counter-conduct is prone to the constant invigilation of its resistive potential. This means counter-conduct is always prone to the entanglement in, reinvigoration and continuation of, governing practices—its “co-option,” to use a Gramscian term (Foucault 1983, 2007b). Hence, the student occupation found itself caught between politicizing (faire de la politique) the plight of the asylum-seekers in their care and, at the same time, inadvertently providing new ways to manage them (faire de la gestion). For Beltran, this tension, which he identifies as one between a political and a humanitarian agenda, was fundamental to the existence and richness of the occupation, while also contributing to its fracturing into various concerns and strategies (2011, 101). These two strategies never “fused,” but “cohabitated,” and led to “organizational, symbolic and spatial” divisions (Beltran 2011, 101–2). Various participants at different stages of the Université terre d’asile documentary are shown debating in general assemblies and informally at the end of meetings the implications of these two potentially divergent roles for the occupation, its objectives, and what it means for the participants. An opposition emerged between a (universal) principle of solidarity pushing for further politicizing of the campaign, and a principle of health and safety—of care, one might say—of the present occupying families, which is put forward to limit the principle of extending solidarity further. Through this tension the collective are forced to define the occupation, and by extension the broader campaign in relation to the occupation. This is also a complexity we find in the concept of counter-conduct: revolts against conduct are neither simply oppositional nor always fully articulated as part of a clear and long-term strategy of resistance or in terms of an alternative totalizing vision of society. As the documentary (Wolff and Kartmann 2007) recounts, this tension between resisting state policies and social attitudes sanctioning disposability, on the one hand, and participating in managing the families, on the other, eventually leads to a strong intervention during a general assembly in the last days of the occupation by a local work psychologist involved in the collective. The occupiers’ numbers had by then dwindled to a dozen or so, and the student group was confronted with the question of leaving on their own accord or waiting for the police to expel and remove them. We are shown here a struggle between two definitions of resistance, framed by the psychologist as “political” and “physical.” The political resistance does not end with the eviction of the occupation but carries on through the self-formation and participation in co-governing of the students and their long-term commitment to defending asylum-seekers’ and migrants’ welfare and rights. The physical resistance—the current physical occupation of university space—is symbolic and key to occupational tactics, but can it be justified if it directly threatens the safety and well-being of those who are ostensibly being protected and supported? The debate is exacerbated in this case by the presence of children in the occupation (already fleeing persecution and violence in conflict zones), making the claim for physical resistance and any potential violence arising from it particularly toxic and ultimately unjustifiable. Again, the ways in which these two tensions—articulated in Tours as solidarity vs. health and safety, and as political vs. physical resistance—reveal both the salience of counter-conduct and its lack of a single, coherent strategy, since both tensions do not neatly overlap or correspond, in the sense that both the solidarity and health and safety principles can be invoked for either political or physical resistance. In other words, the messiness of activism, and indeed counter-conductive self-formation, becomes evident and reveals that reductive binaries of dominated/dominating or strategy/principle are not fruitful in capturing its complexity. The framework of counter-conduct is particularly suitable in capturing this intricacy of activist praxis. The Tours student occupation was exclusively concerned with a problem external to the university, its demands were not aimed at changing the university’s practices toward students per se, and it occurred in a specific French context in which universities remain legally public. Yet, despite these specificities and the temporarily safe ethical space the university provided for reclaiming definitions of the public, legitimate, and pertinent subject (Foucault 2007b, 42; 2008, 259), the occupation had to confront debates on the definition of struggle and protest and the problematic role of students as “amateur” social or humanitarian workers. These tensions became salient through the critique offered by social work professionals of the ways in which students were mobilizing the asylum-seekers to “score” political points, as well as through arguments among occupiers regarding worrisome delusions of the protest as “le grand soir” (the big night) of the revolution rather than just “une lutte” (one struggle). In sum, the occupation’s entanglement in multiple governing concerns with health and safety, professional care and political objectives, led to contradictory and unplanned outcomes for themselves and for those they wanted to protect and speak for (Alcoff 1991). The resulting processes of subjectification can only be understood as similarly complex and entangled, occurring as they were through the tensions between resisting disposability and becoming responsible for, and managing with care, the well-being of the families. Importantly, the Tours occupation was forced to confront the pedagogical and structural changes of the neoliberal university. There is a sense in which the Tours occupation reflects an implicit, but essential, dimension of the neoliberal university; how protest and the neoliberal university, however much in conflict at times, remain inseparable in a capitalist society. By protesting through the university, students reject the neoliberal model of individualistic and career-driven selves and its consequent disposable “others.” However, they nevertheless reproduce “self-improving,” competitive, and managerial behaviors that lead them to a struggle between politicizing and caring/managing others, between l’humanitaire and le politique, or as Beltran further theorizes, between a right to life and a right to have rights (2011, 2016). Confronting the neoliberal university and wider society in Tours led to growing frustration when students quickly realized that their initially very effective action became subsumed in a chain of resource scarcity, bureaucratic procedure, and obstinacy, as well as the gradual erosion and diminishing other-regardedness of citizens toward those—asylum-seekers more specifically—considered as “others” to the body politic and constructed as a threat to the public order. The imperatives of self-care and self-improvement, expressed through the necessity of “improving one’s employability” (see statistics in Section 1 above), which direct the actions not only of students but also especially of policymakers and university managers, are in tension with the development of students’ other-regarding concerns directed simultaneously toward caring for others and their own employment directions.19 These observations cohere with questions concerning the salience of liberal rights, as on the one hand inciting forms of agency that can disrupt and challenge, but not fundamentally restructuring or preventing capitalism’s categorizing of disposable others. Yet, the framework of counter-conduct illuminates the openness and reversibility of governing conduct and of processes of subjectification, elements to which any such analysis needs to remain attuned. Conclusion The call for critical pedagogies of the international marks an important and necessary moment that allows for IR itself to be explored as a site of tension and possibility. In such a site, critical, other-regarding pedagogy may be developed through students’ own attempts to redirect and resist their being conducted as neoliberal subjects. This task, we argued above, benefits from acknowledging the challenges faced by educators and students in a neoliberal university: both producing and being subjectified as citizen-workers in a broader context and discourse of disposability, crisis, and austerity. The university is at a critical juncture where it is being transformed, and transforming itself, to adapt and survive in a market-driven yet state-sanctioned logic—a state itself under the sway of neoliberalism’s “political project of market-conforming state-crafting” (Wacquant 2013, 1). Universities must continuously find ways of either being profitable (through student fees, adjunct teaching, and private funding) or proving to public bodies that they are worth being funded (through ranking, measuring, benchmarking, impact assessments, etc.). However, the sense of breaking point looms in the horizon as student debt and the cost of securing funding, financially and in labor time, makes the market logic less and less “logical.” Students are nevertheless obliged to participate in this logic to achieve qualifications to compete on the job market in order to escape unemployment. Yet, protests against neoliberal education and the contributions discussed here to activate critical pedagogies have both tirelessly maintained a vision of the university that contests and at times physically defies the logic of capital that today sustains it. The critical juncture is whether and how educators and students can together—explicitly or implicitly—develop practices and ideas that neither return to an idealized, pre-neoliberal past of civic engagement, nor expect a sudden revolutionary “grand soir,” but instead resist against their self-formations. We have attempted to illuminate such processes through Foucault’s insights on counter-conduct, when student resistance takes the form of other-regarding care toward others students do not need, and possibly feel they cannot afford, to care for. A critical international pedagogy, we argue, must pass through a practical and ideational questioning of ethico-political other-regardedness toward disposability, in other words, must question who is a citizen, what the borders of citizenry are, and why others such as asylum-seekers and migrants are being excluded and increasingly become the subjects of disposability and abandonment. What are they threatening, if not the perceived (need for) homogeneity of the body politic in the face of continuous crises of the economic system, and how is their exclusion constructed as necessary for “happy, self-fulfilled and realized employees”? These are the questions that confront a critical international pedagogy, as educators and students—accepting that those two subjectivities are often interchangeable, even in the classroom—work to forge a research agenda illuminated by students in their other-regarding resistance and self-formation. That too, our case study has shown, may be regarded as part of the public pedagogies of the neoliberal academy. The call of critical pedagogies for the international is a task that far exceeds the confines of this article, whose intervention is intended as a mere point of departure for new research agendas in IR pedagogy. It raises a number of theoretical and empirical questions for future attention, such as how does pedagogic and educational counter-conduct enhance individual and collective capacities for other-regardedness in a postcolonial and neoliberal context? And how might such capacities destabilize our “notion of curriculum” away from a “name for an organized content or educational experience” and toward “a process of construction itself of an unprecedented knowledge” (De Lissovoy 2010a, 286)? In encouraging discomfort in students, critical international pedagogy, and critiques of disposability and marginality, may produce negative student evaluations of those educators who aim to develop such approaches and forms of engagement. In a neoliberal context of increasing university benchmarking by student evaluations (e.g., Teaching Excellence Framework in the UK and “ratemyprofessor.com” in the United States), the perils of “producing discomfort” cannot be underestimated for educators (see, for example, Brown 2015, chapter 6).20 If, as we argue, critical and uncomfortable pedagogic practices are required, how can they be sustained and explained in a manner that does not alienate or discourage educators and students? A destabilization of the curriculum may start with a more concerted examination of student and educator resistance in IR, including the forms of resistance that bear on our being conducted as neoliberal subjects perpetuating contemporary disposability. Pedagogic counter-conducts, individual and collective, arising without any authorization by pedagogues themselves, may take a number of diverse forms and values, including ones that may not be necessarily progressive and emancipatory as hoped for by strands in critical pedagogy. In effect, the virulent debates concerning the Rhodes Must Fall campaign in Oxford testify to the lack of agreement as to what constitutes legitimate critiques of coloniality. Similar dilemmas confront us as educators when confronted with how to teach the (often white, Western, male) IR canon. Is it to be discarded, reinterpreted, selected according to specific criteria: in other words, how much critical international pedagogy can we fit in a semester program? And, how should this process of decolonizing and gendering the curriculum take place, and who should it involve? There are no definitive answers to these questions, but they must be, as they are with increasing frequency, posed in every political science and IR department and beyond. An emerging agenda for critical pedagogies of the international ought to reflect how, within existing practices of student action, innovation, and counter-conduct, (forms of) pedagogy might work with, and be informed by, critical and other-regarding student self-formation. Pedagogic reflection would need to acknowledge that such encouragement of critical other-regardedness is always geared at the “government” of students in the Foucaultian sense—conducting their conduct. Like current trends in critical pedagogy more broadly, a critical international pedagogy cannot extract itself from, or deny that it takes place on, the landscape of conduct. A critical international pedagogy remains “a moral and political practice crucial to the production of capacities and skills necessary for students to both shape and participate in public life” (Giroux 2003, 11), in this case international life or globality. That critical pedagogy, international or otherwise, speaks in the register of conduct is evident in our prevalent understandings regarding the role of critical educators to politically intervene in society and worldwide in order to create “opportunities for social transformation” (Giroux 2003, 11). From this concern with critical pedagogy as itself wedded to conduct emerges a second, pertaining to the role of educators and/as “public intellectuals” as crucial to the process of social change in education and society. Our analysis through the prism of counter-conducts emphasized how student resistance involves multifarious processes of self-transfiguration, including as critics and “co-governors.” This problematizes the implicit reassertion of educators as authorial voices articulating, judging, and acculturating appropriate—that is, other-regarding, civic, participatory, politically engaged, decolonial—values for consumption by assumed uninterested students. Problematizing the teacher-student power relation may also require “decentering the apparent author” of such values, exposing the conducting of the conductors in the process of leading critical pedagogic endeavors (De Lissovoy 2010a, 287). Such a decentering could emerge from students’ own refusal of subjectivities, their involvement in rewriting curricula and reworking pedagogic practice, to which critical pedagogies would need to remain attuned. It may also arise in acknowledging and cultivating critical international pedagogy as an uncomfortable practice to engage in. Finally, the emerging endeavor of critical international pedagogy may also begin by refusing conduct resulting in, condoning, or standing by the disposability of increasingly excluded others by making them the main protagonists of “international” curricula: migrants, cleaners, the less abled and privileged, and the undocumented, to name a few. Its task must therefore be to collectively work to reimagine “them” as “us,” and “us” as “them,” while retaining their historical multiplicity and our complicity in their erstwhile and continued exclusions. Footnotes 1 For a more detailed discussion of disposability, please see Wacquant (1996, 2007); Khanna (2009); Tadiar (2013); Odysseos (2015). 2 This is despite the long-standing critical “traditions” aimed at normative engagement, critique of oppression, and social change and political transformation (Hovey 2004; Parisi et al. 2013). 3 For a review of the increasing multidisciplinarity of international studies in the United States, see Blanton and Breuning (2016). 4 Post-Fordist employment refers to the development of immaterial labor, a concept developed by autonomist Marxists in the 1970s (Virno and Hardt 1996) to note the shifts in late capitalist economies taking workers away from the industrial sector and more toward those of information, communication, culture, administration, and education, as well as affective and social care work. For a discussion of immaterial labor and counter-conduct in the context of higher education, see Nişancıoğlu and Pal (2016). 5 See for example the special issue Giving Notice to Employability (Chertkovskaya et al. 2013). 6 As, for example, in the United Kingdom Higher Education and Research Bill where the government plans to introduce the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) (Greening and Viscount Younger of Leckie 2016). 7 For a review of the structure of international studies programs in the United States, see Blanton and Breuning (2016). They also note the growth of the field, albeit in the context of increasing debates over its definition. If a more traditional “international studies” approach remains popular in the United States, other regions are moving toward a “global studies” definition with “a stronger emphasis on globalization and normative questions regarding such issues as social justice and identity” (Blanton and Breuning 2016, 137), which speaks to our concern for other-regardedness in these programs. 8 According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), for “science subject areas 71% of full-time first degree leavers were in employment (either in the United Kingdom or overseas) and 5% were unemployed. For other subject areas 69% were in United Kingdom or overseas employment and 6% were unemployed” (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2016). More specifically, tables reveal that of students leaving higher education in England, those graduating from veterinary science or subjects allied to medicine face unemployment rates of 1 and 2 percent, whereas social studies faces a 6 percent unemployment rate. Yet, numbers of students in subjects allied to medicine are more or less equal to those in social studies (respectively, 25,195 and 25,135 students). These statistics are based on a response rate of 79 percent of the total 528,545 UK and European Union students leaving population. See “Table 6b—Destinations of full-time first degree leavers by location of HE provider, activity and subject area** 2011/12 to 2014/15” (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2016). 9 “Table E—Percentage of HE students by subject area (#1), level of study and mode of study 2012/13” (Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2014). In total, social studies accounts for 6.4 percent of all higher education students in 2012/2013, ranking it fourth, while subjects allied to medicine take a much bigger share from postgraduate and other undergraduate degrees, with 26.6 percent of total students (ranking it first, followed by education, 11.8 percent, and business and administrative studies, 10.6 percent). Note that 12.9 percent of total students are combined (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2016). 10 In the UK, “the percentage of the population classed as graduates has been rising steadily from 17% in 1992, to 38% in 2013.” Moreover, “in April to June 2013 graduates were more likely to be employed than those who left education with qualifications of a lower standard,” with unemployment rates of 4 percent for graduates and 16 percent for people with no qualifications (Office for National Statistics 2013). 11 This famous phrase translating “conduire des conduits” is often attributed to the English translation (Foucault 1983) but does not actually appear in it. See the French original in Foucault (1994, 237). 12 Translated in English as University, Land of Asylum. 13 During the occupation, the collective in fact changed its name from CSDA to CSDASP (Collectif de Soutien aux Demandeurs d’Asile et aux Sans Papiers) (Beltran 2011, 63). 14 See the special issue on “counter-conduct” for a series of discussions of its pluralization of our understandings of resistance and the editors’ introduction to the issue (Odysseos, Death, and Malmvig 2016). 15 See University of Sussex (2017). 16 We are even seeing an increase of this practice in the United States, where universities are being institutionally considered extra-legal zones. The University of Pennsylvania and Brown University have been declared “sanctuary spaces” for undocumented students (Heilweil 2016; Kutner 2016). 17 “[T]out est fait pour que la fac ne devienne pas un centre d’hébergement qui pallie simplement aux lacunes d’un système illégitime” (authors’ translation). 18 “T’es de plus en plus touchée, parce que t’apprends…tu prends le temps de parler avec les demandeurs d’asile et heu voilà y’a des liens qui se créent et même si tu veux pas t’es obligée” (authors’ translation). 19 As manifested, for instance, in the recent United Kingdom Higher Education Bill and the launch of the new Teaching Excellence Framework for assessing teaching; see United Kingdom Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2016); Greening and Viscount Younger of Leckie (2016). 20 Beyond university internal and sector benchmarking, there are also political attempts to create a watch list of academics, by such groups as TurningPoint USA, “to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom” or generally “advance a radical agenda in lecture halls” (Turning Point USA 2016; Paiella 2016; see also the discussion of “academic freedom” in Maira and Chatterjee 2014). 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International Studies Perspectives – Oxford University Press
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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