The politics of disagreement in critical education policy studies: A response to Morsy, Gulson and Clarke

Sam Sellar, Glenn C. Savage, Radhika Gorur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper engages with Morsy, Gulson and Clarke's response to the recent special issue of Discourse (Vol. 34, No. 2) that examined evolutions of markets and equity in education. We welcome Morsy, Gulson and Clarke's supplementation of the special issue with the genealogical analysis they provide of private school funding in Australia and the attention they draw to elisions of race, ethnicity, Indigeneity and whiteness in contemporary framings of equity in policy and research. We also clarify and expand on some of the aims and arguments that framed the special issue. However, we feel that any response adequate to the 'event' that Morsy, Gulson and Clarke hope to stage - that is, a 'debate redux' and politics of dissensus in education as an antidote to depoliticisation - must extend beyond the rehearsal of pre-existing positions; it cannot stop at endorsing or critiquing the points raised in their paper, or reiterating the rationales and arguments of the special issue. We therefore respond by gesturing towards possibilities for 'disagreement', in the sense that Jacques Ranciere gives this term, about the political vocation of critical policy sociologists, and the modes of doing and being that can be seen as 'critical' and 'political' in academic education research. We do not disagree with Morsy, Gulson and Clarke in the usual sense; for that reason, we engage seriously with their call for a politics of dissensus in education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-469
Number of pages8
JournalDiscourse: studies in the cultural politics of education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

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