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Money Versus the Soul: Neoliberal Economics in the Education Modernisation Reform of Post-Soviet Russia


  • Elena V. Minina

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


Through the examination of the concept of ‘commercial service’ the article explores the ideological underpinnings and cultural embeddings of the market economy in post-Soviet education modernisation reform vis-a-vis the makeup of indigenous Russian culture and pedagogy. While post-Soviet Russia’s educational sector has been extensively commercialised, the public attitude towards the new educational economics have remained largely antagonistic. By bringing together the economic and the ideological angles, I show how bottom-up resistance is maintained and normalised, triggering a policy backlash. The article probes the obstinate public resistance to the idea of education as a ‘commodity’ and exposes the cultural logic behind it. Drawing on discourse studies and policy borrowing frameworks, the analysis demonstrates how the market values of competitive individualism, material profit and entrepreneurship were left under-conceptualised in the official discourse and consequently rejected in the public discourse in favour of domestic values of egalitarianism, collegiality, moral education, and an orientation towards non-materialist values

Suggested Citation

  • Elena V. Minina, 2016. "Money Versus the Soul: Neoliberal Economics in the Education Modernisation Reform of Post-Soviet Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 39/EDU/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:39edu2016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beckert, Jens, 2007. "The social order of markets," MPIfG Discussion Paper 07/15, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    Russian education reform post-Soviet education; neoliberalism; education commercialisation;

    JEL classification:

    • Z - Other Special Topics

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