The trilogy has the unique concept of a handbook combined with an authentic story.
This turned out to be the ideal form for the trilogy’s concern: to give first-hand insight into real life behind the carefully guardedd walls of the New Public Management university and to show how education, research and effective, service-minded administration are systematically blocked and destroyed.
The novel-like albeit entirely true story with ample original documentation provides authenticity. The episodes give insight in everyday life at a university, from department structures and petty intrigues via the realities of teaching at a Danish university to the questionable management methods of administrators that have total power over the academic staff.
The handbook is a tool for those who have interest in and responsibility for university education – not only in Denmark, but in all countries where New Public Management has begun to corrode higher education. Thus, the handbook offers a systematic analysis of the most urgent problems in academic education.
The trilogy offers two “short-cuts” that can be read as mini-books within about 2 hours:
- The introductions to each volume plus the summarizing introductions to the individual “seasons” within a volume: This short-cut is both a summary of the plot and a systematic presentation of the main points of critique in each volume and season. Thus, the focal points are offered in a reader-friendly nutshell.
- The five “New Public Management”-chapters at the end of Vol. 3 “Totalitarian Structures”: This is a systematic analysis of the New Public Management system at modern university and its deployment at Danish universities. Based on current international literature about New Public Management in academia, these five chapters present the following aspects:
1) New Public Management’s fundament: McKinsey stalinism
The correspondence between New Public Management methods and state communism.
2) New Public Management’s theory: control and administration
The basic principles of NPM, using total control and an uproportional, ever-expanding
administration as central tools (quantity instead of quality).
3) New Public Management’s consequences: The ruin of education
The total inflation and degradation of higher academic education.
4) New Public Management’s language: DJØF-dansk and bullshit-culture
The nonsensical business jargon of New Public Management that entirely ignores truth,
focussing on a pseudo-reality and the construction of Potemkin villages.
5) New Public Management’s conditions in Denmark
Danish mentality and the specific history of Danish universities (with a radical marxist period in the 70s and 80s) as perfect conditions for New Public Management in Danish higher education.
Apart from these short-cuts, almost each episode is a little entity in itself. Thus, the book need not be read chronologically, but the reader can focus on the aspects they are most interested in.
Each volume has got an index (covering all three volumes) where the reader can look up the main aspects of the general criticism, such as “Expertise (oppressed)”, “Debate”, “Right to Freedom of Speech”, “Family culture”. The episodes focusing on the respective aspect are listed in the index, so that the reader can use the trilogy as a systematic handbook.