Mark Olssen, FAcSS, a political theorist, holds a professorial chair of higher education at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, and is Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Education Policy in the Department of Political, International and Policy Studies within the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences at the University of Surrey.
Born and educated in Dunedin, New Zealand, Olssen moved to England in 2001, and has researched and taught at the University of Surrey since that date. He researches include works on Foucault, education policy, social and political theory and quantum and post-quantum complexity approaches in the social sciences and he relates theoretical issues to contemporary matters of social and political concern, including neoliberalism, social theory, ethics, and higher education policy. Utilising a critical and constructivist approach across his individual books and articles, a nagging long-term interest is to develop a new non-foundationalist normative political ethics, inspired by Foucault and others, which can orientate politics, education and ethics in a global age.
Richard Watermeyer and Olssen, Mark (2016, May), ‘Excellence and Exclusion: the individual costs of institutional competitiveness’, Minerva, 54, pp. 201 –218, DOI: 10.1007/s1 1024 - 016- 9298 - 5.
Raaper, Rille, and Mark Olssen (2016, February), ‘Mark Olssen on the neoliberalisation of higher education and academic lives: an interview,’ Policy Futures in Education, 14(2), pp. 147 –163. Available on-line first from 2/11/15, doi: 10.1177/1478210315610992 (Sage Publications, London).
Olssen, Mark, (2016, January) ‘Neoliberalism and Higher Education Today: research, accountability and impact’. British Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol. 37, (1), pp. 129 – 148. (Series editor, Rajani Naidoo), Available on-line from 23/12/2015 (Taylor/Francis, London).
Olssen, Mark (2015) ‘Ascertaining the Normative Implications of Complexity for Politics: Beyond Agent-Based Modeling’, in Emilian Kavalski (Ed.) (2015) World Politics at the Edge of Chaos: Reflections on Complexity and Global Life (in David C. Earnest, editor and James N. Rosenau series editor in Global Politics series). SUNY Press, New York, pp. 139 – 168.
Olssen, Mark and Michael Peters (June 2015), ‘Marx, Education and the Possibilities of a Fairer World: Reviving Radical Political Economy through Foucault’, Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 14, pp. 39 – 69, (Addleton Academic Publishers, New York).
Olssen, Mark (January 2015) ‘Social Democracy, Complexity and Education: Sociological Perspectives from Welfare Liberalism.’ Knowledge Cultures, Vol. 2, No. 6, pp. 115 – 129 (Addelton Academic Publishers, New York).
Olssen, Mark (January 2015) ‘Discourse, Complexity, Normativity: Tracing the elaboration of Foucault’s materialist concept of discourse’, Open Review of Educational Research, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 28–55 (Taylor/Francis, London).
Olssen, Mark (2017) (on-line now) 'Exploring Complexity through Literature: Reframing Foucault's research project with hindsight', Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 16, pp. 80 – 89. (Addleton Academic Publishers, New York).