Student as Producer and the Politics of Abolition: Making a New Form of Dissident Institution?


  • Mike Neary University of Lincoln
  • Gary Saunders University of Lincoln



Subversion, Higher Education, Critique of Value, Abolitionsim, Revolutionary Theory, Dissident institution, Marxism, Alternative Learning Spaces


This paper tells the story of how a group of staff and students set out to establish a subersive teaching and learning project: Student as Producer, within a neoliberal university in England. Faced with the recuperation of its radical practice, the paper recounts how staff and students involved with Student as Producer moved outside of the university to set up a cooperative form of higher education: the Social Science Centre, Lincoln, where students can attain higher education awards without the burden of debt, along with the experience of running a workers' cooperative. This subversive practice is grounded in a Marxist 'critique of value', underpinned by a politics of abolition based on the work of Thomas Mathiesen (1974). The paper concludes that it is possible and necessary to create new dissident institutions 'in and against' the organisational forms of capitalist society as the embodiment of revolutionary theory.


Author Biographies

Mike Neary, University of Lincoln

Mike Neary, Professor in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the Univesity of Lincoln, UK

Gary Saunders, University of Lincoln

PhD candidate and part-time lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln, UK