On precarity in academia

competition, hypocrisy and humiliation


  • Philippe Stamenkovic Independent scholar


precarity in academia, competition, hypocrisy, humiliation


Precarity in academia is notoriously widespread. The main reason is certainly the fierce competition which has turned the academic job market into a meaningless jungle. It is a terrible waste, in which countless brilliant academics struggle to secure a position, often to an advanced age (when they do not leave the field altogether), with damaging consequences on their personal and psychic life. In this article I recall my own experience of this terrible state of affairs, insisting on the vicious circles in which the “outsider” trying to get in can be caught. I also comment on the hypocrisy and humiliation to which I was personally confronted, which stands in sharp contrast with the “good intentions” which can be seen everywhere in the literature. I conclude by asking tenured, privileged academics to show decency to the precarious workers of academia, who lead a difficult life and deserve respect.

Author Biography

Philippe Stamenkovic, Independent scholar

Philippe Stamenkovic worked five years as an engineer before doing a PhD in history and philosophy of science at Paris Diderot University. After a post-doc at Aix Marseille University, he is currently looking for a job, while specializing in science and society relationships.