The affirmation of value as the universal measure of academic activity, through processes of evaluation, is a constant threat to the search for truth, which should be conducted through processes of judgement, Gino Zaccaria (Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management) asserts in La dittatura del valore. The Dictatorship of Value (the title of both a book published by McGraw Hill, Milano2011, and co-authored with Ivo De Gennaro, Free University of Bozen, and an essay published in the anthology Value. Sources and Readings on a Key Concept of the Globalized World, Brill, Leiden-Boston 2012). A related analysis is presented in Zaccaria’s essay Il progetto del mondo (also in Value. Sources and Readings on a Key Concept of the Globalized World).
Evaluation – De Gennaro and Zaccaria say – is not, as it would seem, the most clear, essential, concrete and objective form of judgement, but the result of a way of thinking which considers every being only as a resource and knows actions exclusively as a production of effects calculable according to their utility or return. These observations, the authors write in the Introduction to The Dictatorship of Value, “allow us to speak of current university teaching as a practice which is now forced to exist and to unfold within a real absolute regime: the dictatorship of evaluation.”
La dittatura del valore. The Dictatorship of Value covers the effects of this way of thinking both on teaching and research (in the latter case focusing on the meaning of so-called “peer reviews”) in the Italian version, while only the part about teaching is translated into English.