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Rather than reinventing and rethinking the challenge of an oppositional politics within a global public sphere, the academic Left appears to be withdrawing from the demands of civic engagement by retreating into what Susan Buck-Morss (2003) calls "theory-world," a space where the "academic freedom of critical theorists coincides with our lack of influence in public and political debate"(p. 68). Hope, once embodied in the politics of persuasion, the drive for instituting critical education in a diverse number of public spheres, collective efforts to organize struggles within major institutions, and the attempt to build international social movements seems, at best, a nostalgic remnant of the 1960s. The naturalness and commonsense appeal of the neoliberal economic order produces a crisis of political and historical imagination, on the one hand, and an educational crisis on the other.