Research Supervision Interests

  • Educational governance, policy, and politics, including:
    • Globalisation and inter- and supra-national policy influence (e.g., International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Bank, etc.);
    • Neoliberal education governance (e.g., homo economicus, financializations), and advanced-liberal education policy (populist authoritarianisms, proto-fascisms)
    • Disciplinary and control societies, including network and anticipatory governance, ‘governing by numbers’, accountability policy, and surveillance studies (e.g., rankings);
    • Computation and algorithmic studies (e.g., artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, emerging or ‘fourth industrial’ technologies);
    • Studies in subjectivity or ‘micropolitics’, including governmentalities, biopolitics, and raciologies  (e.g., ‘care of the self’; folds and foldings; becomings);
    • Continental / philosophical studies in educational politics, particularly Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze (e.g., power; force; control; desire; de/re/ex/territorializations)


Dr. Webb’s fields of interest include contemporary Continental theories in relation to conceptions and practices of education governance. He uses several Continental theorists to examine formations of power and force in education, often manifest through ideas of policy and subjectivity. He is concerned with how education rationalizes and produces ‘governable subjects’ within liberal and neoliberal normative architectures. His research has been identified as a significant reason for the development of educational policy studies and governance over the past decade.

Dr. Webb received his BA in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley; MA in curriculum studies at the University of Colorado, Denver; and PhD in educational policy studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. Prior to coming to UBC, Dr. Webb taught at the University of Washington, Bothell.

Dr. Webb’s book Teacher Assemblage won the Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association in 2009 (AESA), and won the Outstanding Book Award from the Qualitative Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association in 2010 (AERA).

From 2016 to 2020, Dr. Webb served as an Associate Editor for the journal Critical Studies in Education (CSE), and continues to serve on the Editorial Advisory Panel of CSE. Today, Dr. Webb serves as the Associate Regional Editor – Americas for the Journal of Education Policy and as an Associate Editor for the journal Educational Philosophy and Theory

At UBC, Dr. Webb  offers graduate courses on educational governance (EDST 531), educational neoliberalism (EDST 596A), and (post) qualitative (and posthuman) methodologies. He regularly teaches the departmental PhD course on critical social theory (EDST 601A) and in the teacher education program to examine the political, social, and cultural histories of schooling (EDST 401).


University of California, Berkeley, BA, Philosophy
University of Colorado, Denver, MA, Curriculum & Instruction
University of Washington, Seattle, PhD , Education Policy Studies


2010 Qualitative Research SIG Outstanding Book Award (AERA)
2009 Critics Choice Book Award (AESA)
2005 Worthington Scholar Award (University of Washington, Bothell)

Research Projects

The education of, and by, machines: The impact of artificial intelligence on education policy Current

Grantor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Role: Principal Investigator

The problematic of life in education: Theorizing the implications of the recent advancements in life sciences for education policy Completed

Grantors: (1) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) & (2) Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (UBC)
Role: Principal Investigator, with Dr. Petra Mikulan (Postdoctoral Research)

Data infrastructures, mobilities and network governance in education Completed

Grantor: Australian Research Council (ARC). Role: Collaborator

Curriculum policy in an Afrocentric school: Care of the self during globalization Completed

Grantor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Publications


Education policy and racial biopolitics in the multicultural city. University of Chicago (2017).









Policy geophilosophy and education. (2015).

Teacher assemblage. (2009).

  • *Outstanding Book Award, Qualitative Research SIG, American Educational Research Association, 2010
  • *Critics’ Choice Book Award, American Educational Studies Association, 2009









Selected Recent Articles & Chapters

Selected Invited Talks

  • Webb, P. T. (2020, October 29). All education is artificial. Manifold Laboratory for Biosocial, Eco-Sensory and Digital Studies of Learning and Behaviour. Manchester Metropolitan University. Manchester, UK.
  • Webb, P. T. (2018, May). Considerations for implementing neuroscience in educational practice: A policy perspective.
    • Educational Neuroscience Research Cluster, Vice President Research + Innovation (VPRI), University of British Columbia.
  • Webb, P. T. (2018, April). Quina és la política educativa? (What is education policy?)
    • Invited presentation at the Facultat d’Educació, Traducció i Ciències Humanes (Faculty of Education, Translation, and Human Sciences), University of Vic, Spain (UVIC).
  • Webb, P. T. (2018, April). La política educativa, les biologies i la política de la pròpia vida. (Education policy, biologies, and the politics of life itself).
    • Invited presentation at the Centre d’Història de la Ciència (CEHIC), Facultat de Medicina (Center for the History of Science, Faculty of Medicine) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Barcelona, Spain.
  • Webb, P. T. (2018, April). Leadership in 2030: A brief history of tomorrow. Neuroplasticity.
    • Keynote talk at uLead: Visionary leadership for today’s learner. The Alberta Teachers’ Association. Banff, Alberta.

Students Supervised

Representative projects

Courses Taught


  • EDST 401: Education, School, and Social Institutions (Teacher Education Program)
  • EDST 531: The Politics of Education Governance
  • EDST 596: Philosophy and Education Policy: Neoliberalism
  • EDST 601A: Critical Social Theory in Education (PhD Program)

Community Work

Editorial Boards

  • Editorial Advisory Board, Critical Studies in Education, 2016-.
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2021-
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Education Policy, 2016-.