Academic Freedom, Universities and Knowledge Economies

Robert Cowen

Resumo

 ‘Academic freedom’ is a concept which captures - in two words - a professional ideology, makes a political statement (about what ought to be the relation of the university to the Church or to the State) and which identifies a work practice that is - in reality, in most normal times - at risk. In what the Chinese call ‘interesting times’ - times of war and plague and death and revolution - academic freedom is normally destroyed.

  The argument of this paper is that academic freedom is now being destroyed in ‘uninteresting times’ and in routine ways in several systems of higher education. More precisely the argument of the paper is that the concepts and practices of academic freedom took a long time to construct, and that they have not yet been destroyed - but the concepts and the practices are being eroded in subtle routine practices of daily academic work in certain kinds of university system. It is suggested that this is likely to become ‘normal’ for most university systems as knowledge economies develop further.

Palavras-chave

Academic freedom; professional ideology; political statement

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Referências

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