Professor, speak up and make a difference — Kris Hartley

Source: New Mandala

Kris Hartley is lecturer at Cornell University, a Faculty Fellow at Cornell’s Atkinson Centre and a Nonresident Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Kris Hartley is lecturer at Cornell University, a Faculty Fellow at Cornell’s Atkinson Centre and a Nonresident Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Scholars should allocate a portion of their time to addressing social injustice, Kris Hartley writes, and academics of all disciplines have a crucial role to play.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s draconian crackdown on university professors and deans has sent a chill through global academia. While Turkey’s oppressive political climate appears uniquely hopeless, free speech is under assault around the world as a wave of authoritarianism crashes ashore. Politically opportunistic ‘strong-men’ such as Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin, Rodrigo Duterte, and potentially Donald Trump are taking advantage of fears about terrorism and globalisation while ridiculing opponents as weak and traitorous.

Sadly, their actions do not end there. Stifling freedom of thought has priority status in the dictator’s playbook and limited press freedom in many countries is an unsettling bellwether. Scholars may be next in line at the figurative guillotine, but does the academic system encourage them to fight back? Read more