'free speech' Category

  • On the Third World Quarterly imbroglio

    December 12, 2017

    I have co-authored a letter, printed in last Saturday’s Times, with a longer version in Times Higher Education, defending the academic journal Third World Quarterly and its editor, Shahid Qadir. I organised this letter with my colleague Phil Cunliffe at Kent, and it is signed by most of the journal’s remaining editorial board members, editors […]

  • Thai Junta’s Censorship Extends Beyond the Kingdom

    May 30, 2014

    I am co-organising a public panel discussion at SOAS on the recent Thai coup next Tuesday. The Thai embassy tried to get the SOAS Thai Society to cancel the event. We refused. Yesterday I wrote a response to the events, which attracted a lot of interest on Twitter; it’s published today in Prachatai, and it’ll […]

  • Myanmar: a new future through higher education?

    May 10, 2013

    Yesterday I participated in a ‘Myanmar-UK policy dialogue’ organised by the British Council entitled ‘Myanmar: a new future through higher education?’ This got quite a lot of coverage yesterday because the keynote address was given remotely by Aung San Suu Kyi who asked for Britain’s help in reconstructing Myanmar’s dilapidated university system (BBC, Times Higher, […]

  • Lese Majeste and the Post-Election Settlement in Thailand

    September 1, 2011

    I am among 112 international scholars who have signed an open letter to Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra calling on her government to respect freedom of speech and academic freedom in Thailand by rescinding the law of lese majeste and the Computer Crimes Act. The letter has been released today as the trial of the […]

  • Wikileaks

    January 28, 2011

    Last night I spoke at the Institute of Ideas’ Current Affairs Forum on Wikileaks. Here is the blurb for the event: A wicked leak of state secrets? Transparency, power and the diplomatic cables The Wikileaks revelations have not just been in the news for the past months, they have been the news. Since the latest […]

  • Thai army to enforce royal censorship laws

    September 28, 2009

    I am quoted in a report in this weekend’s Daily Telegraph commenting on the latest rumblings in Thailand related to the lese majeste laws.

  • Statement on Abhisit Visit to Oxford

    March 12, 2009

    On 6 March I wrote an email to the president of St John’s College, Oxford, regarding the visit of the Thai prime minister, who is scheduled to give a talk on the ‘challenges of democracy’ on 14 March. In it, I expressed concern that Prime Minister Abhisit was perhaps not the most appropriate person to […]

  • Lese Majeste in Thailand: The Enemy of Democracy

    February 28, 2009

    Last week I hosted an event at LMH with Associate Professor Giles Ji Ungpakorn from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok with the above title. Giles is a Marxist scholar of Thai politics and society as well as an active political campaigner. In 2006 he wrote a book called A Coup for the Rich (pdf), which criticised […]

  • OUSU: A Mandate to Do Nothing

    November 16, 2007

    Oxford University Students Union (OUSU) held elections yesterday and the results are now out. They make for very sorry reading and reveal the vast, gaping hole in the Union’s legitimacy. The new president-elect, Lewis Iwu, was elected with 1154 votes out of 2,925 (this after three rounds of transferable voting). There are 19,486 students at […]

  • Censorious Students

    October 21, 2007

    As part of the research for the talk I’m giving at the Battle of Ideas, I spent a while this morning dredging up some examples of things that student unions have banned or censored in recent years. I found all of the following just using Google: Eminem – Sheffield SU, Feb 2001. To ‘create a […]

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