'academic freedom' 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 […]

  • Academic Freedom in Thailand

    March 5, 2015

    I am among 238 signatories to a letter condeming the treatment of Thai historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul, who has been fired by Thammasat University, and more broadly calling for the restoration of academic freedom in Thailand. The text of that letter can be seen on Prachatai here. Other coverage to date is below:\ Thai PBS (English): […]

  • 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, […]

  • Israel BDS Event

    February 11, 2012

    The recent debate on boycott, disinvestment and sanctions against Israel at SOAS was an interesting event, attended by a couple of hundred people. It was a very civilised discussion compared to a lot of Israel-Palestine debates and there were lots of good points made from the floor. For me, the debate among the panel was […]

  • 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 […]

  • Libya and the LSE

    March 4, 2011

    After intensifying pressure and days of media speculation, the director of the London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, has finally resigned over his institution’s controversial links with the Libyan regime. He was doubtless right to go, having made grave errors of judgement that severely damaged the LSE’s reputation, seeing it branded the ‘Libyan School […]

  • 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 […]

  • Academic Freedom in a Time of Terror

    July 12, 2008

    Something I’ve been involved in lately in a small way are efforts to defend academic freedom at the University of Nottingham where a student and an administrator were turned in to the police for downloading an electronic version of an al-Qaeda training manual which is freely available online and can be purchased in campus bookstores. […]

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