The expansion of Western education overseas has been both an economic success, if the numbers of American, European, and Australian universities setting up campuses in Asia and the Middle East is a measure -- and a source of consternation for academics concerned with norms of free inquiry and intellectual freedom. Faculty at Western campuses have resisted the new satellite campuses, fearing that colleagues on those campuses would be less free to teach and engage in intellectual inquiry, and that students could be denied the free inquiry normally associated with liberal arts education. Critics point to the denial of visas to academics wishing to carry out research on foreign campuses, the sudden termination of employment at schools in both the Middle East and Asia, or the last-minute cancellation of courses at those schools, as evidence that they were correctly suspicious of the possibility that liberal arts programs could exist in those regions. Supporters of the project have argued that opening up foreign campuses brings free inquiry to closed societies, improves educational opportunities for students who would otherwise be denied them, or, perhaps less frequently, that free inquiry will be no more pressured than in the United States or Western Europe. Normative Tensions examines the consequences not only of expansion overseas, but the increased opening of universities to foreign students.
Kevin W. Gray teaches philosophy at Fordham University.
Introduction by Kevin W. Gray
Chapter 1: Academic Freedom in Xi’s China: A Text Mining Study of Cultural Contestations by
Kenneth C. C. Yang and Yowei Kang
Chapter 2: The Interaction of Academic Freedom and State Sovereignty by Syd Waters
Chapter 3: Higher Education in Turkey: Academic Freedom and Resistance by Sevgi Doğan
Chapter 4: Is Philosophical Thinking Possible in Higher Education in the American(-style)
Universities in the GCC? By Sevket Benhur Oral
Chapter 5: An MSU-within-MSU: Mandarin-Speaking Undergraduates Writing “Chinglish” by
Chapter 6: Innocents Abroad? Liberal Educators in Illiberal Societies by Jim Sleeper
Chapter 7: Academic Freedom and the Social Context of Universities by John Ryder
Many academics who invoke freedom assume that it exists in an abstract realm apart from all social circumstances. The essays collected in Normative Tensions give the lie to that assumption and demonstrate how non-academic pressures--political, social, financial, cultural--work to shape and constrain the freedom academics can exercise both in this country and abroad. A salutary lesson.
This ought to be one of the most important books on higher education published in 2022[.]