Authoritarian modernisation and academic freedom: The contradictions of internationalisation and "pockets of effectiveness" in Russian higher education

Kasia Kaczmarska, Dmitry Dubrovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The text relies on the concept of authoritarian modernisation to explore the challenges to the higher education (HE) sector and academic freedom in Russia. We show that elements of modernisation, coupled with Russia’s participation in the global process of HE internationalisation, have created pockets of effectiveness. However, these have solved the many problems pervading Russian HE. We argue that modernisation, in the form in which it has been implemented in Russia, has, in effect, proved detrimental to the fundamental aspect of higher education and research, namely academic freedom. To support our argument, we discuss the main elements of modernisation and internationalisation in the Russian HE system and supplement our analysis with four case studies: the Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Science, the Tyumen School of Advanced Studies, the Higher School of Economics and the European University at St Petersburg. These cases allow us to show the tension between specifically understood and undertaken modernisation and academic freedom. More specifically, we highlight the tension between prestige-driven internationalisation, short-termist modernisation and the politics of fear, which all contribute to the erosion of academic freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Journal Études transtextuelles et transculturelles
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2022

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