Myanmar underlines the importance of supporting social sciences: Autocracy starts with the violent repression of students and academics.

Matteo Fumagalli, Achim Kemmerling, Youngmi Kim, Luicy Pedroza

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article

Abstract

Myanmar is a prime example of the importance of universities in general, and the crucial importance of social sciences and humanities in particular, for the flourishing of democracy.

The current options to provide direct help to Burmese students, academics and universities are limited. Nonetheless, the case of Myanmar reminds us of how important it is to support social science and humanities around the world. To safeguard against the rising wave of autocracy we see in so many countries, universities must unite in solidarity and form timely, resolute alliances with those departments and universities under pressure.

These are the true canaries in freedom’s coalmine. Once critical thinking in universities goes down, so goes liberty more generally.

Keywords

  • Myanmar
  • higher education
  • social sciences
  • humanities
  • autocracy
  • repression
  • Asia
  • academic freedom

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