Silencing the scholars: Academia, managing dissent and the war in Ukraine

Tim Hayward, Piers Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

All wars are accompanied by propaganda and the current Ukraine conflict is no exception. Wartime propaganda activities focus on demonizing the enemy and emphasizing the righteousness of “our” side whilst simultaneously highlighting useful facts and censoring those deemed inconvenient. One component of realizing these objectives is to suppress dissent and this involves targeting those who challenge propaganda. In the case of the Ukraine war this has involved the banning of Russian state-linked broadcasters in the West whilst intimidating and discrediting dissenting voices. In both the United States and the United Kingdom this includes attacks on academics challenging official Western narratives and attempts to associate dissent with a variety of derogatory labels. For example, high-profile academics such as John Mearsheimer have been accused of spreading Russian propaganda simply for questioning aspects of the war. In the United Kingdom context, media and parliamentary pressure has been applied to a number of UK academics. In this chapter we assess the implications of these tactics for academia, the public sphere, and our ability to rationally evaluate information during war. We conclude that academics and universities must recognize their responsibilities to support critical research and debate into matters of social importance and resist external pressures to confirm “official truths.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedia, Dissidence and the War in Ukraine
EditorsTabe Bergman, Jesse Owen Hearns-Branaman
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter7
Pages119-136
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781003431862
ISBN (Print)9781032557052
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2024

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Media, Communication, and Politics
PublisherRoutledge

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