WOCMES 2018: “Deliberating Academic Freedom in the GCC Countries”

Panel on “Deliberating Academic Freedom in the GCC Countries”

Seville 2018

Language: English
Name of chair: Marc Valeri

University of Exeter

Name of discussant: Abdulhadi Khalaf

Lund University

Theme: Scientific Culture
IDCOM: PA-1373
Group Code 02700

The panel focuses on academic freedom in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It invites papers dealing with various factors influencing academic freedom, including regulations as well as formal and informal practices.

In the GCC countries, universities and institutions of higher learning were state-run institutions without possibilities to establish their institutional autonomy.  University administrators and faculty remained state-employees and were required to offer only curricula approved by higher state authorities. Since the early 1990s, several foreign universities began operating branches in the region.

Most these branches have been attracted by the expected financial returns on investment and/or by the host governments’ offers to subsidize portions of their planning and construction costs. In a few cases, those subsidies cover also operational costs.

Throughout the past decades, the Gulf ruling families have managed to deal with growth of all types of higher academic learning without expanding the restricted perimeters they impose on academic freedom. To achieve this, Gulf States have effectively combined their coercive powers with an elaborate system of patronage through financial subsidies.

Papers presented to this panel may focus, among other topics, on a) the similarities and dissimilarities in the ways state-run universities and branches of foreign universities deal with constraints on academic freedom in the countries of the region; b) the impact of the newly opened branches of foreign universities on the evolution of academic freedom and production of knowledge in the region.

Papers based on research from diverse disciplines are welcomed. If required, the panel could run in two sessions. Proposals should be in English.

Please consult the WOCMES websites http://www.tresculturas.org/wocmes18/ and http://wocmes2018seville.org

Please send of your proposals simultaneously via email to:

Abdulhadi Khalaf,     Abdulhadi.Khalaf@soc.lu.se


Marc Valeri,      m.valeri@exeter.ac.uk