Government Interference in Academia

Last week there was a conference that took place at the University of Bath: Understanding Conflict: Research, ideas and responses to security threats.

The programme included :

– The Historiography of Terrorism by Marc Sageman, former CIA Operations Officer
– Killer Drones as a Weapon of Empire Terrorism by Scott Poynting, University of Auckland
– Problems and Pitfalls of ‘Preventing Extremism’in Britain’s Education System by Katy Sian, University of Manchester
– Extraordinary Extradition: Exploring Race and Citizenship in the Context of the War on Terror by Nisha Kapoor, University of York
– Pushed Out: A Practitioners Assessment of the Role the State Plays in the Process of Disenfranchisement by Asim Qureshi, CAGE

and many other presentations on counter-terror, conflict and Islamophobia.

Professor David Miller and Narzanin Massoumi have written about the problems of government agencies interference in university research, published in today’s Guardian:

“We have experienced pressures about who should speak at the event and who should be allowed to attend, for example the police asked for the list of all delegates (which we did not supply). We had a number of speakers from civil society and Muslim groups, often attacked by the conservative press, government ministers and the Twittersphere. These included Moazzam Begg from Cage, the civil rights organisation which works with terrorism suspects, and a representative of Tell Mama, which monitors anti-Muslim hate crime. But we also had the prominent former CIA official Marc Sageman and counter-terrorism officials from the government’s Prevent strategy (pdf). Also in attendance were two officials from the MoD and even two from the Israeli embassy in London, who reportedly recorded sessions and photographed presentation slides.”

For more on the conference proceedings, check out #iprunderstandingconflict on Twitter.

Categories: Committing Sociology, Conferences

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