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Post-colonial universities in the service of autocratic states

The closing of the young minds of Southeast Asia

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Forces of Renewal for Southeast Asia (Forsea) hosts a critical discussion on how post-colonial political regimes across Southeast Asia attempt to limit the intellectual space, kill the natural curiosity of the region’s young minds, and neuter the universities’ potential to contribute to the progressive, democratic transformation of society – and the Asean region with 500 million inhabitants variously oppressed under autocratic and quasi-democratic regimes.

The two leading scholars of Southeast Asia – Thongchai Winichakul, emeritus professor of history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Michael Charney, professor of military history and Southeast Asian histories from SOAS University of London – will share their professional perspectives on the ways in which higher education in the region has been misused and manipulated to promote what Michael Charney calls “state-think”.

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