Autonomous Universities and the Making Of the Knowledge Commons

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Essay by George Caffentzis



"This is the last of my four scheduled Russell Scholar lectures on the theme of academic freedom. I would like to briefly recapitulate for you their trajectory.

In my previous lectures I discussed the threats to academic freedom coming from the state and market and I began to sketch a theory of academic freedom taking us beyond our need to defend academic work and institutions from these threats. I argued that the notion of a knowledge commons is crucial in defining the positive aspect of academic freedom and that the proper expression of academic autonomy in the 21st century is the preservation, defense and expansion of the knowledge commons.

In this lecture I address the role autonomous universities can play in the practical task of making the Knowledge Commons."