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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African social scientists and the struggle for academic freedom
Author:Zeleza, TiyambeISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Research and Development (ISSN 0251-0405)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:social scientists
academic freedom
social sciences
Abstract:This paper examines the struggle for academic freedom in Africa. It identifies the forces that have shaped and conditioned the social production of African intellectuals in general, and social scientists in particular. The challenges facing African intellectuals are immense. On the one hand, they have to contend with State tyranny and the restrictions imposed by civil society. On the other hand, their work is undermined by authoritarian power relations in their own institutions and dependence on external sources for research funding, publication and legitimation. Thus the struggle for academic freedom is a multifaceted one. Intellectuals must engage in the democratic struggles of the wider society, in addition to fighting for the democratization of their own institutions and practices. At the intellectual level, there is a need to fight against research structures that undermine African scholarship, theoretical paradigms that consider African experiences of minor importance, academic traditions that marginalize African contributions, and development prescriptions that ignore African struggles and realities. It is encouraging to note that these struggles are presently being waged. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.