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Buckner, Elizabeth. “Moral authority and the academy under attack: the case of# Boğaziçidireniyor at Boğaziçi University.” Globalisation, Societies and Education (2023): 1-14.


This article focuses on the question of how universities respond to authoritarian attacks on their autonomy through a close reading of faculty protests over rector appointments at Boğaziçi University (BU) in Turkey. I draw on digital and social media accounts of the protests and expert opinion interviews with displaced Turkish academics to refine the arguments in the article. By documenting their unified resistance, the article highlights how BU academics claim professional and moral authority over the domain of university governance. I argue that their resistance has been particularly resonant nationally and internationally because it exposes and belies the raw political violence of the Erdoğan regime on moral, not political, terms. Exploring how one university community has resisted direct attacks on their autonomy sheds light on how universities mobilise cultural and moral authority to combat the newest iteration of political power that seeks to both undermine and claim that authority.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.