Liberal Education in Authoritarian Places by By JIM SLEEPER, NY Times

The challenge of US Universities opening branch campuses abroad. “At its best, a liberal education imbues future citizen-leaders with the values and skills that are necessary to question, not merely serve, concentrations of power and profit. Universities that abandon this ideal are lending their good names to the decline of liberal education; turning themselves into career-networking centers for a global managerial work force that answers to no republican polity or moral code; and cheapening the value of the diplomas they hand out, at home and abroad.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/opinion/sunday/liberal-education-in-authoritarian-places.html?hp

Conflict in Egypt – Cultural Case Study

The situation is Egypt is discouraging for democratic ideals and the violence is disturbing. Not even addressing the problem of the military coup and the illegality of removing an elected president (and the US and other foreign governments’ approval/disapproval/complicity), from an intercultural perspective it is an example of how differences between groups can result in societal and governmental conflict. However, we can also use this case with students to demonstrate the different ways that reality is constructed and the role of the media in that process. Much of the coverage in outside of Egypt has focused on one version of reality, but there are opportunities for us to find alternative perspectives, thanks to technology.  As this situation continues to evolve, the difficulty of ongoing, generational cultural conflict becomes clearer. While not unique to Egypt, this certainly can be used to demonstrate and try to understand a bit of the complexity of culture, politics, power, and identity.