Thursday, February 28, 2008

Money and Defence Scholarship

Amir Attaran poked a hornet's nest the other day with a comment in the Globe & Mail about the extent to which the Canadian military subsidizes academic research that, in Attaran's view, supports military policy rather than scrutinizing it. The opinion is here and there have been several follow ups (to track em all, search Attaran while you are on the Globe site), notably one by Jack Granatstein and a way too personal response by Attaran.

Attaran certainly taps into a view I've heard. Simple version might be: war studies get funded, peace studies don't. The more subtle version is a concern about the closeness and sympathy that grows between the funders and the funded. Granatstein says scholars are way too independent to be swayed. He's right that $5000 ain't ever going to buy Granatstein's opinion, but the problem is real. Granatstein himself has often written about the herd-mentality in academe.

Bet historians doing Security Studies, Defence Studies, Peace Studies around the country are talking about this one.
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