The university holds a privileged place as the site of knowledge production in social development. Simultaneously, traditions of pedagogy drawing from the liberal arts have evolved within Northern/Western post-secondary educational systems which claim to create citizens through developing the skills of freedom; this claim was central to interventions in post-Soviet university reform projects. The author’s university development and reform experiences in the former Soviet Union show that a depoliticised liberal arts pedagogy in fact reinforced authoritarian practices, and the promise of a liberal arts pedagogy as an emancipatory project remains an ongoing global task of critical knowledge practices.
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