Dec 18, 2015

Are US academics who cite WikiLeaks blackballed?

Does the US government prevent academics from using WikiLeaks material? New Internationalist digital editor Chris Spannos explains.

While WikiLeaks continues to make strong interventions into the global news cycle, important debates have been simmering between editor Julian Assange and international relations scholars about whether or not the more than 2 million US diplomatic cables and State Department records WikiLeaks began publishing in 2010 (2,325,961 to be exact) are relevant to understanding how the world’s super-power operates and if Anglo-American academic institutions in the international relations discipline are biased toward the interests of US empire.

The debate raises difficult questions. Do the cables provide insight into full-spectrum diplomacy, foreign relations, and concepts of sovereignty? If so, how can the indifference of certain prestigious associations and journals in the international relations discipline to WikiLeaks’ material be explained? Do these powerful institutions prefer to turn a blind eye to evidence that shows their theories wanting? Do they operate to provide a distorted view of the world and help prepare international studies graduates for jobs serving questionable US government interests?

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6 thoughts on “Are US academics who cite WikiLeaks blackballed?

  1. Bertrand Explaining

    There are plenty of former US presidential candidates that never went anywhere, but “Former US presidential candidate for the Green Party Cynthia McKinney” is perhaps better known in the US as a twice-elected senator for the State of Georgia. Her recent dissertation was written with the supervision of Peter Dale Scott. The censorship of her writing will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed McKinney’s other regular run-ins with the US establishment.

  2. Norman Hanscombe

    It’s unfortunate that decades the far more important question how of competent academics have been blackballed for encouraging students to analyse rather than simply soak up whatever they’re spoon fed hasn’t received attention, isn’t it.

  3. AR

    Too many careers of pntification at stake – the “academic universe is indifferent to WikiLeaks”, what a surprise.

  4. AR

    ..and even worse, ‘pontificating’.

  5. Paul Diehl

    The claim about the policy of the International Studies Association is false. This should be corrected.

    See the ISA statement on this found on its website (http://www.isanet.org/Publications)

    ISA Statement on the Use of Classified Materials (including Wikileaks) in ISA Publications

    Over the past several months, the International Studies Association (ISA) has been accused in print and on social media of having a policy that prohibits the publication of articles drawing on material from Wikileaks in its journals. These statements are incorrect, and ISA has stated so on numerous occasions: ISA does not have a policy rejecting articles based on the use of WikiLeaks materials. We regret that despite these denials, some media are still reporting otherwise. Indeed, several articles have been published in the seven ISA journals drawing on Wikileaks materials.

    ISA is a global scholarly association whose members live, work, and research in a wide variety of countries—each with its own laws and procedures concerning classified materials and their use. Thus, ISA’s members are subject to a wide variety of legal rules concerning what material is classified, the right of scholars to use that material, and the possible legal consequences that they face from doing so. Such cross-national, global complexity cautions against any ISA policy when it comes to its membership, and makes it a difficult undertaking to formulate a common policy for ISA publications. Simply, ISA has not adopted a policy concerning the handling of classified material—American or otherwise—by its individual members or institutional components.

  6. Dan Dair

    Hopefully, this is not too far off-topic.?

    The Nazi’s in WW2 conducted a rather comprehensive series of ‘experiments’ on ‘(sub)human’ captives during their brief but catastrophic period in power.

    The subsequent dilemma for physicians around the world, post-war, was whether to utilise the information gleaned from such unethical & inhumane activities.?

    Though quite a different context, I suspect that the dilemma is now a similar one.?
    Wikileaks shows that the West has been duplicitous.
    Grown-up’s will not be surprised by this, as we all suspect that ‘our-lot’ are just as bad as ‘their-lot’, when it comes to what is done in-our-name, behind the scenes.?
    (the difference being that ‘our-lot’ get a much better press at home than ‘their-lot’ (& vice-versa))

    The fact that the Wikileaks information is now ‘in the public domain’ should, IMO, make judgements about its use redundant.
    The information IS ‘in the public domain’, consequently no further harm can be done by using it.

    Indeed, if it is better understood by the masses, it might lead to a better understanding by the people of what national leaders feel they have to do to protect our ways of life.?

    And if ‘the people’ don’t like what’s being done in our name…..
    We can vote them out.?????
    (or we can concur that ‘our-way-of-life’ is better that ‘theirs’ & we can collectively agree to accept the levels of intrusion into our private & public affairs, which Wikileaks has highlighted.?)

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