As a graduate of political science and working in political science academia, I am usually questioning the objectives of my researches; are they for national interests or reforms or they are for promoting abstract values and universal principles?!
I graduated from political science school and my career is doing researches and teaching in the field of political science. the mission of the faculty I belong to, which was the only one in Egyptian universities until 2012, is to provide state institutions with consultants. Actually, I have been part of attaining this mission when I have participated in consultation meetings and have conducted policy-oriented papers. so, doing such academic activity implies supporting a nationalist view implicitly or am I a reformer and I carry the nationality of this state and belong to its people and also I hope for better conditions and might be my participation contributes in the reform process ?!!
But many times, the policy outcomes are not positive and the failure is around, so should I defend or criticize? this question raise when I meet scholars around the world, should I show the complexity of settings that lead to ineffective policies or criticize the argonaut behavior of governments
so what I’m looking for is not my position either with national policies or against but what I need is a safe environment to express the values and defend them even they confront with governments interests and prestige.
Two weeks ago, I attended a lecture part of series about the slave trade and involvement of Netherlands in this trade shamefully, the event hosted by the university and some of the presented research are financed by governmental organizations. both the government and university encourage or at least open the door for free discussion about a knotty topic that agitates state historical prestige in the world .. it is the liberal academia in terms of speech and expression and sharing information not only to feed business interests.
Nevertheless, feeling free in conducting and discussing research without national constraints is not the clue for personal freedom. Memory exists with the grievances of colonial policies and implicit aggression. then the national belonging raised again as a shell to conserve this memory and the inherited history.
Am I a global or national researcher?!!!