Standing in Solidarity with Ukraine
Authoritarianism is a threat to human flourishing
On behalf of CEW, I am writing to express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and our unequivocal condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. With the rest of the world, we have watched with dismay as the tragedy has developed, demonstrating the fragility of peace in the face of reckless and senseless acts. Our hearts go out to all those whose safety and autonomy have been endangered or whose loved ones are in harm’s way.
As researchers and as human beings, we have felt a growing sense of alarm in recent years as authoritarianism has expanded its reach around the world. The Russian attack on Ukraine is the latest startling example of the devastation and suffering that authoritarian governments can sow across multiple countries in their attempt to suppress freedom.
Our research has shown that higher education can play a critical role in safeguarding societies against the menace of authoritarianism by encouraging freedom of thought, an appreciation for diversity, and the economic security that fosters peace and collaboration. These outcomes are one reason that rising authoritarian governments often seek to suppress free speech and academic freedom in their quest to establish and maintain power.
We firmly believe that authoritarianism cannot coexist with freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and the right of self-determination. The work that all researchers and educators do is a crucial bulwark against authoritarianism. At the same time, the global spread of authoritarianism threatens the ability of researchers and educators everywhere to do this work. The ultimate goal of higher education is human flourishing, and there can be no human flourishing without peace, freedom, and respect for the fundamental sanctity of human life.
History has shown that war and suffering are antithetical to human progress and the very essence of humanity. We cannot see ourselves as isolated from the suffering of the Ukrainian people. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and all those affected by the current crisis.
Anthony P. Carnevale
Dr. Carnevale is the director and research professor at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. CEW is a research and policy institute within Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy that studies the links among education, career qualifications, and workforce demands.