Jakub Jirsa is Senior lecturer of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Charles University in Prague. Currently he is a Jan Patočka Visiting Fellowat the IWM.
Universities all around the globe nowadays find themselves in an almost schizophrenic situation: highly successful and growing on one hand, yet suffering from pressure and uncertainty on the other hand. The presentation will explain how this situation is caused by problems of accountability that universities face in the age of popular democracy. Secondly, it will more specifically discuss the problems of humanities departments in Central Europe. These institutions share the global problems, but in addition face specific problems that originate from the troubled history of the region (both before 1989 and after). In many cases, this leads to the failure of local universities to enact their own legislation that would create a transparent and stable environment for research and education. The talk will refer to particular cases that nicely demonstrate the tremendous impact that these problems have on concrete university life.