Higher education leadership for democracy, sustainability and social justice (Council of Europe Higher Education Series No. 26)

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Democracy, sustainability and social justice: the leading role that higher education must play in maintaining these three principles

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This publication arises from the global forum that the Council of Europe, the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy, the Organization of American States and the International Association of Universities organised at Dublin City University in June 2022. It also arises from the challenges of Covid-19, which both highlighted and contributed to the fragility of democracy, with the increasing erosion of democratic participation, the deepening of extreme inequities, the strengthening of identity and nationalistic politics and the promotion of populist anti-intellectualism, involving attacks on science and knowledge itself.

In this book, authors from Europe, the United States and Latin America argue that democracy, sustainability and social justice are inextricably linked, and that we can impact none of them unless higher education plays an important role in identifying the issues and helping society devise a viable and robust response. The book argues that higher education must do more than develop and disseminate knowledge and understanding. Higher education must influence the way individuals and societies behave. Higher education must lead. The importance of this leadership is illustrated by the inclusion of the Dublin Global Forum in the programme of the Irish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and will be borne out by the positions and actions of the higher education community.