We live in a de-globalized world. The United States and China each prioritize their self-interest over common concerns. Mutual paranoia has taken precedence over mutual benefit. Each country imagines a future of greater “self-sufficiency” even if neither has ever won. What does this mean for academia? For the world of shared research and learning? Empires of Ideas, published July 2022. My new book, Empires of Ideas, asks this question: whether German universities set global standards in the 19th century; what if American universities – learning from their German tutors – had topped global rankings by the end of the 20th century; are Chinese universities – having taken courses in Europe and America (with a bit of Soviet seasoning) – ready to lead the 21st century? Higher education is an industry in which the United States is still number one. Will China threaten American primacy? Very probably. After all, China is home to more than t
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