Giorgi Areshidze, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Government

Department

Government
Kravis Center
240

Biography

Professor Areshidze is currently working on his third book project, "Illiberal Education: Threats to Free Speech in Academia and the Decline of Liberal Learning at Claremont McKenna College."

Written as a semi-autobiographical academic memoir based on his ten years as a Claremont McKenna faculty member, Illiberal Education focuses on recent illiberal ideological trends advanced by academic administrators on College campuses. Through interviews with faculty and students, the book traces how the leadership of the College transformed Claremont McKenna from a bastion of academic freedom and humanistic liberal education into an ideologically activist institution where Professors (and guest speakers) are harassed or threatened for their political and academic speech, and students have their due process rights violated in investigations.

Illiberal Education documents a troubling series of decisions through which the administration failed to protect freedom of speech against internal and external ideological pressure, actively politicized curriculum across ideological dimensions, retaliated against and harassed faculty, undermined due process in student and faculty investigations, and institutionalized a system of anonymous complaints for the ideological and behavioral surveillance of students and faculty. 

Areshidze situates these developments at Claremont into broader trends in educational institutions throughout the US, and then traces their influence on other institutions within our ongoing ideologically polarized “culture wars” in America—including news media, social media and technology, and corporations. While Claremont McKenna is not an exception to these educational and cultural developments, it has become a dangerous national trend-setter owing to its status as one the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in the country.  

Illiberal Education offers students, parents, alumni, and faculty concrete steps and actions they can employ to counteract these developments at both Claremont and other colleges. In chapters devoted to Title IX, Critical Race Theory-inspired “Anti-Racism,” freedom of speech and academic freedom, and due process, Professor Areshidze shows what students and faculty can do to protect themselves against administrators who abuse their authority, and what alumni and parents can do to help depoliticize and restore classical liberal principles on college campuses.  

Any students or faculty who wish to contribute to this project with their own stories or concerns about ideological censorship, discrimination, and retaliation, or about the broader theme of liberal education at Claremont, can contact Professor Areshidze at giorgi.areshidze@gmail.com to set up an interview. Strict confidentiality and anonymity will be protected.