By Alexander Apostolides on May 23, 2011

Why academics fight... and why community quotas on academic events is repuslive

I always used to find it so amusing to see how serious the interpersonal rifts exist between academics, especially economists (which I had more exposure to it might be valid in other disciplines as well). It is not that I felt there was an ivory tower of academia where all flaws of character are left behind, but I could not understand the real anger people felt for each other.

I know understand why. Academics trade on ideas. Thus not only are ideas very hard to pin down (and thus one can steal and idea from another), they are very easily picked up by another and twisted into something that goes against the principles the original creator had in mind -> thus creating real anger.

A great idea is the emergent Peace economics movement in Cyprus. It was an idea that started by many persons at the same time (the Wolfson inaugural meeting was one of the most inspiring I have ever visited) and that is developed by many at the same time for the same ideal of helping promote and insure a stable solution to the Cyprus question to the benefit of all.

Sadly like many ideas that gain grass root support many then jump in the bandwagon. I happen to know that the latest "forum" that is organised by a foreign university this week (sadly with EU money)was an idea of a person who worked hard form the beginning to make people think the solution in Economic terms. This person was not rejected by the "Forum" organizers to be there and present to present his work (and thus save the organisers the inevitable red faces) with the excuse being that a strict quota of Turkish and Greek Cypriots is applied in the event --> something anyone working on the academics of the Cyprus problem has never accepted.

Ideas and interested academics should be free to meet and promote practical ways of brinigng peace in Cyprus -> Quotas on members based on community is a idea brought from outside from people who do not understand that the Cyprus problem was never a problem of interpersonal relations between the main actors. For once I am angry to see the effort of so many being twisted by persons who come in and might even damage the existing great atmosphere that economists between economists on both sides (and third parties) who are working on the issue. I just wish that the damage caused this week will be minimal by these hijackers, and that those who have truly have been working on the issues can get their just reward for all their effort.

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