Technology, Education, and the Future of Constitutional Democracy

Drawing upon my analysis in ACADEMIA NEXT and UNIVERSITIES ON FIRE, I explore how technology, demographic change, and the climate crisis may reshape higher education and democratic citizenship. While technology can enable democratic practices, recent events show that the internet follows prior media in being used for antidemocratic purposes. Similarly, humanity's response to the climate emergency may involve widespread democratic action, including mass mobilization, yet it can also become a justification for authoritarian rule. Academia stands at a nexus between digital technologies and these phenomena. This positions higher education in a key role for liberal democracy's survival. Given the close relationship between liberal education and liberal democracy, any disruption of the former will result in disruption of the latter. In this paper, I explore the implications of disrupted liberal education for constitutional democracy.