Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Concerns grow that Saif Gadaffi did not read the thesis written for him

Okay, the headline makes it sound like it has been proven that Saif did not write the doctoral thesis submitted to the London School of Economics in his name. But concerns are growing that it was ghost written. And of course his current behavior suggests that he does not subscribe to its content; one explanation could be that he has not read it.

His LSE advisors say, however, that he gave a good oral defense of the thesis. But that could be explained, too. He's not stupid, he's confident, he has an excellent command of English, and he's got the money to be prepped well for an oral exam, when the exam is the content of the thesis.

The Australian has a very good story on the ghost writing/plagiarism charge.
Professor David Held, director of the LSE's Centre for the Study of Global Governance, said he was aware of suggestions that a ghostwriter may have been used.

"After he handed in the thesis there was a rumour that he may not have been the sole author," he said. "I wrote straight away to his supervisor but there was no substantial evidence."

Lord Desai, an emeritus professor of economics at the LSE, said: "I read the thesis, I examined him with an examiner, he defended his thesis very, very thoroughly, he had nobody else present, and I don't think there's any reason to think he didn't do it himself."

In his thesis Mr Gaddafi acknowledges the help of Professor Joseph Nye, an eminent economist at Harvard University, for reading portions of the manuscript and providing advice. He also credits Monitor Group, which employs Sir Mark Allen, a former MI6 agent and a senior adviser to BP, for providing the empirical data for his work.

Charlotte Gerada, general secretary of the LSE's Students' Union, said: "Concerns were widely raised at the time but nothing was done. The LSE must now act to maintain credibility."
The Centre for the Study of Global Governance received £300,000 of the £1.5m donation from Libya the year after he was awarded his PhD.

There is a wiki devoted to identifying plagiarism in the thesis:
http://saifalislamgaddafithesis.wikia.com/wiki/Plagiarism

Our previous coverage of the thesis, including a link to the thesis itself, are here and here.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Megan Knight said...

I can't help thinking that preserving the LSE's integrity would best lie in repeating "concerns were raised at the time, they were investigated and no basis was found, the thesis was fairly examined and defended and the degree was awarded" over and over again.

If he did cheat, they needed to deal with it then. If they didn't deal with it then raising it now, years later, when the recipient is infamous, just makes them look reactive and willing to bow to public pressure. If he didn't cheat, then this is just jumping on the bandwagon to scrub all ties with him, and unfair - whatever else he may be, if he wrote a good PhD thesis, he deserves the PhD title.

The fact is, the LSE, like all international universities, has its hand firmly in the pocket of rich and unscrupulous countries. We take their students paying exorbitant fees (often with government money), we validate our programmes to run on their modern campuses built to purpose, we entertain their government ministers. We all want their money, and we don't look too closely at the details. For the LSE to now pretend that they are "shocked! shocked, I tell you!" that Gaddafi is a ruthless dictator, and will stop training his government ministers, is just the hypocrisy of an organisation caught doing "business as usual" in the limelight.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Julia said...

Such a great article which The Australian has a very good story on the ghost writing/plagiarism charge. Professor David Held, director of the LSE's Centre for the Study of Global Governance, said he was aware of suggestions that a ghostwriter may have been used.Thanks for sharing this article.

8:54 AM  

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