ECPR General Conference Panel on Academic Freedom
(University of Oslo, Norway, September 9, 2017)
The whirlwind of changes taking place in the international community reminds us of the importance of staying mindful, alert and committed to the fundamental values that the global academic community holds dear. The values include academic freedom and human rights protection which belong to the large rubric of democracy. While populist nationalism is on the rise in Europe, we are anxiously awaiting the election results of France and the Netherlands. The anxiety reflects the global shockwave originated from the Brexit and electoral victory of Donald Trump last year. In this shifting milieu we have been witnessing the visible erosion of democratic norms in various parts of the world. We are thus increasingly concerned about the grave consequences of the precarious political upheavals for academia.
Where are we headed? What can be done? Where to draw the line between academic research and political activism? How to address the controversial topics pertaining to academic freedom (ex. freedom of speech, etc.) and human rights violations (ex. defamation, etc.)? How to negotiate between normative ideals and reality of academic survival?
A roundtable panel will be devoted to the issues on academic freedom during the 2017 ECPR general conference at University of Oslo, Norway, on September 9, 2017. The panel aims to address the following specific questions on academic freedom in the contemporary socio-political milieu:
·What are the strategies to better protect academic freedom?
·How can we contextualize the increasing challenges?
·How can we promote solidarity across the global academic community?
·What are the diagnoses as well as prognoses of increasing challenges?