Academic Freedom: Normative, Legal, and Empirical Perspectives: A Discussion

Oct 2, 2023, 1:30 pm6:00 pm
Laura Wooten Hall, Room 301 (Kerstetter Room)
Free and Open to the Public


Event Description

Forum for the History of Political Thought

Academic freedom is under threat in many parts of the world – including in at least parts of the United States.  Against this background, the Academic Freedom Initiative our gathering pursues two tasks: first, we wish to revisit the normative and legal bases of academic freedom.  Arguably, theoretical considerations on academic freedom – and how academic freedom does or does not connect to theories of democracy -- remain relatively underdeveloped.  One symptom of this relative underdevelopment might be the tendency to conflate free speech and academic freedom, as well as the tendency to treat “campus” as a homogeneous space for the application of ethical guidelines and quasi-legal rules.  Second, we wish better to understand why and how academic freedom is being attacked – and what kinds of defenses might be successful in particular circumstances.  We will hear from scholars who have been involved in concretely defending it and learn about the lessons they have drawn from the experience. 


1:30-2.30         What are the Legal and Normative Foundations of
                              Academic Freedom?
                              Mattias Kumm, Kim Scheppele, Keith Whittington
                              Chair: Jan-Werner Müller
2:30-2:50        The State of Academic Freedom: Empirical Trends
                              Jannika Spannagel
                              Chair: Mattias Kumm
2:50-3:00        Break
3:00-4:00       How to defend Academic Freedom? 
                              Normative and Empirical Lessons I
                              Wojciech Sadurski, Balázs Trencsényi, Zsolt Enyedi
                              Chair: Silvia von Steinsdorff
4:00-5:00         How to Defend Academic Freedom?
                               Normative and Empirical Lessons II
                              Evgeny Roshchin, Wang Pei, Dongxian Jiang
                              Chair: Kim Lane Scheppele
5:00                   Julia von Blumenthal
5:15                   Chris Eisgruber on Academic Freedom

UCHV Academic Freedom initiative and the Princeton-Humboldt Partnership