Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft

Diskussionsrunde B1: Academic freedom contestations in liberal democracies

Dienstag, 21.02.2023, 16:00-17:30 Uhr

The danger of authoritarian rule for the freedom of scientific inquiry and teaching is apparent and severe. Yet academic freedom is also coming under pressure in liberal democracies, where threats tend to be more ambiguous and their sources and causes more diverse and complex. This roundtable unites several country experts to discuss recent patterns of academic freedom contestations in Poland, Germany, Denmark, France and the Unites States. Through the lens of these cases, we will consider specificities of challenges to academic freedom under democratic conditions, their consequences for the freedom of science, as well as possible responses.

Organisation des Diskussionsrunde: Janika Spannagel (Exzellenzcluster "Contestations of the Liberal Script" (SCRIPTS), Freie Universität Berlin)


Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Cluster of Excellence "Contestations of the Liberal Script" (SCRIPTS), Freie Universität Berlin


Prof. Dr. Marta Bucholc, Professor at the Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw

Prof. Dr. Danièle Joly, Pofessor Emeritus at the Sociology Department, University of Warwick

Jacob Mchangama, Director of Justitia, Denmark

Janika Spannagel, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cluster of Excellence "Contestations of the Liberal Script" (SCRIPTS), Freie Universität Berlin

Prof. Dr. Hans-Heinrich Trute, Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg

Zur Person

Tanja A. Börzel is professor of political science and holds the Chair for European Integration at the Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin. She is director of the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script”.

Marta Bucholc is professor of sociology at the Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw, and associate researcher at the Centre de recherche en science politique, Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles. From 2015 through 2020 she was research professor at Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Studies „Law as Culture“, University of Bonn. She was visiting scholar at the universities of Jena, Cambridge, Graz and Saint-Louis Bruxelles, as well as Bronis?aw Geremek Fellow of the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. Her research focus is sociology of law and historical sociology. She is the PI in a research project “National habitus formation and the process of civilization in Poland after 1989: a figurational approach” funded by Polish National Science Centre, and the Polish PI in the Volkswagen Foundation project "Towards Illiberal Constitutionalism in East Central Europe: Historical Analysis in Comparative and Transnational Perspectives”. In 2022, she started a five-year ERC Consolidator project “Using Human Rights to Change Abortion Law: Involvement Patterns and Argumentative Architectures in the Global Figuration of Human Rights (Abortion Figurations)”.

Danièle Joly is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Warwick and Associate researcher, College d’études mondiales (MSH-Paris). Formerly, European Commission Marie Curie Fellow at EHESS (CADIS); resident researcher at IEA-Paris. Prior to that, Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick. Her publications include L'Emeute (2007), Muslims in Prison (2005), Blacks and Britannity (2001), Haven or Hell: Asylum Policy and Refugees in Europe (1996), Britannia's Crescent: Making a Place for Muslims in British Society (1995), The PCF and the Algerian War (1991). With K. Wadia, Muslim women and power (2017), winner of the PSA,WJM Mackensie Prize for Best Book in Political Sciences 2017-2018. Her research themes include Muslims in Europe, refugees and asylum policy in Europe, ethnic relations and integration; Muslim women in Europe and Kurdistan-Iraq.

Martin Lüthe is currently a visiting professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin, former assistant professor, and Einstein Junior Fellow. Lüthe published the monographs “We Missed a Lot of Church, So the Music Is Our Confessional”: Rap and Religion (Lit Verlag, 2008) and Color-Line and Crossing-Over: Motown and Performances of Blackness in 1960s American Culture (WVT, 2011). He also co-edited a volume on Unpopular Culture (Amsterdam UP, 2016) with Sascha Pöhlmann and is on the editorial board of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture.

Jacob Mchangama is CEO of the think tank Justitia and directs Justitia´s Future of Free Speech Project. Jacob has written and commented extensively on free speech and human rights in international media outlets. Jacob is the producer and narrator of the podcast “Clear and Present” Danger: A History of Free Speech and author of the critically acclaimed book “Free Speech: A History From Socrates to Social Media” published by Basic Books in 2022.

Janika Spannagel is a postdoctoral fellow at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, where she researches the diffusion and contestation of academic freedom norms at the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Scripts (SCRIPTS)". She co-developed the Academic Freedom Index and is a non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute.

Hans-Heinrich Trute is Professor of Public Law, Media- and Telecommunication Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg. There, he is currently Speaker of the Graduate College “Law and its education in the digital transformation”, Director of the Center for the Digital Transformation of Law, and Co-Director of the Center for the Didactics of Legal Education, Chairman of the board of directors of the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy Graduate School of Law. His research focuses on Public Law, Legal Theory, Public Administration Science, Media- and Telecommunication Law, Law of Science, Law and Knowledge, Digitalization and the Law.