IPSA-ISA Roundtable on Academic Freedom as a Challenge for International Organizations

IPSA-ISA Roundtable on Academic Freedom as a Challenge for International Organizations

Publication date: Thu, 08 Apr 2021

IPSA and the International Studies Association (ISA) held a joint roundtable titled “Academic Freedom as a Challenge for International Organizations” at the ISA Annual Convention on 8 April 2021. The roundtable was chaired by the presidents of IPSA and ISA, Marianne Kneuer and Helen Milner, who discussed the issue of academic freedom with scholars and experts. Roundtable participants included former Chair of the ISA Academic Freedom Committee and President-Elect, Kristian Gleditsch; Katrin Kinzelbach of the University of Nürnberg-Erlangen, who initiated and collaborated on the Academic Freedom Index (AFi); and Robert Quinn, Executive Director of the NGO Scholars at Risk Network, New York.

International professional organizations in the scholarly community are confronted, increasingly, with incidents of infringement on academic freedom or complaints by scholars or institutions. Academic freedom has thus become a hot-button issue for international professional associations and their work, including for ISA and IPSA. With this roundtable, ISA and IPSA jointly engaged in a forum on basic aspects of academic freedom (how to define it and deal with infringements, etc.) and strategies for dealing with issues of academic freedom facing international organizations.

Moreover, during the roundtable, Prof. Kneuer introduced the findings of the Violations of Academic Freedom Survey, undertaken by the Committee of Academic Freedom with IPSA’s national and regional political science associations, in an effort to find out how violations of academic freedom are addressed in their respective countries.

On April 6, IPSA also presented a sponsored panel titled “Small States and Statelessness: United Nations Impact Reconsidered” at the ISA Annual Convention. Organized by Yasmeen Abu-Laban, IPSA Vice President and Special Representative for Gender and Diversity, the panel looked at how small states, particularly in the developing world, and stateless populations, interface with the UN General Assembly and other UN institutions and subsidiary bodies such as ECOSOC, DESA, WHO, UNDP, UNEP, ILO, UNESCO, UNRWA, UNODC and UNHCR.

For more information about the ISA Annual Convention, please visit https://www.isanet.org/Conferences/ISA2021