IPSA Academic Freedom Report 2021

IPSA is proud to present the IPSA Academic Freedom Report 2021. Written by IPSA President Marianne Kneuer (2018-2021), the report presents the results and analysis of a survey on violations of Academic Freedom (AF) elaborated by the IPSA Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF), and conducted by the IPSA Secretariat among its collective members in 2020. 44 national and regional Political Science association members of IPSA responded to the survey.

The report is available here for all IPSA members – collective, institutional and individual – hoping that it can serve them as much as it can serve IPSA in order to get a better picture about the situation of AF violations in their national community or other regions.

IPSA Academic Freedom Report 2021 PDF


International professional organizations in the scholarly community are increasingly confronted with incidents of infringements on AF or with complaints on violations of AF by individual scholars or by institutions. Thus, AF has become a crucial issue for these associations and their work. This also, and especially, applies to the International Political Science Association (IPSA) as a global professional organization. Even though AF is not a new problem, AF issues have not been confronted in a systematic way and did not lead to institutionalized bodies and procedures until recently. In 2016, IPSA President Ilter Turan formed an ad hoc CAF comprised of EC Members as well as external advisers from all regions. In 2018, President Marianne Kneuer transformed this ad hoc Committee into a permanent body. Moreover, she suggested conducting a survey with the collective members to identify problems and issues of academic freedom as well as practices to tackle these problems.

The CAF considered it relevant to define in a more concrete way which specific service IPSA could render to the national associations in the realm of AF. As an international professional organization, IPSA includes a heterogenous membership consisting - besides the individual members - of national and regional associations around the globe with potentially very different experiences. Which forms of support from IPSA could be needed in those associations? And how could IPSA contribute to a better network between the collective members in this regard? Could both sides learn from each other? And how could learning within the national associations be fostered?

Hence, the CAF considered it important to a) get an overview of the nature and scope of AF infringements in the national and regional political science associations being collective members of IPSA, b) get an understanding of how national associations deal with such infringements, and c) determine how IPSA can contribute and what services the national associations would welcome in terms of AF issues. The CAF envisaged the overall goal of increasing the possible exchange and joint efforts between IPSA and its collective member to find ways of dealing with the AF issues.

To get this overview of the different problems, circumstances, experiences and models tackling AF violations, the CAF decided to do a survey among IPSA’s collective members, resulting in the IPSA Academic Freedom Report 2021.