Academic freedom(s) in the drift towards authoritarianism
At the last editorial board meeting of Droit et Société, a discussion was initiated on the current situation many academic colleagues, from around the world, are experiencing. Some of them are suffering from the consequences of the undermining of long-established and law-binding academic freedoms. Several countries are involved, including European ones, which were supposed to have adhered yet to common principles of freedom. Academic institutions and colleagues are now directly threatened/endangered. Our journal and the larger Law and Society project are based on a set of values: independence from institutions, constituted powers and discourses, intellectual openness and sharing, interdisciplinary and international dialogues. These values were reiterated in the ‘letter-manifesto’ published for the 30th anniversary of our journal (https://ds.hypotheses.org/723) and signed by forty other journals from the global community.
These situations cannot be ignored any longer and we all need to ask ourselves what kind of freedoms our still “liberal” democracies will enjoy. Therefore, our journal could not keep silent about what is currently playing out in Hungary, Turkey, Brazil, and Poland. The idea emerged that we might establish forums based on careful and well-documented analysis from very concerned colleagues. We are sincerely thankful to the authors for their enlightening contributions. The implementation of the project is mainly due to Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez. In a very short time, in the middle of summer and then at the beginning of the academic year, she contacted our colleagues, gathered their texts, and fully translated them into French in order to make them available to our readers. She deserves full recognition for her commitment and efficiency for the values to which we subscribe. As editors-in-chief and on behalf of the journal and its editorial board, we sincerely thank her.
La Rédaction de Droit & Société
The End of Academic Freedom in Hungary by Gábor Halmai
Academic Freedom in Brazil : Threats and Resistances by Antonio Pele and Bethania Assy
Freedom of Science in Poland by Dr Katarzyna Łakomiec