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New Book Released: Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy, and the Future of Democracy

Sjur Bergan, Tony Gallagher and Ira Harkavy (eds)

Council of Europe Publications

Friday, September 18, 2020

A new book on Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy, and the Future of Democracy has just been published and is now available through the Council of Europe bookstore.

Building on the Global Forum held in Strasbourg in June 2019, authors from Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and the Mediterranean region explore the importance of academic freedom and institutional autonomy to democracy. It is barely conceivable that academic freedom and institutional autonomy could exist in a society not based on democratic principles, and democracy is enriched when higher education institutions operate on this basis. Higher education institutions need to be imbued with democratic culture and that, in turn, helps to promote democratic values in the wider society. None of these issues are simple and the lines between legitimacy and illegitimacy are sometimes hard to discern, and these fundamental democratic values are subject to pressure in many countries.

Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy, and the Future of Democracy is the 24th volume in the Council of Europe Higher Education Series, which published its first volume in December 2004.

Netter Center Director Ira Harkavy is co-editor with European colleagues Sjur Bergan and Tony Gallagher. Harkavy and Bergan also contributed an article on "Academic freedom, institutional autonomy and the engaged university." Harkavy also co-authored an article with Netter Center colleagues Rita A. Hodges and Joann Weeks, "Democracy and the purposes of higher education in the United States."

The June 2019 Forum was the sixth global gathering hosted by the ongoing cooperation among the Council of Europe, the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy (chaired by Ira Harkavy), and as of 2018/2019, the Organization of American States and the International Association of Universities, to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  The forum involved participants from 41 countries. Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett presented on the opening keynote panel. A Declaration was adopted at the forum that was disseminated globally.

Council of Europe book announcement