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Publication/CfP - Free to Think, Free to Research: Challenges to Academic Freedom in the Context of Contemporary Global Politics, Inter-disciplinary Political Studies


February 28, 2017

Opportunity Cover Image - Publication/CfP - Free to Think, Free to Research: Challenges to Academic Freedom in the Context of Contemporary Global Politics, Inter-disciplinary Political Studies

Free to think, free to research: challenges to academic freedom in the context of contemporary global politics

Editors: Alessandra Russo & Federico Russo

The free flow of ideas is crucial to ensure the advancement of knowledge. Recent events, quite different in nature and coming from various parts of the world, have displayed the extent to which higher education communities and facilities are under attack. The quality and accessibility of academic work and instruction are being challenged at different latitudes: they are threatened by social and political instability of conflict and post-conflict zones as well as endangered, or at least conditioned, by emerging legislation on counter-terrorism and counter-radicalization. To a lesser extent, several contemporary trends in the politics and policy of higher education are questioning the scholar’s freedom to choose topics and methods of investigation also in established democracies. Reforms inspired by the new public management approach, whose intended aim is to promote public accountability of state funded institutions, are often blamed to have discouraged or punished the adoption of unconventional approaches and perspectives.

In the context of illiberal regimes, university institutions and personnel are targeted with the purpose of intimidating or silencing those speaking uncomfortable truths, while university campuses and colleges are increasingly exposed to police surveillance and militarization. Against this background, different forms of transnational solidarity and academic cosmopolitanism have mobilized to contest, resist and subvert the above-mentioned trends. Associations of peers have been involved in boycott actions and invoked the idea of “sanctuary universities”, while international organisations have proposed initiatives and instruments to monitor and protect academic freedom and protect it through legal doctrines such as the “duty of care” and the “responsibility to protect”. In the context of liberal democracies the principle of free inquiry is not directly threatened, but it can be hollowed out in more subtle ways. Examples include designing public funding scheme which set “research priorities” to incentivize certain fields at the expense of others; the implementation of research assessments incentivizing some type of publications; or the hyper-competitiveness of the academic labour market. Even some policies undertaken by publishers (for example a recent regulation on Data Access and Research Transparency) may affect the developments of certain disciplines. What is the impact of these recent trends on the way in which academics conduct their research activities? How their decisions on the content and the methodology of the research are influenced?

The Special Issue seeks contributions tracing and examining one or more of the topics (non-exhaustively) exemplified above. As the Special Issue will inaugurate a new season and editorship of the journal Interdisciplinary Political Studies, we consider important to offer a self-reflexive space about where we - as researchers - stand: our role, our condition and our contribution to the international society. We welcome conceptual/theoretical as well as empirical papers, addressing the topic through comparative lenses or single case studies, using quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Inter-disciplinary Political Studies, Volume 3 Issue 1 (2017)

Submission procedure

Articles, written in English, should be submitted to the editors according to the following schedule:

- Submission of long abstracts (about 1,000 words): 28 February 2017

- Selection of long abstracts: 15 March 2017

- Submission of articles: 15 June 2017

- Provision of peer review feedback: 30 August 2017

- Submission of revised drafts: 15 October 2017

- Publication of the issue: 15 November 2017

Aims and scope

Inter-disciplinary Political Studies (IdPS) was founded in 2011 and, after some years of inactivity, it has been re-established to pursue two important goals: affirming the importance of rigorous, high-quality Open Access publishing in the field of Political Studies, without imposing article processing charges to authors, and opening the fields of comparative politics and international relations to the contribution of other related disciplines. IdPS is published by ESE-Salento University Publishing, a no-profit academic publisher, with the contribution of several Higher Education institutes. It publishes two issues per year. The journal has a distinguished international Advisory Board and adheres to the traditional principles of peer-reviewing. It is open to contributions inspired by different theoretical perspectives and it encourages an interdisciplinary approach to political studies.

Instructions to Authors

Articles should be sent to the editors ( Please refer to the author’s guidelines for manuscript preparation.


Alessandra Russo, Sciences Po Bordeaux (;

Federico Russo, Università del Salento (

Advisory Board

Nelli Babayan (Transatlantic Academy, USA)

Frank R. Baumgartner (University of North Carolina, USA)

Stefano Braghiroli (University of Tartu, Estonia)

Manuela Caiani (Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy)

Michele Carducci (Università del Salento, Italy)

Maurizio Cotta (Università di Siena, Italy)

Daniele De Luca (Università del Salento, Italy)

Caroline Dufy (Sciences Po Bordeaux, France)

J. Andrew Grant (Queen's University, Canada)

Christoffer Green-Pedersen (University of Aahrus, Denmark)

Ruth Hanau Santini (Università di Napoli L’Orientale, Italy)

Stephanie Hofmann (Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland)

Cristina Leston-Bandeira (University of Leeds, UK)

David Lewis (University of Exeter, UK)

Sonia Lucarelli (Università di Bologna, Italy)

Catherine Moury (New University of Lisbon, Portugal)

Thomas Saalfeld (University of Bamberg, Germany)

Francesco Strazzari (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy)

Eligible Countries
Publish Date
February 20, 2017


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