Protecting academia at risk: Towards a new policy agenda for a thriving culture of higher education in Europe

December 1, 2023

Project supported by Henkel Foundation

The current situation of academia at risk in the European landscape raises three distinct research questions. First, what is the current institutional framework that responds to academic displacement in Europe? Second, what are the normative contours of protecting academic freedom in future democratic societies? Third, how does an improved system of integrating displaced academics connect to broader values such as the protection of a thriving academic culture? This project builds on our seed project that sought to answer this partial question. Entitled PROAC - Protecting Academic Excellence and Academics in Europe (CIVICA), this research project financed by the CIVICA consortium identified examples of good practices in academic inclusion that can be used by EU policymakers, but also highlighted the shortcomings of the current approach. The long-term goal of this new project supported by the Gerda Henkel Foundation for two years is to formulate a coherent vision of the role that academia must play in future democratic societies and how academics can be protected from the above-mentioned trends. To do this, we need to understand the multiple actors involved in the process of integrating political academics in exile in the EU, as well as the experiences of these exiles themselves. Responding to these questions four senior PIs from four different countries: Bernhard Kleeberg, History of Science and Humanities (University of Erfurt), Andrea Peto, Gender Studies (CEU, Vienna), Alina Dragolea, Political Science (SNSPA, Bucharest), Dina Gusejnova, International History (LSE, London) are working together with three post-docs.