ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Panel Details
Back to Panel Details

Political science at risk in Europe: Frailness and the study of power

Democracy
Freedom
Higher Education
Power
P01

Tuesday 16:00 - 17:30 (06/04/2021)


Abstract

After half a century of nearly constant expansion and institutionalisation, political science and political scientists are at risk in many countries. Researchers’ freedoms of inquiry and expression are increasingly contested and power rulers show a growing interest in controlling research processes and outputs. Hostile public debates undermine the legitimacy of several fields of research and institutional autonomy is under threat in different parts of Europe. Such attacks are part of a wider phenomenon of democratic backsliding, and do not merely target political science, but social sciences and humanities as a wider field of knowledge and universities as specific social institutions. This House Lecture will start with a reflection on political science as a discipline, and the implications of its oscillating relation to formal state power for its current and future quality. We then continue with exploring how political science is shaped by material resources and the relation of academia to the market and to market logics, with a brief discussion of current neoliberal reforms of higher education. We also investigate the frames used to attack academic freedom, as well as the main tools and tactics used in this battle. After exposing ways in which the political science is at risk in Europe, we turn to actual and necessary responses, and call for political science as a discipline to urgently develop a strategic response to these challenges.