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Panel discussion on 'Erosion of Democracy? Academic freedom and right-wing politics in Europe' at this year's Berlin Science Week

View of the panel at the Museum of Natural History Berlin

View of the panel at the Museum of Natural History Berlin
Image Credit: privat

What impact does the rise of right-wing politics have on the state of academic freedom and democracy in Europe? What factors contributed to the rise of right-wing movements and far-right ideologies? What strategies could help curb the spread of right-wing populist ideologies and strengthen democratic principles? These questions were discussed by political scientist Tarik Abou-Chadi from the University of Oxford and Einstein BUA Oxford Visiting Fellow and social scientist Kriszta Kovács from the Science Center Berlin, Cluster of Excellence SCRIPTS and ELTE University with Matthias Koch from the ZEIT-Stiftung Brucerius at the Museum für Naturkunde as part of Berlin Science Week 2023.

News from Dec 08, 2023

It became clear from the debate that the rise of populism, authoritarianism and right-wing politics on a global level does not stop at Europe's borders: Across Europe, right-wing movements and parties are influencing political discourse on a national and international level, jeopardizing democratic principles such as fair elections, separation of powers or freedom of speech. This has not only led to changes in the political landscape of many countries, but also in the field of science. Attacks on academic freedom have increased and restrictions and limitations on research are being imposed. Academic freedom and democracy are closely linked and mutually dependent. "Academic freedom is central to individual and collective self-government," explains Kriszta Kovács. "Only by engaging with knowledge can we make informed decisions that are existential for life. At a collective level, scientific freedom is central to making political decisions, among other things. This has become particularly apparent during the pandemic," she explains.

You can watch the panel discussion online.

The event was organized by the Berlin Center for Global Engagement and the Oxford-Berlin Partnership of the Berlin University Alliance's cross-cutting theme of internationalization.

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