Workshop on Academic Freedom

Workshop on Academic Freedom
09/02 - 10/02

09. February 2023. 13:45 - 10. February 2023. 16:00

Novotel Budapest Danube (1027 Budapest, Bem rkp. 33–34.)

02/09 - 02/10

2023. February 09. 13:45 - 2023. February 10. 16:00

Novotel Budapest Danube (1027 Budapest, Bem rkp. 33–34.)

SCRIPTS Cluster of Excellence Project in Berlin, WZB Global Constitutionalism and ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences cordially invites you to their jointly organized workshop titled "Academic Freedom. Conceptualisation, Contestations and Constitutional Challenges."

The workshop aims to examine the content of academic freedom as a democratic and liberal norm and examine patterns in its justification and contestation. First, it examines the emergence of academic freedom, its spread and its evolution as a global and regional norm. Then the workshop takes a closer look at the dynamics and causes of contestation, as well as legal strategies of resistance in the East Central European region.


Day 1—Thursday, February 9, 2023
Opening remarks


Balázs Majtényi (ELTE University), Gábor Zoltán Szűcs (ELTE University)

Panel One: Academic Freedom and the Liberal Script


Chair: Kriszta Kovács (WZB Berlin Social Science Center, ELTE University)


What is the Point of Academic Freedom?

Mattias Kumm (WZB Berlin Social Science Center, New York University)


Academic Freedom: Regional, Liberal, Global?

Tanja Börzel (Freie Universität Berlin)


Discussants: Anna Unger (ELTE University), Gábor Attila Tóth (Humboldt Fellow)

Coffee break
Panel Two: Academic Freedom Over Time and Space


Chair: Mattias Kumm (WZB Berlin Social Science Center, New York University)


How Norm-entrepreneurs at the United Nations Made Free Science a Human Right?

Katrin Kinzelbach (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)


The Constitutional Codification of Academic Freedom Over Time and Space

Janika Spannagel (Freie Universität Berlin)


Discussants: Ágnes Kövér (ELTE University), Balázs Majtényi (ELTE University)

Day 2—Friday, February 10, 2023
Panel Three: Academic Freedom at the Regional Level 1

Chair: Katrin Kinzelbach (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)


Returning to China: Academic Freedom in Hong Kong

Hualing Fu (University of Hong Kong)


Academic Freedom as a Legal Concept in Europe

Kriszta Kovács (ELTE University)


Discussant: Lilla Farkas (ELTE University), Tamás Ziegler (ELTE University)

Coffee break
Panel Four: Academic Freedom at the Regional Level 2


Chair: Tanja Börzel (Freie Universität Berlin)


Constitution-making, Democratisation and Links with Academic Freedom in Africa

Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua (University of Ghana)


The Latin American Tradition of University Autonomy and Its Evolution in the Constitutional Law of Chile

Andrés Bernasconi (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile)


Discussants: Orsolya Salát (ELTE University), Katrin Kinzelbach (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Lunch break
Panel Five: Contestations of Academic Freedom


Chair: Janika Spannagel (Freie Universität Berlin)


Authoritarian Governance of Higher Education in Eastern Europe: Reconstructing a European Counter-Culture

Tamás Ziegler (ELTE University)


The Challenge to Academic Freedom in Hungary

Andrew Ryder (ELTE University)


Discussants: Zsolt Körtvélyesi (ELTE University), Mária Heller (ELTE University)

Closing remarks


Tanja Börzel (Freie Universität Berlin), Mattias Kumm (WZB Berlin Social Science Center, New York University)

You can also download the program in a pdf format.


The event is open to the public, but the number of participants is restricted. To register, please email by January 31, 2023 to