The International Studies Association recognizes academic freedom is a universal right and a common good whose protection is essential for the advancement of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, and scientific progress. Scholars should be free to teach, to research, to collaborate, to publish, to disseminate their work, and to express themselves without interference and precarity, subject to norms and standards of scholarly conduct adjudged by their academic peers. Academic institutions should similarly enjoy autonomy from political interference and other external pressures designed to limit their freedom to pursue their missions as institutions of higher learning, consistent with international human rights norms and standards.
Created by ISA’s Governing Council in 2009 and first assembled in 2010, the Academic Freedom Committee (AFC) is charged with protecting the academic freedom of scholars in all disciplines related to international studies. It will document instances of scholars persecuted for their peaceful, non-partisan, professional activities in particular those related to their scholarly research and teaching. Violations of academic freedom may include the government revocation of academic degrees; demotion or dismissal; denial of a petition to emigrate, travel abroad or return to one's country of origin; and arrest, arbitrary detention, disappearance, and extrajudicial killing.