New Initiative Against Repression of Academics

22nd Nov 2016 | By and | Category: Anti-Repression Initiative, Featured, News & Events

During the ISA Forum in Vienna, members of RC 47 decided to take on a more active role against different forms of repression posed on academics. This decision is a timely response to recent repressive developments within authoritarian regimes of the global South as well as the so called democracies of the global North. Today, Social Scientists, and particularly social movement scholars, are increasingly forced to silence; are banned from work and activism; are being put in jail and at times are assassinated. Hence, we believe that an initiative against repression of academics has not only become essential but urgent.

This initiative has three main aims. First, as social movement scholars, reclaiming the justice for our colleagues is a duty. We will diffuse information about repressions and threats on social scientists and social movement scholars in particular and will issue calls and statements to denounce repression. Secondly, this initiative will promote research able to provide a better understanding of the local, national and international forces and mechanisms that have produced a world in which social scientists have become targets of repression. Finally, being aware of the importance of collective actions and mobilizations, we hope this initiative contributes to a more active, efficient and visible mobilization of the academic community.

For now, we have three concrete suggestions to move forward:

  1. We would like to organize panels and sessions on this topic during the conferences organized/co-organized by RC 47 and for the XIXI ISA World Congress of Sociology in Toronto;
  2. We will dedicate a specific section on our website and the newsletter to this initiative;
  3. Depending on the urgency of the case and the potential efficacy of our act we would publish statements and sign petitions in support of our colleagues. We plan to do this in collaboration with ISA committee on Human Rights.

This initiative can only be successful as a collective project. Therefore, we would like to invite you to send us any proposals you have in mind with regard to organization of panels and sessions. Moreover, we need your collaboration to be able to receive timely news on multiple forms of repression on academics you witness or are aware of in your surrounding e.g. your universities, cities and countries. Only in this way we could publicize the news in an effective way. We also would like to invite you to write short pieces of about 300-400 words for the newsletter. Eventually these panels, sessions and short articles could come together and make an interesting series for Open Movements. Finally, if you have any suggestions which could contribute to this initiative in any way, please let us know.

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