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Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?$
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Akeel Bilgrami and Jonathan Cole

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168809

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168809.001.0001

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Exercising Rights

Exercising Rights

Academic Freedom and Boycott Politics

Chapter:
(p.293) 14 Exercising Rights
Source:
Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom?
Author(s):

Judith Butler

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231168809.003.0014

This chapter explores academic freedom in relation to the academic boycott politics surrounding the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. A paradox arises insofar as the dominant debates suggest that it is the boycott that poses a threat to academic freedom. In fact, the unjust conditions that the boycott opposes prove to abrogate academic freedom more fully than the boycott itself. The isolation, underfunding, and episodic closing of Palestine's universities, the detention of students and faculty who espouse—or who are perceived to espouse—political views inimical to the Israeli regime undermines the right to education that is not only a precondition of academic freedom but part of its very definition. The chapter argues that the academic boycott is, at least in part, a way of objecting to abridgements of academic freedom, a way of calling for an equal right to education, and a way of opposing a systematic and militarily enforced inequality and subjugation.

Keywords:   academic freedom, boycott politics, Israel, boycott, Palestine, universities, students, faculty, right to education, inequality

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