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The Right to Disagree: Freedom of Expression, Academic Freedom, and the Populist Challenge in Europe Today

Gain an informed and deep understanding of the right to freedom of expression in contemporary Europe, with a focus on academic freedom and the challenge that (especially right-wing) populism presents today.

CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • BA
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Social Science and humanities
Course dates
28-30 September 2021 & 30 May - 10 June 2022

How is freedom of expression, one of the most crucial fundamental rights of European societies, under attack in today's Europe? What is populism and why is it a threat to democracy? What is the nature and intention of hate speech? How far should freedom of expression go?

In this course, we will analyze the importance of freedom of expression as a basic human right and as a core value of democratic societies in Europe today. After a short introduction to the most fundamental concepts and terminology, we will focus on the challenges that European societies face and on the role played by populist parties and movements from various scientific perspectives, with a particular interest in how higher education institutions, such as universities, are affected by these (new) actors and their agendas. One aspect of our research will be the dialogue with representatives of organizations that are active in the field of human rights and politics and with witnesses of violations of basic rights.

The course has two mandatory parts. The application is for both of them and both have to be attended by all the students accepted for the program! Due to the ongoing pandemic, it starts with a short 3-day online preparatory workshop to take place on 28-30 September, 2021. The main part is a Summer School at the University of Tübingen to take place from May 30 to June 10, 2022 (students will travel to Tübingen on May 29 and leave on June 11). All travel and accommodation efforts have to be handled by the students themselves. Upon the successful application for the program, all participating students will be rewarded CIVIS funding in order to be compensated for their efforts.

Duration of the course: 3 days (Online Preparatory Workshop) at the end of September 2021 and 12 days at the University of Tübingen (May 29 (travel day) - June 11 (travel day)

Course format: Blended*

Location: Tübingen, Germany

Language: English (B2 required)

Nb of ECTS: 6 (depending on your home University) Nb of CIVIS scholarships offered: 24 

*Subject to review, depending on the development of the current global pandemic. If overseas travelling and in-person teaching are not advisable, the entire course may be transferred online. 

Main topics

  • What is populism and why is it a threat to democracy?
  • What is the nature and intention of hate speech?
  • How far should freedom of expression (in politics, society, and the arts) go?
  • What is academic freedom and what challenges does it face today?
  • What (national) examples of the phenomena studied can we observe?

Learning outcomes

The aim of both the short Online Preparatory Workshop and the 2 Week-Summer School is to provide an informed and deep understanding of the right to freedom of expression in contemporary Europe, with a focus on academic freedom and the challenge that (especially right-wing) populism presents today. At the end of the course, students will be familiar with theoretical and practical approaches to the implementation of this basic right and with the positive and negative aspects of European politics regarding this subject and will be able to differentiate cases and topics at local, European, and international levels coming from a variety of societal backgrounds (including politics, society, academia, media, and the arts).

Evaluation

The course will be assessed using online evaluation forms at the end of the program, including both standardized (multiple choice) items and open questions

 

The course has two mandatory parts.  The application is for both of them and both have to be attended by all the students accepted for the program!

Due to the ongoing pandemic, it starts with a short 3-day online preparatory workshop to take place on 28-30 September 2021. The main part is a 2-week summer school at the University of Tübingen to take place from May 30 to June 10, 2022 (students will travel to Tübingen on May 29 and leave on June 11). All travel and accommodation efforts have to be handled by the students themselves. Upon the successful application for the program, all participating students will be rewarded CIVIS funding in order to be compensated for their efforts.

Teaching Duos

  • Raquel Bertoldo (Aix Marseille, Social Psychology) and Mauro Sarrica (Rome, Social Psychology))
  • Filippa Chatzistavrou (Athens, Political Science) and Alexis Chapelan (Bucharest, History)
  • Marlen Mouliou (Athens, Museology) and Jan Battke (Tübingen, Political Science)
  • Adriana Stefanel (Bucharest, Communication Studies) and Maria Romana Allegri (Rome, Public Law)
  • Tobias Fernholz (Tübingen, Communication Studies) and Philipp Rhein (Tübingen, Sociology)

Only students from CIVIS member universities will be accepted.

Fields of study

Political science, history, sociology, social psychology, communication and media studies, journalism, museology, public law

Selection criteria

  • Convincing motivation letter
  • Willingness (and availability) to participate in both the online workshop and the on-site summer school in Tübingen (mandatory!)

Application

Fill in this application form by 30 June 2021

 

GDPR consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.