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By Eric Barendt

Academic Freedom and the legislations: A Comparative Study presents a serious research of the legislations on the subject of educational freedom in 3 significant jurisdictions: the U.S., the united kingdom, and Germany. The booklet outlines a number of the claims that may be made to educational freedom via person college lecturers and through universities and different better schooling associations, and it examines the reasons that have been recommend for those claims. 3 chapters care for the felony rules of educational freedom in all of the 3 international locations. A separate bankruptcy is dedicated to the limitations on freedom of study, that could be imposed through the legislation of medical trials, through highbrow estate legislation, and by way of the phrases of contracts made among researchers and the corporations sponsoring scientific and different study. The ebook additionally examines the impression of modern terrorism legislation at the instructing and study freedom of lecturers, and it discusses their freedom to discuss common political and social issues unrelated to their paintings. this can be the 1st comparative examine of an issue of primary significance to all teachers and others operating in universities. It emphasizes the significance of educational freedom, whereas mentioning that, sometimes, exaggerated claims were made to its workout.

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That is why academic freedom is so puzzling: what could justify such a privileged position? This puzzle is particularly acute when we consider whether academic freedom confers special rights on academics to speak freely in public about, say, educational policy and to criticise the universities that employ them. For freedom of speech is a basic constitutional or human right that in principle we should all equally enjoy. It would surely be odd if academic staff could claim in effect a wider freedom than other employees to speak without constraint on matters connected with their employment.

11 Despite these close links between the freedoms, the argument that academic freedom amounts to an unrestricted freedom of speech for university teachers is fundamentally misconceived. A claim that academics enjoy the same freedom of speech as other citizens is true but unhelpful. It does not ascribe any significance to a claim of academic freedom as a distinctive right or freedom. Perhaps the claim should be understood as asserting that academics enjoy wider rights to freedom of speech than those enjoyed by other people, and that university employers should respect these rights as a matter of law.

Secondly, although there are some powerful arguments to justify the freedom,6 they run counter to the prevailing (political) view that the primary role of universities is to contribute to national economic prosperity and social welfare. This view reinforces scepticism about the coherence of any claims to academic freedom. Associated with this perspective is the argument that academic freedom appears to confer special privileges or immunities on individual professors as well as on the institutions that employ them.

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