Jannis Grimm and Ilyas Saliba: "Free Research in Fearful Times: Conceptualizing an Index to Monitor Academic Freedom"
Scholars across the globe are increasingly victims of repression due to their involvement in critical knowledge production. Studies have pointed to the connection between this worrying trend and proc-esses of global authoritarian regression illustrating how the curtailment of academic freedom is often a harbinger of broader human rights violations. Less work has gone into systematizing and catego-rising the ways how spaces for critical inquiry are curtailed. Concise catalogues that map the defin-ing features of academic freedom in an exhaustive way and could provide the basis for systematic comparative investigation are conspicuously absent. This article intends to fill this gap by outlining the conceptual architecture of a comprehensive Academic Freedom Index (AFI). Spelling out a methodological path towards reliable parameters for assessing the regulation and restriction of re-search autonomy over time and on a cross-country level, it hopes to stir methodological debate and introduce a powerful instrument for advocacy.