Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture


Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Belfer Case Study Room (S020)

The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
warmly welcomes you to the
Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture 

“Insidious Threats to Academic Freedom
in the US and Abroad”

The lecture will consist of brief opening remarks from each speaker. A twenty-minute exchange between the speakers will follow, and a Q&A will conclude. The event is free and open to the public, and will be streamed live through the WCFIA Facebook page


Image of Craig CalhounCraig Calhoun
Advisory Committee. President, Berggruen Institute.

"Insidious Threats to Academic Freedom"

In some settings, universities are being closed or academics are silenced by direct political force. But even where there is less of this kind of pernicious intervention, academic contributions to informed public debate are threatened by institutional transformations, shifts in academic career structures, structures of funding, and attacks on the standing and place of knowledge.


Craig Calhoun is president of the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute, which works globally to advance knowledge of great transformations shaping the human future. These range from artificial intelligence and gene editing to renewed nationalism and weakened international cooperation and indeed the possible transformation of capitalism. Calhoun was previously director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he remains Centennial Professor and before that president of the New York-based Social Science Research Council (SSRC). He was also University Professor of Social Sciences and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU. His books have been translated into eighteen languages and include Does Capitalism Have a Future? (2013), The Roots of Radicalism (2012), and Nations Matter (2007), which predicted rising nationalist and populist challenges to cosmopolitanism grounded in a highly unequal global economy.

Image of Michael IgnatieffMichael Ignatieff
Advisory Committee. President, Central European University.

"Academic Freedom and Authoritarian Populism: Lessons from the Front Line"

In many countries—Turkey, Russia, Hungary, to take three examples—universities are being closed or threatened with closure and researchers, teachers, and students are being targeted. What is the political logic behind these attacks, and what will the consequences be for academic freedom and democracy worldwide?

Michael Ignatieff is president of one of the institutions that has come under attack—Central European University in Budapest. The lecture is a reflection on lessons learned from a year defending academic freedom in central and eastern Europe.


Born in Canada, educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard, Michael Ignatieff is a university professor, writer, and former politician. His major publications are The Needs of Strangers (1984), Scar Tissue (1992), Isaiah Berlin (1998), The Rights Revolution (2000), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004), Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013), and The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World (2017).

Between 2006 and 2011, he served as an MP in the Parliament of Canada and then as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and leader of the Official Opposition. He is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and holds eleven honorary degrees. Between 2012 and 2015, he served as Centennial Chair at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York. Between 2014 and 2016, he was Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently the rector and president of Central European University in Budapest.


Michèle Lamont
Center Director; Faculty Associate; Chair, Weatherhead Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion.
Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies; Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies, Departments of Sociology and African and African American Studies, Harvard University.


Sarah Banse

2018 Jodidi Poster | PDF 214KB214 KB