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Article

Escape from Freedom. The Russian Academic Community and the Problem of Academic Rights and Freedoms

Interdisciplinary Political Studies. 2017. No. 3 (1). P. 171-199.

To what extent does science in authoritarian societies initiate practices of democracy and freedom? This article provides an overview of the issue of academic rights and freedoms as an integral part of the academic ethos in the USSR and the Russian Federation and concludes that there has been a paradoxical shift in the relative extent of rights and freedoms in wider society vs. the academic world. In this author’s opinion, academic proto-freedom existed in the USSR as a component of the privileged position held by a segment of the academic community and that, therefore, the latter experienced a degree of freedom that was greater than that afforded by Soviet society in general. The situation evened out in the late 80's and early 90's and finally, with the attack of authoritarianism against the remaining academic autonomy of Russian universities in the 2000s, resulted in fewer freedoms within academia compared to society as a whole.