Scott-Baumann, A. and Tomlinson, H. (2016) ‘Cultural cold wars: The risk of anti-‘extremism’ policy for academic freedom of expression’
Abstract: Universities are under increasing pressure from government to prevent students coming into contact with “extreme” ideas. The view is that students exposed to any kind of views designated “extreme” could be drawn into terrorism. But the risk to freedom of speech and academic freedom is obvious. Society needs to avoid a climate in which ideas are seen as dangerous, deviant and extremist if they differ from views that are believed to be held by the majority. Many university administrators now appear to believe that in order to prevent terrorism, the law requires them to curtail the freedom of academic debate. This approach is not only wrong in principle and in practice but also illegal.