York Centre for International and Security Studies
Academic Boycotts and Contemporary Conflict
Boycotts have emerged in recent decades as a favoured means of grassroots opposition to certain politics and practices. Often these boycotts are directed at firms or industries in the name of environmental or humanitarian goals. In the past few months, framed as an attempt to build on the successes of a similarly structured campaign against historic South African apartheid, calls for boycotts have been raised in response to Israeli action in Gaza. These calls have included a request for the boycotting of Israeli academic institutions. Boycotts raise fundamental issues for universities and other academic institutions: how do boycotts affect the university's commitments to free speech and inquiry, which are central to our functions? To what degree are public universities state institutions, and so appropriate targets for boycotts which oppose state policy? Are boycotts sustainable and peaceful ways for intellectuals to intervene in conflicts, or are they counter-productive? With this series, YCISS invites the community to explore these and other issues by presenting a range of perspectives for consideration and discussion.
Having now featured separate seminars by both Omar Barghouti and Edward Beck, YCISS invites the community to come together for a respectful yet rigorous debate about issues that the boycott raises for Canadian Universities.
A Debate on the Academic Boycott of Israel
This panel-style debate will explore themes of academic freedom and repression in relation to calls for an academic boycott of Israel, with an emphasis on the role and responsibilities of Canadian universities.
Dr. Abigail Bakan
Dr. Costanza Musu
Dr. Clive Seligman
Dr. Alan Sears
Monday, 11 May 2009
Moot Court, Osgoode Hall