In this episode, I host Professor Andrea Pető, a highly esteemed academic who researches anti-gender movements across Europe. She also has hands-on experience in dealing with the attacks on academic freedom in Hungary, and close ties to the Academics for Peace movement in Turkey.

Pető will first depict her academic collaboration and friendship with Professor Ayşe Gül Altınay, who recently received 25-month prison sentence because she signed the statement “We will not be a party to this crime”. Then she will explain how, through this academic collaboration and friendship, she has been able to observe and experience the feminist movement including feminist academics in Turkey, who have a long history of standing up for peace and justice.

By comparing the attacks in Turkey and Hungary, Pető will also present a compelling case of illiberal and authoritarian governments creating what she calls polypore states. Such states “feed on the vital resources of their liberal predecessors and produce a fully dependent state structure in return. This style of government involves appropriating the institutions, mechanisms and funding channels of the European liberal democratic project.” The attacks on academic institutions and academic freedom are an important part of the governmentality of polypore states as they seek to seize and usurp the realm of knowledge production.

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