Lost in Post-Cold War Transitions: The Limits of Freedom in Scholarship

By Aleksandar Jokic


The central question addressed in this essay is whether there are justifiable limits to freedom in science and scholarship. The question is further specified to deal with social sciences (including humanities) in the “transitional period” that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Paying attention to the historical context and sociological facts on the ground, the essay considers an “ethics of research” as falling within a larger endeavor of developing first an ethics of international activism that formulates a series of constraints on what would constitute morally permissible agency when delivering services abroad, directly or indirectly, and other activities. Relying on a key conceptual distinction between “activism in scholarship” and “activism with scholarship,” the essay proposes a way to think about justifiable limits to freedom in scholarship, using as its example the field of “transitional justice” studies.

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