Global Mapping of Regulatory Frameworks

Global Mapping of Regulatory Frameworks on Academic Freedom

This global mapping is a compendium of international, regional, national, and intranational legal frameworks that offer a clear and searchable database of legislation on academic freedom around the world. It is hoped that this database contributes to a comparative understanding of the current state of academic freedom. 

International, regional, and domestic jurisprudence show that given the lack of provisions directly targeting academic freedom, courts have had to use other rights to protect it. This points to the legislative gap that exists in many jurisdictions concerning academic freedom. We decided to focus on this lack, and therefore do not include provisions that, without mentioning academic freedom, have been used to protect it. By focusing on the legislation directly mentioning academic freedom, our mapping helps clarify the contours of this gap, and shows how the concept becomes conceptualized as having its own normative content. If you wish to read further about the purpose of the mapping exercise and the methodology used, please read here.

This database currently provides data on 55 countries and serves as a starting point for further research and analysis on the situation of academic freedom in each country. Having a database that centralizes up-to-date legislation on academic freedom allows researchers to focus on analysis rather than data collection. Furthermore, it encourages comparative outlooks on the legal treatment of academic freedom and lays the bases for a global understanding of the best practices in support of academic freedom.

To cite from this data collection, please use “Global Observatory on Academic Freedom, Global Mapping of Regulatory Frameworks on Academic Freedom Database, Month Year”.

The Global Mapping of Regulatory Frameworks on Academic Freedom has been coordinated by Dr Milica Popovic, while in the research team participated:


Sophie Bisping is currently a BCL/JD student at McGill’s Faculty of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Transcultural Studies and International Public Policy. Prior to her legal studies, she has worked for the Max Planck Institute for International Peace and the Rule of Law on comparative constitutional law and capacity-building workshops for Sudanese and Moroccan lawyers. She has also worked for the German Parliament in the context of the International Parliamentary Scholarship, specializing in issues of cultural policy and foreign affairs. Sophie is currently an associate editor for InterGentes – the McGill Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism.

Dr Dmitry Dubrovskiy is currently Threatened Scholars Initiative Fellow (non-residential) within the Global Observatory on Academic Freedom at the Central European University in Vienna and a Research Fellow at the Center for Independent Social Research in St. Petersburg. Dubrovskiy holds a PhD in history and is an alumnus of St. Petersburg State University and the European University at St. Petersburg. He founded in 1999 and directed till 2005 the Ethnic Studies Program at the European University at St. Petersburg. He was also the founder and lecturer of the Human rights program at the Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Science from 2004-2015. He was a visiting lecturer at Bard College (New York), Witwatersrand University (Johannesburg), and adjunct assistant professor at Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2015-2017). Until March 2022, Dubrovskiy was an Associate Professor at Higher School of Economics in Moscow, when he left Moscow and is currently residing in Europe. His latest publications include an article co-authored with Irina Meyer: "Academic Freedom or Freedom of Speech? Russian Social Scientists' Understanding of Academic Freedom", Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, 30:1; and an article co-authored with Katarzyna Kaczmarska “Authoritarian modernisation and academic freedom: the contradictions of internationalisation and "pockets of effectiveness" in Russian higher education” (2022), Transtext(e)s Transcultures, n°16.