CIVIS Summer School May 30 - June 10, 2022

The Right to Disagree: Freedom of Expression, Academic Freedom,

and the Populist Challenge in Europe Today.

How is freedom of expression, one of the most crucial fundamental rights of European societies, under attack in today's Europe? What is populism and why is it a threat to democracy? What is the nature and intention of hate speech? How far should freedom of expression go?

In this course, we will analyze the importance of freedom of expression as a basic human right and as a core value of democratic societies in Europe today. After a short introduction to the most fundamental concepts and terminology, we will focus on the challenges that European societies face and on the role played by populist parties and movements from various scientific perspectives, with a particular interest in how higher education institutions, such as universities, are affected by these (new) actors and their agendas. One aspect of our research will be the dialogue with representatives of organizations that are active in the field of human rights and politics and with witnesses of violations of basic rights.

The course has two mandatory parts.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the course began with a short 3-day online preparatory workshop from 28-30 September, 2021. The main part is a Summer School at the University of Tübingen to take place from May 30 to June 10, 2022 (students will travel to Tübingen on May 29 and leave on June 11).

For all relevant information pertaining to this CIVIS course (ECTS points, course format, evaluation, funding, professors), please click on the following link.

The on-site program at a glance


The aim of the program is to provide an informed and deep understanding of the right to freedom of expression in contemporary Europe, with a focus on academic freedom and the challenge that (especially right-wing) populism presents today. At the end of the course, students will be familiar with theoretical and practical approaches to the implementation of this basic right and with the positive and negative aspects of European politics regarding this subject and will be able to differentiate cases and topics at local, European and international levels coming from a variety of societal backgrounds.

The following schedule shows an overview of the 10 day program and provides information about the dates and times of the courses, excursions and activities.

Schedule (printable PDF)

Social Program


Participants of the CIVIS Summer School must find accomodation in Tübingen themselves.

Please click here for a list of possible accomodation in Tübingen.


For all enquiries please contact jan.battkespam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de