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The Enemy Within: Academic Freedom in 1960s and 1970s American Social Sciences


  • Tiago Mata


In the 1960s and 1970s, the social science associations (anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, and history) were faced by a string of academic freedom controversies. I review debates at association meetings and the reports and policy statements of committees on ethics and political discrimination. The ethics committees dealt with the involvement of association members with nonuniversity patrons, in the wake of revelations about Project Camelot. The committees on political discrimination examined allegations that university administrations were discriminating against radical scholars for their advocacy against the war in Vietnam and other revolutionary causes of the time. I argue that in both instances social scientists sought to accommodate the new roles of universities in American society by developing codes of conduct for social scientists that were voluntary and nonenforceable. Implied in the response of social science associations was that threats to academic freedom arose in social scientists' misguided behavior and not by fault of the new institutional setting of the university in the 1960s.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiago Mata, 2010. "The Enemy Within: Academic Freedom in 1960s and 1970s American Social Sciences," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 42(5), pages 77-104, Supplemen.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:42:y:2010:i:5:p:77-104

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Baptiste Fleury & Alain Marciano, 2018. "The Making of a Constitutionalist: James Buchanan on Education," Post-Print hal-01835036, HAL.


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