The Hungarian government’s discriminatory actions against the Central European University constitute one of the most prominent conflicts between an academic institution and a government today. My contribution gives a detailed account of how the conflict has unfolded so far. Various frameworks of interpretation, including democratic backsliding, cultural war, and international politics are discussed. I place the story of the university in the context of the polarized cultural climate of Eastern Europe and draw attention to the power of universities in collaborating across borders in defense of academic freedom—and freedom in general.
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