International Society of Political Psychology

ISPP Support for Scholars Under Threat

ISPP established a committee to monitor and coordinate ISPP actions to support members whose academic freedom is under threat. If you want to participate, please contact the Central Office via e-mail.

ISPP's Scholars Under Threat Fund

If you enjoy academic freedom and the chance to do the research you think is important, please support your colleagues whose academic freedom is in jeopardy.

To provide financial support for these colleagues, ISPP has established the Scholars under Threat Fund. The funds have been collected through a donation drive among ISPP membership and matched funding from ISPP. Several sister organizations generously offered support by sharing the ISPP call for donations among their membership.

Donations made to ISPP ‘s Scholars Under Threat Fund are currently used to help support academic scholars in Turkey who have been impacted by the recent actions of the country's government (see below for more information).

Consider some of the expenses that your contribution can cover:

  • $15 is the per diem travel rate within Turkey
  • $70 pays for one-hour consultation with a lawyer
  • $105 buys a bag of groceries for a family of four for a week
  • $700 provides one-month rent for a two-bedroom apartment
  • $1,100 covers fees for a lawyer representing an academic in Heavy Penal Court
  • If you wish to donate, please click here. ISPP Members, please log in on the first tab. Non-members, please use the "create an account" tab to enable us to process your donation.

    ISPP's Executive Committee has designated the Scholars Under Threat Committee to determine the distribution of funds collected specifically for this purpose.

    ISPP is a 501(c3) charitable organization, and all donations are tax-deductible for people filing income tax in the U.S.

    Applications for ISPP’s Scholars Under Threat Funds Now Being Accepted

    Donations made to ISPP‘s Scholars Under Threat Fund are currently used to help support academic scholars in Turkey who have been impacted by the recent actions of the country's government.

    It is possible to request funds for immediate emergency support for personal living needs. The funds may also be used to cover research costs to conduct research in Turkey, covering travel and living expenses to visit colleagues and universities outside Turkey to collaborate for research, and to organize for foreign scholars to travel to Turkey to conduct joint research to support applicant’s scholar activities (foreign scholars are expected to have their own research funds, but additional funds can be sought to keep local scholars research active or for capacity building). Applications from prior recipients are welcome.


    Funding applications are capped at $1,000 USD for emergency relief.

    Changes in funding priorities will be announced here.

    ISPP's Executive Committee has designated the Scholars Under Threat Committee to assess applications and make the funding decisions. All applications will be kept confidential.

    Please click here for the application form.

    Please return the application form to the ISPP Central Office.

    Academic Freedom Under Threat in Turkey

    Over the past three years, there has been an ongoing threat to Academic Freedom in Turkey, as the government has forced the dismissal of thousands of scholars at all levels of their careers in retaliation for perceived challenges to the ruling party and president. In particular, more than one thousand academicians signed a January 2016 Peace Petition, calling for an end to war in the Kurdish region, and a negotiated settlement. Following an attempted coup in July 2016, the government has aggressively moved to charge many of the signatories with crimes, and has been holding trials for more than a year.

    Free one-year ISPP membership for dismissed/displaced colleagues in Turkey

    ISPP is committed to keeping colleagues from Turkey connected to the international community of political psychologists. Therefore, ISPP offers free one-year ISPP membership for colleagues in/from Turkey who have been dismissed or politically displaced and are currently not in a fully compensated academic position, regardless of where they are currently living. For more information, please contact the ISPP Central Office.

    International Delegations Observing Court Hearings in Turkey/Articles

    ISPP has supported scholars under threat in Turkey for the past few years, including visits of several observation teams to Istanbul. Their reports can be found here:

    July 2019:

  • Turkey's High Court Rules in Favor of Scholars for Peace.
  • February 2019:

  • Read the report from the delegation that attended trials in February 2019.
  • December 2018:

  • Read Stephen Reicher's most recent observations from trials in Istanbul.
  • ISPP Governing Council Member, Anna Kende, and former Treasurer, Felicia Pratto, provide their account.
  • February 2018:

  • Read Stephen Reicher's summary from the international delegation observing the court hearings in Turkey.
  • The BBC Radio 4 program "Inside Science" interviewed Steve Reicher.
  • ISPP Governing Council Member, Masi Noor, provides his account in this blog post.
  • The full delegation of David Redlawsk, Masi Noor, and Steve Reicher have an op-ed piece in USA Today.

    Updates by our colleagues in Turkey

  • The purge in Turkey deepens: The case of ISPP Member Orhan Kaya (March 2019)
  • Academics for Peace – A brief history (March 2019)
  • Demet Islambay's case and the start of Füsün Üstel's prison sentence (Update by the Social and Political Psychology Platform of Turkey; March 2019)
  • Update by the Social and Political Psychology Platform of Turkey (November 2017)
  • A day in the Court (by the Social and Political Psychology Platform of Turkey; March 2018)
  • Peace Academic Yasemin Gülsüm Acar's Statement in Court
  • Special Statements by ISPP and Other Organizations

  • The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Newsletter "SUPPORTING ACADEMICS AS A HUMAN RIGHTS ACTOR IN A CHALLENGING CONTEXT" (April 2018)
  • Open Letter of Support for Students of Boğaziçi University (April 2018)
  • Joint Statement of Support for Colleagues in Turkey (February 2018)
  • Joint Statement of Support for Colleagues in Turkey (August 2017)
  • Emails to our Membership

  • Message from ISPP President, Eva G.T. Green (Email to ISPP membership, February 2018)
  • ISPP Efforts to Help Scholars in Turkey (Email to ISPP membership, March 2017)
  • Academic Freedom Under Threat in Hungary

    Universities and academic institutions in Hungary have been under a lot of pressure in recent years as the government enacted various laws and regulations that threaten academic freedom and autonomy of these institutions.

    Uncertain Future of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS)

    In 2019 the Hungarian government threatened to implement a new financing structure for HAS that would lead to the destruction of many of its research institutions. This long-standing independent academic institution currently resists these changes.

    ISPP joins calls to safeguard academic autonomy of Hungarian Academy of Sciences

    Gender Studies Under Threat in Hungary

    ISPP's leadership has been following the proposal by the Hungarian government to ban gender studies programs at the country’s universities, and they drafted a statement that was sent to the Hungarian government.

    Read the statement

    Response from the Hungarian Government

    ISPP Supports CEU

    The government of Hungary has made legislative changes that threaten the academic freedom of students, teachers, and scholars at the Central European University (CEU) and the very future of the University itself. In 2017, ISPP's leadership drafted a letter of support for academic freedom at CEU.

    Read the letter

    Response from the Hungarian government

    Academic Freedom Under Threat in Palestine

    Foreign university professors at Birzeit university have had their visas denied and are unable to leave Palestine, or if they leave they will no longer be able to go back.

    ISPP leadership has endorsed a petition condemning the situation

    Resources on How to Host Scholars Under Threat

    The organization Scholars at Risk has produced this guide on how to host scholars at your home institution: How to Host Handbook.

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