Deepening Authoritarianism in Serbia

The Purge of the Universities

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Under the pretext of “depoliticizing” the campuses, the Serbian parliament in May 1998 enacted a law that removed basic protections for academic freedom and destroyed the autonomy of universities in Serbia. Over the past seven months, leaders of the ruling parties have put their own political allies in charge of the campuses and have suspended or fired many of the most respected professors and researchers in Serbia. The de facto government takeover of the universities is part of a broader effort by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to shut down dissent, autonomous inquiry, and free expression in Serbia.