UCU’s policy on international greylists and boycotts

Last April, the AUT’s Investigative Commission on Israel/Palestine came up with this draft policy with this in mind:

It is recognised that this is a difficult area. We are aware of great wrongs being committed throughout the world against colleagues in other countries. But there is always a balance to be drawn between boycotting and damaging those colleagues in the hope that the state will address the harm that it is inflicting on academia, and the harm that the boycott itself inflicts on academia.”

I summarise the policy as follows:

  • The UCU can’t police the world
  • Any action must uphold academic freedom (i.e. you can uphold academic freedom in one state by denying it elsewhere)
  • Any campaign must have wider support, show understanding of the purposes and outcomes, and a likelihood of achieving those purposes
  • Any boycott must have 3 elements:
    • a trigger – a call from a recognised body within the state
    • a gradual stepped approach with reviews. First alerting the rogue, then greylisting, then checking for consensus with other orgs, then finally boycotting. First influence, with coercive action as a last resort. Contact with org which called for the boycott to assess impact and know when to stop
    • secure collective support (not covered the document I’m reading, which ends abruptly after Mechanisms 2.9).

“Further to the meetings of Council and Special Council in 2005, the following was adopted as an interim international policy by the Executive Committee from the 2nd December 2005 as recommended by EIA committee.”

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One thought on “UCU’s policy on international greylists and boycotts

  1. Pingback: Refreshing new ideas for UCU? « Flesh is Grass

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