Program Co-Chair Bertrand Badie began the last Plenary Session of the Congress by introducing the speaker Suzanne Nossel, the Chief Executive Officer at Pen America. In her Keynote Address, Ms. Nossel focused on the significant threats to free speech and the ways to respond to them. She also talked about online and offline threats to free speech and China’s growing pressure on free speech locally and internationally.
Ms. Nossel reminded that the widespread protests in 2020 urged political changes, and the world witnessed unjustified imprisonment of writers and intellectuals. While disinformation and public surveillance put pressure on free speech, especially on journalism, the actions of oppressive governments exceed their borders and dissidents. According to her, this oppressive trend spreads and erodes transnational treaties on academic freedom.
In conclusion, Bertrand Badie touched on the fragility of free speech and talked about monocultural universalism.