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Martin Center Column Highlights Claremont ‘Cancellation’

Scott Yenor writes for the Martin Center about a higher education group’s campaign against the Claremont Institute.

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has long been a professional outfit that makes for a relatively comfortable home for conservatives. Unlike sociology or gender studies, political science is more inclined to stay “real” as it stays connected to the actual workings of politics.

Unfortunately, APSA’s recent poor treatment of one of its “related groups,” the Claremont Institute, reveals that the political science profession has also succumbed to woke pressures.

For a long time, APSA’s national meetings left significant space for those who dissent from predominant narratives and approaches. And APSA says it remains committed to open inquiry and free speech. Article 1, Section 3 of APSA’s bylaws contains strong support for “academic freedom, freedom of expression, and the equal protection of members and other political scientists.” It also “encourages individual members in their . . . public engagement to address significant political and social problems and policies, even when these problems and policies are controversial and subject to partisan discourse.”

These are easy things to say, but hard things to back up in today’s political climate.

The Claremont Institute, a conservative-leaning outfit committed to understanding today’s political controversies from the perspective of the American Founding, is a “related group” to APSA. …

… But APSA has been squeezing Claremont for a few years. …

… While APSA has not yet attempted to strip Eastman and Claremont’s affiliations, moving all of Claremont’s panels online against Claremont’s will is a clear indication of where the winds are blowing.

And while APSA thinks hearing from a man involved in an important legal battle around a contested election is dangerous and uncivil, it is happy to sponsor plenty of in-person panels such as “A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil” that openly offer pleas for violence. Can APSA maintain professional standards if it believes (or pretends to believe) that conservatism is a greater threat to our republic than open left-wing violence?

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...