Academic Freedom Index Project Team
The AFI project team consists of researchers from the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany and researchers from V-Dem in Gothenburg, Sweden, one of the world’s largest social science data collection projects on democracy and related concepts.
We gratefully acknowledge that the German Volkswagen Foundation has committed to funding the Academic Freedom Index until 2025. Initial work on the index was supported by OSF’s Higher Education Support Program and a conference grant by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.
Katrin Kinzelbach is professor of political science at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, where she teaches the international politics of human rights. Kinzelbach serves on the Academic Freedom Committee of the International Studies Association. She is a project manager involved with the V-Dem project and co-leads the Academic Freedom Index project with Staffan I. Lindberg.
Staffan I. Lindberg
Staffan I. Lindberg is the director of the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg and one of five principal investigators for Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem). In addition, he is a member of the Standing Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science 2022–2025 at the International Science Council. He is the principal investigator of the Academic Freedom Index project, co-led by Katrin Kinzelbach.
Postdoctoral and Affiliated Researchers
Lars Pelke is a postdoctoral researcher at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg. He works in the Academic Freedom Index project funded by the Volkswagen foundation. His research focuses on academic freedom, autocratization, and comparative authoritarianism.
Janika Spannagel is a postdoctoral researcher at Freie Universität Berlin at the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Scripts (SCRIPTS)." Her current work focuses on the diffusion and contestation of academic freedom norms. She co-developed the Academic Freedom Index prior to her position at FU Berlin.
Non-Resident Fellow, Global Public Policy Institute
Conception, Design & Development
During the inception phase, we benefited from extensive advice by
Head of National Rankings, Center for Higher Education
Senior Expert, Transformation Index BTI, Bertelsmann Stiftung
Executive Director, Scholars at Risk Network
Deputy Secretary General, European University Association