What freedom of publishing for independent publishers? Study initiated and coordinated by the Alliance, 2018-2020

An unprecedented study to be published in July 2020, initiated and coordinated by the Alliance!

A sociological survey conducted by Anne-Marie Voisard, Quebec researcher (MA on strategic lawsuits against public participation and legal repression of freedom of speech from the University of Montréal) and written by Philippe Chibani-Jacquot; a historical introduction by Jean-Yves Mollier, French historian.

Since the creation of the Alliance, publishers – custodians of freedom of speech alongside journalists, authors, bloggers, booksellers, artists… – have been the whistleblowers on instances of censorship occurring in some countries. Over the past few years, we have noticed some new forms of attack on freedom of speech. In several contexts, pressures and limitations exercised on public speech are increasing. After the wave of freedom expected during the revolutions in the Arab world, the series of attacks in Africa, Europe, and in the Arab world, destabilised freedom of speech: a loss of sense, of bearings that brings us to question spaces of freedom, the reach of words and the power of the medium.

The freedom of publishing is a “category” of freedom of speech that can take different forms through various supports. The freedom of publishing pertains to the liberty to choose an author, to select or commission manuscripts, publish them, disseminate and distribute them, and put them on the market – all these activities are at the heart of publishers’ work. The threats to the freedom of publishing are precisely what the Alliance seeks to examine in this study.

In different geopolitical contexts, threatened by different forms of censorship, the Alliance’s independent publishers are committed to circulate texts and ideas, to amplify voices, even if sometimes they are in minority, to participate in building critical thinking and emancipation. It is their responsibility, both professional and civic.

Read here the presentation of the study, of the authors, the methodology...