The Bastion of Liberty
Leiden University was founded as an institution that would embody a particular set of academic ethics that sought to improve society through the acquisition of knowledge. In this book, author Willem Otterspeer draws on the idea of Leiden as 'a “bastion of liberty”' and proposes that concepts such as 'equilibrium' and 'scale' are key to understanding the university as an institution, ultimately showing how universities are a form of social capital, one of Western society’s answers to the dilemma of collective action, and an instrument for preserving and restoring continuity in the world.
The Bastion of Liberty offers a complete overview of the history of the University of Leiden since 1575 and therefore covers more than four centuries of the development of this nowadays internationally renowned academic institution.
Willem Otterspeer is Professor Emeritus of University History at Leiden University.
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