Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry, and Expression

The freedom of academics and students to think and speak freely, on and off campus, has empowered the pursuit of truth and human flourishing. The mission of the Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry, and Expression at the James Madison Program is to promote, explain, and defend free speech and academic freedom. Through events, seminars, and other programming, the James Madison Free Speech Initiative creates opportunities for the Princeton community—faculty, students, staff, and the public—to learn how and why freedom of thought and inquiry is essential to the health of universities and free societies.

Princeton Principles for a Campus Culture of Free Inquiry

In March of 2023, a group of scholars convened at Princeton University to establish a set of principles meant to revitalize free inquiry on campus. Read the Princeton Principles for a Campus Culture of Free Inquiry.

Madison Program Statement on Free Speech

Read the Madison Program's Statement on Free Speech.

Princeton University's Commitment to Free Speech

Read about Princeton University's commitment to free speech on the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students website.

Meet the Co-Directors

Keith E. Whittington

Keith E. Whittington is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech, as well as Constitutional Construction: Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning, and Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review, and Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History (which won the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in law and courts and the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history), and Judicial Review and Constitutional Politics, and American Political Thought: Readings and Materials. He is the editor (with Neal Devins) of Congress and the Constitution and editor (with R. Daniel Kelemen and Gregory A. Caldeira) of The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics and editor of Law and Politics: Critical Concepts in Political Science. He is also the author (with Howard Gillman and Mark A. Graber) of American Constitutionalism, vol. 1: Structures of Government and American Constitutionalism, vol. 2: Rights and Liberties (which together won the Teaching and Mentoring Award for innovative instructional materials in law and courts), and American Constitutionalism: Powers, Rights and Liberties (a one-volume abridgement). He has published widely on American constitutional theory and development, federalism, judicial politics, and the presidency. He has been a John M. Olin Foundation Faculty Fellow and American Council of Learned Societies Junior Faculty Fellow, and a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences. He is editor (with Gerald Leonard) of the New Essays on American Constitutional History and editor (with Maeva Marcus, Melvin Urofsky, and Mark Tushnet) of the Cambridge Studies on the American Constitution. His new book, Repugnant Laws: Judicial Review of Acts of Congress from the Founding to the Present, is forthcoming and he is currently completing Constitutional Crises, Real and Imagined and The Idea of Democracy in America, from the American Revolution to the Gilded Age.

Bernard Haykel

Bernard Haykel is a scholar of the Arabian Peninsula, focusing on the history, politics and economics of Saudi Arabia, the other Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), and Yemen. He is professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University where he is also director of the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Professor Haykel is presently completing one on modern Saudi political history that will be published by Princeton University Press. He is considered an authority on Islamist political movements and Islamic law and is the author of numerous articles on the politics and history of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Salafism, and Islamism. He has supervised over 10 PhD dissertations on Arabian politics and history and has received several prominent awards, such as the Prize Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford, the Carnegie Corporation and Guggenheim fellowships and the Old Dominion Professorship at Princeton. Professor Haykel appears frequently in print and broadcast media, including PBS, NPR, the New York Times, Project Syndicate and the BBC among others. He earned his D.Phil. in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford.