Public debates on academic freedom have become increasingly contentious, and understandings of what it is and its purposes are contested within the academy, policymakers and the general public. Drawing on rich empirical interview data, this book critically examines the understudied relationship between academic freedom and its role in knowledge production across four country contexts – Lebanon, the UAE, the UK and the US – through the lived experiences of academics conducting ‘controversial’ research. It provides an empirically-informed transnational theory of academic freedom, contesting the predominantly national constructions of academic freedom and knowledge production and the methodological nationalism of the field. It is essential reading for academics and students of the sociology of education, as well as anyone interested in this topic of global public concern. This title is part of the Flip it Open Programme and may also be available Open Access. Check our website Cambridge Core for details.