The Saga to Publish the Voices of the People

A Petition to EU Authorities

The European Union sponsored the Voices of the People  – a groundbreaking study, carried out in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa – and then censored it without any justification. 

The struggle to overcome this startling embargo delayed the book’s release by two years. The volume is now available, but only in Portuguese, in digital format and limited print copies. 

In early 2024, we still face several restrictions to its wider availability, notably its publication in English. 

The Voices of the People initiative was designed to advance science and democracy in Guinea-Bissau. The project combined various research methodologies to create a unique study. This led to the preparation of an edited volume, Voices of the People: Society, Politics and Public Opinion in Guinea-Bissau, in collaboration with ten scholars from Africa, Europe and the Americas.   

In November 2021, EU officials decided to ban the publication of the book and its ancillary studies, despite a contractual obligation to publish and disseminate the research findings.

Our Open Letter to the European Union outlines the saga involved in the quest to surmount these constraints. Moreover, it offers a set of constructive ideas on which to move forward.

This website includes: 

Please Sign Our Petition

We urge European Union authorities to:

  • Lift all restrictions imposed on the publication of the Voices of the People book and facilitate broad access to this innovative study in Africa.
  • Review the facts of the case and establish measures to prevent infringements of academic freedom in EU-funded projects.
  • Support initiatives that strive to listen to the voices of the people and generate knowledge and ideas designed to strengthen democracy’s demos and enhance civic capabilities.

Our Supporters

Over 300 scholars, journalists and civic leaders from more than 30 countries have signed our petition. These include:

AFRICA

Iva Maria Cabral, Rector, Mindelo University / Daughter of Amílcar Cabral (Cabo Verde)

George M. Bob-Milliar, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)

Aristides Gomes, Former Prime Minister (Guinea-Bissau)

Nelvina Barreto, Author, Civic leader (Guinea-Bissau)

Dautarin da Costa, Former Minister of Education (Guinea-Bissau)

Chapane Mutiua, Center for African Studies, Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique)

EUROPE

Pedro Oliveira, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

Michel Cahen, Sciences Po Bordeaux / Emeritus Research Director CNRS (France)

William Fisher, The American University of Paris (France)

Vincent Foucher, Science Po Bordeaux / CNRS (France)

Olle Törnquist, University of Oslo (Norway)

Olga Pombo, University of Lisbon (Portugal)

Orlando Rodrigues, Polytechnic Institute of Braganca (Portugal)

Clara Carvalho, ISCTE, University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal)

Andrés Malamud, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (Portugal / Argentina)

Lars Rudebeck, University of Uppsala (Sweden)

Naïma Maggetti, University of Geneva (Switzerland)

Karel J. Van der Lelij, The Hague University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)

Andrew Nickson, University of Birmingham (United Kingdom)

Fiona Macaulay, University of Bradford (United Kingdom)

Leslie Bethell, University of Oxford / Brazilian Academy of Letters (United Kingdom / Brazil)

LATIN AMERICA

Mario Pecheny, University of Buenos Aires / Director, CONICET (Argentina)

Isidoro Cheresky, University of Buenos Aires / CONICET (Argentina)

Ignacio Telesca , National University of Formosa / CONICET (Argentina)

Leonardo Boff, State University of Rio de Janeiro, UERJ (Brazil)

João Pedro Stedile, Landless Rural Workers' Movement, MST (Brazil)

Leonilde Sérvolo de Medeiros, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, UFRRJ (Brazil)

Jurandir Malerba, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS (Brazil)

Fábio Kerche, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, UNiRIO (Brazil)

Mara Telles, Federal University of Minas Gerais, UFMG (Brazil)

Aldo Dinucci, Federal University of Espírito Santo, UFES (Brazil)

Ricardo Timm de Souza, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, PUCRS (Brazil)

David Velázquez, National University of Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, UNVES (Paraguay)

Rosa María Ortiz, Former Rapporteur, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR (Paraguay)

Benjamín Fernández, Journalist and author, Radio Libre, 5Días (Paraguay)

UNITED STATES & CANADA

José Carlos Curto, York University / Former President of Lusophone Studies Association (Canada)

Anne Pitcher, President of the African Studies Association / University of Michigan (USA)

Kenneth Paul Erickson, City University of New York, CUNY (USA)

Maxine L. Margolis, University of Florida (USA)

Joshua B. Forrest, La Roche University (USA)

Shepard Forman, New York University, Former Adviser to Head of UNIOGBIS in Guinea-Bissau (USA)

Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, University of Notre Dame, (USA / Argentina)

** Institutional affiliation for identification purposes only.

** Additional endorsements can be found here.

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Thank you

This petition to EU authorities updates the original petition posted on October 2022, available here.

Our Supporters

Over 300 scholars, journalists and civic leaders from more than 30 countries have signed our petition. These include:

AFRICA

Iva Maria Cabral, Rector, Mindelo University / Daughter of Amílcar Cabral (Cabo Verde)

George M. Bob-Milliar, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)

Aristides Gomes, Former Prime Minister (Guinea-Bissau)

Nelvina Barreto, Author, Civic leader (Guinea-Bissau)

Dautarin da Costa, Former Minister of Education (Guinea-Bissau)

Chapane Mutiua, Center for African Studies, Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique)

EUROPE

Pedro Oliveira, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

Michel Cahen, Sciences Po Bordeaux / Emeritus Research Director CNRS (France)

William Fisher, The American University of Paris (France)

Vincent Foucher, Science Po Bordeaux / CNRS (France)

Olle Törnquist, University of Oslo (Norway)

Olga Pombo, University of Lisbon (Portugal)

Orlando Rodrigues, Polytechnic Institute of Braganca (Portugal)

Clara Carvalho, ISCTE, University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal)

Andrés Malamud, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (Portugal / Argentina)

Lars Rudebeck, University of Uppsala (Sweden)

Naïma Maggetti, University of Geneva (Switzerland)

Karel J. Van der Lelij, The Hague University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)

Andrew Nickson, University of Birmingham (United Kingdom)

Fiona Macaulay, University of Bradford (United Kingdom)

Leslie Bethell, University of Oxford / Brazilian Academy of Letters (United Kingdom / Brazil)

LATIN AMERICA

Mario Pecheny, University of Buenos Aires / Director, CONICET (Argentina)

Isidoro Cheresky, University of Buenos Aires / CONICET (Argentina)

Ignacio Telesca , National University of Formosa / CONICET (Argentina)

Leonardo Boff, State University of Rio de Janeiro, UERJ (Brazil)

João Pedro Stedile, Landless Rural Workers' Movement, MST (Brazil)

Leonilde Sérvolo de Medeiros, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, UFRRJ (Brazil)

Jurandir Malerba, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS (Brazil)

Fábio Kerche, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, UNiRIO (Brazil)

Mara Telles, Federal University of Minas Gerais, UFMG (Brazil)

Aldo Dinucci, Federal University of Espírito Santo, UFES (Brazil)

Ricardo Timm de Souza, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, PUCRS (Brazil)

David Velázquez, National University of Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, UNVES (Paraguay)

Rosa María Ortiz, Former Rapporteur, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR (Paraguay)

Benjamín Fernández, Journalist and author, Radio Libre, 5Días (Paraguay)

UNITED STATES & CANADA

José Carlos Curto, York University / Former President of Lusophone Studies Association (Canada)

Anne Pitcher, President of the African Studies Association / University of Michigan (USA)

Kenneth Paul Erickson, City University of New York, CUNY (USA)

Maxine L. Margolis, University of Florida (USA)

Joshua B. Forrest, La Roche University (USA)

Shepard Forman, New York University, Former Adviser to Head of UNIOGBIS in Guinea-Bissau (USA)

Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, University of Notre Dame, (USA / Argentina)

** Institutional affiliation for identification purposes only.

** Additional endorsements can be found here.