The Bastion of Liberty
Leiden University Today and Yesterday
Distributed for Amsterdam University Press
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 volume, 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.