Which scientific topics are politically neutral?
Neutrality requirement - who has to be neutral?
Is there such a command? Who has to adhere to it? And what exactly is meant by “neutrality”?
Neutrality as a weapon against unpleasant criticism
The accusation that an alleged duty of neutrality has been violated is mostly made in response to unpleasant criticism. Especially those who constantly complain that you are no longer allowed to speak your mind, demand neutrality from others and want to shut them up. The allegations are almost always unjustified. Rather, it is about intimidating critics and narrowing their room for maneuver.
It is always right to stand up for democratic values
Human dignity, gender equality, standing up against racial discrimination, the right to asylum and other fundamental rights are important constitutional values. The state cannot be neutral towards these. He and his civil servants, civil servants and recipients of government payments are even encouraged to stand up for our constitutional values. The state constitution of Brandenburg also emphasizes the task of advocating peaceful coexistence and against the spread of racist and xenophobic ideas. So - contrary to what is often claimed by rights - it cannot be a matter of the state behaving in a value-neutral manner. But he is encouraged to maintain party political neutrality.
Objectively yes, neutral in terms of value no
The state and its representatives are obliged not to discriminate against parties. Civil servants and employees in the public service, such as teachers, are, however, allowed to speak about the content and programs of parties, as long as they do so in a balanced way and do not impose their opinions on others. They are not allowed to make election recommendations, unilateral judgments about individual parties or to call for protests against a particular party. However, posters or statements for general constitutional values and against discrimination are possible.
Non-state actors such as clubs, associations or individuals are fundamentally free to express themselves. You have the basic right to participate in the political debate. They do not have to be balanced and can express factually well-founded criticism in an exaggerated manner. If they receive state subsidies, they are not allowed to intervene directly in equal opportunities for the parties, especially during election campaign times. However, this does not mean false statements of fact or insults. Anyone who quotes others must also be able to prove this, and whoever defames others can become the target of civil action or even a complaint.
Hendrik Cremer: The principle of neutrality in education. Neutral towards racist and right-wing extremist positions of parties? Ed. German Institute for Human Rights. Berlin 2019.
Friedhelm Hufen: Political youth education and the principle of neutrality. In: Law of Youth and Education (RdJB), 2/2018, pp. 216-221, as well as the lecture on April 6, 2019 in Potsdam.
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