<may> participate as peer reviewers

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What is the nuance between "may participate as peer reviewers" and "will be allowed to participate as peer reviewers"?

The use of "may" sounds as if Your Highness gives an order "You may quit." It sounds elusive to me.

IEEE has received the requested clarification from the U.S. Department of Commerce on the applicability of these export control restrictions to IEEE’s publication activities. Based on this new information, employees of Huawei and its affiliates may participate as peer reviewers and editors in our publication process. All IEEE members, regardless of employer, can continue to participate in all of the activities of the IEEE.

Source:2 June 2019
Statement Update: IEEE Lifts Restrictions on Editorial and Peer Review Activities
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The word "may" has many meanings and can be used in many contexts. Being used for royal permission in one context does not give it that tone in all contexts. It does not have anything like that tone here.


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The sentence following the OP quote reads

    "Our initial, more restrictive approach was motivated solely by our desire to protect our volunteers and our members from legal risk."

    This clarifies that "may" means "are not restricted from".
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