Events Calendar

May 2017

24
May
2017

Reproductive Autonomy

The dimensions, scope and limits of reproductive autonomy remain largely uncharted. Nevertheless, besides the traditional rights of freedom from state intervention in human reproduction and of access to contraception and pregnancy termination, the debate on international and constitutional law in this area suggests that there is also a right to fulfil the wish for a …
Read more
22
May
2017

Is Western Democracy Slipping Away?

In 1989, we were all very optimistic about the expansion of democracy; but now we have the opposite fear: is it contracting? I want to look at democracy in its long-established Western heartland; what is threatening it? Charles Taylor is Professor em. of Philosophy at McGill University, Montreal, and a Permanent Fellow at the IWM, Vienna. …
Read more
18
May
2017

Europe and Austria: The Shape of the Future?

Europe is changing. Looking outwards, it has to operate increasingly as a global player; looking inwards, it needs to counter the centrifugal tendencies of some of its member states by strengthening regional cooperations. For a small country like Austria, the latter are crucial, but many neighbouring countries’ internal developments are putting a strain on their …
Read more
08
May
2017

Heine’s Pantheism

Heinrich Heine’s pantheism brought together identification with sensual antiquity, irreverence toward institutional religion, an original outlook on German philosophy, and a radically modern literary sensibility. In the wake of the “pantheism controversy” of 1785-9, like several of his predecessors, Heine identified Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy with pantheism in the sense of God as nature, the “absolute” …
Read more
04
May
2017

The Affects of Democracy

In this year’s Patočka Memorial Lecture, political theorist Chantal Mouffe examines the crucial role played in politics by what she calls ‘passions’ to refer to the common affects that are at stake in the construction of collective identities. Taking her bearings from Spinoza, Freud and Wittgenstein and from the agonistic model of democracy that she …
Read more

April 2017

26
Apr
2017

Sphere of Influence III

Populist revolt within countries has its complement in a populist revolt against the liberal, rules-based international order, which is driven by three revisionist powers – China, Russia, Iran – that have rich histories as civilizations, empires that once extended well beyond their current size, a powerful sense of historic entitlement and of historic grievance.  Today …
Read more
24
Apr
2017

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning—the possibility of “fixing” the air’s temperature at will—is one of the oldest dreams of man­kind. It means creating a world without heat or cold, rain or snow, without suffocating humidity or dusty winds. Climate control allows for a life with­out weather, without meteorological contingencies and surprises, extreme weather events, seasonal changes, or locally …
Read more
19
Apr
2017

Sphere of Influence II

Do we really know the answer?  Two opposing political projects have framed that question.  One equates fascism and communism as totalitarianism; the other proffers a heroic portrayal of communism as anti-fascism.  The first delegitimates the left, the second legitimates it.  But there is a different story, one rooted in a history that has always been …
Read more
05
Apr
2017

Sphere of Influence I

A History of the Present The liberal, rules-based international order did not take shape predominantly as a consequence of highmindedness, but as a sphere of influence.  That, moreover, was to a great extent inspired, and sustained, by a comprehensive cold war with the Soviet Union (or Second World, as it was once called).  The sphere …
Read more
02
Apr
2017

Leben wir im Zeitalter des Populismus?

Nicht nur in den meisten europäischen Staaten, sondern weltweit befinden sich Populisten und populistische Parteien auf dem Vormarsch, wie auch der Wahlsieg von Donald Trump in den USA zeigt. Diese Entwicklungen werfen Fragen auf: Wann sind Politiker Populisten? Wie wirkt sich ihr Handeln auf demokratische Gesellschaften aus? Wie soll man mit Populisten “auf demokratische Weise” …
Read more

March 2017

29
Mar
2017

Lessons of the Past

Session 1: 14:30-15:30 “Only Kids in Cots? Massification and the Everyday Workings of Populations” Leyla Safta-Zecheria (IWM Visiting Fellow; CEU, Budapest) Discussant: Ekaterina Borozdina (IWM Visiting Fellow; National Research Tomsk State University) “Made in Germany: From Boycott to Acceptance” Noa Swisa (IWM Visiting Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) Discussant: János Mátyás Kovác (tbc) (IWM …
Read more
27
Mar
2017

Migration, Asylum and Human Rights

Walls, razor wire and fences are going up all over Europe—and North America too—as democracies face the challenge of mass migration. How do we reconcile refugee’s rights of asylum with sovereign rights of border control and citizens’ rights to security?  The language of rights is now on a collision course with the language of democracy …
Read more
23
Mar
2017

Russia’s Big Comeback in the Middle East

Since the outbreak of the uprising in Syria 2011, Russia has significantly upgraded its role in the region – leading even to a military intervention on behalf of the Syrian regime in 2015. In 2017, Russia is leading efforts to reach a political settlement in Syria. Also in other countries – for example in Egypt …
Read more
21
Mar
2017

The End of Europe

Once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. The old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart. With President Trump now threatening to abandon America’s traditional role as upholder of the …
Read more
09
Mar
2017

A Way Out of the Crisis

After spending decades working to construct a common market and developing a system of regulatory politics, member states have been forced to take on a new role since the financial and geopolitical drama of 2008: they are now also practicing a “politics of events.” “They have saved a currency, engaged Russia in a battle of …
Read more
08
Mar
2017

The Transnational and the Local

In my paper, I am going to discuss some findings of my current research project, entitled “Transnational Nationalism,” which studies transnational exchanges among various radical right-wing/nationalist groups maintaining distinct, and at times mutually exclusive, aims and interests. Focusing on both nationalist groups’ cooperation across Europe and their engagement “on the ground,” my paper seeks to …
Read more
05
Mar
2017

Europa, USA: Was ändert sich mit Trump?

Der neue US-Präsident Donald Trump wird eine andere Außenpolitik vertreten als Barack Obama. Es ist zu erwarten, dass die USA ihre bisherige Rolle als „Weltpolizei“ nicht mehr in dem Maße wie bisher ausüben wollen. Das hat Auswirkungen auf die Bündnispartner, nicht nur in der Nato. Was haben die Europäer von Trump zu erwarten? Die transatlantischen …
Read more
02
Mar
2017

Democratic Inclusion: A Pluralistic Theory of Citizenship

Who has a claim to be included in a democratic political community? Answers to this question distinguish populists from democrats. But political theorists disagree amongst themselves what the right answer is. In this talk I propose that the question needs to be broken up into three: Whose interests should be represented in democratic decisions? Whose …
Read more

February 2017

23
Feb
2017

Europe and Austria: The Shape of the Future?

The Political Salon with Erhard Busek had to be postponed to May 18 for organizational reasons. Please accept our apologies for any inconveniences this may cause. Registrations on: IWM/Events Europe is changing. Looking outwards, it has to operate increasingly as a global player; looking inwards, it needs to counter the centrifugal tendencies of some of …
Read more
22
Feb
2017

The Moral Atmosphere in Eastern Europe

The curious contrast between the conflation of anti-market feelings and anti-welfare passion, a hatred for egalitarian-redistributive policies and a comparable hatred for a reduction of state regulation: what does it mean for the ideological character of the region in the near future? ‘Welfare state for the white middle class’ and for no one else? A …
Read more
20
Feb
2017

How (not) to Explain Violence

Recent social science research has focused very much on the micro-dynamics of the situation in order to understand violent phenomena. The oftentimes very detailed accounts of massacres or pogroms, however, lead to questions concerning the interrelationship between pure description on the one side and explanation on the other. As will be seen, there is no …
Read more
19
Feb
2017

Leben wir in revolutionären Zeiten?

Stehen wir vor einer Zeitenwende? Die Periode, die mit dem Fall der Berliner Mauer und des Eisernen Vorhangs vor mehr als einem Vierteljahrhundert begonnen hat, endet. Viele glaubten, 1989 sei eine Revolution ohne Gegenrevolution. Kommt nun der Rückschlag mit Brexit, Donald Trump in den USA und einer EU, in der die Fliehkräfte zunehmen? Kommt nach …
Read more
16
Feb
2017

Die Welt des Herrn Bickford

DIE WELT DES HERRN BICKFORD. Roman (aus dem Russischen von Claudia Dathe; Haymon Verlag, 2017) In seinem skurril-melancholischen Roman wirft der ukrainische Schriftsteller Andrej Kurkow einen enthüllenden Blick auf die Nachkriegs-Sowjetunion und die Wunden in der Seele der »Sowjetmenschen«. Der junge Matrose Charitonow reist mit einer endlos langen Zündschnur in der Tasche westwärts durch die …
Read more
13
Feb
2017

The Future of Russianness in Post-Maidan Ukraine

While Russia annexed Crimea and supported separatists in Donbas under the pretext of protecting Russian-speakers from the new “fascist” government in Kyiv, it was actually pro-Ukrainian mobilization in the large Russian-speaking cities of the east and south that prevented Ukraine from disintegrating further. Three years after the Maidan, what is the future of the Russian …
Read more

January 2017

25
Jan
2017

Russia and the Western Far Right

The lecture discusses relations between various Russian actors (activists, politicians, organisations, media, officials, etc.) and the Western far right. It provides a historical perspective, discussing the pro-Soviet or pro-Russian views of particular Western far right activists, but its major focus is contemporary Russia. As Moscow has become more anti-Western, contacts with the Western far right …
Read more
23
Jan
2017

We Need to Talk

Tensions between Russia and the West are high. The risk of accidents or incidents is great. There is little progress in the implementation of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. Many protracted and “frozen” conflicts in the OSCE are in danger of escalating and heating up. And there is little dialogue. In order to de-escalate this …
Read more
19
Jan
2017

Ach Ukraine!

Der Vortrag eröffnete die konstituierende Sitzung der Österreichisch-Ukrainischen Historikerkommission und beleuchtete die Beziehungen zwischen Polen und der Ukraine aus der persönlichen Perspektive des renommierten Polenkenners. “Mich interessieren die schwierige Beziehungen zwischen Polen und Ukrainern und die mutigen Versuche von Intellektuellen auf beiden Seiten, den offenen Dialog zwischen den Nachbarn zu fördern. Andererseits lassen nationalistische Kräfte …
Read more
18
Jan
2017

From Theresienstadt to Santa Teresa

How does literature of our time confronts the ultimate traumas of Modernity and Postmodernity, those things that deny any expression, that occur in bleak spaces before the words and beyond the words? This parallel reading of Austerlitz (2001), Sebald’s last novel, and 2666, Bolano’s posthumously published grand narrative (2004), will trace the ways in which …
Read more
16
Jan
2017

“Heroes Do Not Die?”

The Maidan and the war in the Donbas are reshaping the symbolic landscape of large industrial cities in the southeast of Ukraine. The example of Dnipropetrovsk recently being renamed Dnipro illustrates these current developments, which are not limited to “decommunisation”. We see the removal of Soviet monuments and the renaming of streets, but also the …
Read more
15
Jan
2017

Im Zeitalter des Populismus

TERMINÄNDERUNG! Leider müssen wir Sie darüber informieren, dass die für Sonntag, den 15. Jänner 2017 geplante Matinee “Europa im Diskurs – Im Zeitalter des Populismus” aus organisatorischen Gründen auf Sonntag, den 2. April 2017 verschoben werden muss. Die Beginnzeit bleibt mit 11:00 Uhr gleich. Bereits erworbene Karten für den 15. Jänner 2017 behalten für diesen …
Read more