Events Calendar

June 2017

27
Jun
2017

Über Tyrannei

Wir sind nicht klüger als die Menschen, die erlebt haben, wie überall in Europa die Demokratie unterging und Faschismus, Nationalsozialismus und Kommunismus kamen. Aber einen Vorteil haben wir. Wir können aus ihren Erfahrungen lernen. Timothy Snyder, führender Historiker des 20. Jahrhunderts, wendet sich mit seinem neuen, dringenden Buch an die Bürger von Donald Trumps Amerika. …
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22
Jun
2017

Truth in Times of War—and the New War on Truth

It has become a commonplace that we live in a “post-truth” era. Is “post-truth” just another chapter in the long history of propaganda, or does it represent a new phenomenon? What we currently observe in public discourse is indeed a tendency to dismiss the very difference between true and false, fact and fiction – a …
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21
Jun
2017

The Socialist University

In Eastern Europe postwar changes paved the way for the building of a socialistic university, something seen as one of many possible solutions to a rising need for university reform and education for the working classes. My research does not only address how we think about a particular university, or even universities in general in …
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20
Jun
2017

Academic Freedom in the „Other Europe“

Universities are under threat in a number of countries both in and outside of the European Union. Panel participants will discuss the ways in which illiberal regimes in three countries (Hungary, Russia and Turkey) seek to cope with the fact that they are facing academic institutions that emerged under more permissive conditions and that insist on their …
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01
Jun
2017

Im Zeit-Raum: Der Schatten der imperialen Lebensweise – Wege zur globalen Solidarität

Der globale Norden eignet sich die Ressourcen des globalen Südens an und beutet u.a. die billige Arbeitskraft von Textilarbeiterinnen und -arbeitern oder den Produzentinnen bzw. Produzenten landwirtschaftlicher Exportgüter aus. Diese imperiale Lebensweise braucht das “Außen”, auf das ihre Kosten verlagert und von dem die benötigten Ressourcen bezogen werden können. Dieses Außen schrumpft im selben Maße, …
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May 2017

31
May
2017

Looks like Home

In May-June, the Ukrainian journalist and filmmaker Angelina Kariakina will be a Fellow of the Ukraine in European Dialogue program of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM). On this occasion, colabs, the media laboratory of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, in cooperation with the IWM, will screen and discuss two new documentaries produced by …
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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 …
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22
May
2017

Is Western Democracy Slipping Away?

We are sorry to inform you that this lecture has had to be cancelled! Thank you for your understanding! 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 …
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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 …
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17
May
2017

From Little Russia to Ukraine

The idea of Ukraine as a European nation was first formulated in the late 18th century within the Russian Empire. But to become a modern nation, Ukrainians had not only to secede from the Russian Empire, but also to break away from Poland, which, despite its loss of independence in the partitions (1772-1795), remained the dominant …
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16
May
2017

Grabbed by the Pussy

Despite the moral justifications voiced by medical professionals, obstetrics was and still is designed in a biopolitically driven fashion that conquers its subjects hospitalization,discipline regimes and a variety of legal ties. This condition is rooted in the three centuries of history of obstetrics in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and has a lot to do with the …
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10
May
2017

New Wars as a Social Condition

Building on her longstanding and groundbreaking research on the “New Wars”, this lecture by Mary Kaldor explained that the difference between old and new wars is not empirical but conceptual. New wars have a different logic from old wars. Old wars  (both inter-state wars and classic civil wars) can be analysed in Clausewitzean terms as …
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10
May
2017

“New Wars” and the Human Condition

In recent decades, there has been an increasing recognition among historians and political scientists concerning the advent of new configurations of warfare, commonly referred to as the New Wars. This concept registers a pervasive transformation in warfare that decisively breaks with traditional understandings of war: On the one hand, the implementation of advanced technological means …
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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” …
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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 …
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April 2017

27
Apr
2017

Hopes and Fears for the Internet

The internet as a social phenomenon is interpreted and exploited in different ways, from an empowering technology to a source of new threats to privacy. It is seen by researchers as a technology with many stakeholders. Plenty of people are engaged with it in one way or another, but no one completely understand its nature. The contemporary internet …
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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 …
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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 …
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20
Apr
2017

What’s ‘New’ About the ‘New Authoritarians’?

The autocrat of the mid-20th century was a strict and demanding father out to shape you into an ideal. He wanted you to modernize, learn self-discipline and, above all, self-sacrifice. Today’s authoritarians, by contrast, expect very little of their “children.” They do not seek to transform their subjects or mould them into an ideal. What happened? …
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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 …
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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 …
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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” …
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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 (IWM Permanent …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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