Monthly Lectures

Once a month public lectures take place in the IWM library on subjects related to the main research interests of the Institute. The purpose of these lectures is to be a window into the Institute’s work. Speakers include Visiting Fellows and international experts.

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December 2017


Rebuilding the Hungarian Right through Civil Organization and Contention

Starting in 2010, the Fidesz party achieved in a row six (partly landslide) victories at municipal, national, and European Parliament elections. Not questioning other explanations, my ongoing research traces the remarkable resilience of the ruling party above all to earlier “tectonic” shifts in civil society, which helped the Right accumulate ample social capital well before …
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November 2017


Multiple Modernen und die Dynamik der transnationalen Öffentlichkeit

Die Geschichte wird von den Siegern geschrieben, verkündete Winston Churchill einst. Die Geschichte könnte aber auch von den Verlierern erkannt und vielleicht sogar geschrieben werden, wie wir den Spätschriften Walter Benjamins entnehmen können. Bei vielen kontroversen Großprojekten, wie der Trans-Alaska-Pipeline oder Stuttgart 21, werden Stimmen des Protests schnell zum Verstummen gebracht – Protestierende erscheinen somit …
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October 2017


Episodes in the History of the “Maker of Fact”

When looking amazed today at the seemingly sudden melting away of the solidity of brute facts, it might be instructive to look attentively at the ideas and practices of the artistic avant-garde in the first third of the twentieth century. Their persecutors, the Stalinist ideologues, the socialist realists, and the interrogators, prosecutors, executors, who defeated …
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September 2017


Cancelled!" rel="bookmark"> Human Rights and Democracy – Cancelled!

The Monthly Lecture has had to be cancelled! We appreciate your understanding! The complex relation of human rights and democracy is a burning issue in political philosophy. Attempts at foundation range from the priority of one over the other, or their being equiprimordial. Reflecting on an inherent relation of human rights and democracy, the lecture …
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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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April 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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March 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


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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January 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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