Seminars

In the course of the semester, each Visiting and Junior Visiting Fellow presents her/his research project in the Fellows’ Seminar. For the fellows, the seminars provide an opportunity to reflect on their current work and to get feedback from the Institute’s academic community. The Junior Visiting Fellows discuss their final results at the Junior Fellows’ Conference at the end of each semester. The outcomes of these conferences are published online on the IWM’s website.

December 2016

14
Dec
2016

Partitions Persistent?

Piotr Koryś is Adjunct Professor of Economic Sciences at the University of Warsaw. Currently he is a Bronislaw Geremek Visiting Fellow at the IWM. Print

November 2016

23
Nov
2016

New Developments in the Kremlin’s Efforts to Control the Internet in Russia

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The Kremlin has been searching for a solution to the Internet problem since 2011.The strategy the Kremlin came up with was based on intimidation rather than technology. Accustomed to dealing with a defined hierarchy, the Kremlin chose to put pressure on companies rather than users. But this approach started losing its edge by the fall …
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October 2016

19
Oct
2016

The Kremlin’s Game

The Kremlin’s resources are shrinking. Its system of personalized power can’t respond to the many challenges that are piling up. But political technology and blackmail tactics still succeed in keeping Russian society paralyzed and the world intimidated. How long will this last? Lilia Shevtsova is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Program in …
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September 2016

28
Sep
2016

The Subject and the Square

The presentation is aimed at mapping the basic political intentions and purposes of The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015, placing them in the context of the Maidan revolution and rooting them in the development of institutional strategies in the cultural field in Ukraine. Posing the fundamental questions of subjectivity, public space, social form, and …
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June 2016

29
Jun
2016

Cancelled!" rel="bookmark"> Future in the Past? – Cancelled!

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Eugen Stancu is Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest and Executive Director of Eurocentrica. Currently he is a Visiting Fellow at the IWM. Cancelled! Print
28
Jun
2016

Experiments in Justice

This talk analyses the interactions between transnational liberal understandings of “the Rule of Law” and local non-state justice institutions in Bangladesh. Focussing on one specific project run by international donor agencies that aim at activating village courts in Bangladesh, I develop a critique of both top-down and bottom-up accounts of the diffusion of norms and …
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13
Jun
2016

‘Homo Militans’: Paramilitary Individuals’ Motivation in Ukraine

A Russian soldier stands atop an armored personnel carrier in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea, in Ukraine.
The undeclared Russian-Ukrainian war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions led both pro-Ukrainian militias and rebels from Donetsk and Luhansk to join in the fighting.  Based on field work amongst paramilitaries in Donbas, this presentation will tackle the questions of why people voluntarily chose to participate in the war and how they articulate their own …
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May 2016

25
May
2016

Banks, Gold, and Weddings

Development practitioners increasingly adopt interventions based on the findings of behavioral economics, which suggest that poverty is the result of poor’s impaired capacity to make efficient and long-term decisions. The solution to eradicate poverty, therefore, lies in teaching the poor to make better financial decisions. As a critique of this shift in development practice, I …
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23
May
2016

The Politics of Solitude

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In this lecture l would like to share my sentiments of solitude in Ukraine and my theoretical explanation of why l still feel lonely both politically and existentially, together with the millions of other Ukrainians in our country. The so-called Maidan Revolution, or the Revolution of Dignity, in Ukraine in 2013–14 was generally described and …
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19
May
2016

Signs of Power: Action, Expression, Institution

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Linguistic activity is permeated by power dynamics, and power is often either manifested or executed by means of language. Can a case be made for a stronger analogy, or indeed a direct link? The talk will outline an argument for a structural connection between linguistic self-awareness and the awareness of power, based on the essential …
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11
May
2016

Clumsy Democrats

20th-century Europe was marked by two extremes: the descent into war and genocidal dictatorship on the one hand, and the return to peace and democracy on the other.  Throughout much of the 1920s and 1930s democracy, the rule of law, and liberalism seemed outdated to many in Western and Central Europe as well as in …
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10
May
2016

Conversation on the State of Cultural and Intellectual Life in Russia Today

People celebrating Moscow 867th Birthday, Russia
To what extent are Russian culture and intellectual life regulated by the state? In what forms does intellectual life exist, and are these forms conventional? Who are today’s “intellectuals” and what cultural, symbolic and political product do they produce? Where is the line between intellectual work and politics, between politics and culture, and can there …
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04
May
2016

Employees Who Do Not Work

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How do we understand the phenomenon of employees who do not work? Whilst there has been an abundance of scholarly attention to the reasons for employees’ commitment to their work, the question of why employees do not work has drawn comparatively less attention. One of the reasons for this relative neglect is the continued prevalence …
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April 2016

29
Apr
2016

The Börne Identity

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“The Börne Identity” addresses the central problem of identity in Heinrich Heine’s extraordinary yet little-known book on the political writer Ludwig Börne. Here Heine famously distinguished between himself as sensualist “pagan” Hellene and Börne as moralistic “Christian” Nazarene. Heine’s strategy was a humorous means of differentiating among competing dimensions of literature and politics as well …
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27
Apr
2016

From ‘is’ to ‘ought’… and vice versa

As a philosopher and an anthropologist, respectively, David Jenkins and Kathrine Miller start from different premises and commitments, spanning, for example, the gap between moral relativism and universalism. Both projects, however, address the relationship between moral systems and individual ethical subjects as well as interrogating the value of conceiving the moral primarily as a separate, …
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20
Apr
2016

Russia and Its Aliens

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The break-up of the Soviet Empire resulted in large-scale labor migration from the FSU countries into Russia. This presentation will focus on the changes in the structure of the Russian public discourse that took place as a result of this process. These changes are about the transformation of former “friends” into “others” – and not …
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19
Apr
2016

The Habsburg Monarchy in Its Last Century

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Contemporary Europe is going through a crisis of confidence of supra-national institutions, especially of the European Union, to the advantage of a resurgence of nationalist ideologies.  A century ago a similarly supra-national institution (on a slightly smaller scale), the Habsburg Monarchy was also in the midst of a crisis—in the middle of the First World …
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13
Apr
2016

Framing Sexual Citizenship

Seminar
Sexuality and the Politics of Clothing: Cultural Production of Sexual Citizenship on Russian Makeover TV In recent debates, it has been recognized that the notion of citizenship is already deeply sexualized and based on the heteronormative frame. The logic of cultural production of sexual and gender citizenship can be traced through beauty makeover television shows …
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12
Apr
2016

Ukraine: Non-Russia, Novorossia or a „Better Russia“?

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The Zaparozhye Cossacks Writing a Mocking Letter to the Turkish Sultan 
*oil on canvas 
*358 × 203 cm 
*signed b.c.: И.Репин 1880-91
Ukraine’s negative self-representation as “non-Russia” reflects a collective trauma and a post-colonial way of thinking. Moreover, it alienates both Russia and Europe, argues Vladislav Inozemtsev, a Russian economist and political commentator. Instead, he provocatively suggests that Ukraine should embrace the new identity of a “better Russia”, more liberal and democratic than the original. Anton Liagusha, …
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07
Apr
2016

Voodoo Economics EUro-Style

The talk will focus on one particular instantiation of the perplexing resurgence of neoliberal policies in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis: the single-minded pursuit of fiscal austerity as the sole cure for the perceived structural problems of the Euro area up to 2012. Drawing on my extensive archival research and interviews at the …
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March 2016

30
Mar
2016

Every Day Practices and Ethnic Markers

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“We are Europeans, but if someone wants a little Asia…” Debates about Budapest as a National and Cosmopolitan City in the 1890s In my presentation I will introduce two Turkish theme parks from the Hungarian Millennium Exhibition of 1896 and show what role these parks played in attempts to re-negotiate Budapest’s rank among European cities. …
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21
Mar
2016

De-Occupation: Another Take on Donbas

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Olena Styazhkina, Professor of History at Donetsk National University, now teaching in Mariupol and Vynnytsia, is also a novelist writing in Russian and one of the most important public voices of the Ukrainian Donbas. Doing research on everyday life in Ukraine under Nazi occupation and having lived through the so called “Russian spring” in her …
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16
Mar
2016

Martyrdom and Democratic Politics

The notion of martyrdom is usually associated with religious meanings. This is unsurprising since it has been central to the constitution and sustenance of religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However, what if one thinks through the notion of martyrdom to apprehend socio-political phenomena that might be deemed relatively ‘secular’, such as democratic …
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02
Mar
2016

Postmemory / Bodily Memory: Holocaust at Present

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In recent years, there has been a growing public debate in Israel about a new and rather contested form of commemoration in which descendants of Holocaust survivors tattoo themselves with prisoner identification numbers— perhaps one of the most iconic emblems of Auschwitz. The talk will situate this act in the larger framework of postmemory, posing …
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February 2016

24
Feb
2016

Being a Foreign Agent

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In 2012, Russia passed the so-called “foreign agent’s law”, which transformed the structure of the Russian third sector, as well as everyday life for many non-profit organizations. The related legal amendments did not only invent a new legal definition — “an NGO, implementing functions of a foreign agent”. They also generated new types of law …
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17
Feb
2016

International Lawyers in the Aftermath of Disasters

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We are confronted today with seemingly relentless disasters that are producing a great amount of suffering and loss. How should an international lawyer conduct herself in their wake? Resisting the temptation to construct our times as entirely unprecedented this presentation will attempt to delineate, and drawn on, the conduct of two ancestral figures, Justice Radhabinod …
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10
Feb
2016

Emancipation or Illusion?

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In terms of intellectual development, the last three decades of the 20th century in Europe can be defined as the gradual decline of Marxist and socialist political thought both in the East and in the West. The seminar will focus on this significant intellectual change by using the example of Czechoslovak oppositional thinkers to show …
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January 2016

27
Jan
2016

Land and Violence in West Bengal

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West Bengal has a well documented history of violence from land related grievances. The last major land related violence occurred during the years 2006 to 2008 when the Left government tried to acquire land for industrialization. Given a dearth of empirical studies on the determinants of violence in West Bengal, the main objective of this …
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18
Jan
2016

Political Regime Transformation in Russia

Between expectations of an immediate catastrophe and “nothing will ever change” predictions, it is difficult to keep track of what’s going on inside a regime that is neither going to fall apart tomorrow, nor defeat America in a new war or reconstruct the Soviet Union. How to separate rhetoric from reality, fakes from facts and …
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14
Jan
2016

South-South? East-East?

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The paper, presented in this seminar, analyses an encounter between Chinese managers and Hungarian staff at a large chemical factory acquired by a Chinese competitor in 2011. It highlights the inadequacy of dichotomies such as “North-South,” “East-West” and “socialist-capitalist” by showing how Chinese managers who, as with other corporate acquisitions in Europe, expected to “learn” …
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13
Jan
2016

Das Rote Bologna Revisited

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Bologna was the only major Italian city governed by a Communist party throughout the entire Cold War period. It therefore presents a unique case of local communism in a capitalistic country. In the 1970s, Bologna became well-known in Western countries, for successfully combining economic growth, social well-being, and grassroots political participation. Forty years after the …
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