2019

15 Apr

European Universities

Universities all around the globe nowadays find themselves in an almost schizophrenic situation: highly successful and growing on one hand, yet suffering from pressure and uncertainty on the other hand. The presentation will explain how this situation is caused by problems of accountability that universities face in the age of popular democracy. Secondly, it will …
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08 Apr

Vicious and Virtuous Circles in the Rural Economy of East European Borderlands (19th-20th Century)

The borderlands of Eastern Europe, that is the territories on the edges of the three empires Austro-Hungarian, Tsarist and Ottoman, remained predominantly rural in character well into the 20th century. As late as 1960 up to 40% of the population in the region still lived and worked in the countryside. The social history of the …
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03 Apr

Imaginaries of Democracy and Dissent

When Charles Taylor engaged in explorations of modern social imaginaries more than two decades ago, he could hardly have predicted how popular his inquiry would become among political and legal philosophers in recent years. Imaginaries precede theoretical knowledge and refer to the ways people imagine and share their social existence. As deeply entrenched modes of collective understanding, they evolve …
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01 Apr

Workers’ Experiences of Post-Soviet Deindustrialisation

As the socialist project went bankrupt with the break-up of the USSR, workers were left in an ideological vacuum. It was filled either by hope-filled dreams of  successful individual adaptation to the capitalist order, or by nostalgic sentiment towards the Soviet past as a means of critiquing the present, or (on the contrary) by blaming …
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28 Mar

The Architecture of Global Migration Politics

The new Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants are important documents of the global politics of migration. They are also valuable documents to understand the way migration is politically and intellectually constructed as a research and policy issue. In their multi-stakeholder and market-inspired approach, these documents identify the role of migration/migrants in global economy prioritizing …
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25 Mar

Messianism and Sociopolitical Revolution in Islam

This report of my work on progress follows a new theoretical approach to the sociology of revolution offered in Revolution: Structure and Meaning in History to appear next month with regard to the motivation to revolutionary action. This approach shifts the focus of analysis from the putatively general causes of revolutions to the specific motivation …
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18 Mar

Soviet Ukrainian Patriotism in Brezhnev`s Dnipropetrovsk

One of the biggest Soviet industrial centers, a city of more than a million people in southern Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk (today Dnipro), was closed to foreigners beginning in 1959 because of the secret rocket production in the city. It was also considered ‘Brezhnev’s city’ because the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union …
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14 Mar

Between Predation and Protection

Why, despite long-term and general declines in all forms of lethal violence, are some states and regions caught in an “insecurity trap”?  What are the processes and mechanisms that facilitated the emergence of pacific states in the 19th and 20th century, and where (and why) do these conditions not hold today? The talk will explore …
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11 Mar

Statelessness in South Asia

The lecture examines the entanglements of citizenship policies and practices with the spread of statelessness today. It discusses the genesis of the Rohingya question in Myanmar in the broader context of citizenship registration drives in some postcolonial countries, which render massive number of “illegal immigrants” stateless. Current citizenship policies in these countries reflect the desire …
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04 Mar

How Does Scholarship Persuade?

In this talk, I will identify as one of the main sources of authority in a scholarly argument an implicit–or, in some cases, explicit–conversion narrative.  This narrative, in which the scholar confronts evidence that compels him or her to a conclusion very different from the expected one, is at the core of scholarship as such, and …
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