Questionable Returns

Questionable Returns

Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. XII
IWM, Vienna 2002 [Published on the Web]

Edited by: Andrew Bove

Contributions by: Alessandro Barberi, Andrew Bove, C. Julia Huang, Michal Kopecek, Kamila Kulik, Jyoti Mistry, Inna Naletova, Meike Schmidt-Gleim, Veronika Wittmann and Tatiana Zhurzhenko

Introduction

The following articles are fruits of a half-year visit to the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen by ten young scholars from nine countries who work in a wide range of fields. This diversity explains the lack of any very specific theme or topic. Taken as a whole, the journal is better suited to a social sciences polymath than to any academic specialist. Under one set of (virtual) covers one reads about the Russian Orthodox Church’s struggle with modernity, Hannah Arendt’s Socrates, social transformation in South Africa, and post-structuralist historiography, among many other things...
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Politics, Antipolitics, and Czechs in Central Europe: The Idea of “Visegrád Cooperation” and Its Reflection in Czech Politics in the 1990s

At the beginning of the 1990s, the word “Visegrád” became an indispensable part of the political vocabulary in Central Europe and elsewhere. It almost disappeared in the second half of the same decade, only to emerge again at its close. Visegrád is the unofficial name given to a project of close cooperation among three, and after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993 four Central European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. This paper aims to reconstruct the intellectual roots and limits of the Visegrád concept in Czech politics. The main effort here is to adumbrate under what circumstances Czechoslovakia became an active part of the establishment of the Visegrád Troika in 1991 and what the domestic causes were of its rejection after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
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‘Language Politics’ in Contemporary Ukraine: Nationalism and Identity Formation

The “language issue” was crucial in the history of Russian-Ukrainian relations and in the long-term process of forming the preconditions for Ukrainian nation-building. Since the mid-18th century, Ukraine’s quest for national self-identification under the rule of the Russian Empire, the Habsburgs, interwar Poland, and more recently the Soviet Union, was represented mainly in terms of saving, preserving, and developing the Ukrainian language. Although it was exposed to the cultural and linguistic influences of other languages (mainly Polish and German), historical, social, geopolitical, and linguistic factors made its relations with Russian the most problematic...
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The Orthodox Church in the Mirror of Public Opinion: An Analysis of Recent Polls and Surveys

This essay has two objectives: to show the theoretical challenge of and practical necessity for a broad socio-cultural study of the Orthodox Church in Russia and Eastern Europe, emphasizing the Church’s public role; and to analyze the results of the most recent public polls and surveys of popular attitudes toward religion and the Church. The absence in academic literature of a systematic and cross-cultural sociological study of contemporary Orthodoxy has contributed to sharp disagreements among scholars on how to explain the Church’s presence in modern society and how to interpret its influence on the values and world-views of modern man.
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What Travels? Notes on a Globalizing Buddhist Movement from Taiwan

The Buddhist Compassionate Relief Merit Society (Ciji Gongde Hu, hereafter Ciji), the largest formal association in Taiwan, has five million members world-wide, and over the past decade, has formed branches in thirty-four countries. Ciji is the first Buddhist organization in the history of Buddhism in any Chinese society to carry out humanitarian missions on a large, international scale that includes delivery of relief on every continent.
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Trafficking Politics in Cultural Guise: South Africa’s Coverage of Millennium 2000

The theme of this paper is relations between globalization and local media in South African national politics. Any assumption of a homogenous national culture is a myth; “ex-centrics,” marginal cultures exist as sites of hegemonic contestation. However, certain political agendas in national politics remain dominant and pervasive. My aim is to contextualize the resulting interaction between marginal cultures and dominant political agendas, and to show that “global culture” (in a broad sense that also evokes Americanism) is not always an imperial ploy but also a terrain of cultural exchange, resistance, and export.
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The Limits of Political Culture: An Introduction to G.W.F. Hegel’s Notion of ‘Bildung’

One hears much today about the relation between culture and politics and, more specifically, about the significance of culture in and for politics. This is true on the side of both theory and practice. The notion of culture increasingly informs mainstream political science, while in many countries, especially Western liberal democracies, the claims of culture (or more frequently cultures) are heard more and more frequently and taken more and more seriously. In the German-speaking world, for example, in what might appear to be a vindication of Kant and Schiller following more recent misuses of the notion of culture, the idea of a 'Kulturstaat' has again become respectable....
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Nietzsche, Freud, Saussure.
Eine historische und epistemologische Transformation des Historischen rund um 1900.

Es ist noch heute in aller Munde, daß zwischen 1800 und 1900 dem historischen Diskurs und der geschichtswissenschaftlichen Institution eine primordiale Funktion im Verhältnis zu anderen Wissensformen zugekommen sei: das Jahrhundert der Geschichte verlieh seinem Namen alle Ehre, in dem die Ordnungen des Werdens nicht nur die Historischen Schulen im Umkreis Rankes bildeten, sondern sich auch in der Darwinschen Biologie, der Marxschen Ökonomie oder schon in der Boppschen Philologie versenkten. Die Rasterungen des Zeitlichen drängten damit die wissenschaftlichen Objekte des Lebens, der Arbeit und der Sprache in eine neue analytische Sichtbarkeit und strukturierten so die Systeme wissenschaftlicher Begrifflichkeit in neuartiger Weise...
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Eine Analyse wider die Homogenisierung feministischer Theorie und Praxis im Kontext der sog. Ersten und der sog. Dritten Welt

Überlegungen über die Bilder, welche von Frauen der sog. Dritten Welt in westeuropäischen Ländern existieren, führen ad hoc zu der Thematik von Machtbeziehungen und Differenzen innerhalb der weiblichen Genusgruppe. In den letzten Jahren haben - nicht nur in wissenschaftlichen Diskursen - Frauen der sog. Entwicklungsländer auf die zu selten stattgefundene Auseinandersetzung westlicher „main-stream” Feministinnen mit Rassismen hingewiesen....
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A Comment on Class Struggle in 2001

Democracy institutionalizes what is at stake in the famous slogan of Clausewitz inverted by Michel Foucault: “Politics is the continuation of war by other means.” The struggles for power regularly performed in the elections of democratic systems recognize conflicts, offering them a symbolic outlet, but they never resolve these conflicts. Yet another parallel with Foucault’s slogan arises because if one agrees that politics is a continuation of war, then politics ceases to exist, for there is no longer a war (conflict). The end of conflict entails the end of politics.
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Daimon… the Citizen: Arendt and Plato’s Socrates

My comparison of Arendt’s and Plato’s understanding of daimon has three main aims: First, I would like to demonstrate Arendt’s anti-platonism in her understanding of daimon , which is connected with Arendt’s critique of Plato’s metaphysics. Arendt disagrees with Plato’s opposing “true Being” or “Ideas” to “mere appearances”. Plato’s metaphysics also initiated a tendency in Western philosophy to understand contemplation as the highest state of the mind, and the contemplative way of life as superior to the active (political) life. Arendt argues against this hierarchy and against the opposition between a few philosophers, “wiser” than others, and the many “mere citizens”.
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