Mobilizing for the Commons

Friday, 4 November 2016, 3:00pm - Sunday, 6 November 2016, 1:00pm, Gdańsk, European Solidarity Centre

In recent years issues of solidarity have dominated political debates on both sides of the Atlantic. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis questions of inequality and solidarity have become intertwined especially in countries that have implemented severe austerity measures. Over the past year in particular, however, questions of both national and international solidarity have also been central with respect to the treatment of refugees and migrants. These ‘crises’ have led to a polarization but also to an increase in grass roots mobilization to express discontent with national governments and/or EU policies, as well as to create alternative forms of community support within European societies and beyond. In many of these debates the commons have emerged as an alternative to privatization by market forces and state protectionist policies.

The conference will take place in the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk thus linking contemporary debates to the history of a broad, non-violent, anti-communist social movement which has started in the city’s shipyard in 1980.

The event is organized jointly by the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna, the European network of cultural journals, Eurozine, the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk and Res Publica Foundation, in partnership with ERSTE Foundation and the Mayor of Gdańsk.

Thematic Outline

Conference Program

Friday, November 4

15.00 – 16.30
Guided tour through the European Solidarity Centre (ECS)
Basil Kerski (Director, European Solidarity Centre) and Jacek Kołtan (Deputy Director, Social Thought Department) on the Solidarity movement

19.00 – 19.15
Welcome addresses
Basil Kerski (Director, European Solidarity Centre)
Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief, Eurozine; Chairman, Res Publica Foundation)
Shalini Randeria (Rector, Institute for Human Sciences)

19.15 – 20.00 
Keynote Speech
Ugo Mattei (Professor of Law, UC Hastings USA and University of Turin)

Saturday, November 5

9.30 – 10.45, Conference session 1
Solidarity of Europeans?
Ulrike Guérot (Founder and Director, European Democracy Lab, European School of Governance, Berlin)
Marek Cichoki (Editor-in-chief, New Europe.Natolin Review) (tbc)
Chair: Wojciech Przybylski (Eurozine; Res Publica)

11.15 – 12.30, Conference session 2
New Social Movements: Fight for Citizens’ Autonomy or Resentment Mobilisations?
David Ost (Professor of Political Science, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY)
Michel Wieviorka (Professor of Sociology, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)
Chair: Jacek Kołtan (Deputy Director for research, ESC)

14.30 – 15.45, Conference session 3
How Social Movements Change Politics? How Politics Transforms Social Movements?
Ivan Krastev (Political scientist, Centre for Liberal Strategies; Permanent Fellow, IWM)
Aleksander Smolar (Professor of Political Science; President, Stefan Batory Foundation)
Chair: Paweł Marczewski (Head of Publications, Transit, IWM)

16.15 – 17.30, Conference session 4
Social Mobilization around the Commons
Ugo Mattei (Professor of Law, UC Hastings USA and University of Turin)
Katherine Watson (Director, European Cultural Foundation (ECF))
Elisabeth von Thadden (Journalist, Die Zeit)
Chair: Shalini Randeria (Rector, Institute for Human Sciences)

18.00 – 19.15, Conference session 5
Toward an Economy of the Commons
Alek Tarkowski (Director, Centrum Cyfrowe)
Christian Felber (independent publicist)
Chair: Miljenka Buljevic (Connected Action for the Commons (ECF); Culture 2 Commons; Editorial Board Member Eurozine)

Sunday, November 6

10.00 – 11.15, Conference session 6
Liberalism, Populism and the Challenges of Post-Transformation in Eastern Europe and Elsewhere
David Abraham (Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law)
Claus Offe (Professor of Sociology, Hertie School of Governance)
Chair: Sławomir Sierakowski (Krytyka Polityczna, Connected Action for the Commons (ECF))

11.45 – 13.00, Conference session 7
Solidarity After Brexit and ahead of Trump
Paul Taylor (Contributing editor, Politico’s European edition)
Judith Vidal-Hall (Former editor, Index on Censorship; Advisory Board Member, Eurozine)
Chair: Daniel Leisegang (Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik; Editorial Board Member, Eurozine)

Programm for the breaks:

Connected Action for the Commons

Common Visions: The Commons in Audio-Visual Culture A series of videos curated by Charlie Tims (Doc Next Network) will be screened during the breaks. Some of the videos have their origin in challenges and media labs initiated by the Doc Next, others have been identified by Doc Next’s ‘observatory’, which monitors all forms of media activism across Europe. The screening is made possible by the European Cultural Foundation.

Commonspoly Come and play this thought-provoking board game in the breaks! The game is a reference to Monopoly, that was turned upside down during the Hackcamp of the 17th ZEMOS98 festival in 2015 and several other events. The idea of Commonspoly is playing to get to a general state of welfare for all of the participants; to redistribute the goods in order to commonize them; to share the access to material and immaterial resources for the purpose of building a common world. Bringing the Commonspoly facilitators and the game to the Eurozine conference is made possible by the European Cultural Foundation.

The IWM is unable to pay for your travel to the conference.
How to get there: Gdańsk is accessible both via air and rail.

The IWM is unfortunately unable to arrange or pay for your accomodation in Gdansk.

In Gdańsk
How to get to the conference venue Plac Solidarności 1, Gdańsk
Google Maps European Solidarity Centre

Public Transport in Gdańsk
Gdańsk public transport (ZTM, Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego w Gdańsku).
For travelling around the city, you can purchase “Single journey tickets”, “Metropolitan tickets”, “Tourist Cards”, etc. from the Gdańsk public transport services ZTM.
Click here to get to the ZTM tickets price list.
Download Gdańsk – In Your Pocket: A locally-produced city guide.





In cooperation with:

logos_solidarity_website     connectaed-action_website