Lectures

December 2019

06
Dec
2019

Atomic Energy and the Arrogance of Man

On the morning of April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill. In his lecture, Serhii Plokhii draws on new sources to lay …
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October 2019

15
Oct
2019

Die Wiederaneignung der Nation

Wir sind heute geneigt, ‘Nation’ mit ‘Nationalismus’ gleichzusetzen. Das ist naheliegend angesichts der verheerenden Exzesse von Gewalt, die der Nationalismus und vor allem der Nationalsozialismus im 20. Jahrhundert entfesselt haben. Das Erstarken rechter Parteien in Europa bestätigt heute die Sorge, dass von den Nationen wieder der Ausschluss von Minderheiten, Verfolgung und Gewalt ausgehen können. Aber …
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June 2019

12
Jun
2019

Technology and Utopia

In contemporary discussions about the future of artificial intelligence we often lose our heads. While economists offer bleak predictions of mass job losses and a deepening of already widespread precarity, Silicon Valley utopians insist that new technologies are bringing us ever closer together and will one day deliver us from work, disease and poverty. But …
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05
Jun
2019

The International State System after Neoliberalism

I begin by recalling a short essay by Karl Polanyi, written in 1945, in which he discusses the prospects of a new, peaceful global order, based on the lessons of the war and the interwar period. In it Polanyi advocates an international regime beyond both Communist and neoliberal universalism that allows for national political-economic self-determination. …
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May 2019

28
May
2019

Migrants and City Making in Disempowered Cities

What do cities which have lost their economic, political, and cultural power and population reveal about the location of migrants in city-making and urban politics? What do they disclose about the fault lines of neoliberal urban redevelopment? Empirical findings from left-behind cities might provide new insights to think about migrants, urban politics, and current populist …
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28
May
2019

Making Sense of the Results of the European Elections

“Democratic politics need drama,” the political analyst Ivan Krastev is convinced. Elections are a form of therapy session in which voters are confronted with their worst fears – a new war, demographic collapse, economic crisis, environmental horror – but become convinced they have the power to avert the devastation. If this assumption is correct, then …
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09
May
2019

Judenplatz 1010

 »The work of memory is in the present. In our century, a place such as the Judenplatz is not simply a square within a city, but a site that might be viewed from a distance, anywhere in the world, through technology. Jews were once taken from Vienna to be murdered, and that crime cannot …
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03
May
2019

Karl Polanyi and Globalization’s Wrong Turn

Globalization took a wrong turn when it overlooked Polanyi’s central insight that markets need to be embedded in institutions, both for effectiveness and legitimacy. The brief period of Bretton Woods-style globalization in the decades following World War II was more Polanyiesque in so far it did not question the centrality of national economic management and …
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April 2019

03
Apr
2019

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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March 2019

14
Mar
2019

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
2019

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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February 2019

12
Feb
2019

Aid in Times of Crisis, the Crisis of Aid

Aid is still regarded as an important instrument for human development, nationally and internationally. Yet, the nature of aid, its structuring and implementation has changed considerably in recent years. It has been increasingly integrated into the financial and economic system, giving rise to a thriving new industry dealing in „social bonds“ and „social business“, thus …
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January 2019

29
Jan
2019

International Lawyers’ Failing

Miloš Vec will analyze the intersection of the idea of pariah weapons with clashes between moral verdicts and legal bans in the 19th century. The industrial revolution and subsequent technological progress enabled the production and use of a new range of weapons and military equipment. How did international law and lawyers react to this development? …
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Events Calendar

October 2019
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