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Poster Inaugural lecturePoster Inaugural lecture
Inaugural lecture by Prof. Dr. Martin Nonhoff

Laptop with coffee and writing pad (graphics: CC0 Creative Commons)Laptop with coffee and writing pad (graphics: CC0 Creative Commons)
Conference of the DVPW Section Politische Theorie und Ideengeschicht at the University of Bremen, 13-15 March 2019

Democracy and truth
Conference of the DVPW Political Theory and History of Ideas Section
at the University of Bremen, 13-15 March 2019

Call for Papers as PDF
If you are interested, please send your abstract of not more than 300 words up to 1.8.2018 to wahrheit@uni-bremen.de


An old concern returns: Do we lose respect and contact with the truth in the "western" democracies? The current debates about the "postfactual age", about "alternative facts" or "fake news" are largely driven by the notion that our democracies need truth for their good functioning, and by the fear that they are at the same time particularly susceptible to the loss of truth. In doing so, they place the relationship between democracy and truth at the centre of the current debates on our societies' self-understanding.
However, the media discussions are based almost unanimously on the unquestioned matter-of-fact nature of such a relationship - and thus stand in sharp contrast to the discussion in political theory, in which the necessity for, or even the existence of truth in democracy is by no means taken for granted. On the contrary, the relationship between democracy and truth is radically controversial: Thus, one can doubt with Plato that there can be truth in democracy at all, with Hannah Arendt warn against the tyranny of the truth of truth in democracy, with Jürgen Habermas assigning a role to democracy itself in the discovery of truth, or with Michel Foucault highlighting the function of pronouncing unembellished truths for democracy.[1] Each of these alternatives - which far from exhausting the debate - assumes a different relationship between truth and democracy and assesses it differently.
But it is not only the relationship between democracy and truth and its evaluation that is usually depicted in the current debate in a shortened form, but also the forms of truth and untruth in democracy are not considered in a differentiated way. It plays a major role here, for example, whether we talk about lies, propaganda or ideology, about apodictic evidence, logical truths or fallible attributions of knowledge. The same is true for to ask what influence different media have on the different forms of truth or falsehood in democracy: Are deliberately fabricated "fake news" in the social media really something fundamentally new, for example in relation to strictly aligned party newspapers? Do speed and range actually change the effect of real or alternative facts?

The relationship between truth and democracy and the forms of truth in democracy: these two dimensions allow for very different approaches, among which the history of ideas approach is particularly noteworthy in view of the current ahistorical debate. As the few positions already indicated, the discussion about the relationship between truth and democracy as well as its forms is deeply rooted in the history of political philosophy and theory. The conference would like to bring together systematic and history-of -ideas contributions on both dimensions. Its aim is to discuss the various assumptions about the relationship between democracy and truth both systematically and historically, and to relate them to the different forms that truth can take in democracy. Questions on the relationship between democracy and truth could therefore be asked:

  • What role does truth play in democracy - and what role does it play in democratic theory? What is the function of truth in democratic practices, and what place do epistemological considerations occupy in political theories?
  • May, can or must democracy be epistemically justified?
  • What significance does truth have for criticism in and of democracy?
  • What is the relationship between truth and democracy in terms of the history of ideas?
  • What is the relationship between truth and democracy and ideology theories?

By focusing at the same time on the forms of truth in democracy, we also aim to stimulate contributions to the development of democracy.

[1] Cf. in sequence  Platon: Politeia, in: Sämtliche Werke, hrsg. von Ursula Wolf, übers. von Friedrich Schleiermacher, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2011, Buch VIII; Arendt, Hannah: »Wahrheit und Politik«, in: dies.: Wahrheit und Lüge in der Politik. Zwei Essays, München 1972, S. 44–92; Habermas, Jürgen: »Hat die Demokratie noch eine epistemische Dimension? Empirische Forschung und normative Theorie«, in: ders.: Ach, Europa. Kleine politische Schriften XI, Frankfurt a. M. 2008, S. 138–191; Foucault, Michel: Der Mut zur Wahrheit. Die Regierung des Selbst und der anderen II. Vorlesung am Collège de France 1983/84, übers. von Jürgen Schröder, Berlin 2010.

Poster Wilde TheoriePoster Wilde Theorie
Lecture and Workshop with Jeannete Ehrmann

Lecture: Tu, 05.06., 06:00 - 19:30, Room: InIIS, 7.2210
Workshop: Mi., 06.06, 10:00 - 13:00, Room: InIIS, 7.2020

Please register briefly with Prof. Martin Nonhoff for the workshop.

Wilde Theorie is a series of events within the framework of the Bremen Colloquium for Political Theory under the direction of Prof. Dr. Martin Nonhoff. Here, theorists in the phase between doctoral thesis and professorship present their current work for discussion. A public lecture at the Bremen Colloquium for Political Theory and a workshop the following morning will provide the opportunity to do so. Please register for the workshops at least one week in advance.

Further information on the colloquium and materials on the meetings are available on request from Martin Nonhoff (martin.nonhoff@uni-bremen.de).

The event poster as PDF.

 

Poster: Prof. Koray Çalışkan public lecture at the InIISPoster: Prof. Koray Çalışkan public lecture at the InIIS
Prof. Koray Çalışkan, University, Istanbul, gives a public talk

Koray Çalışkan argues that Turkey’s contemporary political regime is not democratic, but competitive authoritarian. Tracing the evolution of Turkey’s political system from tutelary democracy to its current state, it describes the developments that resulted in the dissolution of the army’s prerogatives in politics and the rise of a new form of authoritarianism in the country. Associating this substantive change with the global emergence of competitive authoritarianism, he claims that the competitive authoritarian regime of Turkey has been institutionalized by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and that since the 2017 referendum, the regime displays a tendency toward full authoritarianism that may render elections non-competitive by narrowing the legal channels for the opposition to contest for political power.

The  Poster as PDF.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Leibfired (1944-2018)Prof. Dr. Stefan Leibfired (1944-2018)
 

What he meant for his colleagues, for the institution SOCIUM, for the University of Bremen, cannot be grasped in a few sentences. Since 1974 professor at the University of Bremen, he was one of the founders of the interdisciplinary research focus Reproduction Risks, Social Movements and Social Policy in 1979, which became a precursor of the interdisciplinary Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS) founded in 1988. In the ZeS he established the department "Institutions and History of the Welfare State". He was part of it in 2015 when the ZeS became part of the new SOCIUM Research Center Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen.

Stephan Leibfried's personality is linked to significant successes of Bremen's social sciences in designing research projects and raising third-party funds. He was one of the initiators and project leaders of the first Collaborative Research Centre "Status Passages and Risk Situations in the Course of Life" (SFB 186) funded by the German Research Foundation 1989-2001 at Bremen University and was part of the initiative group around Michael Zürn and Bernhard Peters (both from InIIS), which launched the Collaborative Research Centre "Transformations of the State" (SFB 597), funding from 2003 to 2014. From 2004 he was also its spokesman. The latest Collaborative Research Centre "Global Development Dynamics of Social Policy" (SFB 1342), which has been working since the beginning of this year, finally saw him as an active advisor and helpful supporter.

 

Poster_Political Consulting Hour_avery fridayPoster_Political Consulting Hour_avery friday
No bureaucracy, no requirements - simply register

"We have been looking for suitable formats for a long time now to engage with citizens on political issues," says Dr. Roy Karadag. The political scientist is managing director of the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Bremen. The institute already organizes an annual Dieter Senghaas Lecture on world political topics. The event is intended to pay tribute to the work of the co-founder and long-standing director of the institute. At the latest event in the House of Science on "Dealing with the Other in Contemporary Islam", Roy Karadag and his colleagues met with interested citizens. "We invited them directly to the Institute." A new format, the political consultation hour, was born. "We now want to make this offer permanent,"says Karadag.

NO BUREAUCRATTIC BARRIERS: REGISTRATION SUFFICIENT
The InIIS is now offering an open consultation hour. Invited are people who have questions about international politics and conflicts, about political developments and changes in Germany and the world and who would like to exchange views on these questions. The consultation hours are open to everyone, there are no bureaucratic hurdles. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Roy Karadag in advance at karadag@uni-bremen.de or call 0421-218-67468 and make an appointment.

Questions answered:

Dr. Roy Karadag
karadag@uni-bremen.de

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

Dr. Roy KaradagDr. Roy Karadag
Roy Karadag in FAZ interview on 15 years Prime Minister Erdogan

The Interview (German).

Prof. Dr. Kerstin MartensProf. Dr. Kerstin Martens
SOCIUM and InIIS raise funds for 16 sub-projects

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved a new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) "Global Development Dynamics of Social Policy" at the University of Bremen. Over the next four years, the CRC will receive funding of around 11 million euros.
The CRC was applied for by scientists of SOCIUM (Research Centre on Inequality and Social Policy) and InIIS. The speaker will be Professor Herbert Obinger (SOCIUM). Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens, who will also be a member of the spokesperson team, was instrumental in the application process.

Thus far, this research has focused heavily on the comparison of highly industrialized countries. In the new Collaborative Research Center, the development dynamics of social policy will be analyzed in a perspective that also encompasses the global South. The CRC’s research program will go above and beyond previous social policy research in several respects. First, the program will bring international connections and networks to the forefront of research. National social policy cannot be explained solely on the basis of domestic conditions. Trade relations, migration, war, and colonialism, as well as the worldwide spread of ideas and rules of law, are of great significance for the socio-political developments of individual countries. Second, research in the CRC will be based on a broad understanding of social policy, including, among other things, education policy. Third, the CRC will replace the nation-state internal orientation of social policy research with an interdependency-centered approach.

The research network will be composed of 16 sub-projects and divided into two project areas. Project area A “Global Development Dynamics” (Globale Entwicklungsdynamiken) will consist of six sub-projects, examining the dynamics of development in various fields of social policy worldwide and developing a "Global Welfare State Information System" (WeSIS) database to cover all fields. Prof. Kerstin Martens from InIIS and Prof. Michael Windzio are leading the sub-project "Global Development, Diffusion and Transformation of Education Systems".

Project area B "Transregional Development Dynamics" uses case-study centered qualitative analyses to investigate the causal pathways between international interdependences and socio-political development dynamics for individual groups of countries. Here, InIIS is involved in three projects:
-“Mechanisms for the Dissemination of Social Policy” headed by Frank Nullmeier (SOCIUM), Klaus Schlichte (InIIS) and Delia González de Reufels (Institute of History)
-“Open welfare states? Social Security of Labour Migration and its Impact on National Policy” headed by Prof. Susanne K. Schmidt (InIIS)
-“Transnational Welfare: Ascent, Decay and Renaissance of Social Policy in Africa” headed by Prof. Klaus Schlichte and Dr. Alex Veit (both InIIS).

In addition to the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy and the Institute for International and Intercultural Studies (InIIS), other institutes of the University of Bremen will also be involved: the Institute of History, the Institute of Geography, the Institute for Labour and Economy (IAW), the Center of European Law and Politics, and the Working Group Information Management of the Department of Computer Science. Other collaborators include the Jacobs University Bremen, the University of Duisburg-Essen and the University of Cologne. The start of the Collaborative Research Center is scheduled for early 2018.

The start of the Collaborative Research Center is scheduled for early 2018.
You will find further information on the websites of SOCIUM  and the University of Bremen.

News From InIIS

17.01.2018
Pictures from the newsletterPictures from the newsletter
InIIS.Newsletter No. 7 available

Zum Newsletter geht es hier.

Cover of the reportCover of the report
Workshop-Report published

The Workshop report as PDF

The workshop “International interventions against sexual and gender-based violence in conflict”, organised by Alex Veit and Lisa Tschörner from 21-23 June 2017 at the University of Bremen, brought together scholars working on questions related to causes and consequences of CRSV, intervention discourse and practices, and evolving relations between intervention organisations, host states and societies. The workshop was divided into three sections: In a first part, the causes and consequences of CRSV and the practice of intervention were discussed. The second section focused on gendered interventions as well as gendered outcomes of interventions. In a third section, the links between CRSV, peacebuilding and state formation practices have been scrutinised.
2
Three major topics crystallized during the presentations and discussions. The first revolved around academic discussion and diplomatic/media representations of causes of CRSV: while on the diplomatic and media level, rape in conflict-settings is very often presented as a strategic, rational choice of non-state armed groups, academic discussion has moved on towards gender-theoretic approaches and military sociology. A move which is, secondly, partly reflected in policy approaches of implementing organisations. However, as CRSV interventions primarily aim at supporting CRSV victims, they tend to neglect the political and structural conditions underlying these forms of violence. A number of victim groups are neglected, while projects at the same time promote heteronormative norms, reproduce unequal gender divisions, and undervalue the agency of survivors. To reduce CRSV, peacekeepers meanwhile focus on military approaches, even while being aware of their non-appropriateness. A third topic has been unintended consequences of the CRSV hype, such as the neglect of other forms of suffering and the diversion of resources towards the abolishment of underage sexual relations.