Institut für Interkulturelle und Internationale Studien

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The Institute for Intercultural and International Studies at the University of Bremen is looking for a student assistant as of October 1, 2018 for the following tasks:

  • - Research for contributions to current research projects,
  • - Creation of bibliographies,
  • - Copying and scanning work
  • - Preparation of texts.

 

Expected to be:

  • - Proof of at least 2 semesters of study in a social science programme,
  • - proof of good academic performance,
  • - very good foreign language skills in English,
  • - very good knowledge of common computer programs.

 

The contract has a volume of up to 20 hours per month and initially runs for 12 months. An extension is possible. The payment is 8,84 € per hour. Please send a meaningful application with a short CV by e-mail to Roy Karadag (karadag@uni-bremen.de) by 31 July.

The job offer as PDF

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.