Poster for the lecture and workshop with Shalini RanderiaPoster for the lecture and workshop with Shalini Randeria
Public Lecture and Workshop with Shalini Randeria on 02./03. July

Public lecture with workshop

Download the programme and the poster (PDF).

Lecture by Shalini Randeria | Vienna, Geneva, Bremen
Demographic Panics and the Violence of Soft Authoritarianism
with Michael Flitner and Klaus Schlichte | Bremen
02.07.19 | Tuesday | 18:00 - 20:00 | Rotunda (Cartesium), Uni Bremen

Workshop with Shalini Randeria and Ranabir Samaddar | Calcutta Research Group
Soft Authoritarianism, Primitive Accumulation and the Law
Moderator: Martin Nonhoff | Bremen
03.07.19 | Wednesday | 10:30 - 14:30 |UNICOM 7.2210 (InIIS, Mary-Somerville-Straße 7, Haus Wien)
Please register for the workshop at .

Both events will be held in English.

The lecture will address the politics of demographic panics which we are currently observing across the globe and which are entangled with geo-political interests and the increasing strength of ethno-national identities. Imaginations of the purity of the nation coupled with perceptions of differential fertility rates fuel pro-natalist discourses and policies especially in Eastern Europe, which is also witnessing a strong antifeminist backlash. The same mix of factors, however, lead to selective anti-natalism for the poor and for religious minorities in India, for example, where a model of economic development based on neo-Malthusian premises continues to animate a state-driven population control program. The links between soft authoritarianism and the demographic imagination in different regions of the world will be explored to delineate the intimate ties between body politics and the body politic. Contemporary dynamics of the governance of reproduction in a world imagined as simultaneously under-populated and over-populated will be considered against the background of the global history of (post)-colonial population control.

Shalini Randeria, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and Director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy (IHED) in Geneva, was nominated Excellence Chair of the University of Bremen in January 2019. She is Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology teaching at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva. In Bremen, Shalini Randeria is setting up an interdisciplinary research group as part of the collaborative initiative "Worlds of Contradiction" (WoC) dedicated to exploring and analysing the current developments of “Soft Authoritarianism”.

Anyone is cordially invited to the workshop on the following day, especially young scientists (MA, PhD and Postdoc).

Reading for preparation:

Randeria, Shalini. (2007). “The State of Globalization: Legal Plurality, Overlapping Sovereignties and Ambiguous Alliances between Civil Society and the Cunning State in India”. Theory, Culture & Society 24
(1): 1–33.
In deutscher Fassung: Randeria, Shalini. (2006). „Rechtspluralismus und überlappende Souveränitäten: Globalisierung und der »listige Staat« in Indien“, Soziale Welt 57: 229-258

The public lecture and the workshop are organized by WoC together with the InIS and the Institute for Ethnology and Cultural Studies of the University of Bremen.
Both events are part of the Bremer Colloquium for Political Theory.


Poster Poster "Wilde Theorie 22"
Discussion and workshop on 28/29 May

Wilde Theorie #22 mit Clare Woodford

The event is open to all interested persons. Registration is required for participation in the workshop ( 

Für die Teilnahme am Workshop ist eine Anmeldung erforderlich ( 

The poster as PDF.

From Melancholia and Mourning to Hatred and Fear: 'Left' politics against polarization and hate
Tuesday, 28 May 2019, 18h, InIIS, Room 7.2210

The rise of the far-right and increasing polarization of political views across Europe and the Americas have dashed post-2008 hopes of a more progressive turn in world politics. In response we may look to the left to help mobilize resistance to widespread xenophobia, yet many argue that the left is trapped in melancholia, still struggling to remake itself after the Cold War ‘loss’ of Marxism. I suggest that the melancholia diagnosis risks contributing to further polarization. In contrast I argue that, although at first it appears to fall prey to the same concerns, when freed from the restraints of the messianic, Jacques Derrida’s work of mourning Marx can help us ‘work through’ the post-Cold War impasse more productively, indicating two areas that require urgent attention. First, institutional design which better supports emancipation, and second construction of effective strategies to confront the dominance of the affective matrix of xenophobia.

Against inequality and hatred? Neoliberalism and desire
Wednesday, 29 May 2019, 10:15-12:45
InIIS, Room 7.2210

In this workshop I hope to discuss the differences and similarities between Deleuze and Lacan’s conception of desire and the relevance for a radical politics that can fight economic inequality today. Although these themes may seem disparate both Deleuze and Lacan strongly influence the poststructuralist politics at the forefront of a new left theory and collective practice emerging from the 2011 wave of protests, anti-austerity marches and the Arab spring. However concerns remain about complicity between poststructuralism and neoliberalism that also feed into concerns about the current proliferation of hatreds prevalent in democratic politics today. The question for the workshop is whether the concept of desire (and which concept of desire) In Lacan and Deleuze’s work (part of a tradition that is at the centre not just of poststructuralist thought, but the wider critical theory tradition) can help us theorise strategies of resistance to neoliberalism or will hinder any such project. The workshop will draw on feminist and queer theory (Adriana Cavarero and Judith Butler), affect theory (principally in the work of Sara Ahmed), as well as the work of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Rancière, Bonnie Honig and Christoph Menke.

Poster Open Day 2019 of Bremen UniversityPoster Open Day 2019 of Bremen University
The InIIS is also represented

On 15 June 2019 the University of Bremen invites you to an OPEN CAMPUS under the motto "Open Worlds - Share Knowledge" from 14:00 on!

In a joint pagoda of Faculty 8 - Social Sciences, scientists from InIIS participate (all talks in German):

15:00 hrs

Populism: danger for democracy or necessary corrective?

Prof. Dr. Martin Nonhoff and Prof. Dr. Lothar Probst from InIIS and Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall (SOCIUM)

16:00 hrs

The future of Turkey in times of authoritarian rule

Dr. Roy Karadag from the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS), Dr. Ulrike Flader and Dr. Nurhak Polat from the Institute for Ethnology and Cultural Studies (IfEK)

17:00 hrs

The EU under pressure: end or departure?

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt (InIIS), Prof. Dr. Arndt Wonka (IES) and Dr. Mandy Boehnke (BIGSSS)

The audience is cordially invited to discuss this question with the scientists*!

The detailed programme can be found here.





Banner: Demokratie und WahrheitBanner: Demokratie und Wahrheit
Tagung der DVPW Sektion Politische Theorie und Ideengeschichte

To reach the site of the conference "Democracy and Truth" of the DVPW section "Political Theory and History of Ideas" click here.

Prof. Dr. Martin Nonhoff      (c)Kai-Uwe Bohn, Uni BremenProf. Dr. Martin Nonhoff (c)Kai-Uwe Bohn, Uni Bremen
Prof. Martin Nonhoff on the occasion of the 31st Bremen University Talks

Zum Interview.

Prof. Dr. Heiko Staroßom (Vorstand der Wolfgang-Ritter-Stiftung)


Prof. Dr. Martin Nonhoff (Professor für Politische Theorie an der Universität Bremen)
Prof. Dr. Olaf Groh-Samberg (Professor für Soziologie an der Universität Bremen &
Dean der BIGSSS)


Können wir noch miteinander reden? Das Auseinanderdriften der Gesellschaft und die Krise der Öffentlichkeit

Demokratien leben von der gelingenden Verständigung über kontroverse Themen und zwischen Konfliktparteien. In den letzten Jahren scheint diese jedoch immer schwieriger geworden zu sein. Einerseits haben ökonomische Ungleichheiten in Deutschland deutlich zugenommen, und mit ihnen auch die lebensweltlichen Unterschiede und Distanzen zwischen Arm und Reich. Gleichzeitig brechen Wertekonflikte auf, die an die Grundlagen identitärer Selbstverständnisse reichen und daher oft hochemotional diskutiert werden. Der öffentliche, zivilgesellschaftliche wie politische Diskurs, der hier gefragt wäre, wird vielmehr selbst grundlegend in Frage gestellt als hegemonialer Diskurs von Eliten und bestimmten sozialen Milieus, die sich von den Lebenslagen und Lebenswelten der weite Bevölkerungsteile längst entkoppelt hätten. Wie kann Verständigung noch gelingen angesichts von gravierenden Ungleichheiten und Konflikten?

Aydan Özoguz (SPD, Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestags)
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel (Direktor der Abteilung „Demokratie und Demokratisierung“
am WZB – Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung)
Jürgen Kaube (Mitherausgeber der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung)

Moderation: Stefanie Rohde (WDR, Deutschlandfunk)
Musik: Katharina Franck (Singer, Songwriter und Autorin)

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

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 (

The event poster as PDF.


Poster for Wilde Theorie 19Poster for Wilde Theorie 19
Vortrag und Workshop mit Dorothea Gädeke (Frankfurt)

Lecture and workshop with Dorothea Gädeke (Goethe Universität Frankfurt/M.).

16.01.18,18:00 - 19:30
Bremen Colloquium on Political Theory
Politics of domination. A critical theory of external democracy promotion" (in German)
InIIS, UNICOM House 7, Room: 7.2210

17:11., 10:00 - 13:00
Think Republican freedom from below (in German)
InIIS, UNICOM, House 7, Room: 7.2210

Registration for the workshop at

Download the event poster (PDF)

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 who are in the phase between doctoral thesis and professorship present their current work for discussion.

We kindly ask you to register in advance for the workshops at, at least one week in advance.

Martin Nonhoff ( will be happy to provide further information on the colloquium as well as materials for the sessions upon request.

The event poster for download.

Translated with

Am 02.12. Kolloquium mit Étienne Balibar, Martin Nonhoff u.a.

Kolloquium mit Étienne Balibar „Europa – Chaos und Pluralität“

Zeit: Samstag, 2. Dezember 2017 um 11.00 Uhr
Ort: Institut Français, Contrescarpe 19, 28203 Bremen
Eintritt frei, keine Anmeldung nötig

Ist das Projekt eines geeinten und pluralen Europas angesichts des „Versagens der europäischen Flüchtlingspolitik“ und des Wiedererstarkens populistischer Tendenzen gescheitert? Befindet Europa sich nicht nur in einer Krise, sondern in einem Zustand des Chaos?  

Étienne Balibar unternimmt in immer wieder neuen Anläufen den Versuch, die Bedingungen für die Herausbildung eines anderen, pluralen und demokratischen Europas sichtbar zu machen. In seinem Buch „Europa: Krise und Ende?“ analysiert Balibar z. B. nicht nur den Schwund politischen Handelns, sondern arbeitet heraus, wie es Europa gelingen kann, wieder die Gestalt eines „politischen Projekts“ anzunehmen.

Doch wie ist ein erweitertes und plurales Selbstverständnis Europas in der heutigen Situation politisch zu realisieren? Wie lässt sich der höchst heterogene und komplexe europäische Raum überhaupt (neu) bestimmen? Und wie entgeht man, aus der Perspektive Arendts gefragt, hierbei der Gefahr, ein wie auch immer geartetes „Europa-Ideal“ zu formulieren?

Diskussion mit: Étienne BalibarVlasta JalušičPiotr Buras und Martin Nonhoff  
Gesprächsleitung: Antonia Grunenberg.

Eine Veranstaltung der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Etienne Balibar bekommt am 01. Dezember den Hannah-Arendt-Preis für politisches Denken.
Für die Preisverleihung  im Rathaus ist eine Anmeldung erforderlich:

Informationen zu beiden Veranstaltunen finden Sie auf der Seite der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.