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The extreme right within the liberal nationstate (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Adrià Alcoverro

Einzeltermin | Do, 19.10.2023, 10:15 - Do, 19.10.2023, 11:45 | C 14.203 Seminarraum
wöchentlich | Donnerstag | 10:15 - 11:45 | 26.10.2023 - 02.02.2024 | W HS 3 | ab 26.10. in W HS3 (Wilschenbrucher Weg - Rotes Feld)

Inhalt: This course addresses not really the origins of the extreme right rather to understand how the contradictions within the problematic formation of the nation-state relate to the emergence of the extreme right. The argument is that the different ideological inspirations that have shaped the different forms of extreme right, despite of sharing often an irrational and anti-enlightenment ethos, they as well relate to dynamics that shaped the formation of the liberal nation-state and also steered the establishment of capitalism within a liberal democratic order which had in identity building a central part of this processes. This argument is not assuming determinism that would trace a causal relation between these complex historic processes and the rise of the extreme right in the present and past in Europe, rather to acknowledge the depth of the roots of the extreme right in European political history. In this way, the extreme right should not be considered just as a sort of cyclical foreign virus that threatens the liberal democratic order in times of crisis rather a permanent thread that strategically lures in shared societal imaginaries well entrenched in our societies. In order to provide a democratic anti-authoritarian answer to the extreme right, the latter part of the course will suggest the need to reinvent this imaginaries, that is to discuss concepts such as collective identity or even nation to fill them with emancipatory and progressive ideals. Instead of historically surpass these concepts in the light of a post-national and de-territorialized global identity. as the method to counter extreme right’s essentialism, these could be reconstituted in the light of emancipatory values and popular democracy close to the citizens’ immediate social and cultural environment. The 14 sessions of the course will be divided in the following themes: 1. The formation of the nation state, centralization, verticality and some glimpses of identity. 2. Defining contradictions of the liberal-nation state and the concept of political nation: - The nation-state drive for congruence vs citizenship rights and multicultural and multiethnic populations - The artificial separation between political and economic realms in the context of capitalism. 3. Romantic essentialism and the consolidation of the liberal nation state reflected in the law: From early constitutional law to the current EU “migration crisis”. 4. Science and technological progress and the consolidation of myths of the nation-state. 5. Hannah Arendt’s, Helmuth Plessner’s and Antonio Gramsci’s reflections on the problematic formation of the nation-state in relation to the rise of fascism. 6. The present rise of the extreme right and the liberal nation-state. What is new? 7. Can collective identities and “national” imaginaries be reconstituted in the light of emancipatory values to counter the extreme right? I will share soon the reading material of the course. In addition to this, we will watch some films that reflect upon some of the aforementioned themes.

What country do people want to live in? Citizens' conceptions of (an ideal) democracy and how to measure it (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Sarah Engler

wöchentlich | Montag | 14:15 - 15:45 | 16.10.2023 - 02.02.2024 | C 14.203 Seminarraum

Inhalt: In many countries of the world citizens go to the streets for democracy. In Belarus, protesters demanded an end of Lukashenko’s dictatorship. In Poland, masses mobilize on the streets to stop democratic backsliding, and in Chile citizens fought for a better democracy than under the current constitution. But what do people mean when they talk about democracy? Is it just free and fair elections or do they want more? Do all citizens understand the same when talking about democracy, and if not, why do they differ? In this class, we look at these questions first from a theoretical perspective, and then students explore them empirically by analysing individual survey data of the European Social Survey. The ESS asks respondents what they consider to be important for a democracy, and how they evaluate the state of democracy in their country looking at those aspects. Students will work with the statistical program STATA to explore these questions.