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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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2017-04-14

The Great Regression – An International Debate (edited by Heinrich Geiselberger)

Arjun Appadurai, Zygmunt Bauman, Donatella della Porta, Nancy Fraser, Eva Illouz, Ivan Krastev, Bruno Latour, Paul Mason, Pankaj Mishra, Robert Misik, Oliver Nachtwey, César Rendueles, Wolfgang Streeck, David Van Reybrouck, Slavoj Zizek.

The Great Regression collects contributions from fifteen international authors, taking a closer look at the root causes behind these developments, locating them in their respective historical contexts, and discussing strategies for fighting back.

Picture description

The world seems out of joint. Current socio-political conjuncture has brought forth a series of alarming developments thought impossible in our modern age only several years prior: the spectacular rise of nationalist and anti-liberal parties like the Front National and the Alternative für Deutschland, a degradation and vulgarisation of public discourse by the likes of demagogues like Donald Trump, widespread mistrust of the mainstream press, and growing audiences for xenophobic and racist sentiments. Politicians are callously denounced as »traitors to the Fatherland« and Muslim citizens placed under general suspicion, while conspiracy theories of the crudest variety spread like wildfire on the Internet. The speed at which our societies seem to be falling behind once entrenched social standards is frightening. Has the world gone off the rails?

The Great Regression collects contributions from fifteen international authors, taking a closer look at the root causes behind these developments, locating them in their respective historical contexts, and discussing strategies for fighting back. In clear and unambiguous opposition to the »Nationalist International«, this volume responds to our current state of global turbulence by building on the power and potential of a transnational public sphere, appears in 14 languages.

Volume editor Heinrich Geiselberger on the project’s background and goals:

Table of Contents

Preface
Heinrich Geiselberger
1. Democracy Fatigue
Arjun Appadurai
2. Symptoms in Search of an Object and a Name
Zygmunt Bauman
3. Progressive and Regressive Politics in Late Neoliberalism
Donatella della Porta
4. Progressive Neoliberalism versus Reactionary Populism: A Hobson s Choice
Nancy Fraser
5. Populism or the Crisis of Liberal Elites: The Case of Israel
Eva Illouz
6. Majoritarian Futures
Ivan Krastev
7. Europe as refuge
Bruno Latour
8. Overcoming the Fear of Freedom
Paul Mason
9. Politics in the Age of Resentment. The Dark Legacy of the Enlightenment
Pankaj Mishra
10. The Courage to be Audacious
Robert Misik
11. Decivilisation. On regressive tendencies in Western democracies
Oliver Nachtwey
12. From Global Regression to Post-Capitalist Counter-Movements
César Rendueles
13. The Return of the Repressed as the Beginning of the End of Neoliberal Capitalism
Wolfgang Streeck
14. Dear President Juncker
David Van Reybrouck
15. The Populist Temptation
Slavoj Zizek

News

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

26/10/2017

Now Online! The plenary session (Un)making Europe of the 13th ESA Conference

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During the plenary session, Donatella della Porta and Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies.

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

The Refugee Crisis as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
The paper suggests that the refugee crisis is best understood in relation to other ongoing crises in the EU, and that the way it is handled will have significant consequences for future action, shaping the way European societies cope with forthcoming crises and transforming the relationship between states and citizens. Accordingly, it argues that the permanent state of emergency characterising governmental responses so far does not bode well for the future of liberal democracy in Europe.

Journal Article - 2017

The Myth of Apolitical Volunteering for Refugees: German Welcome Culture and a New Dispositif of Helping

Larissa Fleischmann and Elias Steinhilper
During the so-called “refugee crisis”, the notion of an unparalleled German hospitality toward asylum seekers circulated within the (inter)national public sphere, often encapsulated by the blurry buzzword “Welcome Culture”. In this article, we scrutinize these developments and suggest that the image of the so-called “crisis” has activated an unprecedented number of German citizens to engage in practices of “apolitical” helping. However, we aim to unmask forms of “apolitical” volunteering for refugees as a powerful myth: the new dispositif of helping comes with ambivalent and contradictory effects that range from forms of antipolitics to transformative political possibilities within the European border regime.