The Institute for Human Sciences
The Institute for Human Sciences / Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) is an independent institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences. Since its foundation in 1982, it has hosted more than 1500 scholars, journalists and translators from all over the world. Many of the Institute’s Permanent and Visiting Fellows are regular contributors to Eurozine or its focal points Eurasia in Global Dialogue and Ukraine in European Dialogue (see below).
Old axes of inequality and new concerns
Education under neoliberalism – a contradictory mix of competition and austerity promoting vaulted excellence over grounded learning. Cornelia Klinger highlights awards ceremonies appropriating the names of famous historic achievers as prime example of capitalist commodification masking old and new sociopolitical inequality and injustice.
From anti-vaxxers to terrorists, people often look for hidden causes which match the magnitude of the collapse they are facing. Uncertainty and public distrust are fertile ground for conspiracy theories. When used to legitimize violence, however, such narratives are more a strategy than psychopathology.
Australia’s recent bushfires are the country’s ‘most serious environmental disaster since colonization’. John Keane considers this megadisaster the product of democracy failure, rather than natural forces, which raises questions about political culpability, economic impacts, deep environmental damage and cultural accountability.
The pandemic prompts fundamental questions. How do we define society’s relationship to nature? How resilient are our democracies to the abuse of emergency powers? How far can science dictate political decision-making? And will the primacy of the economy remain unassailable?
Post-revolutionary Ukrainian society displays a unique mix of hope, enthusiasm, social creativity, collective trauma of war, radicalism and disillusionment. With the Maidan becoming history, the focal point ‘Ukraine in European Dialogue’ explores the new challenges facing the young democracy, its place in Europe, and the lessons it might offer for the future of the European project.
The focal point presents the findings of the project ‘Eurasia in Global Dialogue’ being carried out at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna (IWM). It is edited by Clemena Antonova at the IWM. The focal point is an extension of the earlier focal point, ‘Russia in Global Dialogue’ that ran in Eurozine and at the IWM from 2012–2018 and was edited by Tatiana Zhurzhenko. Further texts have been contributed by journals in the Eurozine network.