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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).

Website: www.iwm.at
Twitter: @IWM_Vienna
Youtube: IWMVienna

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Articles

Cover for: Equally criminal?

Equally criminal?

Totalitarian experience and European memory

Instead of dwelling upon the catastrophes of the twentieth century, many Europeans ask if we should not thoughtfully “forget” them. However, the endurance of historical memory in the united Europe is demonstrated by contemporary political differences between European member states, which can be dealt with only if a European memory is developed. The difficulty here lies in paying due respect to the memory of the crimes both of National Socialism and of Soviet totalitarianism while avoiding a hierarchy of competing victim groups.

After almost half a century of socialist state policy replacing rights by privileges and making migration from village to city a powerful instrument of domination, countries like Bulgaria have found themselves in the complex geometry of the EU. Around two million persons a year of a population of seven million are in permanent motion, working abroad, studying, coming back, investing, leaving again. This trend towards overcoming arbitrary socio-political spaces is most evident in the Internet’s utopian horizon of absolute mobility. But is the downside to this utopia a loss of public spirit?

There are moments in history when one must think broadly and ambitiously. To secure democracy in Ukraine is certainly in the interest of the European Union, writes Timothy Snyder. It is also a test for a Europe that wishes to play a role in the world.

Ukrainian author Oksana Zabuzhko walks the streets of Kiev and witnesses an unprecedented upsurge of national solidarity. “To put it simply,” she writes, “‘they’ are the power – the most widely hated power in Ukraine since Soviet times. And ‘we’ – we are the people.”

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Focal points

Cover for: The world in pieces

Inspired by a lecture that Clifford Geertz delivered in 1995 at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, this focal point engages with ‘deep diversity’, ‘a sense of dispersion, of particularity, of complexity and of uncenteredness’ rather than unified world order. It follows the launch of a research programme of the same name at the institute in January 2023.


Cover for: Ukraine in European dialogue

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.

Projects and publications