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).
France after April 21st
Jacqueline Henard analyses the failings of the French political elite which have paved the way for Le Pen’s shock rise in the last presidential elections.
The French presidential elections 2002
This was no regular presidential election, it was a referendum on basic commitment to democratic values and an open society. Jacques Rupnik takes a look at French politics and discovers a radical shift.
The rise of the NGOs in recent years has raised various new problems, most pressingly that of the “democratisation paradox”: Whilst the NGOs ultimate aim is to promote democratic structures in respective countries, their own structures remain relatively unaccountable and undemocratic. Other questions concern the sharing of power between NGOs and democratically elected chambers and the influence NGOs are able to exert over them. Claus Leggewie looks at the complex mechanisms involved and proposes ways out of the legitimation crisis.
Imagining the European Union as a nation-state
This text, first published in 2002, describes how in Bulgaria, the EU has replaced the nation state as a symbol of authority. Even local history and culture is being embedded and rewritten in the context of European cultural history. Nevertheless, regional identity won’t get lost, argues the author, since regions “are a configuration of different liminalities enveloping spatial zones of different sizes that overlap and accrue, providing different options.”
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.
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.