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).
Culture, Modernisation and Various Eastern Europes
The “clash of civilisations” as largely a function of uneven modernisation suggests that it will not last much longer, which advocates a return to the older tradition of functional-evolutionary theorists. In Europe, Daniel Chirot warns that the differentiation between “East” and “Central” Europe draws a new border between “East” and “West” which will result in excluding the poorer parts of Europe and will keep them poorer in delaying their modernisation.
Building a "new" South Africa
South Africa is facing the process of developing a new identity for itself and its people, and to deal with its past. Jyoti Mistry looks at the meaning of nations and the nation state in examining this process of creation of a national identity. Story-telling, history and memory play vital parts, particularly in South Africa, in building this “whole”. In a story that has no end in sight, she looks at how a country is dealing with its past and stepping into its future.
Ernest Gellner looks for the cause of some surprising developments in the twentieth century: the rising strength of Islam (in particular, Muslim fundamentalism); the upsurge in nationalism; and the unexpected and total collapse of Marxism. Behind both Muslim fundamentalism and nationalism, Gellner sees a break from local communities and hierarchies. And the main fault in Marxism, says Gellner, was the abolition of the profane. The big success stories today, he writes, “are the plural, liberal societies – what I call the unholy alliance of consumerist unbelievers.”
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.