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Online-Podiumsdiskussion: »Democratic Vistas, Autocratic Specters: Must We Reinvent Democracy?«
18. Februar, 17:00 bis 18:15
Since the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, there no longer can be any doubt that liberal democracy is under attack. For at least a decade, one liberal-democratic state after another has begun to face pushback – and in many cases take-over – by illiberal populists committed to authoritarian rule. The specter of autocracy is no longer a hazy apparition; increasingly it is the face of power. Yet at the same time, democracy continues to mobilize movements fighting for progressive change both inside and outside the parliamentary process. Nearly overlooked by Western media, Belarus has been witnessing a forceful struggle for democracy, tirelessly pushed ahead by the collective will of irrepressible women activists. Their struggle has inspired a related movement against the illiberal government in Poland. Even in the United States, the picture is not all bleak. After all, January 6, 2021, also marks a triumph of multiracial democracy, with an African American and a Jewish American candidate winning the senatorial runoffs in the state of Georgia, and Congress certifying the election of a black woman of color as Vice President. In the blink of an eye, the specter of autocracy gives way to what the American poet Walt Whitman called »democratic vistas.«
Distinguished Writer in Residence, Bard College; Staff Writer, The New Yorker, author of Surviving Autocracy (Granta 2020)
Rector, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna; Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute Geneva
Founding Director of Krytyka Polityczna, Warsaw, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Warsaw; author of numerous articles on the protest movement in Belarus, e.g. in The New York Review of Books and Project Syndicate
Chair: Johannes Völz
Heisenberg-Professor of American Studies, Goethe University Frankfurt; Board Member, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften Bad Homburg
Opening event of the new research focus
The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften turns to this double vision by launching its new research focus »Democratic Vistas: Reflections on the Atlantic World« In the spirit of Walt Whitman, we approach the Atlantic World as a testing ground for democratic innovation and experimentation. We ask whether the current upheavals force us to reinvent democracy – and what such reinvention could look like.
For our opening event, we collaborate with Vienna’s Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) and bring together an international group of leading scholars, intellectuals, and writers for a virtual panel discussion. In a Zoom session involving the widest possible public, Masha Gessen, Shalini Randeria, Sławomir Sierakowski, and Johannes Völz will discuss »Democratic Vistas, Autocratic Specters: Must We Reinvent Democracy?«
Please register by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you the Zoom link a couple of days before the event.
Please find more information (in English) about the research focus »Democratic Vistas: Reflections on the Atlantic World« here.
Weitere Informationen (auf deutsch) über den Forschungsschwerpunkt »Democratic Vistas: Reflections on the Atlantic World« finden Sie hier.