Daily Archives: June 14, 2019

International colloquium with Axel Honneth “Democracy, Socialism and Engagement: Axel Honneth and Critical Theory Today”

Belgrade, June 21-22, 2019

Critical Theory today faces a daunting triple challenge: to explain the far-reaching societal transformations that have undermined democracy across the globe over the past decade, justify the normative foundations for the critique of these processes in universalist terms, and present a vision of the good society that can provide, not just normative orientation, but political inspiration to different kinds of progressive social engagement – all this without succumbing to the dangers of epistemological authoritarianism and the consequent particularism of its own diagnosis. Perhaps more than any other author, Axel Honneth has devoted himself to synthesizing these fundamental tasks of Critical Theory within one comprehensive theoretical perspective. From his early criticism of Habermas to his mature theory of recognition, Honneth has sought to formulate a critique of injustice and domination in contemporary capitalism that would at the same time provide social-theoretical insight into the deep-seated causes of persistent forms of injustice, be post-metaphysical enough to adequately respond to the charges of essentialism, particularism and perfectionism, and overcome epistemological authoritarianism through developing a particular sensitivity for the experiences of ordinary social actors. The culmination of this project is Honneth’s mature Neo-Hegelian perspective centred around the concept of “social freedom” and developed most thoroughly in his two recent complementary studies, Freedom’s Right and The Idea of Socialism. Starting from Honneth’s perspective as exemplary of Critical Theory in its most self-reflexive and nuanced incarnation, this international colloquium will examine the potentials of Critical Theory today to provide conceptual tools for diagnosing and overcoming injustice in the age of complex forms of social domination and the dismantling of liberal democracy from two supposedly juxtaposed directions: those of technocratic “radical centrism” and right-wing populism.

Friday, 21. June

Venue: Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT)

10:00 | Smail Rapić, University of Wuppertal

Honneths Marx-Kritik in Die Idee des Sozialismus – eine Entgegnung (Honneth’s Critique of Marx in The Idea of Socialism  – a Response)

12:00 | Charles Djordjevic, University of Zürich

Recognizing Expressions of Pain: Honneth, Wittgenstein, and the Normative Underpinnings of the Social World

14:00 | Lunch

Venue: Kolarac Open University, Mala sala (Small Lecture Hall)

17:00 | Petar Bojanić, Director of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Welcome address followed by the Ceremony of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory’s Annual Award for Critical Engagement “Miladin Životić”

17:15 | Axel Honneth, Columbia University

Award Lecture: Democracy and the Division of Labor. A blind spot in political philosophy

18:15 | Smail Rapić, University of Wuppertal

Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, University of Rijeka

Marjan Ivković, the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Comments on Axel Honneth’s Award Lecture

Saturday, 22. June

Venue: Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT)

09:00 | Seminar with Axel Honneth on the book The Idea of Socialism: Towards a Renewal (Die Idee des Sozialismus: Versuch einer Aktualisierung).

Participants: Željko Radinković, Predrag Krstić, Aleksandar Fatić, Rastko Jovanov, Marjan Ivković, Srdjan Prodanović, Jelena Vasiljević, Adriana Zaharijević, Igor Cvejić, Mark Lošonc (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Đorđe Pavićević (University of Belgrade), Simon Pistor (University of Zürich), and author

12:30 | Lunch

13:00 | Zdravko Kobe, University of Ljubljana

Transformation of Public Knowing: Some Hegelian Remarks in Honneth’s Mode

15:00 | Marco Solinas, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa

The Actuality of Marx’s Errors. Neoliberalism and Honneth’s Idea of Socialism

Towards a Harmony of Epistemic and Political Virtues: Seminar on Snježana Prijić-Samaržija’s “Democracy and Truth”

Belgrade, June 20, 2019 at 3.00 pm
Venue: Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT)

Address: Kraljice Natalije 45, 11000 Belgrade (4th Floor, Conference Room)

Snježana Prijić-Samaržija’s Democracy and Truth: The Conflict Between Political and Epistemic Virtues (2018) has a two-fold task. First, the book, generally speaking, aims to justify the application of epistemology to real-world situations in order to improve societal epistemic processes and the assessment of socially held beliefs. Second, and more specifically, the book grapples with a pertinent dilemma: when assessing social practices, institutions, and systems, should we sacrifice epistemic virtues for ethical and political virtues or vice versa? Prijić-Samaržija rejects this reasoning as a case of a false dilemma and offers a hybrid proposal which can satisfy, at the same time, political requirements and produce beliefs/judgments/decisions of high epistemic quality. She then argues that her preferred hybrid model – reliability democracy – has the highest likelihood of producing evaluations equally respectful of both values.

Participants: Petar Bojanić (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Igor Cvejić (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Vedran Džihić (Austrian Institute for International Affairs and University of Vienna, Institute for Political Sciences), Biljana Đorđević (University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Sciences), Aleksandar Fatić (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Marjan Ivković (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Ivana Janković (University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy), Marko Konjović (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Ivan Mladenović (University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy), Srđan Prodanović (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Bojana Radovanović (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory), Smail Rapić (University of Wuppertal, Department of Philosophy) and Marko Luka Zubčić (University of Rijeka, Faculty of Philosophy)

Moderators: Marko Konjović (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory) Bojana Radovanović (University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory)

Snježana Prijić-Samaržija is currently the Rector of the University of Rijeka as well as a Full Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka. She received her BA Degree from the University of Belgrade, her Master Degree from the University of Ljubljana, and her PhD Degree from the University of Zagreb, all in philosophy. Prijić-Samaržija is the author of six books, such as: “Oko i svijet” [Eye and the World] (1995), “Društvo i spoznaja” [Society and Cognition] (2000), “Praktična etika” [Practical Ethics] (2007, with Elvio Baccarini), and “Antička i novovjekovna epistemologija” [Ancient and Modern Epistemology] (2011, with Ana Gavran Miloš). Her latest book is entitled Democracy and Truth: The Conflict Between Political and Epistemic Virtues (2018). Prijić-Samaržija also edited 13 books, published more than 70 papers, and translated several articles. Her main areas of academic interest are social philosophy, epistemology, applied ethics, and gender studies.


“Cities and regions in flux after border change: Reconfiguring the frontier, reshaping memory and visualizing change in twentieth century Europe”

International Conference

Rijeka, Croatia, 10-12 July 2019

Venue: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka

Address: Sveučilišna avenija 4, 51000 Rijeka (Room 230, 2nd Floor)

Since the end of the First World War, cities and regions in Europe, particularly in the eastern half of the continent, witnessed frequent changes in borders. Previous research on border change and territorial transfers has focused on the actions of nationalizing regimes after the 1919 Paris conference, as well as the post-1945 transfer of territories in East-Central Europe and ensuing flight, expulsions and repopulation programs (Rieber 2000, Ther and Siljak 2001, Ballinger 2003, Crainz Pupo and Salvatici 2008, Snyder 2010, Ferrara 2011, Thum 2011, Reinisch, and White 2011, Ferrara and Pianciola 2012, Service 2013, Sezneva 2013). Recent research has analysed how states appropriated cities and regions they gained from neighbours (Karch 2018), and, in the case of socialist states, used urban remodelling as an opportunity to showcase socialist modernization projects, as occurred in Lviv, Ukraine (Amar 2015) and in Yugoslavia (Kulić and Mrduljaš 2012, Le Normand 2014). While research on transferred cities and territories has tended to see border changes primarily as ruptures tearing people from their old lives and cutting cities off from their previous national frameworks, this emphasis is called into question by scholarship by geographers and sociologists who comprehend cities not as discrete entities but as nodes within regional, national and global networks. From this perspective, cities are spaces in which flows of different types (goods, labour, capital, information) enter, converge, and exit, connecting these cities with other circuits and points across the globe (Massey 1991, Castells 2002, Harvey 2003).

This conference seeks contributions that showcase research on history, memory, and mapping tools in the context of European border changes in the twentieth century. We are interested in highlighting research on the experience of cities and regions that have undergone border changes in the twentieth century in order to showcase histories of transition, to examine the reshaping of local and regional memory practices, and to explore the variety of research methods that might be used to conceptualize and visualize change.

Keynote speakers:

Dominique Kirchner Reill, Associate Professor, University of Miami, author of Nationalists Who Feared the Nation: Adriatic Multi-Nationalism in Habsburg Dalmatia, Trieste, and Venice (Stanford University Press, 2012.) presenting her new book The Fiume Crisis: Life in the Wake of the Habsburg Empire.    

Anne Kelly Knowles, McBride Professor of History at the University of Maine, editor of Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship (2008) and Geographies of the Holocaust (2014), Guggenheim fellow (2015).

Brendan Karch, Assistant Professor of History at Louisiana State University, author of Nation and Loyalty in a German-Polish Borderland: Upper Silesia, 1848–1960 (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Olga Sezneva, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam, whose work has examined the connection between the urban built environment and social memory (particularly in the case of Kaliningrad/Königsberg), human mobility, and digital technologies; part of the artistic collective Moving Matters Traveling Workshop.

Organisers: The conference is organized by the Univeristy of Rijeka, Centre for Advanced Studies – South East Europe, with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded project Rijeka in Flux: Borders and Urban Change after World War II, the Memoryscapes project’s Seasons of Power flagship programme for Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture, and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity Research Group, “Empires of Memory: The Cultural Politics of Historicity in Former Habsburg and Ottoman Cities”.