Center for Advanced Studies

GREGOR MODER

Truth in Politics

According to Spinoza, rights of individuals or groups are identical to their physical or psychical capabilities. If contemporary theory, including its Marxist variations, Althusser and Foucault, explains political and social relations as the relations of power and domination, of ideology and hegemony, then one could say that it follows the premises of Spinoza’s Political Treatise. However, while there is little doubt that power relations are a required condition of any sensible political theory, do they also constitute its sufficient condition? The panelists will argue this is not the case, and that one must indeed study not only power relations, but also a category which we can call the truth.


Kolenc, Komel and Moder are members of the Aufhebung International Hegelian Association based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Dr. Bara Kolenc, philosopher and artist, winner of the Theatertreffen Stueckemarkt Commission of Work 2016 award, is the author of Repetition and Enactment: Kierkegaard, Psychoanalysis, Theatre (DTP, 2014). Dr. Mirt Komel, writer and philosopher, is the author of Discourse and Violence (DTP, 2012), The Socratic Touches (FDV, 2015) and The Attempt of a Touch (FDV, 2008). Dr. Gregor Moder, currently a fellow at CAS SEE Rijeka, teaches philosophy of art at the University of Ljubljana and is the author of Hegel and Spinoza: Substance and Negativity (Northwestern University Press, 2017).

MAREK SZILVASI

Does it matter for excluded Roma whether water is public or private? Case study of Slovenia

“Access to water especially in geographic regions threatened by water scarcity, have been increasingly elevated to the centre of the attention of governments, international community, and businesses across the world. Many political leaders and CEOs of multinational corporations have integrated water in their agenda and stated that water has become a new (blue) gold, and it should now to be treated like oil.
The predictions of irreversible water scarcity and consequential global corporate grab due to its increasing value might sound to most of us in Europe as a problem of the third world, or a scene from a science fiction movie or distant future at best. We take clean drinking water for granted. It is abundant and affordable, provided directly in our homes, and checked continuously to ensure it meets quality and safety standards.
Yet, not only that most of the water corporations and their advocacy groups have headquarters in Europe, all across Europe there are people living without access to improved water resources and sanitation. According to the United Nations Economic Committee for Europe (UNECE) and World Health Organisation (WHO), 12 per cent of population, some 110 million people, in the pan-European region is still without access to safe drinking water, and many of them are Roma.
In November 2016, in response to a citizens’ campaign, Slovenia became the first EU country to add the right to water to its Constitution, but the implementation of the new constitutional right has yet to be observed, especially in Romani communities.
After decades of petitioning local authorities to provide their households with drinking water and functioning sanitation, in March 2014, 16 Roma from two Roma neighbourhoods in Slovenia filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The Hudorovič, Novak and Others v. Slovenia cases became the first right to water case at the ECtHR.
By analysing the case study of Slovenia, the first EU country, which recognised the right to water in its Constitution (2016) while also the first country sued at the European Court of Human Rights for failing to secure access to water to their citizens of Roma origin (2014), this presentation will point out the complex discourse of contemporary water movements and the very specific position of Roma living in social exclusion and housing informality. I will argue that despite the progressive legal framework and social movements claiming the right to water, the concerns of Roma are often neglected not only by the private and public water suppliers, but also by water activists. Due to the prevailing situation of anti-Roma discrimination and social exclusion, Roma have to make parallel claims on the access to water.”


Marek Szilvasi an independent scholar-activist. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Aberdeen, the United Kingdom, MA in Sociology and Philosophy from the Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic, and MA in the European Studies (Europe in the Wider World) from the University of Groningen, Netherlands. His PhD research has been sponsored by the interdisciplinary Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society, and Rule of Law (CISRUL).
His primary research interests lie in the fields of sociology of (human) rights, political philosophy, socio-legal and post-colonial theories, citizenship, social inclusion and equality paradigms, and environmental justice, all these with a particular focus on the situation of Roma in European societies.
Marek teaches at the Institute of Politics and International Studies of the ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary, and works as Head of research and human rights education of the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC). He is also a board member of the PAD Foundation advocating environmental justice in CEE. He has been awarded the Martin Alexandersson Research Scholarship of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for 2017.

 

 

 

 

CAS SEE FELLOWS INAUGURATION

The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) at the University of Rijeka organized the 5th Fellows Inauguration at the University Campus Akvarij caffé on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

The Fellows will stay and work at the CAS SEE premises in the following ten months divided in two terms (Spring and Autumn 2017/2018) and present their research to the representatives of the University, the Academia and the public.


Themes of their research are relevant for the current social and humanistic political debates which focus on:
1.            Making Inclusive Cities: Towards Participatory Governance Practices 
2.           Critical Theory

During their stay in Rijeka, the CAS-SEE fellows will, according to their research themes and proposals, be involved in the work of the Sweet&Salt flagship, hosted by the CAS SEE, within the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project.

The fifth generation of CAS SEE Fellows was welcomed by:
Vice-rector for Students and Studies, Full Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržžija, Ph.D., Rector-elect at the University of Rijeka, Executive director of CAS SEE, Ass. Prof. Sanja Bojanić, Ph.D., Vice-Dean for International relations at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka, Irena Kregar – Šegota, Development and Strategic Partnerships Director, Rijeka 2020 Agency, Full Prof. Idis Turato, Sweet&Salt Flagship Director (Rijeka 2020 – ECOC)

Please join us in congratulating the following 2017-2018 Spring and Autumn CAS-SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

SPRING 2017

Mateja Kurir  (Ljubljana, Slovenia) Architecture as ideology: the perspectives of critical theory from modernism to the present
Gruia Badescu (Oxford University, UK) Spatializing Cultural Policies and Activism in Croatia and Romania: A Comparative, Transnational Study
Marek Szilvasi (Budapest, Hungary) Between Commodity and Common Public Good: Access to Water and its Relevance for Roma People in Europe
Natasha Sardžoska (Skopje, Macedonia) Mapping of spatial memory in limitrophe cities, landscapes, borders and bodies in Istria
Gregor Moder (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) Critical Theory. Truth in Politics: Comedy, Sophistry and Critique
Marija Ott Franolić (Zagreb, Croatia) Read, Think, Act