University of Rijeka

“Peace and Conflicts – Present and Future Challenges” Conference

The conference Peace and Conflicts – Present and Future Challenges (April 16 – 17, 2018)  is set to be held at the University in Rijeka (Campus) within the organizational framework of the University of Rijeka, Peace Research Institute, Oslo; International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities, University of Tübingen; Center for Peace Studies, Zagreb; and CeKaDe, Rijeka; along with conference partners Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe, City of Rijeka, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and Rijeka 2020.


The conference will focus on the state of “frozen conflicts”, along with contributions on the nature of political violence, political reconciliation, disagreement resolution etc. Likewise, the conference will explore yet another cause of internal conflicts within our societies – i.e. migrations and the “Balkan Route”. Contributors to this conference include a wide range of eminent experts and activists from Croatia and abroad.


 For full program information please click to enlarge:

 

Conference Venue: Akvarij – University of Rijeka Campus

Address: Radmile Matejčić 5, HR-51000 Rijeka

 


Call for applications: “Notation, Algorithm, Criticism: Towards a Critical Epistemology of Architecture”

Venue and date: IUC, Dubrovnik, September 17-22, 2018

Applications deadline: August 15, 2018

Course description:

In modernity, there is no place for architecture without critical reflection, just as modern culture without cultural criticism is no better than the barbarism it has replaced (Schnädelbach). Critique is necessary of any activity, be it artistic, political, or scientific. In 1976, it was the „crisis of utopia” that laid the foundation for the late Manfredo Tafuri’s “ideological criticism”. By contrast, the philosopher and politician Massimo Cacciari maintained that crisis “must be produced”, thus proclaiming that any intellectual position that does not posit itself as productive in regard to crisis is reactionary.

Admittedly, we look back today with a certain nostalgia on a critical theory of architecture as it emerged in the 1960s — the heyday of critical thought in sociology and philosophy. Architects such as Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, and Bernhard Tschumi along with philosophers such as Theodor Adorno, Jacques Derrida, Gianni Vattimo, and Fredric Jameson were among the pioneers of critical discourse in architecture. Each had their own specific critical agenda, with some of them more inclined toward subversive methods that aimed at undermining architecture as the last stronghold of metaphysics. In architecture, critical theory always coincides with critical practice.

Since then, criticism has been absorbed and utilized by the very same institutions that it had helped to create. It can hardly be overlooked that in digital consumer societies, criticism has become a powerful economic agent. “The task of criticism has, in fact, changed,” Tafuri wrote in the introduction to his seminal book Theories and History of Architecture, published in 1976. But even more has changed with the advent of digital media technology. In unprecedented ways, today’s media technologies interfere with the practice of knowledge and change them according to their own – digital – agenda. Cacciari’s plea for crisis as a driving force for the production of knowledge has turned into a common cultural practice.

The seminar will address the concept of critique in architecture from a historic as well as contemporary perspective. It will investigate core concepts such as critique and practice, authorship and agency, history and documentation, concept and diagram, as well as idea and project. What are the possibilities of critical practice today in the age of digital transparency? What are the cultural, aesthetic, and social implications of the current transition from 2-D design processes to 3-D modeling (BIM)? Is this shift to digital media technology of equal importance as Alberti’s 15th century shift to notation? The transfer of ideas into drawings onto paper first opened up architecture to the creative and intellectual play of representation, and allowed for references to architectural history and its philosophical ideas. Architectural practice turned into a critical practice when it separated thinking about architecture from building architecture. The potential of graphic notation transformed architecture into a modern, ambivalent, contradictory, and critical cultural practice equal to literature and philosophy. At times, it seems as if media technology hollows out architecture’s critical consciousness and returns it to a simple practice of mere physical and material presence.

Course Directors:

Prof. Snjezana Prijic-Samarzija (University of Rijeka)

Prof. Joerg Gleiter (Technical University of Berlin)

Prof. Petar Bojanic (University of Belgrade/University of Rijeka)

Prof. Giovanni Durbiano (Politecnico di Torino)

Prof. Alessandro Armando (Politecnico di Torino)

 Lecturers:

Prof. Snjezana Prijic-Samarzija (University of Rijeka)

Prof. Joerg Gleiter (Technical University of Berlin)

Prof. Petar Bojanic (University of Belgrade/University of Rijeka)

Prof. Sanja Bojanic (University of Rijeka)

Prof. Alessandro Armando (Politecnico di Torino)

Dr. Lidia Gasperoni (Technical University of Berlin) (TBC)

Prof. Renata Stih/Dr. Frieder Schnock (Beuth Univiersity of Applied Arts, Berlin) (TBC)

Dr. Christoph Engemann (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar) (TBC)

Course instruction for students / participants:

NOTE: Participants should prepare 20-minute-long presentations on topics of their research and allow a further 10 minutes for discussions following course descriptions. The titles of the presentations with short abstracts need to be sent following this link.

* ECTS points are available for MA and PhD students. The requirements for ECTS credits are (i) participation in at least 80% of all lectures, (ii) presentation of a previously prepared original paper on the topic of the course or discussion papers on the papers provided by lecturers. The organizers will prepare the official IUC certificate, which will include a detailed overview of the students’ obligations (sufficient for 3 ECTS). Whether ECTS will be recognized as parts of their academic programs or as additional achievements in diploma supplements depends solely on the institutions that the students come from.

Accommodation:

Students themselves organize their travel and accommodation in Dubrovnik. The IUC administration has recommended the services of the Gulliver travel agency, which can be contacted via the e-mail address danijela.strman@gulliver.hr. You can also acquire additional information about the accommodation on this IUC link: http://www.iuc.hr/accomodation.php

Course Fee:

The IUC requires the payment of a small course fee, currently 40 EUR or its HRK equivalent, which is to be paid by all course participants. The fee could be paid to the following account or directly in the IUC office throughout the duration of the course.

Udruga Interuniverzitetski Centar Dubrovnik, Don Frana Bulića 4, 20000 Dubrovnik

IBAN: HR2923300031100213145

BANK: Societe genrale – Splitska banka d.d.


 

5 YEARS OF CAS SEE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF RIJEKA

The 5th anniversary of the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe at the University of Rijeka was held at the at the Rectorate’s Aula Magna on Monday, March 26, 2018.

On the occasion, Madam Rector, Prof. Snježana Prijić – Samaržja, Director od CAS SEE opened the event with presentation of the Center’s establishment course, its development vision and the present ventures. On behalf of Dr. Sanja Bojanić, Executive Director of CAS SEE, Kristina Smoljanovic, Project Associate gave a presentation on the Center’s functioning models, its accomplishments in numbers and also of its core strength – the Fellows of CAS SEE. Following this, the present 7th generation of Fellows introduced their academic backgrounds and ongoing research projects to be completed during their Spring/Summer residence at the University of Rijeka.

The event concluded with further discussions around a joint banquet with the modification of the afternoon program, Fellows and Associate Researchers Presentations at the newly established DeltaLab postponed to another date due to unforeseen weather circumstances which held the Trieste ESOF2020 delegation.

 

 

Call for Applications: The 5th Edition of the Equality and Citizenship Summer School

The Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe, the University of Rijeka, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka and the Croatian Society for Analytic Philosophy are organizing the 5th edition of the Equality and Citizenship Summer school from June 25th – 29th, 2018 in Rijeka, Croatia.

The Summer school does not reproduce, in a diluted form, the familiar teaching format of a university course. Instead, it is organized around “Author-Meets-Critics” symposia that are dedicated to publications and works-in-progress by some distinguished authors. All the leading participants will give a paper on a topic on which they are currently working, or a précis of a recently published book. During the symposia dedicated to them, they will then reply to the papers given by the other scholars.

This year’s leading participants are:

Prof Cecile Laborde, University of Oxford

Prof Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford

Prof Jonathan White, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Prof Lea Ypi, the London School of Economics and Political Science

The summer school is primarily aimed at attracting post-doc researchers and doctoral students. They can contribute to the discussion by commenting and asking questions, and in case they participated in earlier editions of the summer school, they are invited to apply with paper proposals for the symposia and send an abstract of no more than 2,500 characters by April 15th 2018. Other participants are invited to send their applications by May 15th 2018. All participants will receive a certificate of participation that describes the activities in which they have participated at the summer school.

Information :

1) Application and participation fees

To apply candidates should send their CV by e-mail to the address: politicalphilosophy@cas.uniri.hr

Organizers will reply within a week and inform the candidates whether they have been accepted as participants for Summer School “Equality and Citizenship”. Accepted candidates must pay 100 € / 750 HRK participation fee by June 10th, 2018 on the following account:

  • Account Holder: Filozofski fakultet u Rijeci, Sveučilišna avenija 4, 51000 Rijeka, Hrvatska / Croatia
  • Name of the Bank: Zagrebačka banka d.d. Zagreb, Paromlinska 2, 10000 Zagreb, Hrvatska / Croatia
  • SWIFT/BIC: ZABAHR2X
  • IBAN: HR9123600001101536455
  • “Za ljetnu školu političke filozofije” / for the Summer school of Political Philosophy
  • “Poziv na broj” / Reference Number: 0800010014

Organizers of the Summer school can cover scholarships for a limited number of participants, but a motivated request is needed.

1) Accommodation

Participants can book rooms in one of Rijeka’s Hostels , Hotels or Private Accomodation.

2) Further information

Useful information about the city of Rijeka can be found at: http://www.visitrijeka.eu/

If any further details are needed, please contact us at: politicalphilosophy@cas.uniri.hr

Updated information regarding the summer school will be available at the CAS SEE website.

Directors of the Summer school:

Prof Elvio Baccarini, University of Rijeka

Prof Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, University of Rijeka

Asst Prof Nebojša Zelič, University of Rijeka

Organization Board:

Dr Ivan Cerovac, University of Rijeka

Siba Harb, University of Leuven

Viktor Ivanković, CEU Budapest

Assoc Prof Luca Malatesti, University of Rijeka

Andrea Mešanović, University of Rijeka

Aleksandar Šušnjar, University of Rijeka


5 Years of CAS SEE at the University of Rijeka

Date: March 19, 2018

Venue: Aula Magna, University of Rijeka Rectorate

Address: Trg braće Mažuranića 10, HR-51000 Rijeka, Croatia

Center for Advanced Studies was established on March 13, 2013 at the University of Rijeka. In its five years long course of action, the Center is performing scientific and research activities in the fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, Architecture and Urbanism studies. It aims to assemble scientists from all over the world with an intention of pursuing scientific and applied research on contemporary subjects, particularly those of relevance for the region of Southeastern Europe. It also strives to create a framework of cooperation and exchange of internationally acknowledged research centers in the region and beyond. The goal of the Center is establishing excellence of regional research through supporting researchers and impeding (permanent) departures of academic workers („circulation and brain gain strategy“).

The Center organized and participated in various projects within Croatia and across Europe. Implementation of its activities includes guest lectures, round tables, debates, international conferences, summer schools, research projects and regular stipends for its postdoctoral fellows. In the past five years the Center hosted nearly 50 postdoctoral fellows and it is the only center of its kind both in Croatia and the region.

The Center is the lead project host of the Sweet & Salt Flagship within the Rijeka – European Capital of Culture 2020 program. Establishing and incubating the DeltaLab Laboratory for Urban Reinvention at the University of Rijeka is one of key program activities, including the seasonal Fashion Weeks – showcasing themes of the Sweet & Salt Flagship through various public lectures, exhibitions, round tables, performances, concerts, installations, bottom up actions and more, in the Sweet & Salt zone, leading up to 2020.

Through the collaboration with the Rijeka – European Capital of Culture 2020  and the Trieste – European City of Science 2020 projects, the Center is planning activities focusing on shared opportunities, fostering future cooperation and strengthening models between the two cities.

Program

11.30 – 11.45 Welcome Address Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Madam Rector, Director of CAS SEE
11.45 – 12.15 5th Anniversary in Numbers: CAS SEE Dr. Sanja Bojanić, Executive Director of CAS SEE
12.15 – 12.30 Cooperation: University of Rijeka – Trieste ESOF 2020 – Rijeka ECOC 2020 Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Madam Rector, Director of CAS SEE
12.30 – 13.30 Trieste ESOF 2020 Prof. Stefano Fantoni, President of Trieste International Foundation for the Progress and Freedom of Science
13.30 – 14.30 Lunch

Venue: Rectorate

Rijeka2020 – DeltaLab Venue: ex-IVEX

Address: Delta 5, HR-51000 Rijeka

15.00 – 16.00 Dialogues

 

Moderator:

Bernard Koludrović, Rijeka ECOC2020

Trieste ESOF2020

Rijeka ECOC2020

Prof. Stefano Fantoni, President of Trieste International Foundation for the Progress and Freedom of Science

Ms. Irena Kregar-Šegota, Development and Strategic Partnerships Director

Ms. Mara Anjoli Vujić, Culture Director

16.00 – 16.45 Presentation

 

Rijeka ECOC2020 – UNIRI Prof. Rajka Jurdana-Šepić, University of Rijeka, CCT Executive Board President

Prof. Idis Turato, Sweet & Salt Flagship Director and

Mr. Marko Luka Zubčić, Sweet & Salt Program Coordinator

Break
17.00 – 18.30 CAS SEE @DeltaLab Fellows and Associate Researchers Presentations

Moderator: Dr. Sanja Bojanić

Dr. Filip Milačić: „The Emergence of Identity Politics Cleavage and its Effect on Social Movements“

Dr. Nebojša Zelič: “Resource Curse and Duties Towards Immigrants”

Dr. Ivan Cerovac: „Elitism, Political Legitimacy and Plural Voting“


Spring 2018 CAS SEE Fellowship Recipients

The Center for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe (CAS SEE) was pleased to host the recipients of the Spring 2018 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards at the University of Rijeka, for the first working meeting. The purpose of the CAS SEE Fellowship Programme is to further the research and creative work in the fields of the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the Balkans. Fellows will present their work within the CAS Collegium, creating an intellectually heterogeneous atmosphere and fostering a productive self-examination or even friction, which may lead to new and unexpected ideas and innovation.

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

Filip Milacic (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany) – The emergence of identity politics cleavage and its effect on social movements

Tiziano Toracca (University of Perugia, Italy; University of Ghent, Belgium) – Metamorphosis of Labour. The Movement for a Basic Income in the Light of the Modern Paradigm of Labour

Francesca  Forlè  (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Italy) – Rythmòs in Acting Together. Reinforcing Joint Actions, Improving Stability, and Orienting Power Hierarchies

Daniela Brasil (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany) – Emancipatory Learning: New Schools and Artistic Platforms for Social Change

Polona Sitar (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) – Global Menstrual Movements as New Forms of Social Engagement

Barbara Turk Niskac (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) – “Life is all about work”: Growing Food as Lifestyle Politics

Pavao Zitko (University of Perugia, Italy) – Ultramodern Man as a State of Consciousness

RULES WITHOUT WORDS

An Interdisciplinary Seminar on Non-Verbal Normativity

Date and Venue: February 8, 2018 at Društvo arhitekata Rijeka (DAR)

Organization: CAS SEE & DAR

Non-verbal normativity surrounds us. In design and architecture practices, the visual communication and the built environment transmit rules and shape behaviour in a variety of, arguably, understudied ways. Signalization, political and lifestyle propaganda in various media, nudging images, technical drawings of city plans, ideologies articulated through architectural choices and propagated through artistic practices – are among the most prolific bearers of norms in the society.

This seminar gathers a number of Autumn 2017 CAS SEE Fellows investigating the non-verbal normativities in a variety of approaches and disciplines and the practitioners of design and architecture to open the discussion about the nature, relevance and effects of the “rules without words” in the contemporary normative landscape, where climate change is reframing the discussions on globalization, the illiberal governments are slowly and persistently changing the fundamentals of the discourse on governance and freedom, and the vast digital realm floods the international social life with innovations in social coordination as well as informational and affective strategies of uncontrollable quality and intent.


◌ PROGRAM ◌

17.00 | Olimpia Giuliana Loddo and Davide Pisu: The Architect’s Normative Drawings

17.30 | Carlo Burelli: Art, Power and Propaganda: Lessons from the Roman Empire

17.50 | Mónica Cano Abadía: The Non-Verbal Normativity of Gender Performativity

18.10 | Discussion

18.40 | Davide Pala: A Moral Framework for Assessing Hostile Architecture

19.00 | Milorad Kapetanović: Regulation of Informal Construction in Rijeka in the Anticipation of European Capital of Culture Rijeka

19.20 | Nataša Janković: Architectural terRI[s]tories: Mapping the Process of City Transformation.

19.40 | Gerrit Wegener: Johnnie meets Jackie in Rijeka. In between the lines of Normativity and Individuality

20.00 | Discussion

Olimpia Giuliana Loddo

How to understand the normative nature of a picture?

“Pictures have often been considered as means of representation or as forms of expression. However, an agent can use pictures for different goals (Mitchell, Nyíri) and more specifically, pictures can have a normative sense (Lorini).

The expression ‘normative sense’ is vague and it hides different possible meanings. In general, it is possible to use a picture to impose a norm (e.g. traffic signs, urban planning), in this case, some scholars talk about graphic rules or drawn norms (Moroni and Lorini, Maynard).

It is also possible to use a picture to translate a norm: this is a specific form of intersemiotic translation (Jakobson). The intersemiotic translation of rules can be a precious instrument of legal clarification: for instance, in contractual design. In this case, the normative picture is a partial or total visualisation of normative text (Haapio).

This paper aims to point out that the normative nature of the drawing reflects the intention behind the drawing activity or the attitude of the users of the drawings.

In fact, on the one hand, an agent can produce a picture or locate it in a particular place to create a new norm, in the matter in question, the activity of the drawer could be considered part of the procedure that leads to the creation of a norm.

On the other hand, an agent can produce a picture that refers to an existing norm. The production of a picture that represents an existing norm can have different functions that I will point out by analysing three different examples. The first example concerns the activity of a contract designer that can use the picture to clarify the clauses of a commercial contract (this can transform a contract into a valuable instrument of management). Moreover, a second example concerns an activist that can illustrate several norms to overcome the linguistic and technical barriers between the lawgiver and the potential norms’ addresses. The third case relates the activity of a painter that produces normative pictures to reinforce norms already valid in a community.

The different forms of normative visualisation can follow specific strategies. In general, there are at least three different strategies of norm visualisation: Pushmi-pullyu representations (i.e., in R. Millikan’s lexicon, forms of normative visualization that appeal to more primitive mechanisms of imitation); the representation of the unpleasant consequences of the norm violation; the creation of a system of symbolic graphic representations. The different, forms of norms visualisation can reflect and be influenced by the norm’s typology.

However, the different forms of norm visualisation do not reflect the relation between norms and pictures. In other words, in this presentation, I will show that it is impossible to understand the specific function a normative picture without analysing both the actual use of that picture and the social and historical context in which that picture is produced. The bare observation of a picture cannot reveal its specific normative nature.”


Olimpia G. Loddo earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law from the University of Milan in 2012 and cooperates as postdoctoral volunteer research assistant with the Department of Law of the University of Cagliari. She is assistant editor in “Argumenta. Italian Journal of Analytic Philosophy”. Her current research interests  include general theory of law, social ontology, customary law, philosophy of norms, deontic logic, phenomenology of law. She is the author of several articles published in (national and international) peer reviewed journals. Essays and translations (from English and German) by Olimpia Loddo have also been published in edited collections on phenomenology of law, anthropology of revenge, philosophy of images. She is co-editor (with Pier Luigi Lecis, Giuseppe Lorini, Vinicio Busacchi, and Pietro Salis) of the edited collection “Truth, Image and Normativity”. She edited (with Roberto Pusceddu) the book “Anancastico in Deontica” [The Anankastic in Deontics], LED, 2017 (auth. Giuseppe Lorini). She is the author of the book “Ideologie e concetti in azienda. Un’analisi filosofica degli usi aziendali” [Ideology and concepts in the Firm. A philosophical analysis of company customs], ESI, 2017.

Davide Pala

Experts, Good Citizens, Democratic Public Debates and Global Warming

“Among climate experts there is an overwhelming consensus that (i) global warming is occurring, that (ii) this fact is alarming and that (iii) humans are causally responsible for it. Despite this, 16% of American citizens deny that (i) global warming is occurring, 48% of them question (ii) its seriousness, and 50% think that (iii) human activity has no role in causing it (Anderson 2011). These discrepancies can be observed in many other countries as well.

In this talk I will provide a normative framework to assess the attitude of those citizens that, like American citizens, in democratic public debates concerning the elaboration of public policies, mistrust experts,  i.e.  trustworthy  epistemic  authorities,  in  regard  to  beliefs  that  are  justified and  almost undisputed within the scientific community. I will argue that this attitude is bad, because citizens that show it do not possess the virtue of the epistemic trust in trustworthy epistemic authorities (ETITEA), which is demanded by the non-exhaustive ideal of the good citizens publicly debating in democratic contexts. According  to  this  non-exhaustive  ideal,  as  a  necessary  but  not  sufficient condition,  in democratic public debates citizens trust trustworthy epistemic authorities as a way to respect themselves and each other as peers in circumstances of epistemic dependence. In more detail, I will show that the virtue of ETITEA is required by three ideas specifying the non-exhaustive ideal of the good citizens publicly debating in democratic contexts, i.e. (i) the idea of rational citizens, (ii) the idea of reasonable citizens, and (iii) the idea of responsible citizens.

First, ETITEA is demanded by the idea of rational citizens (i). Rational citizens normally want to believe justified beliefs. Moreover, they want to act successfully, and know that justified beliefs lead to successful actions more than unjustified beliefs. Yet rational citizens know that in most domains, i.e. all domains in which they are not experts, they do not have first-hand evidence justifying the related beliefs, and cannot even acquire the expertise necessary to understand either the evidence or the claims relative to the evidence. In the light of this, rational citizens dismiss the idea of epistemic independence as irrational, acknowledge their epistemic dependence, and show trust in trustworthy epistemic authorities and their claims. In this way they can rationally hold beliefs in domains in which they are not experts, successfully act on their basis, and show respect to themselves.

Second, ETITEA is required by the idea of reasonable citizens (ii). On the one hand, reasonable citizens respect a reciprocity constraint, therefore they restrain themselves from publicly advancing unjustified and highly sectarian beliefs, because they do not meet almost uncontroversial scientific standards and would not be endorsed by everyone. On the other, reasonable citizens accept, among the burdens of judgement, the fact of epistemic dependence on epistemic authorities as a condition that all citizens (more or less) equally share. Both features lead reasonable citizens to acknowledge the need of ETITEA as a way to respect each other as peers in circumstances of epistemic dependence.

Third, ETITEA is demanded by the idea of responsible citizens (iii). Responsible citizens do not want to unduly harm others and know that public policies based on unjustified beliefs likely harm others. Also, they are aware that they cannot autonomously shape justified beliefs in those domains in which they have no direct expertise. Responsible citizens, therefore, in public debates concerning the elaboration of public policies show trust in trustworthy epistemic authorities in those domains in which they are laypersons. This is a way to respect both co-citizens and citizens of other countries.

Having elaborated this normative framework, I will employ it to assess the public mistrusting attitude  showed,  within  democratic  contexts,  by  citizens  toward  those  trustworthy  epistemic authorities addressing global warming, and argue that it is bad because it shows a lack of rationality, reasonableness, and responsibility. Finally, I will outline some public and feasible strategies that should be used to modify this bad attitude.”


Davide Pala is a Post-doc Fellow at the CAS-SEE of Rijeka. Previously he was a Post-doc Fellow at the “Fondazione Burzio” of Turin and a PhD Student at the University of Turin, in the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society. He was Visiting Post-doc Fellow at the University of Frankfurt (Justitia Amplificata) and at the University of Manchester (Mancept). He works in the field of normative political theory applied to international issues. In particular, his research focuses on global justice, world poverty and economic inequalities. On the matter he wrote several articles focused on institutional cosmopolitanism, capability approach, legal positivism and nationalism. He is currently developing a normative republican account of world poverty.

CARLO BURELLI

The Pure Normativity of Realism

“In this paper, I investigate the question of whether realism can provide a substantive normative standard to evaluate institutions. While classical realists focus on the individual dimension of political actors and their freedoms and responsibilities, many contemporary realists adopt broadly liberal values for political institutions. Drawing from discussions about the realistic conception of politics, I defend a functional understanding of politics as selection and implementation of collective decisions within a social group. A functional normative standard can then be derived: political institutions are ‘good’ when they adequately perform this function, independently of their moral qualities, in the same way a ‘good soldier’ is someone who is good at fighting (its function), independently of whether he is a good man. This normative standard is independent from morality and internal to politics. If being a good man requires abstaining from violence, one cannot be a good man (in the moral sense) and a good soldier (in the functional sense), similarly to how Machiavelli claimed that a good Christian cannot be a good politician. Realists not only claim this independence of politics, but often also its priority. The political function is vital, because it is required to preserve the survival of the social group and its individuals. This is the ‘pure’ normative dimension of political realism, which takes priority – but not exclusivity – over other moral considerations, and is thus ‘the first virtue of political institutions’ because those which do not express it cannot sustain themselves through time.”


Carlo Burelli is a current CAS Fellow at the University of Rijeka, where he works on a realistic theory of order, as the first virtue of political institutions. Previously, he had a two year Post-Doc Fellowship in the ERC Project REScEU where he investigated political conflicts and realistic forms of solidarity. He received his PhD in 2015 from Università Statale di Milano defending the thesis: “The Normative Power of Necessity: Making Sense of Political Realism”. In 2014, he was a visiting PhD at the University of Cambridge under Raymond Geuss. He has written articles on Political Realism (Towards a Realistic Conception of Politics, 2017), Solidarity (Realistic Solidarity for the Real EU, 2016) and the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (Lex Facit Veritatem, 2015; Subjectivity is Objective, 2017). He is also the author of a short monograph on game theoretic interpretations of Hobbes’s “state of nature” (E fu lo Stato, 2010).