Vedran Dzihic

European Forum – Cres: Dialogue on Regional Cooperation in Western Balkans

24. 6. 2021., 11am – 5pm CET

Moise Palace, Cres

European Forum – Cres is a platform for encounters among researchers in science and art, experts, decision-makers, representatives of institutions, civil society and economy, students, young people and the interested public, with the aim of discussing global and regional priorities which have been inadequately addressed in relevant institutional and public spaces.

The first dialogue taking place in the context of European Forum – Cres is dedicated to the establishment of coordinates for a new approach to cooperation among researchers and societies of Western Balkans/South East Europe, as articulated in the principles of the Berlin process, as well as in the Zagreb Declaration. This discussion on the framework and forms of scientific, cultural and wider social cooperation between Croatia and Serbia, is the foundation of the open academic dialogue and a necessary precondition for the conception of European Forum – Cres.

The participants of the first meeting of the European Forum – Cres are: Erhard Busek (Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Vienna, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Austria, Special Coordinator for the Stability Pact for South East Europe, and honorary professor of University of Rijeka), Vedran Džihić (Institute for International Affairs, University of Vienna), Hedvig Morvai (Erste Fundation, Vienna),Snježana Prijić Samaržija (University of Rijeka), Tvrtko Jakovina (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb), Hrvoje Klasić (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb), Vesna Pusić (former First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia, member of parliament of Croatia), Rajko Grlić (University of Ohio), Bojan Glavašević (member of parliament of Croatia), Veran Matić (Samizdat, B-92, Belgrade), Ivan Vejvoda (Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, and Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade), Petar Bojanić (CAS SEE, University of Rijeka and Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade), Gazela Pudar Draško (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade) and Milivoj Bešlin (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade), Dražen Prelec (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan).

Values at Stake – SE Europe: A Normative Marketplace?

The region of Southeast Europe has been expected to progress almost linearly on the European and democratic path, accepting, implementing, and internalizing the democratic and liberal values that the European Union stands for. The EU was founded as the “greatest peace project of all time”. Its steady political and economic progress before the Great Recession of 2008 had attracted neighboring countries, especially those coming from post-communist and post-conflict zones, promising a realistically “utopian” horizon and the promise of a better, normal life.

In these times of obvious crisis for the European model in Southeast Europe, it is our message that a true transfer of European norms and values is possible only with a strong participatory democratic process that allows citizens to exchange opinions and construct shared definitions of the public good. We cannot have this process without creating society engaged in critical public debate where SEE citizens can socialize as active citizens and are treated as equal, responsible, and responsive towards their communities. This is the only path towards living as European citizens, no matter whether we live in the European Union or not. However, the first and the most important struggle in the region is for democracy of active citizens – a condicio sine qua non before we can talk at all about European values and any meaningful future of Southeast Europeans.

 

Featuring contributions by Gazela Pudar Draško, Vedran Džihić, Bojan Baća, Nilay Kilinç, and Senada Šelo Šabić, the most recent study in our “Academia in Dialogue” series investigates the idea of European values and their limits. The authors suggest a new “normative marketplace” is emerging, where the universality of EU norms and values such as democracy, human rights and freedoms, and the rule of law may be at stake. The paper aims to analyze this “new marketplace” and to engage in thinking about possible utopian horizons, which undoubtedly remain relevant beyond the current state of emergency.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://cas.uniri.hr/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Values-at-stake-pdf.pdf” title=”Values at stake pdf”]

 

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(Re)building Progressive Thought for Common Europeanness in Central Eastern & Southeastern Europe

The ERSTE Foundation and the Center of Advanced Studies Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka invite you to

(Re)building Progressive Thought for Common Europeanness in Central Eastern & Southeastern Europe”

A Round Table Discussion and Presentation of the Southeast European Institute (SEI) initiative

Date: May 8, 2019

Venue: ERSTE Foundation, Am Belvedere 1, Vienna

Time: 17.30 – 19.30 (followed by reception)


The region of Southeast Europe today has fallen to one of the least advanced in Europe and one of the world leaders of brain drain. Unsecure and anxious environment encourages emigration of reproductive and capable layers of the population. SEE thus loses everything from its demographic to its social and intellectual potential for progressive change, leaving it ever more lagging behind the developed parts of the world. This regression is not only a result of socio-economic hardship, clientelism and captured state. We argue that it is also very much a consequence of a conservative, provincial political culture that is prone to authoritarianism and collective (nationalistic) hysteria that has for too long taken root. Progressive, pro-European thought is largely scattered and isolated. But this hardship is not a fate, not unchangeable.

There is a need for alternatives, future horizons that can overcome the current status quo with engaging for more democracy and new productive togetherness. Building up on the success story of the first Center of Advanced Studies (CAS SEE) in the region based in Rijeka, a new initiative emerged for establishing the “Southeast European (University) Institute”. It is aimed at innovation and academic excellence while also fostering cooperation, cultural exchange and broad engagement between the countries of the Western Balkans and wider Eastern and Southeast European region.

Together with a group of bright minds and on the eve of Timothy Snyders speech for Europe powered by ERSTE Foundation we invite you to discuss the potential of the academia to engage progressive civic society and new movements in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. How to act together for democracy and common Europeanness is the key question of the event. We offer a powerful tool of Southeast European Institute as poignant factor of joint action towards this common goal.


AGENDA

Moderated by

Hedvig Morvai, ERSTE Foundation & Vedran Dzihic, Austrian Institute for International Affairs; CAS SEE

17.30 Greeting by Boris Marte, ERSTE Foundation & Erhard Busek, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe

17.45 A European issue: Progressive Thought and Academic Freedom in Eastern and Southeastern Europe on the Retreat?

Kick-off remarks by:

Kemal Nedzibovic, Europe-University, Flensburg

Bojan Baca, Ernst Mach Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for South East European Studies, University of Graz and University of Rijeka, CAS SEE

Nilay Kilinc, University of Surrey, UK and University of Rijeka, CAS SEE

followed by a round table discussion

18.45 Presentation of the Southeast European Institute initiative by CAS SEE

Snjezana Prijic-Samarzija, University Rijeka, CAS SEE

Sanja Bojanic University of Rijeka, CAS SEE

Gazela Pudar University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory

19.30 Reception


 

Fellows at the “TESTIMONY. POETRY. LANGUAGE.” Conference

The conference investigated the concept of testimony, notably war testimony, from different perspectives, i.e., literature, philosophy, sociology and political activism.

The first day of the conference and a roundtable on the third day were entirely devoted to the analysis of the holocaust poet Paul Celan through the contributions of Sue Vice, Pajari Räsänen, Matthew Boswell and Nina Čolović. A philosophical analysis of Celan’s poetry was provided by Petar Bojanić, while Bertrand Badiou was a key figure, providing testimony of Paul Celan’s poetry and biography.

The second day, with panels chaired by CAS Fellows Mónica Cano Abadía and Olimpia Loddo, focused on the role played by poetry in the testimony of the Yugoslav war. A first-hand testimony was offered by the Bosnian writer Asmir Kujović, while Lidija Dimkovska, a Macedonian writer based in Slovenia, paid a moving tribute to a long list of writers that are the voice of a post-Yugoslav languages. Andrijana Kos-Lajtman analyzed the influence of Dadaism on Manifest Mlade Bosne by Darko Cvijetić. Senadin Musabegović described the role played by poetry in testifying the real face of nationalism.

In the panel “Rhetoric, Politics and Poetry after Yugoslav Wars,” Jay Surdukowski showed how Radovan Karadžić used poetry to justify his war crimes. In her presentation To War or to Write, Elizabeta Šeleva described poetry as a means to redesign reality through the creation of an alternative “literary ought.” Goran Lazičić described the rhetoric and politics of testimony in the novels of the Serbian writers Svetislav Basara and David Albahari.

During the third day of the conference, with panels chaired by CAS Fellow Davide Pala, Olivera Marković-Savić showed the use and misuse of the term ‘veteran’ after the end of the Yugoslavian war, and she stressed the legal misrecognition of veterans by the Serbian state. Šeherzada Džafić talked about poetry focussing on war as a powerful form of both testimony and ethical learning, while Selma Zilić Šiljak presented the clash between dominant narratives of war and the horizontal and private accounts of it in Velika Kladuša.

In the first panel of the fourth and last day, chaired by CAS Fellow Mišo Kapetanović, Cornelia Grabner gave voice to the Movement for Peace in Mexico, while Robert von Hallberg focused on the relationship between testimony and poetry in the US. Danijela Majstorović shared her research on the construction of the Yugoslav new woman and the role of the Women’s Antifascist Front (AFŽ). Marzuq Al Halabi talked about Mahmoud Darwish, the prophet of the Palestinian revolution who created a bridge between Palestine and other international movements.

The last panel, chaired by Marco Abram (Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso), revolved around memorial sites in Rwanda (Matthew Boswell) and the role of women poets in the peace process in Colombia (Cherilyn Elston). Afterwards, Djurdja Trajković moderated a roundtable in which the role of poetry as a form of testimony was discussed. A poetry reading about conflicts in peripheral capitalism closed the conference.

After the conference, the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of Belgrade hosted one workshop and two lectures. The workshop consisted in a critical discussion of the important book “Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities” by Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein. Fourteen commentators highlighted different aspects of it, e.g., the relation between race and nation (e.g., Carlo Burelli, Davide Pala), on the one hand, and the link between race and gender, on the other hand (e.g., Mónica Cano Abadía). Djurdja Trajković closed the workshop by stressing the strict historical connections between nationalism, racism, and classism. The first lecture, given by Manuela Bojadžijev and entitled “Is (neo-)racism a form of violence of the past?”, provided a conceptualization of the distinctive features of racism and a great overview of the main literature analyzing racism from the 50’s onwards. The second lecture, given by Sanja Milutinović Bojanić and entitled “Rhetoric of Emancipation vs. Rhetoric of Misogyny”, showed the central traits of the rhetoric of both emancipation and misogyny and illustrated them through the analysis of several historical occurrences of both emancipation and misogyny.

– CAS SEE Fellows

“Race, Nation, Class’: Ambiguous Identities” international seminar with CAS SEE fellows

The coming year will mark three decades since the publication of Immanuel Wallerstein’s and Etienne Balibar’s seminal work Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities. The book, characterized by a specific ”dialogical” structure, has become influential in the study of racism and in the interdisciplinary school of cultural studies. The publication of the work was preceded by a series of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s debates at the Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris between 1985 and 1987. In the course of these encounters, the two authors developed the unique dialogical method, the ”practice-of-theory”, which consisted in the gradual elaboration and intertwining of the three fundamental concepts – race, nation and class – through simultaneous historical-empirical and theoretical analyses.

Wallerstein and Balibar formulate in this study a complex analysis of the roles that the classificatory schemes of race, nation and class played in the process of the genesis and global spreading of capitalism, above all their role in legitimizing the extreme social inequalities that capitalism produces and deepens. Upon the analysis, the authors’ central theoretical claim is that one can identify fissures, ruptures and contradictions in the fabric of the conceptual and empirical inter-imbrication of the three categories, suggesting that any strategy of resistance to forms of social domination grounded in the race-nation-class nexus must identify and exploit these contradictions. The authors finally draw our attention to the fact that the race-nation-class constellation is constantly being reinforced in global capitalism, which also requires constant reflection about new strategies of resistance.

The seminar at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory aims to comprehensively reflect on the relevance and heuristic value of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s study for the present day. Within its temporal limits, the seminar will try to employ the ”practice-of-theory” method of the book in its analysis and attempts at re-actualization. The participants are invited to engage in forms of critical reconstruction, either of particular aspects of the book or its whole, and to explore avenues for the possible application of Wallerstein’s and Balibar’s perspective in analyzing manifold ways in which the fundamental categories of race, class and nation are (individually or synthetically) today used to legitimize or challenge capitalism, globally as well as in the region of former Yugoslavia.

Time: December 18th 2017 at 14:30

Venue: Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (address: Kraljice Natalije 45, 4th Floor)

Program

14:30 – 14:40  | Welcome Word – Petar Bojanić (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

14:40 – 15:00  | Introductory Remarks – Manuela Bojadžijev (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Berliner Institut für empirische Integrations-und Migrationsforschung, BIM)

15:00 – 15:20  | Regional Reception – Marjan Ivković i Djurdja Trajković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

15:20 – 15:35  | Coffee break

15:40 – 19:00  | Reflections on the Book

Participants

Rastko Močnik (University of Ljubljana and Faculty for Media and Communication, Singidunum University, Slovenia and Serbia), Gordan Maslov (Center for Social and Humanities Research, Croatia), Valida Repovac Nikšić (Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Nataša Sardžoska (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Vedran Džihić (University of Vienna, Austria; Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Petar Bojanić (IFDT), Marjan Ivković (IFDT), Srdjan Prodanović (IFDT), Djurdja Trajković (IFDT), Jelena Vasiljević (IFDT), Adriana Zaharijević (IFDT), Carlo Burelli (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Mónica Cano (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia), Davide Pala (Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe at the University of Rijeka, Croatia)

Organizing Committee

Petar Bojanić (Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy; Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

Djurdja Trajković (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade)

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

Partners

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Center for Advanced Studies of Southeastern Europe (CAS SEE), University of Rijeka

Support

Seminar is supported by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKV), Berlin

Back to the future – Livable life between nostalgia and utopia

As hundreds of representatives of civil society from Western Balkan countries assembled in Trieste for the Civil Society Forum, CAS co-organized a kick-off event which included the screening of the documentary “Trieste, Yugoslavia” and a lively debate themed “Back to the future – Livable life between nostalgia and utopia”. Introduced by Franz Karl Prueller of the ERSTE Foundation and Branka Panić from the European Fund for the Balkans, the event took place in the Revoltella Museum Gallery of Modern Art. CAS directors, staff, and fellows welcomed the diverse audience, which included civil society representatives from the region, academics and various local actors.

CAS’s choice of the documentary “Trieste, Yugoslavia” by Alessio Bozzer to open the discussions took advantage of the Forum’s special location in a city with an urban history closely intertwined with that of the Western Balkans. The documentary explored the particularly important role of Trieste for many Yugoslav citizens who traveled there during socialist time to buy goods, as the first city across a border which gradually became more open and more porous, rather unique in the overall context of the Cold War. The film pondered upon practices of border crossings and aspirations of shoppers and sellers alike. It touched upon the diverse experiences of people coming from republics close and far, to buy jeans or coffee, by car, train, or packed buses, creative strategies of coping with border regulations, while also mentioning the underlying tensions and discriminatory tones existing the host city regarding the visitors from the nearby country, with their alterity derived from ethnicity-based  stereotypes – with a longer history than the film alludes- and the ideological representations of a Cold War border. Ending abruptly with the scenes of emptied streets and stalls while wars descend upon former Yugoslavia and borders close, the film prompted a debate which shifted from nostalgia to utopia, perceptions from within the former Yugoslavia and the outer region, and musings of perspectives for freedom, equality and solidarity in the region.

 

The debate „Back to the future – Livable life between nostalgia and utopia” was moderated by CAS’s Vedran Džihić and featured special guest, Rade Šerbedžija, CAS SEE Honorary Fellow, Professor Emeritus at the University of Rijeka, who also appeared in the documentary. Vedran Džihić asked the panel, which also included Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Chancellor, University of Rijeka, Marek Szilvasi, CAS SEE Fellow and Gruia Bădescu, CAS SEE Fellow, to spontaneously reflect on three concepts that relate both to the film and the challenges and opportunities of civil society in the Western Balkans: nostalgia for the past, utopias for the future, and the meaning of freedom in the contemporary context.  The panel participants first approached the film from their positionality: Snježana Prijić-Samaržija and Rade Šerbedžija as citizens of former Yugoslavia for whom both trips to Trieste and the discontinuities of the 1990s triggered memories and emotional reflections,  Marek Szilvasi and Gruia Bădescu as growing up in other socialist societies – Czechoslovakia and Romania, respectively- for which borders were distinctively rigid and for which Yugoslavia, with its open borders and closeness to the West exerted a particular fascination. The two CAS fellows also discussed the tensions that emerge from the film regarding material aspirations and disparities, ideological clashes, as well as in the difference between accounts of celebrated intellectuals and artists, and the anonymized shopper, who becomes a mere “witness” in the account of the film.

These tensions between whose stories, whose narratives, and whose nostalgia were to be discussed emerged throughout the debate. While common tropes of urban versus rural, kulturni and nekulturni ljudi, appeared as explanatory frameworks of 1990s events, Bădescu pointed out from his research in Sarajevo how nostalgias for a cosmopolitan past could also lead to different forms of exclusion of newcomers, burning possible bridges and utopias for what Hanna Arendt called a “world in common”.  Arendt was frequently mentioned by panelists, with Džihić inquiring about freedom from the perspective of both Arendt and material relations. Both Bădescu and Szilvasi addressed the question of freedom from its relationship to human dignity, equality and solidarity. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija brought forward the role of CAS as an institution which embodies the aspiration to research both issues surrounding the past as well as potentialities and utopias at the scale of Southeastern Europe. All throughout, Rade Šerbedžija’s interventions captured the lived experience of the events evoked in the film, nostalgia and exile, sublimated in creative acts, which included two live performances on stage of his songs. They included “Second Call”, which was translated in English and read by CAS Fellow Nataša Sardžoska. His second act, Djevojka iz moga kraja closed the debate, which was followed by a reception and a tour of the exhibit of the Revoltella Museum Gallery of Modern Art. The Civil Society Forum started the following morning, with Trieste again a stage of diverse people and perspectives from the Western Balkans.

 

Civil Society Forum Trieste of the Western Balkans Summit Series

Screening of the documentary “Trieste, Yugoslavia”

Date: Monday, July 10, 2017

Venue: Revoltella Museum Gallery of Modern Art, Via Armando Diaz 27, Trieste


18.00 – 18.30 | Welcome speech

Franz Karl Prueller, ERSTE Foundation

Branka Panic, European Fund for the Balkans

18.30 – 20.30 | Screening of the documentary movie: “Trieste, Yugoslavia”

Discussion: „Back to the future – Livable life between nostalgia and utopia“; organized in cooperation with Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe (CAS SEE), University of Rijeka

Special guest: Rade Serbedzija, CAS SEE Honorary Fellow, Professor Emeritus at the University of Rijeka

Speakers:

Snjezana Prijic-Samarzija, Chancellor, University of Rijeka

Gruia Bădescu, CAS SEE Fellow, University of Rijeka

Marek Szilvasi, CAS SEE Fellow, University of Rijeka

Mateja Kurir, CAS SEE Fellow, University of Rijeka

Gregor Moder, CAS SEE Fellow, University of Rijeka

Marija Ott Franolic, CAS SEE Fellow, University of Rijeka

Natasha Sardzoska, CAS SEE Fellow, University of Rijeka

Moderator:

Vedran Dzihic, Austrian Institute for International Affairs, Vienna; CAS SEE, University of Rijeka


20.30 – 21.30 | Dinner Reception at the Revoltella Museum Gallery of Modern Art

Aktionstage: Refugees – Migration – Democracy

The first panel of the Aktionstage: Refugees – Migration – Democracy Symposium held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, entitled (Not) Learning from history, part I: Yugoslav refugee crisis – how Europe dealt with it from left to right, moderated by Vedran Džihić (CAS SEE, University of Rijeka, oiip, Vienna) included the presentations of Zoran Slavinić (REMESO, Linköping University), Branka Likić-­Brborić (REMESO, Linköping University) and Melita H. Sunjic (UNHCR, Vienna) that engaged both listeners and speakers in debates on the changing nature of European democracy in the midst of the ongoing refugee crisis.

The second panel, (Not) Learning from history, part II: Integration and democracy from left to right, moderated by Sanja Bojanić (CAS SEE, University of Rijeka) delt with the nature of the contemporary demos. The panel provided experts from various disciplines: Ilker Ataç (University of Vienna), Gudrun Biffl (Danube University Krems), Holly Case (IWM, Brown University) and Li Bennich-­Björkman (Department of Government, Uppsala University) with the opportunity to offer sensible and culturally diverse outlooks on political participation, contribution and agency. Their explorations of the topics of political optimism, institutional control and emotional engagement provided a fascinating basis for further discussions about the proper response to the refugee crisis.

The third panel, Demos – Who belongs to the political community? moderated by Gerd Valchars (Initiative Minderheiten, Vienna) included presentations of Hedvig Morvai (European Fund for the Balkans, Belgrade), Katharine Sarikakis (University of Vienna) and Snježana Prijić-­Samaržija (CAS SEE, University of Rijeka).

Snjezana Prijic-Samarzija

At the conference, the co-director of the Center for Advanced Studies SEE, professor Snježana Prijić-Samaržija presented her answer to the problem of belonging to a political community. Prijić-Samaržija’s presentation approached the issue of migration from an institutional perspective, questioning the legitimacy of someone’s right to impose limits on the freedom of movement. Throughout the speech, she explored the legitimacy of unilateral prohibitive decisions made by particular states and the implications of their unsustainable one-dimensionality, juxtaposing them with the notion of migration as a basic human right. Should we choose to view the right to seek better political and economic conditions as a manifestation of contemporary social mobility, we would need to address the option that nobody can legitimately limit the movement of others. Striving to reach a balanced conclusion, Prijić-Samaržija proposed delegating the issue of migrations to international institutions capable of adjusting the subjective interests of particular states to the interests of migrants. Relating to the broader topic of the conference, she emphasized the necessary hierarchy of urgency between the migration of genuine refugees, low-skilled workers escaping poverty and high-skilled experts seeking better payment. Her presentation incited many responses from the audience, leading to a discussion about the nature of credible international institutions and the danger of excessive euro centrism.

What is Left in Diversity and what is Diverse in Left?

The panel discussion: “What is Left in Diversity and what is Diverse in Left?” was the last event of the CAS SEE “Rethinking Politics of Diversity” Rijeka summer school and was held at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Rijeka) on Friday, September 16th, 2016.

The discussion was led by Felix Henkel (FES Regional Office, Sarajevo), Athena Athanasiou (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens) , Adriana Zaharijevic (IFDT), Vuk Prica (Chair of the Youth Council, SDP, Primorje – Gorski Kotar County), Vedran Dzihic (CAS SEE) and moderated by Sanja Bojanic (CAS SEE).