Abstracts (deutsch/English)



Fethel Acikel (University of Ankara, Turkey)
Revolution and Reproduction: or How Revolutionary Elites Contribute to Institutional Path-Dependence in the World-System

Not always wrongly though, the idea of revolution leads us to think of socio-political processes in terms of radical systemic shifts and ruptures which often deserve to be considered as turning-points in history. A revolution by definition is a radical process in which old social forces and institutions were challenged and eventually replaced by the new ones, a process which also introduces a new generation of political elites into the scene. In that sense a revolution is also a process in which the matrix of elite formation is heavily influenced not only in terms of social backgrounds of political figures but also in terms of their Weltanschauungs, strategies and institutional priorities. However despite emphases on this side of revolutions, the thing that needs remembering is that such breaks do not take place in totally isolated terrains and under totally improvised conditions. This paper will point out the fact that neither revolutionary elite’s repertoire of revolutionary strategies, nor their objectives of post-revolutionary institutional restructuring can be understood without a reference to the world system; a system in the broadest sense of the term comprises not only various sets of economic relations, but also political elite’s lexicon of revolutionary strategies and institutional reforms. This also suggests that revolutionary elites are not exempt from being influenced by past experiences, institutional models and current global waves. Although revolutions can by no means be reduced to elite-led social processes, and cannot be explained without the role of classes, i.e. peasantry, working class or bourgeoisie, in the reproduction of institutions the role of elites and their social capital is obvious: a capital which is formed in constant interaction with intellectual and political currents in the world-system. My paper, departing from the Ottoman-Turkish context, will try to understand how revolutionary elites adopt certain institutional models, and by doing so eventually reproduce certain models in the world-system in their own contexts. My paper will also try to produce some comparative evidence from other societies to show how revolutionary elites contribute to model-dependence.


Mark Alizart (Centre Pompidou, Paris, France)
Fresh French Theory on Revolution (since Althusser, Deleuze and Derrida)

In september 2005, Editions Léo Scheer published in France a book called Fresh Théorie. This book, gathering 35 young intellectuals, aimed to refresh what is now known as « French Theory » : mainly post-structuralist french intellectual thought of the sixties and the seventies. As everyone knows, an essential part of the works of Deleuze and Guattari, Lyotard and Derrida was driven by the desire to make an alternative revolution to the socialist one finally possible. Although it is all too clear that, thirty years after Mai 68, no fundamental political change has happened, I'll try to show, running through Fresh Théorie, that french philosophy is still concerned with the possibility of revolution, and that authors like Rancière, Badiou, still Deleuze or even, strangely enough, Hegel, inspire a new generation to pursue the heritage of French Theory into present times.

Kamila Bialy (University of Lodz)
Changes in European Higher Education - - is it really a Revolution or a New Face of Neoliberal Status Quo?
Empirical Illustration of Marketing Practices of Academic Institutions in Poland


The modern concept of Humboldtian university is claimed to become increasingly obsolete for a knowledge society. The academic values, cultivated from the Ancient Greek times, have throughout ages subordinated technical skills to the pure science. Whereas in today’s world the applied science is considered indispensable for the socio-economic progress. The shift from the Humboldtian notion of the university to one that operates under market pressures seems to many scholars to be conveying revolutionary ideas, beneficial realizations of which in terms of socio-economic betterment of Europe we shall not waste. Such approach is based on the assumption of a coexistence between ethical and intellectual values, such as truth, ethics, authority, autonomy, the freedom of research and teaching, critical potential, scientific risk and economic and technological values, such as utility, efficiency, calculation, accountability. In addition, almost all academic praxis is based on the tacit consent of the reconciliation between these values and the irreversible course of the global revolution.
In the shift I see, contrary to supporters of the coincidentia oppositorum, a disproportion between ethical and intellectual values and economic and technological values. The disproportion may throw up major problems for building up a knowledge society and its knowledge class converting the apparent revolution into its opposite, that is a devolution. The processes of marketization and commodification of organizations in general and of higher education institutions in particular have in my opinion no revolutionary qualities as they are a mere institutional extension of a dominating neoliberal ideology. By this ideology I mean the emancipation project of all human beings based on the unlimited capacities of science and technology and the corresponding rules of free market global economy, which are supposed to facilitate their unrestricted development. All that considered, the marketization of higher eduation might be seen as a mimetic not revolutionary process that plays an ideological function in maintaining status quo by submitting all academic activity for calculation and accountability. Analysis of the processes of marketization and commodification of academic institutions can illuminate that the realization of certain values may be made impossible although it is publically declared as possible. The colonization of discourse by promotion in these organizations, considered as one dimension of the institutional transformations in higher education, may in particular, given the very nature of promotion and advertising, weaken the Humboldtian university values leading to shifting authority relations and shifts in self-identity within higher education institutions. These processes may in turn have detrimental effects on the revolution and its gains.

Abdelilah Bouasria (American University Washington, USA)
Sufism as a Revolutionary Discourse in Morocco?

This paper will analyze the rise of the Sufi mystical discourse in Morocco and the consequences of such a change in the regime's religious policy. Some analysts are optimistic when they look at the transformative potential of mysticism in Morocco as a counterstrategy facing the rise of terrorist Islam. Other analysts see this master-disciple dynamic as far from the revolutionary path (Abdullah Hammoudi)and even see in it a prospect for a counter-reformation (Mark Sedgwick). Traditionalists answer these charges by putting the locus of transformation within the self rather than the community. The paper claims that the Sufi discourse carries its transformative potential but there are certain gray areas where its resilience toward revolutinary paths is clear.


Laura Branciforte(University Carlos III Madrid, Spain)
The Evolution of the International Solidarity Concept

The aim of this work is to address the concept of “International Solidarity; the evolution of its revolutionary origins, starting from the Socialist political movement, which coined the term “internationalism”. Socialism impelled the birth of many international organizations, characterized by a pacifistic yet revolutionary aspect. Therefore it would be interesting to analize two important International aid organizations: the Socialist Workers International Aid (SOI), and International Red Aid, (S. R.I.), because of their crucial role as an active and connecting network during the 1920’s and 1930s’. Furthermore, it would be interesting to consider which forms the internationalist vocation has taken in the process of its evolution since the key date of 1989, when it seemed that the internationalist impulse had expired as an exclusive matter of its native environment, socialism. Nevertheless, the last fifteen years of the 20th century and the beginnings of the 21st, against all expectations, have witnessed the changeof the internationalism line to a new and different flourishing of internationalist solidarity. This is manifested in two different revolutionary models which are at odds with each other: the political left on one hand, which promotes a “globalization of solidarity” and the anti-globalization movements on the other hand, which advance the opposite notion of a “another globalization." The purpose will be therefore to demonstrate in which forms, more or less revolutionary, the concept of solidarity has evolved and survived, preserving the positive aspects of internationalism.


Viola Brisolin (University College London/UK)
Literature ‚in the Line of Fire'. Subversive Aesthetics in Barthes and Pasolini

This paper proposes to explore a few aspects of the relationship between literature and subversion. In particular, it will be considered how the notions of ‘engaged literature’ and ‘commitment’ were put to the test, challenged and reformulated in the context of the radical social changes that took place in the aftermath of the Second World War by looking at some works of Roland Barthes and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
One of the main concerns informing the reflection on the literary practice for both Pasolini and Barthes, was how to avoid assimilation into the system of institutionalised discourses – into the statu quo of the literary institution and the status quo tout court – and how to avoid being instrumental(ised) to/by the power in place. The search for a way in which the critical, etico-political dimension of writing (or of any other artistic media) could be held uncompromisingly hors-pouvoir, led them to consider the functioning of the mechanisms underlying the processes of manipulative integration, their ramifications and their dangers. The awareness that every act of subversion, every ‘infraction of the Code’ quickly crystallises in a new doxa and/or is swiftly recuperated for the general consumption and thus neutralised led them to rethink the notion of responsibility as related to the literary practice. Some aspects of this problematic rethinking, as staged and theorised in their works, will be considered, and their relevance in the present day context will be interrogated. In particular, as we live in an age of production of mass narratives, where the proliferation and circulation of discourses have reached unprecedented dimensions, and their mutual hybridisation is facilitated by their constant mediatic contact, it will be asked if and how literary writing can still be endowed with a distinguishable specificity and be a privileged site for the production of a critical discourse whose unsettling force is inexhaustible.


Taras Butchenko (Zaporozhye National University, Ukraine)
Discourse and Practice of Revolutionary Actions in Modern Ukraine

The events of public life in Ukraine make the question "How to differ revolutionary transformations from other forms of social practice?" very important. To answer it, we shall analyze discourse and practice of revolutionary actions.
Modern Ukrainian social-political discourse is very diverse. It includes opposite ways of communications, systems of values and beliefs. The special version of social-political discourse was formed on the eve of civil excitements in October - November 2004. It has predetermined to a considerable degree a revolutionary character of the political regime change. This "revolutionary" discourse was the product of contradictory interaction between the oligarchy and democratic tendencies of social-political development of Ukraine.
The political revolution has opened new perspectives for social development. At the same time there is an opportunity of counter-revolution. The democratic forces have won with insignificant advantages. The reason is absence of consent about fundamental democratic values in the society.
It is necessary to change the structure of social-political discourse for ensuring stability and irreversibility of democratic changes in Ukraine. Critical reflection of the conceptual bases of democracy is an obligatory condition of this process. The discussion between John Rawls and Jurgen Habermas about the modern contents of the social contract idea can help to solve this problem. Besides it is necessary to define and to take into account special national-cultural conditions of the public consent achievement concerning democratic values. All this makes the perspective of social theory development in Ukraine.


Philipp Casula (Universität Magdeburg)
Discourses on Democracy and the Nation in Russia. An Alternative Interpretation of the "Democratic Revolution"

Abstract The "revolutionary" defeat of the state-socialist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s triggered two reactions in the West: Firstly, strong astonishment, since these regimes were seen as pretty stable; secondly, they contributed to a marked sense of euphoria and "endism": the human historical process was supposed to lead to the highest form of society, governed by democracy and capitalism. But only ten years after the hypothesis of the "End of History" and of a transition to "bourgeois democracy" had been advanced by Fukuyama, Thomas Carothers had to declare the "End of the Transition Paradigm", without any Transition being "completed". In many cases, it seemed simply inappropriate to speak of a "Democratic Revolution". Russia is a case in point. Many Western observers are helpless when it comes to explain the problem-burden democratization in Russia: stuck in old concepts they follow the politics of the day without analytically grasping the "grey zone" between democracy and authoritarianism, which emerged in the country. Following a "new political sociology", alternative interpretations are available: the question why democratization in Russia slowed down and a democratically underdeveloped system stabilises could be tackled adopting a discourse analytic approach. An analysis of Russian discourses on democracy and the nation from the perspective of post-Marxist theory of hegemony (Laclau/Mouffe) could reveal the actual potential for democracy in Russia and test the proposition that the hegemonic understanding of the Russian nation contributes to an illiberal interpretation of democracy.


Michel Chevalier (target: autonopop, Hamburg, Germany)
The Art-Market as a Testing-Ground for the Architects of Reaction and Restoration

In this talk, the author argues that the art world deserves the attention of activists because it is, in its hard-to-decrypt way, a testing ground for the neoliberal agenda and for what its agents consider "do-able" in the realm of cooptation and neutralisation. Because it is such a hermetic field, it also allows us to glimpse an extremely unguarded moment of dominant-fraction thought and feeling. In this age of "leveraging," collectors like (Margaret Thatcher PR-whiz) Charles Saatchi and (oil-magnate and FDP-campaigner) Harald Falkenberg are getting more than just decoration for their estates. Wittingly or not, artists, writers, and (publicly-bankrolled) museum directors are becoming organic intellectuals at the beck and call of their illustrious benefactors. The parallels between developments in the art world since 1974 and the advent of neoliberalism will also be discussed (as will actors who play on both fields: Hilton Kramer, for example). Time to reevaluate the charitable attitude activists take towards artists (symptomatic of what Bourdieu calls "la bonne volonté culturelle"—see the parachuting of a Hans-Ulrich Obrist project at the World Social Forum)? Time to think about how the edifice is cracking and how alternatives have been emerging outside of the limelight!


Steven Corcoran (Berlin, University of South Wales, Australia)
Logics of Political Transformation

Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière, despite articulating similar conceptions of the singular universal, ultimately propose two very different logics of political transformation, both of which attempt to come to terms with the legacy of the idea of revolution in an age where the communist promise of the dissolution of the State has become immured in contradictions. Badiou's logic of such a singular universal follows from a logic of the event, that is, a punctual, cutting intervention which induces a political subject, who maintains a fidelity to it through actively drawing out its implications. Rancière, on the other hand, offers a notion of the political subject not as something that is inscribed in a universalist project stemming from an event, but as a much more diffuse, less punctual alteration in what he calls the partition of the perceptible. Where both thinkers converge is around a notion of politics as something that always involves a radical egalitarianism that produces division or dissensus and not consensus (since when has radical egalitarian political transformation not been oppositional?). Where they diverge is on what is meant by politics and how political intervention works to transform the world in which we live. So, I will take up these logics, which each in their own way attempt to rearticulate a logic of communist politics, in order to explore, not only their points of divergence, but, more importantly, if and how they break with the pervasive logic of deferral that prevails in leftist thinking today.

Thomas Ernst (Universität Trier)
Subversion der Subversion. Subversive Konzepte in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsprosa

In meinem Dissertationsprojekt über "Subversive Konzepte in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsprosa" habe ich die Frage untersucht, auf welche Weise auch angesichts wirkungsmächtiger Diskurse, die das "Ende der Geschichte", das "Ende der Gutenberg-Galaxis" und das "Ende der Intellektuellen" behaupten, Prosatexte noch subversive Kräfte zu entwickeln versuchen. Die Arbeit bezieht sich auf den Begriff der "Subversion", weil sie damit vier verschiedene Konzepte zur Gesellschaftsveränderung erfassen kann, die sich historisch entwickelt und nebeneinander gestellt haben: Politisch-revolutionäre, künstlerisch-avantgardistische, minoritär-emanzipatorische und dekonstruktivistische Subversion. Vor diesem Hintergrund werden exemplarisch vier Felder der Gegenwartsliteratur und ihre Texte auf ihre sprachliche und stilistische Gestalt, die von ihnen genutzten und (re)arrangierten Topoi und vor allem auf die Frage hin untersucht, auf welche Weise subversive Theoreme, Figuren und Geschichten in ihnen verhandelt werden. Bei den vier Feldern handelt es sich um die Popliteratur und Thomas Meinecke, die minoritäre Literatur und Feridun Zaimoglu, die Untergrundliteratur des Social Beat und die satirische Literatur der Neuen Frankfurter Schule. Der Vortrag soll einige der wichtigsten Thesen des Projekts präsentieren, insbesondere jene, die sich auf die Verhandlung "revolutionärer Ideen" in der Gegenwart beziehen. Im Zentrum wird dabei die Figur der "Subversion der Subversion" stehen: Die Texte, ihre Erzähler und Protagonisten kommentieren, ironisieren und subvertieren immer wieder und auf verschiedene Weisen ihre eigene Bedeutung und Autorität. Gerade innerhalb dieser Relativierung präsentieren die Texte jedoch vereinzelte politische Botschaften. Dieses Verfahren stellt sich diametral gegen den klassischen Begriff politisch-revolutionärer Subversion, der sich affirmativ auf eine wahre Teleologie beruft. Weitere Informationen unter http://www.thomasernst.net/wissenschaft oder …/dissertation.


Peter Funke (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Late Capitalism and the World Social Forum: Re-Making of the 21st Century Global "Working Class"?

This paper explores the emergence, development, and trajectory of the World Social Forum(s) in order to better understand the form and strategy that social movement resistance is taking at the beginning of 21st century. As such, the paper examines the functioning of the forum process as a novel mechanism for potentially forging ‘glocal’ class consciousness for the ‘re-making of the 21st century working class’. The World Social Forum process is investigated as a multi-scalar ‘convergence space’ (Routledge) in its relation to the ongoing shifts towards post-Fordist capitalism.
Based on autonomist Marxism (Negri, Cleaver) and Marx’s distinction between ‘class in itself’ and ‘class for itself’, the paper critically engages the contemporary approaches to (new) social movements and contentious politics. In particular, their emphasis on identity politics and their shunning of the central importance of the socio-economic structure of post-Fordist capitalism, in which class is merely one in a series of semiotically produced identities (Melucci, Laclau/Mouffe), shall be analyzed.
The paper argues that post-Fordism is accompanied and driven by novel modes of resistance, which re-appropriate capitalism’s infrastructural matrix. In particular the novel information/communication technologies are employed in unique ways to organize and mobilize and in order to connect resistances and circulate the various and diverse struggles to ever wider constituencies. In this process, the social forum process is a crucial multi-scalar and transformational convergence-space that plays a key role in this re-composition and could play a central role in the re-making of the 21st century working class and class-based politics.
The concluding section of the paper takes a critical view on the World Social Forum process, asking whether their understanding of ‘revolutionary practice’, which is to be found not so much in outcomes but in processes of prefigurative, non-hierarchical and radical participatory democracy, holds the possibility for the creation of ‘another world’.



Jurij Halajko (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland)
Genesis and Aesthetics of Ukrainian Orange Revolution

Genesis and Aesthetics of Ukrainian Orange Revolution In this presentation several issues are going to be referred to. Firstly, I will examine what were the origins of the Orange Revolution, what were its causes, and what is the place of Ukrainian revolution in the context of previous and following "velvet" or "colour" revolutions. Secondly, I will look at the Orange Revolution from a more theoretical perspective, hence I will try to answer the question how far are we justified in calling the events following the second round of Ukrainian presidential elections of 2004 a revolution (was it a revolution or some other social and political phenomenon?)? Thirdly, I will concentrate on strategies, means and main actors of the Orange Revolution. Finally, I would like to show the role of the revolutionary culture and "carnival" aesthetics (especially for mobilization and peaceful protest, propaganda and counterpropaganda), as well as of symbolic interactions in political actions during the Orange Revolution. In this part I will also make attempt to present the cultural consequences of the Ukrainian revolution (during the election campaign and the following revolution Ukraine's cultural divisions became more evident as people with Ukrainian cultural identity supported the revolution, while those with a post-Soviet one opposed it). At the end, it would be interesting to trace how the Orange Revolution (along with its rhetoric as well as aesthetics) had been turned into political and commercial "brand", how it was appropriated by certain political forces and is used in their current political discourse.

Steffen Hantke (Sogang University, South Korea)
The Imagery of Revolution in Recent Blockbuster Films

The administration of George W. Bush, currently in its sixths year, has spawned a number of films that respond with unusual immediacy to the political issues of the day. Many of them are openly propagandistic in their opposition to the agenda of this administration. While more highbrow films like George Clooney’s recent Goodnight and Good Luck (2005) attempt to delineate political survival under an oppressive regime with some degree of subtlety, large-scale actions blockbusters like Michael Bay’s The Island (2005) and James McTeigue’s V for Vendetta (2006) mobilize an imagery they have inherited from cinematic classics like Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and October or Lang’s Metropolis. Like their antecedents, these films are painting--in broad strokes that have often lead to their political dismissal as simplistic, adolescent entertainment--fantasies of massive uprisings against tyranny and have thus brought back the theme of revolution to commercial filmmaking.
Initiating the current cycle has been The Matrix in 1999, as well as a number of less commercially yet equally populist science fiction and action films (Dark City (1998), The Thirteenth Floor (1999)). The more recent films, however, have abandoned the broader focus of the imagery of revolution on anti-corporate and consumerist issues, and have instead adapted this imagery, more specifically, to themes like the Bush administration’s own “War on Terror” or concepts originating from its opposition, such as the corporate takeover of politics or the state as origin of terrorism. An analysis of this imagery in recent popular films, as well as the critical response and discussion surrounding them, is the focus of this paper.


Stephen Ibbotson (University of Münster, Germany)
The "I" of Revolutionary Discourse

Revolution is normally defined as involving a significant and fundamental change in the dominant culture of a system. Depending on the perspective of the observer it can be viewed either as a necessary realignment; a natural transformation; or as senseless chaos. Etymologically this term is nearer in meaning to cyclic development and thus can be seen as re-evolution. Interestingly enough this sense of revolution is supported by systems-theoretical category of the position of re-entry into the system. All this seems to underline the interpretation of revolution as a necessary process. Revolution is then a dialectical process which is founded in discourse. The generator of revolutionary discourse, and all other forms of discourse, is the discursive agent represented by “I”. Naturally, discourse requires the dyadic alter ego “you” as a complementary agent in order to exist. “We” form alliances that contend with other alliances creating the conflict of “US” and “THEM”. The “I” has a particular relevance in these conflicts depending on his/her status within the discursive system. The “I” as a representative of “WE” has a heightened status and has the hegemonial power to determine the framing boundaries of the discourse. When, however, a new “I” emerges out the discourse, then the nature of this discourse can be revolutionised. In this lecture the intra-personal, inter-subjective and meta-subjective dimensions of discourse will be examined using theoretical foundations provided by S. Freud, R. Harré, I. Burkitt, as well as the social theoreticians J. E. Côté and C. G. Levine.


Anil Jain (München)
Ankerpunkte des Widerstands

Das globale Netz des fortgeschrittenen Kapitalismus besitzt eine »dezentrierte« Machtstruktur: Die Macht ist nicht mehr lokalisierbar und damit auch kaum mehr angreifbar. Doch auch aus anderen Gründen erscheint Widerstand »aussichtslos«. Denn nicht nur von der Seite der Theorie her wird das Subjekt zunehmend dekonstruiert und als bloße Spiegelung, als ein »Effekt« von Wissen und Macht und sozialer Überformung betrachtet. Auch praktisch wird von uns immer mehr verlangt, dass wir uns von uns selbst entfremden und zu frei (ver-)formbaren Individuen werden, die sich flexibel an die Bedürfnisse des Marktes anpassen. Wo aber das Subjekt derart aufgelöst und zugerichtet wird, wie ist da noch (individueller wie kollektiver) Widerstand möglich? Dieser zentralen Frage für die Möglichkeit von Widerstand soll in meinem Vortrag nachgegangen werden. Die vorgeschlagene Antwort: Die Besinnung auf die eigene Stimme des Unbehagens. Wir müssen auf unser Unbehagen hören, anstatt es zu besänftigen. Denn als materielle Wesen, die zwar von Außen geformt sein mögen, aber eben nicht beliebig verformbar sind, gibt es für uns substanzielle Grenzen der Zurichtung. Wo an diese Grenzen herangegangen wird, entsteht fühlbarer und erfahrbarer Widerstand in uns – der sich in Unbehagen äußert.


Kjetil Jakobsen (University of Bergen/Norway)
Documenting globalization. A reflection on History, Storytelling and Film

In my talk for Transformata 2006 I will discuss a new kind of documentary film that I call "Globalization documentaries". I will look at art films as well as more conventional documentaries.

1. What are the technical and aesthetic difficulties involved in documenting globalization?

2. What is the specific potential of the documentary film considered as an "ontology of the present"?

3. A lot of intellectual energy has gone into discussing the relation of documentary to narrative modes of discourse like fiction film and history. The relation of documentary film to non-narrative forms of social scientific discourse, like system's theory, is, however, severely undertheorized.


Nafisa Kattarwala (Narsee Monjee Institute of Managment Studies, Deemed University/India)
Social Revolution: The Brave New World of Chaos

The barricades of social thought have often enslaved generations to think within the confinements of social order & structure banning iconoclastic expressions of self by enforcing collectivist dogmas. The traditionalism of societal subconscious permeates deeply all thought, knowledge, industry, socio-political structures, legal-economic paradigms and other sub-systems of the civilized order. The individualism that is professed as an indicator of social growth and civilization is subjected to rudimentary suppression and often, social ostracism. This paper explores the myth of individualism at the heart of social revolutions and discusses a few practices, which stormed the world, particularly the Asian world in political and social context. It reflects on the paradigm shift in the socio-polity of a culture and its sub-sets due to transformational ideas and revolutionary proclivities of individuals who created transformation by imbibing the essence of antithetical ideology and divergent social credo. It will also study the universal angst of establishing individual context over pluralistic practices and the choice of revolution to create liberating and more enlightened social frames of reference. This paper will capture current instances of individualism influencing the collective sub-conscious to permeate the socio-political milieu to create a new order. It will explore the context of revolution as divergence of thought and existence of multiple perspectives to create the social metamorphosis so as to reform from within and see society as a reflection of evolutionary transition and not sudden physical change or violent transformation. It will discuss the impact of modern thought leaders on seminal cores of social existence creating the metamorphosis not just in ideology but also in the entire order of existence. It will discuss the transformational movements in the Indian sub-continent and in Asia to create more egalitarian forms of socio-political context by mapping the mass psyche & creating a school of thought around newer convictions to seek social, geo-political and economic reform.


Oliver Kessler and Benjamin Herborth (Universität Bielefeld, Frankfurt a. Main)
Revolutions, Irony and Democracy

The study of revolutions is shot through with social theoretical problems. Most obviously, we encounter the same agent-structure problem that has bewildered IR scholars for the last 20 years: do the structural forces of the international system ‘cause’ revolutions, - or are they reducible to domestic variables: do revolutions happen or are they made? The first part of the paper will interpret the literature on revolutions from this perspective. In contrast to analytical strategies such as ‘bracketing’ or including more and more ‘ideas’, the second part of the paper proposes a semantic analysis of revolutions. Here, we can identify three general semantic fields: first, revolutions as stasis, i.e. the unity of change and inability of change; as re-volvere – going back to the original; and the modern meaning of revolution in terms of rapid change and ‘newness’. All three semantic fields show differences in their temporal-, social-, and material dimension of meaning. In particular the ‘linearisation of time’ in the 18th century has led to an increasing emphasis on the future. However, modern concepts of revolution struggle with the problem of how the new emerges from the old as well. Typically, revolutionary trajectories were based on an underlying philosophy of history which made it possible to conceive of revolutionary change as the unfolding of a pre-given logic of historical development (interestingly, there seems to be a significant overlap in this respect between branches of Marxism and modernization theory). The lack of the kind of certainty philosophies of history were once able to produce then opens up the possibility to address the problem of revolution from the perspective of a semantic analysis of political change. Such an analysis might start from the following dilemma: In the very moment of its success, every revolution seeks to stabilize and maintain its achievements – hence setting the stage for further revolutions, which are then able to call these stabilized achievements into question. Revolutions produce revolutions which in turn produce revolutions. Radical democracy in the pragmatist tradition was conceived as a solution to this dilemma, for only a form of political organization capable of translating the contingent formations a political will into political change – i.e. democratic self-determination – provides a conceptual way out of the circle of revolutionary violence. As soon as the radical contingency of social and political processes is conceded and philosophies of history are consequently ousted, the question of revolutionary change can thus be translated into an on-going quest for democratisation. If any particular intervention is conceived of as contingent (rather than: true), an ironic distance to ones own political beliefs is required. Hence, the paper will call for an ironic understanding of revolutionary change, which implies that creative achievements of particular revolutionary moments can only be stabilized temporarily to the extent that the idea of a more permanent stabilization is given up.


Daniel Loick (Universität Frankfurt)
„Alle Räder stehen still, wenn dein zarter Arm es will“? Skizze zu einem postsouveränen Revolutionsbegriff

Durch die Geschichte hindurch bewies die Möglichkeit der Revolution die Möglichkeit der Emanzipation. Dass die Souveränität der Negation jedoch als das bloße Negativ hegemonialer Souveränität mit deren grundlegender politischer Rationalität nicht bricht, zeigt sich überall dort, wo der Widerstand „erfolgreich“ war und sich in neue Institutionen verdinglicht: „Strategie“, Einheit, Legitimität und Immunität orchestrieren hier oft den neuen politischen Diskurs nicht minder als den alten. Die Gegen-Souveränität erscheint hier als Souveränität in nuce. Wie lässt sich hiergegen eine theoretische Souveränitätskritik, wie sie in jüngster Zeit etwa von Giorgio Agamben und Jacques Derrida formuliert wurde, konkret in die politische Praxis übersetzen? Kann die Theorie der Souveränitätskritik eine nicht-souveräne Praxis ermöglichen, eine Praxis, die für die Gefahren der Korruption sensibilisiert ist? Ist eine politische Praxis möglich, die die Grundlagen der Begriffe Politik und Praxis letztlich selbst unterminiert und damit den eigenen Ausgangspunkt a priori beunruhigen muss? Es geht dem Vortrag nicht darum, eine Blaupause für die konkreten zukünftigen Kämpfe vorzulegen. Vor dem Horizont einer Kritik der Souveränität können einige unhinterfragte politische Routinen jedoch in einem anderen Licht erscheinen. Ansätze für die Problematisierung traditioneller Politikvorstellungen bieten durchaus einige im Rahmen neuer sozialer Bewegungen erprobte Praktiken, interessant erscheinen hier vor allem die alte und neue Frauenbewegung, denen immerhin die Bereitstellung eines ganz neuen moralpsychologischen Vokabulars gelang. Aber auch die Ansätze, die in den Praktiken jüngerer antirassistischer oder queer-feministischer Gruppen experimentell umgesetzt werden, vermögen bei der Entwicklung eines postsouveränen Revolutionsbegriffs Orientierung zu geben.


Anja Meyerrose (Universität Hannover)
Revolution im Schritt?

1968 wird assoziiert mit einer Männermode, mit der Mann gegen die Kleidernormen, den grauen Anzug des Spießers rebellierte. Ich möchte in meinem Vortrag darauf eingehen, wie revolutionär dieser Wandel der Männerkleidung tatsächlich war. Im Rahmen meines Dissertationsprojektes beschäftige ich mich mit der Veränderung der Männerkleidung vor 1968. Dazu mache ich einen Vergleich der us-amerikanischen mit der bundesrepublikanischen Gesellschaft, um über die Differenzen der Kleidungsgewohnheiten Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede beider Gesellschaften zu erklären. 1968 wird als Chiffre verstanden, die ich anhand der Männerkleidung entschlüsseln werde. Aus diesem Dissertationsprojekt möchte ich für meinen Beitrag einen Teilaspekt herausnehmen und als Anregung zur Diskussion stellen.


André Mommen (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Policy Reforms and Resistance to Neoliberal Globalization

This paper fosuses on the ongoinmg globalization process and on policies resisting the neoliberal liberalization drive. As globalization frees the forces of competition and the formation of trading blocs is increasing or decreasing the wealth of nations, nations and people want to resist to market reforms and privatizations. The globalization phenomenon can be split into several categories and levels of decision and policy making going from finance and capital to technology diffusion or life-style patterns.In this paper recent policy reforms in Latin America, the European Union and Russia will be discussed and analysed as responses to the threat of increased global competition. Special attention will be paid to popular upheavals, political instability, increased poverty and corruption. The paper is based on the results of two research projects conducted by scholars in North America, Latin America, Europe and Russia during the first part of this decade. The theoretical approach marries Marxist concepts with Polanyi's view on the decommidification process of the labour force.[Results of these two research projects have been published in four special issues of the International journal of political economy. An edited book volume is in preparation.]


Bertel Nygaard (University of Aarhus/Denmark)
Revolutionary Subjectivity and World History

This paper retraces aspects of this relation between world history and revolutionary subjectivity in the light of, among other’s, Francis Fukuyama’s immensely influential recent notion of ’the end of history’ through the closing of the revolutionary cycle opened by the October Revolution. Starting from general points of conceptual relatedness between notions of world history and notions of revolution and revolutionary subjectivity, this paper reconsiders a particular debate with a seemingly more thematically narrow focus, but with even wider temporal and world-historical implications: the debate raised through the attack leveled by the French historian François Furet on Marxist interpretations of the French Revolution, especially that of Albert Soboul. Each of these interpretations, it is held, embodies a particular notion of world history through particular notions of revolution, both of them intertwining conceptions of the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and the present epoch. Through such a discussion of ways of relating ideas of macro-historical development, it should be possible to derive some general conclusions relevant to present analyses.


Nafisa Kattarwala (University of Mumbai, India)
Searching, Re-Searching Rosa




Rocío Orsi Portalo (Universidad Carlos III Madrid, Spain)
Remembering Revolutions: Revolutions of the Imagination

In this paper I will try to address the concept of revolution focusing on the peculiar conception that underlies in the Western imaginary about the topic, and drawing an especial attention to the philosophical and literary post-revolutionary writings that emerged in Great Britain and France. In these works we can find a retrospective description of the revolutionary time in sharp contrast with “normal” time. Therefore, from the picture that emerges from these writings we can conceive revolution as a crisis or interruption in the normal running of time. In order to make clear this vision I will depart from the English Romantic poets who conceived the French Revolution as the recovery of the lost paradise: as an early stage of the culmination of history, a culmination from which a new world would depart with a renewed humanity. Secondly, I will draw my attention into the image of revolution that can be found in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, inspired in the historical writings of the conservative thinker Carlyle –an image which enfasizes the vindicative bloodthirsty impetus of the revolutionary action. Finally, I will take into consideration other descriptions of revolutionary times in which revolution is seen as the outcome, as well as the driving force, of intellectual changes –a vision that we can find, for instance, in Chesterton as well as in Chateubriand’s memories.


Norman Paech (Bremen)





Holger Rossow (University of Rostock/Germany)
Unlikely Heirs - New Labour and the Thatcher Revolution

The beginning of the process which led to what is now commonly referred to as New Labour could possibly be attributed to the defeat in the general election in 1987 when Labour was beaten for the third consecutive time. The key significance of the defeat was not so much the defeat itself or its scale but the fact that, in contrast to previous elections, there was no excuse for losing: no winter of discontent, no Falklands War, no ageing leader, etc. (Hughes and Wintour 1990: 2-3). For Tony Blair it seemed to be obvious that their defeat in the following general election in 1992 was a consequence of Labour's failure "to respond to the social and economic changes which had transformed Britain in the 1970s and 1980s" (Davies 1996: 439). One of the most intriguing questions was (and still is) to which extent these changes were the result of the 'Thatcher revolution' or whether 'Thatcherism' itself was rather a reflection of changes on a larger scale. The paper will approach this question by looking at the concept of `New Times´ which, according to Stuart Hall, refers to "social, economic, political and cultural changes of a deeper kind now taking place in western capitalist societies. These changes … form the necessary shaping context, the material and cultural conditions of existence, for any political strategy, whether of the right or the left" (Hall 1996: 223). Labour's radical change of ideology and political convictions was thus not a forced shift towards positions of the New Right, an accusation made by its critics, but rather a necessary response to changed circumstances which had little to do with the 'Thatcher revolution. Arguably, New Labour was simply necessitated by the changes described with the term `New Times´, in particular the 'revolution of the subject'.


Satish Poduval (University of Hyderabad/India)
Small Folk in a "Flat World": Globalization in-the-Flesh

Starting from the view that the flows that comprise globalization are, for the moment, locked into an impasse fast approaching "critical heat," this paper will explore some of the recent battles over the representation of poverty and its political alleviation. I shall draw on ongoing theoretical discussions about transnationalism and sovereignty (Balibar, Chatterjee, Hardt & Negri) as well as debates in India about the current national structural adjustment (political no less than economic) as a moment of both danger and opportunity. I shall try to think through some of the frames/stakes at work in the political alleviation of poverty through an analysis of two powerful documentary films: Michael Glawogger's Megacities and Amar Kanwar's A Night of Prophecy.


Josemari Ripalda (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain)
Zerstörung und Rückforderung des Nationalstaats

Wie Fredric Jameson liebt zu sagen, es ist nicht mehr die Hochkultur, z. B. der realistische Roman, die fähig wäre unsere Realität zu wiederspiegeln, sondern eher "niedrige" Formen der Massenkultur wie Filme der Reihe B oder 'comics'.
Ein Produkt der letzteren Art dürfte sein der Film von James McTeigue V for Vendetta (Erstaufführung: Cannes, 2005), dessen Buch auf einem 'comic' bassiert, der seit 1981 in Warrior erschien und ein grosser Kasenerfolg geworden ist.
Sein Thema ist die Revolution gegen eine degenerierte Demokratie, deren Führer ermordet werden, während die klassischen Symbolen der Demokratie selbst auch in die Luft gesprengt werden.
In meinem Beitrag würde es auf jedem Fall um eine Bestandaufnahme der verschiedenen politischen Inhaltsschichten des Filmes gehen. Aber ich werde auch einen Vergleich mit den klassischen Theorien über den Staat nicht vernachlässigen. Im Grunde wurden sie alle im deutschen Idealismus durchdacht und deswegen würde ich, mindestens kurz, auf ihn eingehen.
Historische Schwerpunkte:
1. Das Verschwinden des Nationalstaats.
2. Der mir (sowohl hinsichtlich der Revolution wie der Krise des Nationalstaats) typisch scheinende Fall des Baskenlandes.
Theoretische Schwerpunkte:
1. Der Vergleich zwischen geschlossenen Deduktionen und offener Darstellung.
2. Der Abstand zwischen dem allgemeinen Diskurs der Philosophie und der spezifischen Teknizität z. B. der Politikwisschenschaft.
3. Das uns Akademiker direkt treffende Problem der Transformation des gemein(sam)en Wissens ins allgemeine Wissen.




Gene Ray (Berlin)
Avant-Gardes as Anti-Capitalist Vector

The artistic avant-gardes of the early twentieth century (Berlin dada, Russian constructivists and suprematists, early surrealists) were deeply involved in the revolutionary movements and events of their day. Since then, the status of the category “avant-garde” has been linked to the fate of revolution. Whenever revolution has seemed possible, the question of radical art has also appeared urgent. (The Situationist International would be exemplary for the 1960s.) Whenever revolution has suffered defeat or has begun to appear unthinkable, however, the artistic avant-gardes have also receded. Today the question of capitalism is back on the table – and with it, again, comes the question of revolution. Does this situation also revive the category “avant-garde” – as the locus of unresolved problems still linked to the inherited blockages of revolutionary theory and practice? Does the category still have relevance for contemporary social movements and critical cultural practices?
This paper theorizes the artistic avant-gardes as an always-renewable vector that breaks with bourgeois art and its affirmative social functions under capitalism. Reviewing the established critiques of artistic autonomy, the argument however rejects the dominant accounts (Adorno and Peter Bürger to T.J. Clark and Benjamin Buchloh) that end by characterizing the avant-gardes as forms of modernism that function within the opus-based bourgeois paradigm. Instead, a new narrative traces the avant-gardes as a vector of breakout that redirects the energies, impulses and competencies of art into politicized experiments in collective autonomy and cooperative agency. Today this vector can be seen in the practices of tactical media (Yes Men, Critical Art Ensemble, ®TMark, among many other groups). Looking ahead, we can expect that where such experiments come into contact with social movements in struggle, new forms of radical culture – cosmopolitical and anti-capitalist – will begin to emerge.


Klaus Bernhard Roy (Universität Magdeburg)
Reformen zwischen Pragmatismus und Utopie

Nicht nur wie auch immer gearteten Revolutionshoffnungen scheint das politische Subjekt abhanden gekommen zu sein, sondern auch Reformen als Option einer schrittweisen Veränderung gesellschaftlicher Verhältnisse sind eher durch Status Quo-Orientierungen oder gar durch politisches Rollback sozialer und politischer Teilhabechancen gekennzeichnet. Bestimmungsfaktoren dieser Entwicklung sind neben dominanten stark neoliberal geprägten Diskursen ebenso Spezifika wie der Inkrementalismus in der bundesdeutschen Politik. Tiefer gehend jedoch wirkt die sichtbare oder auch nur politisch herausgestellte und sich selbst vergewissernde Wirkungsreduktion klassischer Staatstätigkeit. In diesem Kontext finden sich seit einiger Zeit Diskussionen, in denen die Gesellschaftlichkeit neu bzw. wieder entdeckt wird. Dabei schwankt die Bandbreite der „neuen“ Reformansätze erheblich zwischen entgegen gesetzten Polen. So finden sich Optionen einer eher legitimatorisch entlastenden und stark instrumentalisierten Aufwertung von Gesellschaftlichkeit als verantwortungsvollem Ort von sozialer Gestaltung einerseits und anderseits kommt es zu einer Renaissance von Konzepten, bei denen nicht allein allzuständige Staatlichkeit sondern stärker gesellschaftliche Solidarmuster Hoffnungen wie einst die Optionen einer evolutionären Veränderung kapitalistischer Strukturen im Sinne E. Heimanns vermitteln sollen und evtl. auch könnten.


Axel Rüdiger (Universität Halle)
Die Revolution neu denken. Zur Archäologie und Genealogie des Revolutionsbegriffes

Das Konzept der Revolution gewinnt in der politischen Theorie der Gegenwart wieder an Bedeutung und Interesse, nicht ohne dieses jedoch dabei zugleich einer archäologischen wie genealogischen Problematisierung zu unterziehen. Dies scheint, nachdem die Revolution in den 90ern zu einem normalen PR-Begriff geworden ist auch mehr als geboten zu sein. Um die Revolution wieder politisch denken zu können, scheint es vor allem angebracht die Begriffs- und Theoriegeschichte wieder auf ihre Ereignisgeschichte zu beziehen. So hat die Französische Revolution als Ereignis die moderne Gesellschaftstheorie entscheidend mitgeprägt, mit deren Aporien wir uns heute herumplagen, um die politische Gegenwart verstehen zu können. Bezeichnete der Revolutionsbegriff etwa bis dahin einen zyklischen Umlauf mit kontinuierlicher Rückkehr zu der natürlichen Ausgangskonstellation, der dem überkommenen Weltbild immanent blieb, so bricht der moderne Revolutionsbegriff mit diesem, da er die Zeit nun diskontinuierlich in ein schroffes Davor und ein Danach teilt. Der neue Revolutionsbegriff wird gerade dadurch zu einem der großen Signifikanten moderner Identität. Diese in ihrer diskontinuierlichen Radikalität in die Gründungsfigur der Moderne eingeschriebene Tatsache, stellt jedoch auch das Menetekel derselben dar, da sie die permanente Selbstüberwindung zum generativen Programm derselben erhebt. Es bedarf daher unablässig politischer Strategien, um die Revolution innerhalb eines politischen Systems repräsentieren zu können. Die gleiche Ambivalenz wird ebenfalls von dem modernen Phänomen der „Gesellschaft“ geteilt, welches durch die revolutionäre Dekorporation des Sozialen bei gleichzeitiger Entgrenzung der Politik entstand. Die hierin zu leistende spezifisch politische Vermittlung von sozialer Individualität und Allgemeinheit wird in ihrer Widersprüchlichkeit zu dem konstitutiven Problem der entstehenden Gesellschaftswissenschaften. Staat, Nation, Klasse und Partei sind die Namen diskursiver Konzepte, welche diese gesellschaftliche Vermittlung nach der Revolution zu leisten beansprucht haben. Alle modernen Repräsentationsprogramme lassen sich nach ihrer Haltung zur Revolution bzw. in ihrer Definition des Revolutionsbegriffs unterscheiden. Drei Grundtypen sollen an dieser Stelle voneinander abgegrenzt werden: 1. Die Revolution als ein symbolisches Ereignis. Die eigentliche Revolution erscheint hier als die politische Vollendung bzw. Verallgemeinerung der bereits durch die intellektuelle Aufklärung geleisteten symbolischen Revolution der sozialen Muster des Erkennens und Anerkennens. Die politische Revolution bestätigt hier lediglich die kulturelle Revolution der Legitimitätsgrundlagen. 2. Die Revolution als imaginäres Ereignis, in dem die Revolution unter Rückgriff auf Verschwörungstheorien und personalisierte Stereotype bekämpft oder gerechtfertigt wird. Und 3. schließlich die Revolution als reales Ereignis, in welches sie in Analogie zu einer Naturkatastrophe (Erdbeben, Vulkanausbruch etc.) beschrieben wird. Bereits in der unmittelbaren Revolutionsrezeption lassen sich alle drei Interpretationstypen feststellen, die durch den schnellen Gestaltwandel der Französischen Revolution auch bald miteinander verschränkt werden. Aus ihrer Kombination und Variation gehen nicht nur die modernen politischen Strömungen des Konservatismus, Liberalismus und Radikaldemokratismus hervor, sondern auch die methodische Orientierung der entstehenden Gesellschaftswissenschaften zwischen Materialismus und Idealismus wird hiervon maßgeblich beeinflusst. Die politische Funktion der hierin enthaltenen Artikulationen des Revolutionsbegriffes ist es, alternative Repräsentationen zu blockieren. Für eine politische Renaissance der Revolutionstheorie bedarf es daher einer archäologischen Analyse des sozio-diskursiven Feldes ebenso wie der genealogischen Beschreibung der artikulatorischen Diskurse.


Ilham Sadoqi (Mohamed University, Morocco)
State Legitimacy and Counter Movements

To explore the centrality of undermining and remodling the order of things, a critique of the nation state as a hegemonic institution within the framework of counter-movements would offer possibilities to unveil the constraints and the prospects,that latently relocate the politics of power.In Morocco,the state's reform processes from a gender perspective in the hypothetical democratic transition calls for building insights about the political and historical stakes behind the state conservative attitude and the new political/social conditions along with the international feminist agenda. In a local unreceptive environment,Feminist radical politics stands radically in opposition, not only to a political regime founded on homogeneity and hostile to difference, but also to the fundamentalist anti-thesis .Shedding light on the institution of state's upgrading process, strikingly alleviates the political tension by subsuming both the claims of the fundamentalist/conservative and feminists movements to reconstruct its legitimacy on the basis of the same organic discursive formations of consensus and homogeneity but differently managed.These reroutings of the political and the public reveals the state hegemony over the public sphere,as a site for negotiating visions and projects. However,the drawbacks development policies at social and cultural level along with the globalized terrorism have constituted a challenge to the state's institution, as these hunting counter movements are revolutionizing both the state apparatuses and civil society and undermining the idea of the public sphere.Since the seculer and the sacred are imagined continously to reinforce hegemony, the state's culture of legitimacy has been strengthened by its power of initiation,of de-pressure despite the recurring problematization of its own legitimacy.


Karen Schlüter (University of Magdeburg)
Revolution in International Law

Die Frage, die im Rahmen der Präsentation zu erörtern versucht wird, ist, ob über die erste Neudefinition des Begriffs Völkerrecht „das Recht, das das Verhalten von Staaten und Internationalen Organisation betrifft, ihre inter se Beziehungen und noch zu erläuternden Beziehungen zu natürlichen und juristischen Personen betrifft“ (Buergenthal / Doehring / Kokott / Maier, Grundzüge des Völkerrechts, S. 2, 2. Auflage, Heidelberg 2000) und Ausdehnung des Regelungsgehaltes hinaus eine zweite stattgefunden hat, die es erlauben würde, Völkerrecht in der Weise zu definieren, dass es u.a neben dem Recht von Staaten und Internationalen Organisationen auch das Recht von Gruppen und Individuen ist. Sollte dies der Fall sein, begründe sich die Revolution darin, dass das Individuum zum Völkerrechtssubjekt mit allen damit verbundenen Konsequenzen aufstiege, namentlich dass das Individuum mit Staaten, Internationalen Organisationen gleichzöge und eigenständig agieren könnte und damit auch rechtliche als auch politische Entwicklungen nachhaltig bestimmen und nicht nur beeinflussen könnte. Dies bedeutete gleichzeitig eine Angleichung der Rechts- an die Politikwissenschaft, in dessen Rahmen – insbesondere in den Internationalen Beziehungen – das Individuum grundsätzlich Akteursqualität besitzen kann. Ob dieser Zustand bereits eingetreten ist, sich bloß noch nicht in der gängigen Definition des Völkerrechts widerspiegelt, soll anhand der Einklagbarkeit und Vollstreckbarkeit von individuellen Rechten durch den Einzelnen im Bereich des internationalen als auch regionalen Menschenrechtschutzes belegt werden.


Ulf Schulenberg (University of Bremen, Germany)
From Conceptual Revolutions to the Privacy of Mourning - Barthes, Proust, and the "désir d'écrire"

Concerning the idea of conceptual revolutions in the fields of literary and cultural theory, Roland Barthes was undoubtedly one of the main innovators. Genuinely protean, unpredictable, and elegant, he always put a premium on the importance of a plurality of vocabularies. In contrast to Sartre, Barthes was less a political author, but rather someone who vehemently argued for the necessity of aesthetic revolutions. It is crucial to see that he actually practiced what he preached. It is difficult to pin him down because of the constant changes of his conceptual framework. From his early idiosyncratic combination of Marxism and structuralism in "Le Degré zéro de l'écriture" and "Mythologies" to his strictly structuralist phase in "Eléments de sémiologie" and "Système de la mode" and to his late poststructuralist texts such as "Le Plaisir du texte," Barthes's career was governed by a radical gesture of redescription and innovation. In my talk, I wish to focus on Barthes's texts after "Le Plaisir du texte." It is his last change or redescription, his last revolution, as it were, which is one of the most stimulatiing. In his lecture on Proust at the Collège de France in 1978 it becomes painfully obvious that Barthes, the radical modern innovator, no longer accepts the validity of the Rimbaudian dictum "Il faut être absolument moderne." In other words, Barthes's last conceptual revolution is to declare the utter unnecessity of aesthetic or conceptual revolutions. The modern theorist expresses his wish to become a novelist, he underscores his "désire d'écrire un roman." I shall seek to elucidate the importance and the complexity of this final change in Barthes's career.


Madhumeeta Sinha (Hyderabad/India)
The Feminist Interpretation of Reality in the Films of Deepa Dhanraj

Documentary film-maker Deepa Dhanraj, in a career spanning over 25 years, has worked closely with issues-and organizations-that have been at the forefront of the Indian women's movement. The range of topics explored in her films (women in trade unions, domestic violence, India's Fund-Bank inspired family planning policies, the reinvention of elementary education for rural India, dalit women in local government bodies, feminist adjudication) are interestingly matched by the innovations in cinematic form (agit-prop/mobilization films, docu-drama, testimonies, training videos for activists and government agencies). In my presentation, I shall aim to:
· locate Deepa Dhanraj's major films in the context of the feminist interventions they were designed to provoke/promote in India;
· analyze the intersection of formal and political concerns in her recent cinematic works;
· reflect on the "reality" that feminists have to interpret and transform in India today.


Neelke Wagner (reflect! Assoziation für politische Bildung und Gesellschaftsforschung Berlin)
Welche Bilder braucht die Revolution?

Lebendige, also auch die forschende Sprache kommt nicht ohne Bilder (Metaphern) aus. Auch das Reden über die Revolution hat wichtige und wirkungsmächtige Revolutionsbilder hervorgebracht, die eine Betrachtung aus einer sprachkritischen Perspektive lohnen. Welche Bilder verwenden und benötigen wir heute, um „unsere“ Revolution(en) zu denken und zu illustrieren? Theoretische Begriffsklärungen politisch umkämpfter Begriffe sind eine zeitraubende und wenig produktive Sache. Dies gilt auch für die Revolution. Viel interessanter und wirkungsvoller als der Versuch, reine Begrifflichkeiten herzustellen, sind die Bilder, welche die Menschen mit der „Revolution“ verbunden haben. Sie haben es eher als theoretische Abhandlungen geschafft, die Utopie und den Weg zu ihrer Verwirklichung zu begreifen. Bilder dessen, was zu tun ist („Ketten sprengen“, sich und die Gesellschaft „reinigen“, eine „Avantgarde“ formieren) oder dessen, was passiert (sei es die brechende Welle („Umwälzung“) bei Marx oder die „Graswurzelrevolution“) haben eine beträchtliche Wirkungskraft entfaltet. Sie dienen der Selbstverständigung der RevolutionärInnen, der Überzeugung anderer für den revolutionären Kampf oder die revolutionäre Lebensweise. Sie geben Auskunft darüber, wie sich Menschen die Revolution vorgestellt haben, wo sie ihre Rolle dabei sahen und sehen. Sie machen vor allem die Differenzen sichtbar, welche zwischen verschiedenen Theorien und Praxen der Revolution bestehen. Es wird sich zeigen, dass die konkrete Praxis der Revolution wenig thematisiert wird. Zwar haben die meisten Menschen, die in der Geschichte und aktuell revolutionäre Szenarien entwerfen, ein deutliches Bild vom „Davor“ und „Danach“, jedoch nicht von dem Weg, der vom Einen zum Anderen führt. Die eigene Rolle auf diesem Weg bleibt meistens pauschal: außer dem „Kämpfer“ wird nicht viel geboten. Könnte das einer der Gründe sein, warum sich all jene, die von einem Ende des Kapitalismus träumen, so schwer auf eine Strategie verständigen können?


Heike Wetzig (Braunschweig)
Rationalität: Ordnung und Änderung

Kann man die Vernunft isolieren oder dient sie bloß dazu, Erkenntnissen eine gewisse logische Struktur zu geben (Kant)? Wie verhält sie sich als “Methode des Umgangs mit der wahnsinnigen Welt” (Shuddhabrata Sengupta)? Welche Qualitäten hat sie, inwieweit ist sie universale Struktur, nüchternes oder sachliches Bewußtsein, Maß, souverän, geometrisch? Interpretationen dieses Begriffes, dessen Gegenbilder bzw. gleichwertiger Ersatz Emotionen, Kreativität, Sinnlichkeit und Aufruhr zu sein scheinen, möchte ich - voraussichtlich anhand von Kant, M. Weber, N. Luhmann u.a. - ansatzweise nachgehen: Als vorbegrifflicher Beitrag zum Sprechen, Wahrnehmen und Handeln schwankt R. zwischen Möglichkeit und Notwendigkeit, zwischen Verharren und Entscheiden. Sie ist also Teil der Vorstellungskraft sowie eigentümliche Grundlinie und Begründung von Prozessen und des Menschen selbst. Dennoch wagt man nicht, sich mit R. unmittelbar vertraut zu fühlen, da Fremdheit die “unzerstörbare Wurzel jedes Logos” und Wahn “dem Logos unentzifferbares Absurdum” ist (Cacciari). Als Teil dieser kleinen Untersuchung ist angestrebt, einzelne TeilnehmerInnen des Projektes Jochen Gerz, The Anthology of Art: Art & Theory in Dialogue ( www.anthology-of-art.net ) auf Wandlungen ihrer 2001/2002 formulierten Ansichten zu Revolution bzw. Notwendigkeit und Erfahrung von Veränderung hin zu befragen. Hier geht es dann um Möglichkeiten von Kunst im Hinblick auf die erwähnten Anwendungen von R.; was auch Begriffe wie Glaubwürdigkeit und Macht nach sich zieht.


Todd Wolfson (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
The Cyber Left: Indymedia and the Making of the 21st Century Struggle

There is growing consensus that the last 30 years have bore witness to seismic shifts in the configuration of global capitalism. These changes in the economic order have led to a massive transformation in the cultural logic of our age. Scholars have endeavored to map this shift looking at the changing nature of self, society, and state. Curiously, while there has been a flood of scholarship on the nature and effects of capitalism, there has been an absence of work examining how global capitalism has shaped the nature of socio-economic resistance. I address this gap, examining the impact of global capitalism and new information and communication technologies on contemporary social movements. I argue that the 21st century is seeing the emergence of a new form of resistance, the cyber left, epitomized by the indymedia movement, which employs the speed and flexibility of new technologies in an effort to ally multiple autonomous movements, harnessing them in a common challenge to the destructive nature of capitalism. Animated by the Zapatismo slogan, “One NO to neo-liberal capitalism, many yeses” two fundamental principles guide the indymedia movement: 1) there is no central actor or political protagonist in 21st century struggle, indigenous movements, feminism, ecologism and labor are all vital, at the same time however, 2) what these autonomous movements share is common resistance to capitalism. As such, I look at indymedia as a sinew of struggle that travels a parallel complex circuitry to capital, weaving diverse movements into a distinctive 21st century class formation.


Joscha Wullweber (Universität Kassel)
Nanotechnologie: Die Konstruktion der nächsten technologischen Revolution

Die Nanotechnologie gilt als „Zukunftstechnologie“, als „Schlüsseltechnoloige“, als die Technologie des 21. Jahrhunderts schlechthin. An sie knüpfen sich – wie bereits an vorangegangene Technologien – Hoffnungen auf die nächste industrielle Revolution. Gleichzeitig eröffnet sie neue Formen und Möglichkeiten der Inwertsetzung – der molekulare Raum stellt sich aus dieser Sicht als eine weiße Landkarte dar, auf der nun Territorien und Claims in Form privater Eigentumsrechte abgesteckt werden. Gleichzeitig scheint die Nanotechnologie das Potential zu haben, Produktionsprozesse zu revolutionieren und völlig neue Materialien zu erschaffen. Eine machtvolle Technologie mit erheblichen Auswirkungen auf Ökonomie und Gesellschaft scheint sich gerade zu entwickeln. In diesem Beitrag wird die Entstehung neuer Technologien nicht als „Naturereignis“, als quasi-automatischer Prozess angesehen, sondern innerhalb von Interessen und Machtkämpfen verortet und die Kontingenz, also die Nichtvorhersagbarkeit und Nichtdeterminiertheit solcher Prozesse betont. Gleichzeitig wird die Nanotechnologie nicht als einzelne Technologie, sondern vielmehr als Mythos, als gesellschaftliches Projekt verstanden und der Frage nachgegangen, welche Interessen hinter diesem Mythos stehen und ob der Mythos Nanotechnologie gesellschaftlich hegemonial werden kann. Die Entwicklung des Mythos wird im Kontext der Entstehung von Wettbewerbsstaaten und der „Erzählung“ (Narration) von wissensbasierten Ökonomien analysiert. Auch wird die Frage gestellt, welche Strategien zur Durchsetzung des Mythos' angewandt werden.


Ersin Yildiz (Universität Frankfurt, Institut für Sozialforschung)
Revolution und Verfassungsgebung

Revolution bildet ein zentrales Moment der Entstehungsbedingungen des bürgerlichen Rechtsstaats. Für die frühbürgerlichen Verfassungstheoretiker war es keineswegs abwegig, die politische Ordnung als das Ergebnis eines revolutionären Neubeginns zu betrachten und die Verfassung als ein Dokument zu deuten, in dem der soziale und politische Neubeginn festgehalten wurde. Zwar ist seit der Kodifizierung der ersten Verfassungen und der Etablierung des bürgerlichen Verfassungsstaates Fragen nach den Entstehungsbedingungen der Verfassung nicht vollständig verdrängt worden, aber das eigentliche Interesse der politischen Theorie galt über lange Zeit hinweg nicht der grundsätzlichen Beschäftigung mit dem Phänomen der Gründung politischer Ordnung, sondern der Übertragung rechtsstaatlicher Prinzipien auf nichtwestliche Staaten. Spätestens aber seit der Diskussion um die EU-Verfassung ist die mit der Verfassungsgebung verbundene Problematik erneut in den Mittelpunkt wissenschaftlichen Interesses gerückt. In meinem Beitrag werde ich versuchen zu zeigen, dass die Thematisierung des Verfassungsgebungsgebungsprozesses im Kontext revolutionären Handelns für heutige Diskussionen immer noch nützlich ist. Eine begriffsanalytische Vorgehensweise, für die die Frage nach den Anfängen der politischen und Verfassungsordnung zentral ist, kann dazu beitragen, dass unser Blick auf gegenwärtige Verfassungsgebungsprozesse verschärft wird. Hierzu werde ich entsprechende Ansätze in der Verfassungstheorie (Carl Schmitt, Antonio Negri, Andrew Arato), in denen das Phänomen der Verfassungsgebung eingehend untersucht worden sind, unter der Perspektive revolutionären Umbruchs und Neubeginns diskutieren. Ich werde danach fragen, inwieweit von diesen Ansätzen radikaldemokratische Impulse ausgehen können und sie somit zu den dominierenden integrationistischen und funktionalistischen fruchtbare Alternative bilden.


Sönke Zehle (Universität Saarbrücken)

Marta Zimniak-Halajko (Institute of Polish Culture, Poland)
A New Vision of Time in Relation to a New Vision of the Ethics in International Relations

The paper will present results of case study of two social movements: the leftist Workers' Democracy and the rightwing National Rebirth of Poland (NOP). The first one belongs to International Socialist Tendency network and could be described as a neo-Marxist alter-globalist organization. The latter one is a nationalist ultra-catholic group, a member of European National Front and a co-founder of International Third Position. It is often taken for granted that social movements are by definition a leftist phenomenon. However rightwing organizations, especially those opposing the present social or economic system, also have their own utopian visions of the desired social change. Quite often both the leftists and the rightists activists express similar criticism of political decisions taken by governments, oppose the dominant vision of social and economic order, are against the liberal version of capitalism, criticize the mass media for serving the means of "official propaganda" and call for a revival of the lost social ties. Having completely different objectives, the leftist and rightist movements nevertheless employ almost identical radical or "revolutionary" discourses and express "uncompromising" demands. On the other hand, the rightist and leftist groups have a different concept of social revolution. The left basically have a classical Marxist understanding of the revolution. For the right, the "integral revolution" is first of all a moral and cultural one, aiming at rebuilding of social order based on traditional values.



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