Under this heading are the outlines and programmes of six conferences/workshops at the EUI between 2000 and 2006. They deal with Europe’s unity and internal divisions and the role of the nation-states and their citizenships in European integration. Other teams are the connection between religion and modernity and the meaning of Europe.
European Unity and Division: Regions, Religions, Civilisations
Conference of the Centre for European Studies, Monash University, in collaboration with the European University Institute (the project Reconsidering the “Cultural Heritage” of Europe directed by Bo Stråth and Peter Wagner)
Place: Monash University Prato Centre, Prato, Italy
The twin themes of European unity and Europe’s internal divisions are as topical as ever. Recent events have highlighted the ambitions and difficulties of an integrative project that aspires to transcend long-standing cultural or geopolitical boundaries. The division debate has moved beyond an initial focus on states and nations; historical regions and religious traditions have been analysed from various angles. Civilisational approaches are less developed, although it is now widely recognized that the making of Europe can only be understood as an inter-civilisational process. The conference aims to explore the complex and changing relationships between the abovementioned sources of diversity, with particular emphasis on long-term historical dynamics, but with some reference to present constellations.
This broadly defined agenda will be structured around more specific questions. It seems appropriate to link the general problems at issue to the particular case of East Central Europe. The historical experience of this region (defined in different ways, broad or narrow, by different authors whose views merit further discussion) has been central to some of the most seminal work on European unity and divisions. Among other important contributions, the works of Oskar Halecki and Jenö Szücs are perhaps the most representative. Distinctive traits of East Central European history have to do with intra-Christian developments and divergences (patterns of contact and conflict between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, as well as a particularly dramatic confrontation between Reformation and Counter-Reformation); with the long rule of the Habsburg Empire that redefined the religious and political profile of the region; and with exposure to Inner Eurasian currents as well as their indirect impact through the Russian and Ottoman Empires.
The concern with East Central Europe is reflected in several titles already on the program, and the organizers are particularly interested in further contributions along such lines. But this focus is not meant to be exclusive. Some of the proposed papers approach the general themes from other regional vantage points; more such input will be welcomed, and is expected to generate a discussion of comparative perspectives. The combination of a primary regional reference with aspects of a broader picture will be maintained in the publication that should result from the conference.
Speakers include Johann Arnason, Miroslav Hroch, Hartmut Kaelble, Bo Stråth, Stefan Troebst and Peter Wagner.
See the web-site of Monash University for more information on the speakers and titles of their papers.
It is anticipated that a selection of the conference papers will form the basis of an edited volume.
Rationalization and the Modernity of Europe
Organiser: Carl Marklund and Bo Strath
Place: Villa Schifanoia, Sala Europa
This workshop focuses on the continuity and changes of discourses on effectivization, rationalization, and social planning from circa 1900 to the present. The ideas and practices of rationalization have been an integral part of modernisation and a fundamental component of the modern experience. The workshop aspires to interrogate the relationship between perceptions of modernity and the formation of rationalization discourses in Europe and elsewhere by asking what is to be rationalised and why.
Varieties of World-Making: Europe and Beyond
Organiser: Bo Strath
Place: Villa Schifanoia
European integration in the era of globalization is more than a regional project. To the common understanding of the global context of Europe, which involves marketization and de-regulation as key features of globalization, we need to add at least two other major phenomena of the present and the recent past.
These are, on the one hand, the connected processes of decolonization and the emergence of plural forms of modernity and, on the other hand, the equally connected processes of denationalization of European societies and of their Europeanization.
In this broader sense, European integration projects a particular view of the world and of human societies in it onto the global constellation.
Religion and Modernity
A workshop organised in the framework of the research programme Modernity of Europe
Organiser: Bo Strath and Peter Wagner
Place: Chiesetta, Villa Schifanoia
This workshop on Religion and Modernity intends to shed new light on a connection that the classical thinkers Durkheim, Marx and Weber shared. Despite wide ranging mutual differences, they both believed that religion would vanish with the rise of modernity. Secularisation was a concept used to describe this process. Max Weber was foremost in stamping the connection between religion and modernity with his term ‚Protestant ethic.‘ This he saw as a culture paving the way for the development of capitalism. The protestant ethic emphasised the individualisation of religious experience and the de-hierarchisation of the churches with declining power for the priesthood. In this framework, capitalist spirit and entrepreneurship flourished. The main objective of this workshop is to critically problematise and develop Weber’s model and to connect it to the questions of a Catholic modernity and of a Jewish modernity.We understand the foundation of modernity not only as a belief in the human capacity to control, manage and govern, a belief in human autonomy and progress, but also as scepticism and critique, based on self-reflection, and constantly at odds with a belief in autonomy. A Catholic view on modernity was also expressed, for instance, in Rerum Novarum in 1891. We want to investigate varieties of religious transformation under the label of modernity, varieties which are not necessarily best described with concepts like secularisation. This will be a small one-day workshop comprising some 10 contributors. The purpose is primarily to explore further steps in the analysis of the connections between religion and
Religion and Modernity – Schedule
A workshop organised in the framework of the research programme Modernity of Europe
Monday, 17 June
09.00-11.00 Lucian Hölscher (Bochum), The Inherent Time. Remarks on the Directions of Religious Change in Modern Societies
Rolf Schieder (Landau), Religion and Modernity from the Perspective of Theology
11.15-11.30 Coffee on the Mensa terrace
11.30-13.00 Hans Bödeker (Göttingen), Religion and a Protestant Modernity
Hans Joas (Berlin), A Catholic Modernity?
13.00-14.30 Lunch in Mensa Villa Schifanoia
14.30-18.00 Lucien Jaume (Paris), Catholicisme et autorité. Ou : de la portée politique de la notion d’imago Dei
David Sorkin (Madison), Judaism and Modernity
20.00 Dinner in Pizzeria San Domenico
Tuesday, 18 June
9.00-11.00 Arpad Szakolczai (Cork), Modernity, Religion, and Two Ages of Globalisation
Danèle Hervieu-Leger (Paris), Les renouveaux de l’émotion: de quelques paradoxes de l’ultra-modernité religieuse
11.00-11.15 Coffee Sala Bandiere
11.15-13.00 Annette Becker (Paris), Halbwachs, modernity, religion and memory, modernity in memory
Liz Fordham (EUI), Religion, Reason, Modernity
13.15 Lunch in Osteria Carpe Diem via Mantellini, 2/b
2002 Religion and Modernity
European States and Citizens: A Millennium of Debate
Florence, 23-24 October 2000, villa Schifanoia sala Europa
Conference organised by Quentin Skinner and Bo Stråth
At the outset of a new millennium, questions concerning the power of states and citizens‘ rights are being addressed from numerous viewpoints. The war in Kosovo, for example, highlighted the tension between state sovereignty and human rights. One contemporary argument claims that the nation-state’s power diminishes in an environment of „globalisation“. The rights of citizens are coupled with a transfer of social responsibility from the welfare state to the individual.
Concepts like „state“ and „citizen“ are ideologically loaded, as is demonstrated by the debate on the role that „civil society“ should play in the ongoing tension between them. Concepts like state, citizen and civil society have developed their contested meanings in historical processes over long periods. In these processes, both continuities and discontinuities were employed when the concepts received their historical significance, historical meanings which have varied over time just as the interconnections between these and similar concepts. This conference aims to shed more light on these historical processes of longue durée.
Monday, 23 October 2000, 9.00-18.00
9.00 State and Citizens: Setting the Scene
David Runciman, The Concept of the State: The Sovereignty of a Fiction
Quentin Skinner, Changing Concepts of Freedom and Citizenship
11.15 The Medieval Background
Magnus Ryan, Freedom, law and the medieval state
Marco Geuna, The Re-emergence of the Citizen
Discussant: Almut Höfert
15.00 Early-modern Developments
Martin van Gelderen, The Emergence of the Modern State
Annabel Brett, The Development of Citizens‘ Rights
Discussant: Gianfranco Poggi
Tuesday, 24 October 2000, 9.00-18.00
9.00 Citizens, States and Modernity
Lucian Jaume, Revolution and the Modern State
Judith Vega, Rights (Especially of Women) in the Enlightenment State
Erik Tängerstad, Weimar Democracy: On the Collective Construction of Demos
Discussant: Peter Wagner
14.30 Post-modern Challenges
Sudipta Kaviraj, The Post-colonial State
Michèle Riot Sarcey, Liberté citoyenne et féminisme, idées inconciliables?
Bo Stråth, The State and its Critics: From the Ideas of 1968 to the Concept of Globalisation
Discussant: Luisa Passerini
Please get in touch with James Kaye for papers: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meaning of Europe in National Discourses
in Co-operation with The Swedish Research Council for Social and Human Sciences
within the framework of the European Forum Programme 1999/2000
Workshop Professor Bo Stråth
Florence, 28-29 May 2000
Directors: Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Stråth
The European integration process reminds us on a daily basis that ‚Europe‘ is a concept of diversity as well as unity. While members of the European Union and applicant states are increasingly involved in a common political project, there is also a great deal of variation in national interpretation of what ‚Europe‘ is and ought to be. Historically established understandings of ‚ Europe influence how each country conceptualises its relationship to the EU today.
In order to explore the uses of the concept of Europe in the construction of national identities we are organising a conference and book project The Meanings of ‚Europe‘ in National Discourses.
No nation is an island. The construction of national identity is not simply asserting its distinctiveness from a homogenous environment. It is a process by which the nation is positioned in a larger cultural-geographical context. One such wider context is the European one, and this project explores the meaning of ‚ Europe in the construction of modern national identities.
Although there was never a unified European political entity and definitions of Europe are often based on geographical or cultural criteria, as Norman Davies underlines, it would be wrong to suppose that the term has been devoid of political content. „Europe“ has often been discussed as a synonym for the harmony and unity that was lacking, „the unattainable ideal, the goal for which all good Europeans are supposed to strive.“ In other words, Europe is basically a discourse and an ideological programme.
„Europe“ is not only an unattainable ideal of unity but also a carrier of certain values in national public life. In national political debate, „Europe“ often enters as a dimension of national identity rather than a project of unification, and political life in the past two centuries has been centred on national polities. Rather than „How shall Europe be united?“ the questions dwelt upon in public debate have been: „How European is our nation?“ „How shall we relate ourselves to „Europe“?“ „To what extent should we be European, something else or simply „ourselves“?“
The sociologist Rogers Brubaker suggests a new way of structuring the analysis of nations and nationalism, which is equally applicable to Europe and Europeanism. Instead of asking the classical question What is a nation?, he asks the more inductive question of how a nation works as a practical category. Rather than asking What is Europe? we should ask: How is Europeanness as a political and cultural form institutionalised within and among states? How does „Europe“ work as a practical category, as a classificatory scheme, and as a cognitive frame? What makes using that category by or against states more or less resonant or effective? What makes the Europe-evoking efforts of political entrepreneurs more or less likely to succeed?
„Europe“ was a dimension of national identity construction long before the EU emerged. Since the formation of the EU its significance has changed drastically. In some cases, Europe has been perceived as an integral part of national identity, in others, it represents a challenge or even a threat to the nation. Sometimes, „Europe“ is at the core of the nation-building project, sometimes, it competes with alternative Atlantic, Mediterranean, Slavic or Nordic macro-regional identities.
The tension between Europeanness and a „true self“ might be most accentuated on the periphery of Europe. The Slavophile versus the Westernising trends that run as a recurrent theme through Russian history is an extreme example but by no means without its counterpart in other countries.
Furthermore, the preferred definition of Europe also tends to vary with national viewpoints. Whether „Europe“ is defined as big or small, on cultural, geographical or political criteria depends largely on national vantage points.
Such established differences in national and macro-regional self-understanding influence attitudes towards European integration. Patterns of history are in no way deterministic, but Europhile versus Europhobe national discourses can predispose some nations to react positively and others negatively towards the imposition of a European polity on the nation-states. The „Europeanisation“ of nation-states is in part the outcome of deeply entrenched, and deeply contested, notions of the nation and of Europe. A parallel can be made to the argument of Robert Putnam on regional political reform in Italy that successful democratisation is the outcome of deeply entrenched civic traditions of social solidarity and involvement in community matters.
The emergence of a hegemonic great power or a new regional project challenges any nation-state. At elite as well as popular level a perceived genuineness, an established representation of the past, has to be reconciled with a new regional identity. This process might run more or less smoothly, whether it is about incorporating democracy into an established national order, as in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, or a European identity during the last few decades. It might „activate“ dimensions of the nation’s history that support or contradict the established self-understanding.
Identity change is a more complex and drawn-out process than political and economic change. On the one hand, popular world-views and perceptions do not necessarily correspond to the dominant political or intellectual discourse. On the other hand, some indirect responses may nevertheless be assumed. As Eric Hobsbawm has noted, intellectual „invented traditions“ must somehow be related to the felt needs of the communities they address.
To understand how images of an emerging European order interact within existing collective identities in the EU today, we need to understand how the concept of „Europe“ has related to the nation-building project in a longer time perspective as well as how it has been transformed in the postwar European integration process. This workshop will explore how established national discourses are reconciled with an emerging European identification within the European Union.
It is not the idea of European unity that is addressed, but rather the meaning of „Europe“in various nations. How do perceptions of „Europe“ interact with the ideal discourse of the nation, to what extent are the two reinforcing or contradicting each other? The ambition is to add a cultural-historic understanding of Europhile and Europhobe opinions to existing politico-economic theories of European integration. The focus is not on the European integration process in general but on a variety of patterns: why some nation-states are persistently prone to accept while others reject steps towards closer union.
The meaning of „Europe“ can be registered in public statements by politicians, men of letters, publicists, university teachers etc. They are all expressions of political attitudes in a broad sense of the term. The aim cannot be to produce an exhaustive account of all the thinkers who could legitimately claim out attention, nor to grasp all the nuances and inconsistencies in the overall thought of the actors under examination. The ambition is to give an overview of the meaning of „Europe“ in texts of central importance to modern national self-understanding, to present a characteristic gamut of stances on Europe.
Davies, Norman (1997), Europe – A History, London: Pimlico: 10.
Brubaker, Rogers (1996), Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press:16.
Putnam, Robert (1993), Making Democracy Work. Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Hobsbawm, Eric and Terence Ranger (eds) (1983), The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press:7-8.
The workshop meets at Hotel Giotto, Bivigliano on Sunday and at Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia on Monday.
Saturday 27 May
20.00 Welcome dinner
Sunday 28 May, Hotel Giotto, Bivigliano
9.30 Introductory Remarks, Bo Stråth and Mikael af Malmborg
10.00 Italy Mikael af Malmborg
11.00 Greece Constantine Tsoukalas
12.00 Poland Barbara Törnquist-Plewa
14.30 England Piers Ludlow
15.30 Austria Gilbert Weiss
16.30 The Baltic Countries Klas-Göran Karlsson
17.30 Hungary Paszkal Kiss
20.00 Dinner at I Gioghi, V. Bolonese 7
Monday 29 May, sala Europa, villa Schifanoia
9.30 France Robert Frank
10.30 Russia Iver B. Neumann
11.45 The Czech Discourse on Europe Miroslav Hroch
14.00 Spain Pablo Jáuregui
15.00 Portugal Herminio Martins
16.15 Finland Henrik Meinander
17.00 Sweden Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Stråth
18.00-18.30 Concluding Discussion