Discussion Group: Myth and Memory

Professor Bo Stråth

During the Autumn semester of 1998 a discussion/reading/editing group will be organised around the manuscripts of a forthcoming book based on the conference Memory and Myth in the Construction of Community that took place in Bivigliano last June. The working title of the book is Memory and Myth in the Construction of Community. If you are interested in participating please contact Mette Zolner zolner@datacomm.iue.it. She will distribute the chapters for discussion. Reading of the texts and an active participation in the discussions is expected. The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Editing and Discussion Group, Autumn 1998
                19 October, 3 pm, Seminar Room 1, Convento
                Bo Stråth: Memory and Myth

26 October, 3 pm, Seminar Room 3, Badia
                Charlotte Tacke: Nation and Monuments

16 November, 10 am, Seminar Room 1, Convento
                Lutz Niethammer: Discourse on Memory in the Early Twentieth Century

23 November, 3 pm, Seminar Room 1, Convento
                Mette Zolner: Danish National Identities: Memories, Generations and Ideologies

30 November, 3 pm, Seminar Room 1, Convento
                Nina Witoszek: Imaging Supremacy: The Case of Germany and Sweden

After Full Employment:European Norms and Discourses of Work

An interdisciplinary seminar in co-operation between Robert Schuman Centre, Department of Law and Department of History

Karl Klare, Silvana Sciarra and Bo Stråth

Autumn/Winter 98

Wednesdays at 11am Sala Triaria


              The point of departure of this seminar is the major shift in the view on work which has occurred since the 1970s. The language of flexibility, deregulation and globalisation tries to cope with this change, but does hardly do so in an exhaustive way, as little as the continued invocation of full employment does.

The transformation of the view on work cannot be understood only as a narrow shift of discourse in economics from one paradigm ("full employment) to another ("flexibility"). Other disciplinary approaches must be involved, too. Furthermore, in order to provide a richer and more comprehensive view on the ongoing change, norms, legislation and discourses on work must be seen in a much longer historical perspective than the period since the 1970s. It is the intention of the seminar to develop this long-term view.

The aim of the seminar is to relate the new language - as it is expressed in politics, legislation, and social and economic sciences - to questions about social identity, social norms and social protection. The focus is on the normative and legislative transformation of the view on work.

A major interest will be to discern various European patterns in discourses, norms and legislation on work and - given this variety - to discuss whether a European level is feasible. The point of reference for such a European level will be the USA where the whole flexibility and deregulation language began and seems to have been implemented in a different way.

The seminar therefore addresses historical issues, as well as questions of legal comparison. The US as a federal system and the European Union as a quasi-federal one are good examples, albeit in very different ways, of systems with multiple sovereigns, whereby law-making power is divided between multiple and overlapping sovereigns. When discussing labour law measures the main question has to do with the possible intersection of deregulation with either excessive centralisation or with downward devolution. The discussion among labour lawyers is how to ascertain a role of social rules which are not simply functional to market efficiency, but also reflect national traditions in supportive and protective legislation.

The three seminar leaders will act as discussants in all sessions. Active participation from research students from law and history departments is expected. Of course, also students from other departments are very welcome. Reading materials will be provided at the beginning of the seminar. Participation in the second term seminar, organised by professors Stråth and Sciarra will be welcome for those who intend to focus on the issues in question. The second term seminar is thought of as a continuation of the first term one.


                7 October
                Karl Klare (Visiting Fulbright Professor, Law Department)
Federal and State law in the US. Thinking critically and historically about work and law

14 October
                Silvana Sciarra
Tracing the origins of European social policies: from Rome to Amsterdam

21 October
                Robert Salais, Ecole Normale Superioeure de Cachan
Discerning a European level of labour market coordination

28 October
                Bo Stråth
The concept of work historically in social and economic theory building

4 November
                Silvana Sciarra
The title on employment in the Treaty of Amsterdam: new measures and old doubts

11 November
                Karl Klare
Beyond collective bargaining. New forms of collective representation and identity

18 November
                Bo Stråth
The flexibility discourse in European comparison

25 November
                Willibald Steinmetz (University of Bochum)
Meeting at court: Senses of justice and conflict. Attitudes among English Employers and Employees, 1850s-1920s

2 December
                Silvana Sciarra
Multi-level policy making. The role of legal and voluntary sources and the powers of the social partners in shaping the notion of work at a European level

9 December
                Karl Klare
Multi-level Policy making. The role of legal and voluntary sources and the powers of the social partners in shaping the notion of work in the US


                Seminar Plan for Spring 1999
Beyond Flexibility: A legal and historical analysis of labour regulations

Flexibility has become a word used in many circles, with different connotations.

This seminar will aim at analysing different meanings of flexibility related to work: organisation of work, protection of workers, attitudes of political and social partners towards it. The analysis will be centred on some European countries and will have an historical perspective. It will try to deconstruct this wide and often vague notion, in order to discover its concrete meanings in legal and historical terms.

The debate at Community level is also full of insights: not only flexibility is the leading policy indication in most documents and acts of the institutions in the social field; it also seems to be at the core of macro economic policies which directly affect social policies and labour standards.

The historical analysis will serve the purpose to show whether globalisation has meant dis-embedding social rights from their cultural and local traditions and whether fundamental principles of a new kind are emerging at a supra-national level.

This seminar is a continuation of the autumn semester seminar in 1998

Visitors in this seminar will be, among others:

Prof. A. Supiot, The future of work. Discussion on a Report for the European Commission

Prof. M. Rodriguez-Pinero, Recent reforms in Spanish labour law: how to combine social protection with market efficiency

L. Gamet, A new flexibility in labour law? Recent reforms in France

The History of European Identity

Luisa Passerini and Bo Stråth

Seminar programme, Autumn term 1998/99

Tuesdays at 3 p.m., Sala Triaria


              The point of departure of this seminar is the intensified debate about a European identity during the last few decades. As a heavily charged ideological concept "European identity" is very vague as to content. The aim of the seminar is to deconstruct not only the concept of European identity as such, but the image of Europe in more general terms. We will examine the historical "use" or "invocation" of Europe. When has an image of Europe merged and how has it changed? What categories of Us and the Other has such an image mediated? Which elements of it, if any, can be projected into the future?

Participation assumes the reading of texts collected in a reader and distributed prior to the first session.

                Seminar 1 (Prof. Stråth) 17 November 1998
A Critical Approach in Historical Perspective

Denys Hay, Europe. The Emergence of an Idea. Edinburgh University Press 2nd ed., 1968, pp. xiii-xiv, 73-95.

Victoria A. Goddard, Joseph R. Llobera and Chris Shore, "Introduction: the Anthropology of Europe" in: ibid (eds), The Anthropology of Europe. Identity and Boundaries in Conflict. Berg, Oxford 1994 pp. 1-40.

                Seminar 2 (Prof. Passerini) 24 November 1998
European Identity in the Age of Deconstruction

Rosi Braidotti, "By Way of Nomadism", in Nomadic Subjects, Columbia University Press, New York 1994, pp. 1-39 and 245-57 (Notes pp. 281-5 and 303-4)

"Declaration on European Identity", in Bulletin EC, 12-1973, pp. 118-122

Jacques Derrida, The Other Heading: reflections on today's Europe, Indiana University Press, Bloomington Indiana 1992.

Hans Georg Gadamer, The Diversity of Europe: Inheritance and Future and other essays in Hans Georg Gadamer on Education, Poetry and History, State University of New York Press, Albany 1992.

René Girault, "Chronologie d'une conscience européenne au XX siècle", in Identité et conscience européennes, Hachette, Paris 1994, pp. 169-206.

                Seminar 3 (Prof. Passerini) 1 December 1998
Europe between Fascism and anti-Fascism

from Walter Lipgens (ed), Documents on the History of European Integration, vol. I, de Gruyter, Berlin-New York, 1985: pp. 1-30, 37-54;

documents 8, 11, 18, 22 of Section I of Part I;

documents 95, 135, 148, 186, 199 of Part II.

From Peter M. R. Stirk (ed), European Unity in Context. The Interwar Period, Pinter, London 1989, writings by Stirk (pp. 1-22 and 125-148) and John Pinder (pp. 201-223)

                Seminar 4 (Prof. Stråth) 8 December 1998
East and West

William Coxe, Travels in Poland and Russia. Arno Press, New York 1970 Vol. I Book I pp. 101-121 and Vol. III Book V pp. 133-158

David Cannadine (ed.),Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat. Winston Churchill's Famous Speeches. Cassel, London 1989, pp. 295-308 ("The Soviet Danger: The Iron Curtain" Fulton, Missouri 5 March, 1946) and pp. 309-314 ("European Unity: Something that Will Astonish You" Zürich 19 Sept., 1946)

Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika, New Thinking for Our Country and the World. Collins London 1987, pp. 190-209 ("Europe in Soviet Foreign Policy").


Modernity, Nationalism and Religion

Bo Stråth

Seminar: Spring 1998


              The seminar is a continuation of the seminars during 1997 and closely related to the research agenda of the project The Cultural Construction of Community. The focus will be on the nexus of nationalism, religion and modernity when legitimacy and community is produced. Elements of Enlightenment thoughts and ideas of scientifially legitimised rationalities have merged with religion and ideas of a national community in the building the image of the self and the other. How did these processes of merger look like more precisely? Some of the seminars will be a more immediate continuation of the seminars during 1997 and deal with the role of language in the construction of community and the question of nationalism and modernity. The seminar programme will be supported by three workshops and one conference. Within the framework of the Flexibility Project there will be one workshop and two seminars at the Schuman Centre.

                23 February 17-19 Sala Triaria
                B. Stråth: Introduction

2 March 17-19, Sala Triaria
                Q. Skinner (Cambridge): Le métier de l'historien. The Practice of Historical Research, This seminar is organised in cooperation with the researchers' working group on the theme

9 March 17-19, Sala Triaria
                Augustina Dimou (EUI) and Sabine Rutar (EUI): Class and Nation: Social Democratic Identity Construction in the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires

10 March 10-12, Convento
                Angelo Picchieri (Torino): Flexibility and Regionalism

16 March 11-13, Sala Triaria
                Thomas Howard (Valparaiso University, Indiana): Scientization of Theology at German universitites in the 19th Century

20 March 10-12, Convento
                Paul Johnson (LSE, London) and A. Milward (EUI): Renegotiating the Social Contract: the Case of Pensions

23 March 17-19, Sala Triaria
                Shmuel Eisenstadt (Jerusalem): Religion and Modernity

30 March 17-19, Sala Triaria
                NO SEMINAR :Student interviews

3-4 April 17-19, Sala Europa
                Workshop Modernity and Religion in Europe and the Middle East: Self-Image and the Image of the Other, for further details see the workshop programme

6 April 15-17, Sala Triaria (Double Seminar Begins at 15.00!)
                John Breuilly (Birmingham): Nationalism and Modernity

6 April 17-19, Sala Triaria
                Otto Dann (Cologne): Nationalism, Enlightenment and Modernity

20 April 17-19, Sala Triaria
                NO SEMINAR: June paper presentation

27-29, April Sala Triaria
                Workshop: Film and History: The Conflict of Interpretations, for further details see the workshop programme

4 May 17-19, Sala Triaria
                Willfried Spohn (FU Berlin): Nationalism, Religion and Modernity: Germany and Poland in Comparison

12 May 15-17, Sala Triaria
                Rudolf Vierhaus (Goettingen): Enlightenment and Universal Rights as Modern Religion

15-16 May, Sala Europa
                Workshop :From the Idea of Full Employment to the Flexibility Discourse, for further details see the workshop programme

25-26 May, Sala Europa
                Workshop: The Commemoration of 1848 in Europe, for further details see the workshop programme

4-7 June, Hotel Giotto, Bivigliano
                Conference: Memory and Myth in the Construction of Community , for further details see the conference programme