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Manuela Bank-Zillmann

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Dace Dzenovska (Univ. of Oxford): School of Europeanness - tolerance and other lessons in political liberalism in Latvia

Termin Dienstag, 7. Januar 2020, 16.15 - 18.00 Uhr
Veranstaltungsart Vorlesung/Vortrag
Einrichtung Philosophische Fakultät I
Veranstalter Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung und Seminar für Ethnologie der MLU
Veranstaltungsort Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung, Großer Seminarraum
Straße Advokatenweg 36
PLZ/Ort 06114 Halle (Saale)
Ansprechpartner Bettina Mann
Telefon +49 345-2927501


In the 1990s, the global victory of liberalism as the blueprint for organizing economic and political life seemed certain. Today it no longer does. Governing elites in Western liberal democracies are concerned about risks posed by a variety of “illiberal populisms.” Transnational coalitions involving Eastern European nationalists and North Atlantic strategists warn that the “international liberal order” is under threat from Russia. And academics are calling for reflection on liberalism’s political failures.

Drawing on ethnographic research on tolerance promotion in Latvia, Dr. Dzenovska argues that these debates fail to consider the specific contours of the “actually existing” political liberalism. Post-Cold War liberalism as a historical formation comes into view most clearly in liberalism’s missionary encounters with people thought to have lost their way as a result of living under “actually existing socialism.” These encounters show the underlying tensions of political liberalism, such as the need to draw boundaries around liberal democratic polities while emphasizing the virtues of inclusion, openness, and tolerance. Ultimately, they reveal the actually existing post-Cold War liberalism to be an ideological formation that misrecognizes itself as a politically neutral set of tools for organizing collective life. (Speaker's abstract)



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