Confronting Political Concepts with New Nationalisms

Panel Code
Closed Panel

Together with several serious challenges in the last two decades (terror, refugee movements, financial and economic crises), we are facing populist movements and recurring ideologies like nationalism, antisemitism, racism, sexism and homophobia. The European institutional model of a well-balanced separation of powers, parliamentary representation and the role of parties and executive branch is questioned by populist definitions and practices of the 'people' and its leaders, institutional increase of executive power 'illiberal democracy' and the use of referendum against parliamentary representation. In the 1950s, Hannah Arendt spoke about “the break in tradition” and the impossibility of continuing to think about new political phenomena with categories that no longer corresponded to those phenomena. Our interest, in this sense, is to rethink some key political concepts, such as power, autonomy, and authoritarianism among others, to examine them and to contribute to the more in-depth understanding of the link between relevance of political concepts and comprehension of some major contemporary challenges.

This panel engages with the following questions: Can our traditional concepts and ideas still in keep in touch with newer events and help us understand what is happening or do we have to rethink them in the light of recent experiences? Can we speak about a rupture in the traditional political concepts? Are there concepts from the past, which prevent the impartiality of contemporary judgment? Do the crises highlight constitutional weaknesses, which come to the fore through these crises?


Zoran Kurelic (University of Zagreb, Croatia)
The Anti-secularist Attack on Liberal Pluralism

Vlasta Jalusic (Peace Institute and University of Liubljana, Slovenia)
Predicaments of the Nation-state: Can we still learn from Arendt's Concepts?

Waltraud Meints-Stender (University of Niederrhein, Germany)
Political Autonomy after the End of Autonomy

Cristina Sánchez (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)
Crises of the Republic, Crisis of Democracy: Readings from an Arendtian Perspective

Wolfgang Heuer (Free University of Berlin, Germany)
The Challenge of the Break of the Tradition

Bostjan Nedoh, (Slovenian Academy of sciences, Institute for Philosophy, Slovenia)
From the Nation-state to the State of Refugees: Agamben and the Future of Europe