School of Sociology and Social Policy

The Bauman Institute

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Liquid Cities – Postgraduate Masterclass

Liquid Cities
Wednesday 29th August, 1pm – 4pm
Postgraduate Masterclass

Peter Beilharz
Professor of Sociology, La Trobe University, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Mark Davis
Director of the Bauman Institute, University of Leeds, UK       
Keith Tester
Professor of Sociology, University of Hull, UK Continue reading

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Big Society / Good Society Round Table

Big Society comic strip by Dave SimondsDate: June 21st, 2012 | Time: 14:30 — 18:00

Under the current Coalition Government and in the contemporary, post-financial crisis era, the ‘Big Society’ has become an organising concept that signals a different way of thinking about and organising public, financial and social services. At the same time, no other recent policy idea has been the source of as much passionate advocacy, derision, confusion and critically righteous anger. There remains much uncertainty and debate about what the Big Society means and what its impacts through implementation might look like and what their social and economic consequences might be.

What is the Big Society and what does it mean for ordinary people as well as public, voluntary and private organisations? Just how much of a culture change and/or institutional transformation does the Big Society herald? Does the Big Society represent a genuine shift of power to determine priorities and spending to local people? Does the Big Society signal a new philanthropy or the birth/death of the voluntary sector? To what extent does the Big Society presage a vision of the ‘good society’? Continue reading

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The crisis as an opportunity for a new economy

Leeds Taking Soundings
Dialogues in Politics and Culture
The crisis as an opportunity for a new economy

Speaker: Tim Jenkins

6.00 pm, Wednesday 29 February

Broadcasting Place, Room BP102

Woodhouse Lane,LeedsLS2 9EN

Continue reading

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The Neoliberal Attack on the Humanities

The Neoliberal Attack on the Humanities:
A Report from South Africa’s Front Line

Professor Peter Vale

Professor of Humanities, University of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Professor of Politics Emeritus, Rhodes University, South Africa

Wednesday 26th October, 4pm

Conference Auditorium 2 –

The Event is Free. All Welcome.

No pre-registration required. Please arrive from 3.30 to be seated.

Formerly in the School of Government and Professor of Social Theory at the University of the Western Cape, Professor Vale’s former appointments also include Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University; UNESCO Professor of African Studies at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; and Professor of Southern African Studies at UWC. Between 1999 and 2001, he was Acting Vice-Rector and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the same institution.

More recently, Peter Vale has been the co-chair of a panel which has reported on the state of the Humanities in South Africa . This report was issued by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). He remains active in the politics around the Humanities in the country.

Vale’s academic work reflects a forceful engagement with the theory and practice of social relations beginning with his interest in international relations and politics.  Aside from academic writing, Professor Vale is an energetic contributor to the popular media.

We are delighted to welcome Peter to Leeds and hope that you will consider joining us for his talk.

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Higher Education in the Liquid Modern Era: Swirling down the Drain?

This one day, BSA sponsored conference, hosted at the University of Leeds in conjunction with the Bauman Institute, will be looking to discuss the following;

  • How has sociological theory impacted on the ethical, economic, social and political landscape?
  • Is there space for substantive ethical development within ‘the academy’?
  • How might proposed drives towards efficiency, impact and ‘value-for-money’ lead to irrational outcomes?
  • Can postgraduate students assert the value of sociology by opposing the changes inside academic institutions?
  • Will there still be space for critical sociology or will changes to funding limit critical thought?

For more information, see

This entry was posted in Events, News.

Shared Social Responsibilities, continued…

A quick update on developments following the Shared Social Responsibilities conference in Brussels at the start of this month.

The Council of Europe have created a webspace specifically for the conference, including a draft version of the Charter, copies of the main speeches, and information about forthcoming publications. More details can be found here.

On a related matter, Dr Sean Healy, Director of Social Justice Ireland, is organising a significant event in Dublin in September that concerns directly the idea of sharing social responsibilities as a strategy for the future.

Dr Healy has very kindly invited me to offer a keynote address at this event. The working title of my paper is: Crises of Consumerism – Sharing Social Responsbilities as a Way Ahead. More details on this event soon. Further information about Social Justice Ireland can be found at their website: Social Justice Ireland.

This entry was posted in Events, News, Renewing Politics and Civil Society.

Thesis Eleven Centre’s ‘Festival of Ideas’

Tuesday 7th June – Thursday 16th June 2011

An array of public and academic events:

Research workshops; public lectures; master classes; exhibitions, films, performances

Participating International Centres:

  • Fine Arts Museum, Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University
  • Socio-Aesthetics Institute, Copenhagen University
  • English Department, Delhi University,
  • The Bauman Institute, Leeds University
  • Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University
  • Academy of Social Science, South Africa

This entry was posted in Events.

Shared Social Responsibilities, Brussels, 28 Feb – 1 Mar 2011

Seminar – Conference 2011 
Shared Social Responsibility
Securing trust and sustainable social cohesion
in a context of transition

28 February – 1 March
Brussels, European Commission

The Council of Europe – in partnership with the European Commission – is organising this conference on 28 February and 1 March 2011. The event is open to public authorities, researchers, NGOs, civil society, academics, policy makers, etc., and its aim is to give a thoroughly European focus to our reflection on the question of responsibilities in forging the future of our designs for democracy, social justice, poverty alleviation, sustainability and communal living.

A “European Charter on shared social responsibilities” is currently being drawn up and will be discussed before its final version during the first working day.

The conference will deal primarily with the following topics:
• the transformations in Europe: social cohesion and shared responsibility, key factors in creating vision and rebuilding confidence in the future;
• the need for a concept of shared social responsibility: prospects and obstacles;
• mobilising citizens and stake-holders through and for shared responsibilities;
• the challenges to placing shared responsibility at the heart of the political agenda
• organising ourselves to achieve the objective of well-being for all.

At the conference, Mark Davis will present a paper during Workshop 1A that focuses specifically upon the concept of shared social responsibility in the context of crisis.

Click here for further information on the Bauman Institute’s role in this project.

Click here for further information on the conference itself, including a full programme and details on how to register.

This entry was posted in Consumerism and Sustainability, Events, Renewing Politics and Civil Society.

‘Why do good people do evil things?’

Oxford University Chabad Society cordially invites you to a lecture by Professor Zygmunt Bauman.

Zygmunt Bauman, born in Poznan, Poland, is one of Europe’s most influential sociologists and is currently Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Leeds University.  Since 1971, he has resided in England after being driven out of Poland by an anti-Semitic campaign, engineered by the Communist government which he had previously supported. Bauman’s published work extends to 57 books and well over a hundred articles. Bauman was awarded the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Sciences in 1992 and the Theodor W. Adorno Award of the city of Frankfurt in 1998. He has been awarded in 2010, the Príncipe de Asturias Prize for Communication and the Humanities. The University of Leeds launched The Bauman Institute within its School of Sociology and Social Policy in Bauman’s honour in September 2010“.

‘Why do good people do evil things?’, Tuesday 22 Feb, 8pm, buffet reception at 7:30pm.

At Slager Jewish student centre, 61 George St, Oxford, OX1 2BQ.


All are welcome!

This entry was posted in Events, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

Bauman and Balibar: Europe and the Rest

At the University of Leeds on Wednesday 13th May 2009 the ICPS and the AHRC-sponsored ‘Postcolonial Europe’ network co-hosted a spectacularly well-attended public dialogue between Etienne Balibar (Emeritus Professor at Paris X Nanterre and the University of California, Irvine) and Zygmunt Bauman (Emeritus Professor at the University of Leeds).

The lively dialogue, between two of Europe’s foremost public intellectuals, revolved around the current status of Europe in a globalised world, the perceived qualifications for being European, and whether or not Europe could be considered as a post-colonial space.

A video and audio file of the event is available from a page here Europe and the Rest: Bauman and Balibar

This entry was posted in Events.

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