- Time: 1-5pm
A workshop for graduate students in social and critical theory, with presentations of work in progress and feedback discussion.
The Bauman Institute’s 2021 PGR Workshop
Future Cities, Future Citizenship
25th May 2021
1:00pm – 5:00pm
ZOOM LINK WILL BE AVAILABLE HERE
The Bauman Institute welcomes attendees to its annual PGR workshop, a space for graduate students in social and critical theory to present work in progress and participate in feedback discussions.
This year’s theme of ‘Future Cities, Future Citizenship’ explores contemporary critiques of capitalism and the nation state, alongside potentialities of alternative urban lifeforms and politics, amidst the crisis of contemporary democracy, neoliberal economics and the environment. Speakers will present papers for discussion covering alternative politics, new forms of community, cosmopolitanism, identity, individualism, mobilisations, new collectivisms, and the everyday. After speakers present their paper, a conversation with discussants is opened. We are leaving an unusually open amount of space for broad discussion to develop on the topics presented.
1.00: Arrivals & welcome
Johanna Loock: German Integration Politics, National Identity and the Question of Citizenship
While integration politics and efforts to reconstruct a national identity may appear to be part of separate or even opposed political projects, in this paper I explore their problematic complicity. In Germany, integration politics is declared a major tool to support the participation of migrants in society. Integration politics suggest that central elements constituting the nation can actually be learned – and access gained? However, even people who are fluent in German and committed to German rules and values continue to be described as “foreigners”, “Muslims”, or “people with migration background”. Thus, they remain marked as belonging to minorities which are relegated to the margins of the nation. I argue that the constructing of minorities and ensuing consequences are inherent in integration politics. In turn, these mechanisms facilitate the reconstruction of an exclusive German national identity. The discrepancy between the apparent prospect of access to the nation and its denial through minorization, leads me to the problem of citizenship, the question of who can belong to the nation and who can despite all efforts maybe never become part of it on equal terms. Inversely, it has to be asked whether the idea of the nation-state is actually suitable for accommodating diversity and what this question entails for notions of future citizenship.
Tesfalem H. Yemane & Hyab Yohannes: The UK “New Immigration Plan”: Situational rhetoric of recognition/rejection
Over the last few weeks, the UK Home Office introduced what it calls a “New Plan for Immigration”. This “New Plan” deploys exceptional measures such as “speeding up removal”, “empowering border force”, “stopping illegal arrivals”, and “maximising sentences for smuggling and illegal entry into the UK”. It also purports to “resettle” and “better integrate” refugees who arrive to the UK through ‘regular pathways’. What does such conflation of “exception” and “recognition” of asylum entail, both conceptually and practically? How do the seemingly contradictory notions of “exception” and “recognition” operate in tandem? To answer these questions, we examine regimes of biopolitical (b)-ordering that asylum seekers are subjected. We interrogate how the precarious relationship between the state and the asylum seeker is framed and communicated in political life.
3.15: Tea break
Claudia Coveney: The opportunities and risks of civil society: A case study of European disability advocacy
While the sphere of civil society provides a space for social movement organisations to engage with (and become) governance actors through collective action, it also holds risk for such organisations. Can organisations use their collective voice within this sphere and be truly representative of a movement when the discursive space is restricted by forces of legitimation and de-legitimation? The impact of civil society organisations on policy debates in Europe is examined in the context of disability policy, by tracking policy discourse in a case study. The concluding remark is question: is there a sacrifice to be made in the process of becoming a policy actor?
4.30: Open discussion: PGR Bauman plans for next year
Further details to follow. Further info: Claudia Coveney, SSP.