Recent Submissions

  • Von Differenzlinien und moralischen Mehrheiten: Majoritäre Identitätspolitiken als soft-autoritäre Herrschaftspraxis

    Adam, Jens; Steinhauer, Hagen; Randeria, Shalini; Other Academic Units (Wiener Gesellschaft für interkulturelle Philosophie (WiGiP), 2022)
    This article examines the role of majoritarian identity politics in soft authoritarian attacks on democracy. Drawing on examples from France and Poland, we argue that in their struggle for cultural and political hegemony, right-wing actors use strategies like the demonisation of emancipatory politics, the problematization of difference and self-victimisation of »racial« or ethnoreligious majorities. Highlighting three political buzzwords (namely séparatisme, islamo-gauchisme and wokisme), our first case study traces shifts in French public discourse towards a conjunction and normalization of islamophobe, racist and anti-intellectual stances. Ethnographic observations about recent anti-LGBT discourses and restrictive border policies in Poland showcase the mobilization of political affects to transform the body politic into an exclusive identarian moral community. We close the article with a pledge to take seriously current attempts to redefine Europe as a closed formation with a fixed essence and stable identity.
  • The development of the conversation skills assessment tool

    Politis, Yurgos; Clemente, Ian; Lim, Zihyun; Sung, Connie; Other Academic Departments (SAGE Publications, 2023)
    Having a conversation with someone or even more within a group of people is complex. We are never taught at school how to do it, which implies we consider having a conversation as something simple and straightforward. Instead, we just learn from observing others. Some people are great conversationalists – it comes naturally to them – while others struggle. Some people may not fully understand how the process works, how turn-taking happens, don’t understand visual cues such as body language and facial expressions, and fail to comprehend that some topics may be appropriate or inappropriate. This can be the case for both neurotypical and neurodivergent people. The Conversation skills Assessment Tool has been developed in this first instance to help in assessing and examining conversation skills in an intervention with young autistic adults on a virtual platform (a virtual world). This paper will present the evolution of the new measure through the exploratory phase, the development phase and finally a detailed account of the inter-rater reliability process.
  • Which pathways to respond to the energy crisis? Recommendations on EU financial instruments

    Bokhorst, David; Lutringer, Christine; Mexi, Maria; Monti, Luciano; Randeria, Shalini; Žarković, Jelena; Other Academic Units (Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development, Albert Hirschman Centre on DemocracyGeneva, 2022)
    At the EU and country levels, debates on the future of the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (RRPs) and the capacity of existing plans to face the energy crisis have delineated different scenarios. Experts gathered during the Geneva Democracy Week workshop “Programming and managing public funds at time of crises: European scenarios” discussed the implications of the crisis on the management and expenditure of public funds in Europe.
  • Representation of stable social dominance relations by human infants

    Mascaro, Olivier; Csibra, Gergely (National Academy of Sciences, 2012)
    What are the origins of humans’ capacity to represent social relations? We approached this question by studying human infants’ understanding of social dominance as a stable relation. We presented infants with interactions between animated agents in conflict situations. Studies 1 and 2 targeted expectations of stability of social dominance. They revealed that 15-mo-olds (and, to a lesser extent, 12-mo-olds) expect an asymmetric relationship between two agents to remain stable from one conflict to another. To do so, infants need to infer that one of the agents (the dominant) will consistently prevail when her goals conflict with those of the other (the subordinate). Study 3 and 4 targeted the format of infants’ representation of social dominance. In these studies, we found that 12- and 15-mo-olds did not extend their expectations of dominance to unobserved relationships, even when they could have been established by transitive inference. These results suggest that infants' expectation of stability originates from their representation of social dominance as a relationship between two agents rather than as an individual property. Infants’ demonstrated understanding of social dominance reflects the cognitive underpinning of humans’ capacity to represent social relations, which may be evolutionarily ancient, and may be shared with nonhuman species.
  • Empathy, emotional intelligence and interprofessional skills in healthcare education

    McNulty, Jonathan P.; Politis, Yurgos (Elsevier BV, 2023)
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health professionals maintain the health of citizens through evidence-based medicine and caring. Students enroled in health professional programmes are required to have successfully attained all core learning outcomes by reaching key milestones throughout the course of their studies, demonstrating they have developed the required graduate skills and attributes upon completion of the programme. While some of the knowledge, skills and competencies that make up these learning outcomes are very discipline specific, there are more general professional skills across all disciplines which are difficult to define, such as empathy, emotional intelligence and interprofessional skills. These are at the heart of all health professional programmes that once defined, can be mapped through curricula and further evaluated. Literature will be presented on these three professional skills: empathy, emotional intelligence, and interprofessional skills, based on studies that focussed primarily in health professional programmes and highlight some of the key findings and issues at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The paper will present the need for these skills to be defined and then mapped through curricula so that students are better supported in their professional development. Empathy, emotional intelligence and interprofessional skills transcend the discipline specific skills and as such it is important that all educators consider how best these may be fostered. Efforts should also be made to further the integration of these professional skills within curricula to produce health professionals with an enhanced focus on person-centred care.
  • Editorial: Championing inclusion and diversity: Inclusive design practices and approaches for education

    Robb, Nigel; Politis, Yurgos; Boot, Fleur Heleen (Frontiers Media SA, 2023)
  • Minimalist Storytelling: The Natural Framing of Electoral Violence by Mexican Media

    Schedler, Andreas (SAGE Publications, 2022)
    During the first two decades of the twenty-first century, Mexico’s so-called drug war claimed around a quarter of a million lives. Adapting to this enduring epidemic of violence, the print media have adopted a minimalist reporting style that gives only thin, formulaic accounts of violent events. As I argue, established journalistic minimalism does more than provide little information about violence. With practised impassiveness, it frames violence in a way that creates a certain narrative: not of social actors to be understood but of natural events to be endured. Through a qualitative content analysis of over 1200 news reports, I examine the persistent force of this “natural” frame in the face of an extraordinary development: the unprecedented intrusion of political violence into the 2018 general elections, when forty-eight candidates were assassinated.
  • Rethinking Political Polarization

    Schedler, Andreas (Oxford University Press, 2023)
    The comparative study of political polarization has been central to current debates on the global crisis of democracy. It has been built on uncertain conceptual foundations, though. Established uses of the concept lack a distinctive semantic core as multiple meanings compete against each other. On the basis of a broad reading of the comparative literature, I seek to circumscribe the use and reconstruct the core of political polarization as an instance of extraordinary democratic conflict. In a first step, I delineate the basic parameters of debate by distinguishing between cluster-analytic and conflict-analytic approaches and by specifying the generic type of political conflict that characterizes the polarization of democratic polities. In a second step, I argue for political intolerance as the defining trait of both ideological and social polarization. In a final step, I introduce a third, democratic dimension into the debate: the breakdown of basic democratic trust that leads actors to view their adversaries as “enemies of democracy.” Such perceptions spell the end of democratic consolidation. When played among “democratic enemies,” democracy stops being “the only game in town.”
  • ‘New eugenics,’ gender and sexuality: a global perspective on reproductive politics and sex education in Cold War Europe

    Varsa, Eszter; Szikra, Dorottya; Other (Taylor & Francis, 2020)
    The article addresses reproductive politics and sex education in Cold War Europe in light of novel historical research. Integrating sex education into reproductive politics it delineates four hitherto little discussed conceptual and topical areas in the field, and points to possibilities for further research. Most importantly, the article places the globalized character of post-World War II reproductive politics at the center of historical investigation. It sheds light on the position of (state socialist) Europe in the global processes that shaped fertility- and sexuality-related discourses, policies and practices during the Cold War, and the role of transnational agencies. Secondly, the article highlights the postwar persistence of eugenic thought in reproductive politics, still largely missing especially from the historiography of state socialist countries. It points to the ways in which “new eugenics” is related to its earlier manifestations in Europe as well as how it adapted to state socialist contexts. Third, the article discusses the important contribution of gender and intersectional scholarship on the history of sex education and reproductive politics in Europe to the social and welfare history of the region. Finally, the article pays specific attention to the role of the Catholic Church in the former “Eastern bloc.” It underlines how reproductive issues enabled the Church to affect politics and engage with the state in heterogeneous ways beyond opposition. The article suggests that further historical analysis could importantly contribute to a better understanding of the present rise of populist right-wing discussion focused on the demise of the traditional family and the fall of birth rates.
  • Stärkung der Demokratien durch eine breitere Beteiligung? Das Versprechen des Community Organizing-Ansatzes

    Sebály, Bernadett; Other (Springer, 2022)
    Community Organizing ist ein neuer Ansatz für die Entwicklung der Zivilgesellschaft im post-sozialistischen Osteuropa. Mit einem starken Fokus auf die „Macht der Menschen“ und fortschrittliche Werte kann sie die bürgerliche und politische Kultur effektiv verändern. Für Länder, die von demokratischen Rückschritten und Autokratisierung betroffen sind, bietet sie ein Rezept für den Aufbau partizipativer, egalitärer Demokratien, die über die formalen Bedingungen der Rechtsstaatlichkeit hinausgehen.
  • Making Sense of Electoral Violence: The Narrative Frame of Organised Crime in Mexico

    Schedler, Andreas; Other (Cambridge University Press, 2022)
    Since the inauguration of Mexican democracy in 2000, organised criminal violence had been leaking into the political arena. Yet, it escalated in the 2018 elections, when dozens of local candidates were killed. In most of these cases, the concrete perpetrators and motives remained in the dark. How did Mexican society make sense of this opaque, unprecedented wave of electoral violence? On the basis of a qualitative content analysis of over 1,200 news reports, I examine the structuring power of a shared narrative: the frame of organised crime. By conceiving candidate killings as economic violence within the criminal community, this commonsensical frame of interpretation permitted Mexican society to ‘normalise’ these killings as ‘business as usual’ by criminal organisations.
  • Valuing Diversity Without Illusions: The Anti-Utopian Agonism of Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies

    Royer, Christof; Other (Taylor & Francis, 2023)
    This article offers a novel interpretation of Karl Popper’s influential yet controversial book, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945). Popper, it argues, sheds light on a pivotal social and political question: How can we value genuine human plurality without succumbing to the illusion that enmity can be removed from the socio-political realm? What we find in Popper, I argue, is an “anti-utopian agonism,” that is, his conception of an open society harbors significant agonistic elements—a commitment to human plurality, an endorsement of (some) social and political struggles, and an acute awareness of the tragic dimensions of political life. Simultaneously, Popper’s distinctive anti-utopianism makes an important contribution to agonistic theory on two fronts. First, his concept of “the strain of civilization” reveals a deeper notion of tragedy, which gives him the edge over the rather shallow notion of tragedy we find in the agonistic tradition. Secondly, he develops a tripartite notion of enmity, which is theoretically interesting and practically relevant. The aim of this article is not only to contribute to the scholarship on Popper and agonism but, first and foremost, to demonstrate how The Open Society still matters as an inspiring work that illuminates the practically relevant question of how to value diversity without illusions.
  • The EU Framework and its implementation in Hungary

    Rostás, Iulius; Kovács, Adrienn; Other (Taylor & Francis, 2021)
    In spite of the positive role Hungary played in placing Roma on the agenda of EU institutions, the progress in improving the situation of Roma in Hungary is limited as data collected from the field indicate. The aim of the article is to review the implementation of the national strategy in Hungary, part of the EU Framework for Roma, by presenting primary and secondary data collected through literature review, policy analysis and interviews with policymakers and experts. The authors argue that the limited impact of the EU Framework has had on Roma in Hungary is due to three main factors: (1) a total neglect of lessons learned from past policies towards Roma, (2) the policy design of the EU Framework at EU and national levels, and (3) the increasing deterioration of the state of democracy in Hungary and the broader political environment in which the policies ought to be implemented reflected by the rise of far-right political parties and increasing authoritarianism on the side of ruling parties.
  • Neither objective nor subjective

    Rév, István; Other (Wiley, 2019)
    In journalism subjectivity is not the binary opposite of objectivity. The protagonists on both sides of the Cold War propaganda war were engaged in neither objective nor subjective journalism. While Western journalists working in the trenches of the Cold War at Radio Free Europe or Voice of America used the “mimicry of objectivism” and the “aura of objectivity” as their weapons to counter political propaganda from the East, journalists behind the Iron Curtain were consciously and proudly committed to direct propaganda as the only effective way of intervening in the affairs of the world. This introductory essay suggests a historical frame for interpreting the different practices of the two sides. The three papers that follow this introduction, all based on detailed archival work, analyze different aspects of the unprecedented propaganda Cold War. This war was fought under a serious constraint: the grave shortage of information from the opposing side. Working under conditions of uncertainty, reliable information was substituted by either self-delusion, wild fantasies, hearsay, lies, or unjustifiable trust in unreliable information. The papers attempt to bring the reader closer to an era that seems to be the opposite of ours: instead of an information deluge, propagandists, pundits, and analysts of the Cold War were forced to live with a dearth of information.
  • Liberty Square, Budapest: How Hungary Won the Second World War

    Rév, István; Other (Taylor & Francis, 2018)
    After more than sixty years of almost complete silence about its role in the Second World War, Hungary managed to find an officially satisfactory and morally uplifting story of the country’s involvement in the war. One of the central squares of Budapest offers a vivid, sensual, and tangible demonstration of both the futile past efforts of coming to grips with a difficult past and the unexpected recent solution. The square, its monuments and artefacts provide a spatial trace of historical and historiographical contentions and controversies of the past decades and the future to come.
  • The passport as means of identity management: making and unmaking ethnic boundaries through citizenship

    Pogonyi, Szabolcs; Other (Taylor & Francis, 2019)
    This paper explores how the non-resident citizenship made available for Hungarians living beyond Hungary’s borders impacted the national identification of newly naturalised non-resident Hungarians. Through the analysis of 51 semi-structured in-depth interviews with recently naturalised Hungarians in Romania, Serbia, the U.S. and Israel, the paper compares how citizenship as a legal institution is perceived, practiced and consumed by Hungarians living in Hungary’s neighbouring countries and overseas diasporas. Not denying the instrumental implications of the Hungarian passport, the paper argues that it is also an important means of constructing national identities. My empirical research shows that the passport strengthens the holder’s sense of belonging to the national group. In addition, citizenship is also considered as a valuable symbolic asset which can be instrumentalised as means of social closure. Non-resident Hungarians use their Hungarian passports to prove their European ancestry and/or belonging to the Hungarian nation. At the same time, the passport also enables its holder to distance herself from the populations in their home-states in order to elevate the holder’s social status.
  • Neglect, Marginalization, and Abuse: Hate Crime Legislation and Practice in the Labyrinth of Identity Politics, Minority Protection, and Penal Populism

    Pap, András L.; Other (Cambridge University Press, 2021)
    Using Hungary as a case study and focusing on legislative policies and the practical application of hate crime legislation, this article shows the various ways legal policy can become misguided in the labyrinth of identity politics, minority protection, and penal populism. The first mistake states can make, the author argues, is not to adopt hate crime legislation. The second error arguably pertains to conceptualizing hate crimes as an identity protection but not a minority-protection mechanism and instrument. The third fallacy the author identifies concerns legislative and practical policies that conceptualize victims based on self-identification and not on the perpetrator’s (or the wider community’s) potential perception and classification. The fourth flaw concerns the abuse of the concept of hate crime when it is applied in interethnic conflicts wherein members of minority communities are perpetrators and the victims are members of the majority communities. The fifth is institutional discrimination through the systematic underpolicing of hate crimes.
  • Neoconservative education policy and the case of the English Baccalaureate

    Neumann, Eszter; Gewirtz, Sharon; Maguire, Meg; Towers, Emma; Other (Taylor & Francis, 2020)
    Conservativism has gained significant influence on education-policy making and debates about education in many Anglophone countries. While conservative educational governments have advanced some neoliberal governance trends, they have also introduced characteristic neoconservative education elements, notably in the area of curricular content. This article focuses on the impact of conservative ideology on curriculum and assessment policies in English secondary education and specifically explores schools’ first reactions to the introduction of a policy initiative that is emblematic of neoconservatism, the English Baccalaureate. The empirical discussion relies on a mixed methods study on the reception of the latest assessment and curriculum policies in English secondary schools. The findings suggest that the current reforms are transforming school subject hierarchies, resource allocation across subjects, and what counts as knowledge in English secondary schools, and introducing a new culture of subject—and by implication, teacher and student—‘worth’.

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