This symposium is the first of a series organized on a bi-annual basis and aims at developing a new format for the analysis of current developments within Europe and in neighboring parts of the world that have a key relevance for Europe and its global partners. The symposi-um will be organized alternately at one of the locations of the three European partner insti-tutions: the Herder-Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg, the Instituto Barcelona d’Estudis Internationals and the University of Glasgow. The permanent partner in the United States is the Council for European Studies at Columbia University (CES). The aim of the consortium is to support career paths of promising younger researchers orig-inating from Southern and Eastern member states of the European Union as well as from neighboring academic landscapes by bringing them in direct contact with scholars from the USA and Canada. For that purpose, early-stage researchers from the field of the Humanities and Social Sciences from both regions will be given the opportunity to enhance their individ-ual conceptual approaches against the backdrop of their own current or recently finished empirical studies. They will be joined by experts from the organizing institutions and the re-gional academic environment.
Since the beginning of the so-called refugee crisis in 2015/16, the discur¬sive shift away from multiculturalism and the agendas of ethnic, cultural, religious, and other minorities to a per-spective of assessing risks and challenges that evolve from societal diversity has intensified. In the political sphere and in print as well as social media in and outside Europe, the theme of migrants and cultural/religious diversity is becoming more and more intertwined with concepts of security, conflict prevention, and anti-terrorist determent. Parallel to that devel-opment, there is a tendency to re-frame or re-interpret assumptions on the relations between minority and majority populations. In some countries (like Russia, Hungary, or Mace-donia), we even see official polities that produce side-effects to re-marginalize minority groups by sociocultural, economic, and religious- or life-style-based dynamics of “othering.” As a consequence, security issues and processes of securitization lead to new intersections of social identities, renewed stereotypes and systems of domination, oppression, and dis-crimination. The Marburg symposium takes a critical stand against this tendency, aiming at assessing the concepts, paradigms, and methods for the re-evaluation of multi-ethnicity, diversity, and mobility in a globalized and “post-factual” era and seeking to identify factors and agencies that help to explain the current trends towards the obsession with security agendas. The discussions will provide ample opportunity for reflection on the theoretical implications from an interdisciplinary point of view. The participants will be invited to elabo-rate on the interfaces between concepts of ethnicity, diversity, and integration and different approaches to securitization and risk aversion. Discussions also aim at the re-evaluation of current theories of intersectionality, thereby addressing questions raised from individual empirical studies such as:
- What are social and political dynamics behind the new links between minorities, cultural diversity, and security issues?
- What are new trends and national longue-durée developments when we speak of the relation between kin-states, co-national minorities and the state they live in?
- Can we speak of a current transformation of concepts of integration and how they relate to security issues?
- How do security issues and the way they are verbalized influence group relations, group boundaries, and individual as well as collective identities?
- Is there a need to re-conceptualize agency, discourse, communication, and group behavior against this backdrop?
- How would we assess the role of European institutions when it comes to their interaction with national polities?
- What are the paradigms that function as an analytical tool? What is mainstream in the interpretation of individual conflicts?
Invited early-stage researchers:
Isa Afacan (Turkey, University of Giessen, political science): international relations, Turkish foreign policy and Northern Africa, the conflict in Syria
James Fitzgerald (Ireland, Dublin City University, International relations): International rela-tions and security studies, terrorism, political violence, and international security, discourse analysis, critical perspectives on knowledge production
Marina Germane (Latvia, University of Glasgow, history): European political history in 19th and 20th centuries, ethnic studies, ethnicity and national identity
Ana Nichita Ivaşiuc (Rumania, University of Giessen, political science): Minorities, govern-ance and security, Roma communities and national as well as European institutions
Tamir Libel (Israel, Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals and University College Dublin, International relations): Civil-military studies, security studies with a focus on Europe, North America and the wider Middle East
Federica Prina (Italy, University of Glasgow, law): Cultural and participatory rights of national minorities in the post-Soviet space, domestic implementation of international human rights law in post-Communist countries
Sergey Sukhankin (Russia, Autonomous University of Barcelona / International Centre for Policy Studies Kiev, International relations): Security in countries of the former Soviet Union, nationalism and violence, developments in the Baltic Sea region
Justyna Turkowska (Poland, University of Bonn, history): Nationalism, minority issues and regionalism in 19th and 20th century; history of the transfer of medical knowledge