On the Global Crisis of Liberal Narratives
Friday, 24 March and Saturday, 25 March 2017, Berlin
At the two-day public conference ‘Competing Narratives: On the Global Crisis of Liberal Narratives’, approximately 200 participants, including numerous international activists, artists and academics, will discuss the ‘contest of narratives’ (Frank Gadinger) with respect to liberal and illiberal narratives in the context of overarching themes such as human rights, freedom of speech and expression, sexual orientation, flight and migration.
Over the past 300 years, liberal narratives have established themselves world-wide that seek to protect the individual from the power of the state and of other actors and to promote his free development. These include consensus on the meaning and validity of human rights, the independence of justice and the media as a necessary element of a functioning democracy, but also the specific significance - and responsibility - of private-property rights in a market economy. Currently, illiberal narratives are gaining ground internationally and are putting liberal narratives and thereby the open society under pressure. One example are competing narratives on the role of non-governmental organisations: for some they are actors of a dynamic civil society, for others agents of hostile powers..
The two-day conference ‘Competing Narratives: On the Global Crisis of Liberal Narratives,’ to be held on 24 and 25 March 2017 in Berlin, will spotlight central questions on these phenomena: do illiberal narratives exist in countries such as China, Germany, France, India, Poland, Russia, Turkey and the USA and what strategies are they pursuing? What meaning do the concepts of ‘liberal’ and ‘illiberal’ have today, if any? What new advocates of liberal narratives are active, and how can the open society be defended? Approximately 200 participants, including numerous international activists, artists and academics will discuss the ‘Wettkampf von Erzählungen’ / ‘contest of narratives’ (Frank Gadinger) in the context of overarching themes such as democracy, human rights, freedom of speech and expression, state interventions and encroachments, sexual orientation and gender, and flight and migration. The public will be able to participate in the discussions following the speakers’ respective talks. Performative elements will complement the contributions. Participants include Nigerian slam poet Efe Paul Azino, Russian political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann, Hong Kong economist Chandran Nair, American jurist Michele Goodwin, Indian cultural journalist Ranjit Hoskoté and German sociologist Armin Nassehi.
The conference ‘Competing Narratives: On the Global Crisis of Liberal Narratives’ is a joint event of the Goethe-Institut, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Federation of German Industries and the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research.
Efe Paul Azino / performance artist and slam poet from Lagos, Nigeria
Prof Dr. Tongdong Bai / Fudan University Shanghai, China
Liane von Billerbeck / Deutschlandradio
Dr. Ariel Colonomos / SciencePo Paris, Centres des recherches internationales (ENRS), France
Amira El Ahl / documenta 14
Prof. Michele Goodwin / University of California, Irvine, USA
Mona Harry / poetry slammer
Prof. Dr. Friederike Herrmann / Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany Prof. Dr. Friederike Herrmann / Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany Prof. Dr. Eva Horn / University of Vienna, Austria Ranjit Hoskote / author, art curator and cultural journalist, India Prof. Dr. Kader Konuk / University Duisburg-Essen, Germany Prof. Dr. Albrecht Koschorke / University of Konstanz, Germany Matthias Krupa / DIE ZEIT Prof. Dr. Alister Miskimmon / Royal Holloway College of the University of London, United Kingdom Chandran Nair / Global Institute For Tomorrow, Hong Kong
Prof. Dr. Armin Nassehi / Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany Tanasgol Sabbagh / poetry slammer Prof. Dr. Ekaterina Schulmann / Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Russia Dr. Karolina Wigura / University of Warsaw, Kultura Liberalna, Poland
|18:00||Opening and Welcome Address|
|Johannes Ebert (Goethe-Institut). And Markus Böckenförde (Centre for Global Cooperation Research), Markus Kerber (Federation of German Industries), Barbara Unmüßig (Heinrich Böll Foundation)
Moderation: Amira El Ahl
|18:30||Albrecht Koschorke: Populists and Liberals|
|Talk and Discussion|
||External perspective: Critique of liberal narratives at the international level|
|With Tongdong Bai, Kader Konuk, Chandran Nair, Ekaterina Schulmann
Chair: Matthias Krupa
|13:00||Poetry Slam: Efe Paul Azino, Mona Harry, Tanasgol Sabbagh|
||Internal perspective: Illiberal narratives within liberal societies|
|With Ariel Colonomos, Michele Goodwin, Ranjit Hoskote, Armin Nassehi, Karolina Wigura
Chair: Liane von Billerbeck
|17:00||Outlook: Narratives for an open society|
|With Eva Horn, Alister Miskimmon
Chair: Friederike Herrmann
|With Johannes Ebert (Goethe-Institut), Katja Freistein (Centre for Global Cooperation Research), Stefan Mair (Federation of German Industries), Barbara Unmüßig (Heinrich Böll Foundation)|
|19:30||Drinks & Snacks|