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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Theorie der Politik

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Sozialwissen­schaften | Theorie der Politik | Mitarbeiter/innen | PD Dr. Paula Diehl | The Political Imaginary and New Forms of Collective Subjectivities

The Political Imaginary and New Forms of Collective Subjectivities


18.-19. November 2016
Humboldt University of Berlin, Main Building, R. 2070 A, Unter den Linden 6



PD Dr. Paula Diehl








For decades, modern democracies have been experiencing deep transformations such as globalization, new forms of medialization, and crises of political representation and institutions. These transformations have impacted the way people understand and experience politics, affecting collective subjectivity and the political imaginary. We are witnessing the rise of populism, the emergence of new online and offline political movements, and the formation of a new kind of political consciousness, which does not necessarily follow the logic of political institutions and is sometimes anti-political. How can we make sense of such different phenomena, and what is their impact on democracy? The workshop “The political Imaginary and new Forms of collective Subjectivities” starts from the hypothesis that these phenomena are at the same time symptoms and causes of a deeper transformation of the political imaginary and that they concern different political cultures. For this reason, we propose a specific theoretical and comparative approach to these questions. It mobilizes the notions of the imaginary and of collective subjectivity in order to understand actual transformations of politics and society. The project has two goals: it intends to develop the notion of the imaginary as a framework of sociology and political science on the one hand, and to analyze socio-political transformations of Modern democracy by comparing new socio-political trends in Europe and Latin America on the other. 
How do phenomena such as disenchantment from politics, populism, anti-political and anti-institutional movements, and new forms of political action are interconnected and how they are related to the political imaginary? Are we witnessing a new form of political subjectivity? If yes, what does it mean for democracy? The workshop will adress these questions on two levels: on the conceptual-theoretical and on the empirical-analytical.





(PDF version of the program)

Friday, November 18

2:00 pm
Welcome and Introduction
Paula Diehl (Humboldt University) & José Maurício
Domingues (Institute on Social and Political Research, Rio
de Janeiro)
2.30 pm
Political Imaginary and Normativity
Chair: Kathya Araujo (Univerity of Santiago, Chile)
Powerful normative social fictions -­ 'sustainability' for
Regine Herbrik (Leuphana­-University Lüneburg)
The Imaginary and Political Representation
Paula Diehl (Humboldt University of Berlin)
4.30 pm
5.00 pm
Political Imaginary and Collective Subjectivities
Chair: Kathya Araujo (Univerity of Santiago, Chile)
The Politics of the Imagination: Some Lessons and
Perspectives from Neo­-Spinozism
Martin Saar (University of Leipzig)
Collective Subjectivities
José Maurício Domingues (IESP, University of Rio de Janeiro)

Saturday, November 19

9.00 am
Democratic Imaginary and New Political Subjectivities
Chair: Mirko Petersen (University of Bielefeld)
New Imaginations of Equality and its Democratic Impact
Emanuel Richter (Technical University of Aachen)
Populism and Collective Subjectivities
Wolfgang Knöbl (HIS, Hamburg)
10.30 am
11.00 am
Collective Subjectivity and Identity
Chair: Mirko Petersen (University of Bielefeld)
Indiginous Subjectivity in Modern Democracy
Olaf Kaltmeier (University of Bielefeld)
Political Subjectivities in the Pegida Movement
Giorgia Bulli (University of Florence)
12.30 pm
General Discussion
13.00 pm



Paula Diehl
+49 176 228 976 831
Florian Eyert (Student Assistant)
+49 176 3169 6565