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Event ID: MC188006

12th Jul 2021 - 23rd Jul 2021

Conference Start Date: 12th Jul 2021

Conference End Date: 23rd Jul 2021

Event Type: Workshop

Event Serial: MC188006 /   Total Views ( 100 )

Deadline for Abstract/Paper Submissions: 14th Feb 2021

Event Organizer: Central European University Summer University Program

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Conference Venue : Budapest n/a,   Hungary

Conference Details : Liberalism has come to be considered a sectarian position, and those who champion it are thought to be advancing particularistic interests, suited to their own Weltanschauung and lifestyle. It appears somewhat ironic that liberalism, that propounds a universal vision of equality and freedom, has come to be considered particularistic. There is, however, some logic in this: in a society that has such profound cultural and values-driven diversity, it is difficult for liberal values, including universalism, equality, freedom of the individual from tradition and authority, and the very principle of the rule of law, to serve as a common springboard for a shared life. The course will return to foundational questions of liberal democracy through the perspective of the new global pandemic, an event which may be understood as both a metaphor for and as a crystallization of the malaise of liberal democracies. The fundamental questions accentuated by our experience with and management of the pandemic include, individual freedom vs. collective attachments; expert knowledge vs. populist sentiments; rule vs. exception; economic concerns understood in terms of growth vs. general welfare; and, indeed, questions arising from the very notion of the social contract and the role of the state. The course will comprise three parts: a An exposition in which students will reflect in a structured way on their experience in facing the pandemic on a personal, professional, and national level e.g., anxiety, economic insecurity, care, pause from daily routines, solidarity, different forms of isolation, intimacy and social interaction; mistrust; b The main part, which will be comprised of a sustained discussion of the major building blocks of the "social contract" and include relating the broad theory to their personal experiences. The discussion is designed to explore both historicalimaginative narratives of plagues and the extent to which some of the existing political, social and legal theories – particularly of human rights discourse and its critics - capture or fail to exhaust the experience of the pandemic in its multiplicity; c And a final exercise, in which students working in small groups and, playing with these building blocks will develop their own thought and voice to generate a policy for addressing not only the emergence of a future critical situation but the on-going crisis of liberal democracy.

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