Kein ‘business as usual’: Die Rolle von Akademiker*innen im Zeitalter von Trump überdenken


                                                                                                                                                                  [Photo: Cole Keister/unsplash]

„Mein Haus brennt, und ich stelle die Möbel um!“ – dieses russische Sprichwort stehe exemplarisch für die gegenwärtige Krise der Sozialwissenschaften, argumentiert Robert Benson in seinem neuen Beitrag. In Zeiten von Neoautoritarismus in Gestalt von Trump und Bolsonaro, Repressionen gegen universitäre Einrichtungen im Herzen Europas und rechtsextremen Mobs auf den Straßen von Chemnitz seien Akademiker*innen mehr denn je in der Pflicht, sich zu Wort zu melden. Stattdessen dominierten nach wie vor elitäre Debatten innerhalb akademischer Zirkel, weit entfernt von allgemeiner öffentlicher Wahrnehmung. Doch wenn Wissenschaft weiterhin nach dem von Max Weber konstatierten Muster betrieben werde – berechnend, exakt und gefühllos, so spiegeln auch die resultierenden Debatten diese Haltung wider. Als Sozialwissenschftler*in hingegen habe man, frei nach Howard Becker, den Luxus moralischer Indifferenz aufgegeben. Daher plädiert Benson für ein Ende des Maulkorbs – es sei an der Zeit, den Elfenbeinturm zu verlassen und kollektiv die Stimme zu erheben.

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This cannot be business as usual: re-examining the role of the scholar in the age of Trump


                                                                                                                                                                 [Photo: Cole Keister/unsplash]

The Austrian jurist Hans Kelsen wrote in the summer of 1932 ‘one hears talk on all sides of a crisis—and sometimes even a catastrophe— of democracy’. Embroiled in a bitter exchange with his fellow legal scholars, the erstwhile philosophy teacher from Vienna was increasingly isolated and at odds with his profession. ‘Those who are for democracy’ he argued ‘cannot allow themselves to be caught in the dangers of idle debates’. Spirited in his defense of the Weimar Constitution, Kelsen was not in keeping with the times. There was, he believed, a sense of urgency to his scholarly work that his contemporaries simply did not understand. We live in a world, he lamented­, absent of heroes. Within months of accepting his professorship at the University of Cologne, Kelsen was summarily dismissed on political grounds.

‘History may not repeat itself’, the Yale historian Timothy Snyder argues, ‘but it certainly instructs’. Once again there is talk of a crisis of democracy. Yet like the fatigue which comes at the onset of a fever, there exists a disorientating malaise amongst social scientists. We work and publish; we debate with our colleagues, but to what ends?

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G-7 Summit: What it Tells Us About the Challenges to Western Cohesion

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1975, Château de Rambouillet, 50 kilometers south-west of Paris. The heads of state and government of the six leading industrial countries gather for their first joint summit meeting. Today’s Group of Seven (G-7) was born. At its 44th summit, which took place at La Malbaie, Canada last week, the group saw a historic transition from careful policy coordination to undisguised political discord. From tensions over a possible readmission of Russia to President Trump’s instruction not to endorse the arduously negotiated communiqué – the gathering ended in a diplomatic fiasco. The more so as only one day later, on 10th June, China successfully orchestrated the inking of a joint summit declaration among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which also counts Russia and, more recently, India and Pakistan, among its members. Is the West breaking apart while the East consolidates?

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Why Trump’s Withdrawal from the Iran Deal Threatens Nuclear Non-Proliferation

[gettyimages/ Amith Nag Photography]

On May 8, President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal labeling it as “decaying and rotten”. Right from the early days of his campaign, Donald Trump has not shown much sympathy for this agreement, which the preceding Obama administration negotiated and crafted along with other states to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb. The recent high frequency visits of European officials (Macron, Merkel, Johnson) to the White House were the latest sign of the growing international nervousness and efforts to change the President’s mind. Indeed, the decision to pull out from the Iran nuclear deal deeply worries many policymakers and experts.

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Can a Populist be the Leader of the Free World?

Populism and the liberal international order don’t mix well: The more populism there is, the less liberal the international order appears to become. Moreover, judging by the year-long presidency of Donald Trump, the liberal international order seems to be in particular danger if the most powerful state in the system catches the populist bug. Why is this so? Are populism and the liberal world order fundamentally incompatible? Can a populist be a leader of the free world?

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My Fury about Trump’s Fire

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Kurz vor Weihnachten schickte ich die korrigierten Druckfahnen für mein neues Buch zurück an den Verlag. Mein englischer Lektor witzelte darauf hin, dass wir das Buch unbedingt an Donald Trump schicken sollten, damit er es liest. Angesichts der gerade bekannt gewordenen täglichen Leseleistungen des amerikanischen Präsidenten errechnete ich sofort, dass er unter Berücksichtigung der Sommerpausen voraussichtlich kurz vor Weihnachten 2019 fertig sein müsste. Doch als ich kurz darauf die National Security Strategy der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika (NSS) mit dem Vorwort des Präsidenten sah,  hegte ich den Verdacht, dass er zumindest das erste Kapitel meines Buchs bereits gelesen hat.

Dieses erste Kapitel handelt über die normative Grundierung des globalen politischen Systems. Demnach kann dann von einem globalen politischen System gesprochen werden, wenn drei Bedingungen erfüllt sind. Continue reading “My Fury about Trump’s Fire”

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My Fury about Trump’s Fire

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Shortly before Christmas, I sent the corrected proofs for my new book back to my publisher. My English editor quipped that we should send the book to Donald Trump so he can read it. In view of the recently leaked daily reading performance of the President, I immediately calculated that, taking into account the summer breaks, he would probably finish it shortly before Christmas 2019. However, shortly after reading the December 2017 “National Security Strategy of the United States of America (NSS)” with the President’s preface, I suspected that he had already read at least the first chapter of my book.

This first chapter deals with the normative foundation of the global political system. Accordingly, one can speak of a global political system if three conditions are met:

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