WIKA - Wissenschaftlicher Initiativkreis Kultur und Außenpolitik - Referenten

Panel 1: Visions and Challenges for New Cultural Relations
Panel 2: Realities of a Neo-Nationalist Development
Panel 3: Models of Future Cultural Relations


Panel 1: Visions and Challenges for New Cultural Relations

Dr. Zaal

A Tale of Two Europes. Non-Simultaneity in European Development

Dr. Zaal Andronikashvili

Zaal Andronikashvili is a research fellow at the Centre for literary and cultural research, Berlin (ZfL) and Professor at the Ilia State University, Tbilisi. He studied History and Literature in Tbilisi, Saarbrücken and Göttingen. His research topics concern theory of literature and culture with a special focus on Eastern Europe. Currently he coordinates a project at the ZfL „Batumi, Odessa, Trabzon. Cultural Semantics of the Black Sea from the perspective of the eastern port cities“. Selected publications: Landna(h)me Georgien. Studien zur kulturellen Semantik, Berlin 2018 (Co-autor with Emzar Jgerenaia und Franziska Thun-Hohenstein), Traumland Georgien. Deutungen zur Kultur und Politik (Osteuropa, 7/2018, co-edited with Manfred Sapper und Volker Weichsel), Grundordnungen. Geographie, Religion und Gesetz, Berlin 2013 (co-edited with Sigrid Weigel).Die Ordnung pluraler Kulturen. Figurationen europäischer Kulturgeschichte, vom Osten her gesehen, Berlin 2013, Co-edited with Andreas Pflitsch, Tatjana Petzer und Martin Treml.

This paper reflects upon a popular belief which links the crisis of the Idea of the European Integration to the EU enlargement to the east and aims to answer the questions about perceived and factual differences in the European development from the eastern perspective. In the first part of the paper the genealogy of the divide between Eastern and Western Europe will be traced back to the Enlightenment. I will address the historical cesuras, which made the historical experiences in Eastern and Western parts of Europe similar but asynchronous. In the second part of the paper the genesis of the modern (Eastern) European nationalisms is traced back to the soviet understanding of the nation designed by Stalin 1913 and implemented in the Soviet national policy. In the third part of the paper I will address the problem of contested narratives concerning the historical past and their importance for the Project of European integration. I will sketch some ideas on how to overcome the dilemma of the contested narratives via cultural policy.



Panel 2: Realities of a Neo-Nationalist Development

Prof Antonia

Has Economy Anything to Do with Neo-Nativist Identities?

Prof. Dr. Antonia María Ruiz Jiménez
Antonia María Ruiz Jiménez (Málaga, 1971) graduated in Contemporary History at the Universidad de Málaga in 1994, and obtained her Ph D. in Political Science and Administration by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2002, becoming a Doctor Member of the Juan March Foundation the same year. She has been invited researcher at the Institute of Social Science in the University of Lisbon (Portugal), ECASS (Essex University, UK), the Department of Government (GSAC, Harvard University, USA), the Center for European Studies of the University of Miami (USA), the Center for European Studies of the University of Carleton (Canada), the Washington Institute for Near East Policies (USA), and the Center on Constitutional Change (Edinburgh University). Among her recent publications are: “Social patriots. The Left and the Spanish nationalism” (Papers, 2017), “Country-level Variables and Imagined National Communities within EU-15 countries” (Política y Sociedad, 2017), “Identifying with the Nation: Spain's Left-Wing Citizens in an Age of Crisis (South European Society and Politics, 2015)

Different authors have connected the effects of the economic crisis with the emergence of radical populist parties in Europe. One almost common feature among them is their rejection of immigration on the basis of nativism. However it is not clear whether those parties respond to changes in public opinion’s national identities or mobilize and manipulate them. This presentation will approach this question by measuring the consequences of the economic crisis (the Great Recession) on citizens’ national identities. It distinguishes the changes in the strength of attachment from the changes in the meaning of attachment; and compares Germany and Southern European countries both at the individual and country level. Since the effects of the Great Recession have varied between these two groups of countries, they make a nice comparison. In looking at the changes in the meaning of identity, we will try to see if the crisis has turned identities in these countries to be more chauvinist and closed.

Dr Olaf

The Role of the Nation for Sovereignism and Retro-Modernisation in Central and Eastern Europe

Dr. sc. pol. Kai-Olaf Lang

Kai-Olaf Lang is a Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, a foreign-policy think-tank based in Berlin. He holds a diploma in public administration and a PhD in Political Sciences. Previously, he worked as a research fellow at the Federal Institute for Eastern and International Studies (Bundesinstitut für internationale und ostwissenschaftliche Studien, BIOst) in Cologne. His fields of specialisation include: countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including their transformation, domestic political developments, foreign and security policy, bilateral relations with Germany; EU enlargement and implications; security issues in CEE and European Neighbourhood Policy. He is a member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde, of the German-Polish Kopernikus-Group, of the Council of the German-Czech Discussion Forum, of the Editorial Board of Przegląd Zachodni (Poznań), of the Advisory Board of Aspen Review Central Europe (Prague) and of the Scientific Council of Nowa Res Publica (Warsaw).


In recent years, some EU member states from Central Eastern Europe have been pursuing a profound transformation of their societies, their political cultures and the understanding of democracy. At the same time, their attitude towards the EU and the external environment has been perceived as assertive and defensive. The forces behind these approaches want to fundamentally reconstruct their countries in order to (re-)gain strength and recognition. Domestically, this means a specific policy of modernisation recurring to history and traditional values. With regard to European and foreign policy, the countries in question have been looking for protection of their sovereignty. In this context, the reference to the nation, to collective identity and shared memory, is an important factor. Therefore, at least three questions have to be analysed more profoundly: What exactly is the role and relevance of the nation in processes of domestic reforms and foreign policies in Central Eastern European countries? Is there a specifically strong "return" of the nation and the national state in this part of Europe, and if yes, what are the root causes and why is it happening now? What does this all mean for their position and priorities about the future of the EU?

Dr Zafer Yilmaz

photo by Karla Fritze

The Sources of New Authoritarian Populism: Resentment, Reactionary Opinion Formation and Neo-Nationalist Mobilization

Dr. Zafer Yilmaz

Zafer Yılmaz is a visiting scholar (Dr.) at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Potsdam University. He is affiliated at both the Centre for Citizenship, Social Pluralism and Religious Diversity and the Chair of Sociology at the University of Potsdam. He works currently on the rise of authoritarianism, transformation of the rule of law and citizenship in Turkey. He has recently published a book on the AKP and Turkish politics, with a title, Yeni Türkiye’nin Ruhu: Hinc, Tahakküm, Muhtaclastirma-The Spirit of New Turkey: Resentment, Domination and Destitution, İletişim Yayınları, September-2018 (In Turkish). His latest publications include “Revising the Culture of Political Protest in Turkey after the Gezi Uprising: Radical Imagination, Affirmative Resistance and the New Politics of Desire/Dignity” Mediterranean Quarterly, Special Issue: Erdogan and the Transformation of the Turkey, Vol. 29, Issue, 3, September (2018), “The AKP and the Spirit of the ‘New’ Turkey: Imagined Victim, Reactionary Mood, and Resentful Sovereign,” Turkish Studies (2017), and “‘Strengthening the Family’ Policies in Turkey: Managing the Social Question and Armoring Conservative-Neoliberal Populism,” Turkish Studies (2017).


The populist, ethno-nationalist and authoritarian right-wing politics have been strengthening almost in all over the world. Even though there is proliferating literature on the rise of the radical right-wing politics in countries such as Turkey, Hungary, USA and recently in Brazil, the key questions about the success of the new authoritarian populism still need further inquiry. To answer the questions such as “where the energy of new authoritarian populism come from?” “How can we identify its popular energizing features? and “How they successfully mobilize the masses?”, this presentation will propose that we should focus on “deep-lying trends” in modern society. More specifically, to shed light on how and in what way right-wing populist leaders structures psycho-political field and appeal to political dispositions of their supporters, the presentation will aim to discuss the specific articulation between nationalist political imagination, the sphere of opinion, and the field of emotion in different country examples. To understand the contemporary congruence between demand side of the radical right politics and cultural and cognitive orientation of their supporters, I will argue that we need to focus on dominant characteristics of entire cultural climate and total structure of modern society once again, rather than solely discussing discourse and approach of the radical right politics. To fill this gap, the presentation will argue examples of Turkish, Hungarian and USA case more specifically.


Panel 3: Models of Future Cultural Relations

Dr. Yaşar Aydın

The Importance of Multilingual Brains for Cultural Relations

Prof. Dr. Antonella Sorace

Antonella Sorace is Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. She is a world leading authority in the field of bilingual language development across the lifespan, where she brings together methods from linguistics, experimental psychology, and cognitive science. She is also committed to disseminating the findings of research on bilingualism in different sectors of society. She is the founding director of the research and public engagement centre Bilingualism Matters, which has 23 branches all over the world.

Research on bilingual language and cognition across the lifespan shows that having more than one language in the brain affects some aspects of mental functioning. Compared to monolinguals, bi/multilinguals tend to have enhanced metalinguistic skills, a better understanding of other people’s points of view, more mental flexibility in dealing with complex situations, and are less affected by emotionality when they use their second language. I will explore some implications of these findings for cultural relations in today’s societies and political landscape. I will argue that multilingualism is an essential component of smart soft power and cultural diplomacy and that this puts the ‘privileged monolingualism’ of anglophone countries at a disadvantage.

Beqë Cufaj

Intercultural Cities: New Realities, New Dimensions, New Actors

Dr. Stefanos Vallianatos

Stefanos Vallianatos holds a Ph.D. from Lancaster University (U.K.) in the field of International Politics with special reference to the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. He is the head of the Department of International Relations of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, the coordinator of the Greek National Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation and co-founder of Fotoessa, a centre for Education, research and action. By default, he is also an active member of EUNIC, at the corporate level and at the cluster level (of Athens). He has also taught Middle East Politics at the International Centre for Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies, and frequently publishes on issues related to Middle East politics and civil society in the Mediterranean region, whereas he is also a certified trainer of the Creative Entrepreneurship Program.  

“Intercultural cities” is a program that the Council of Europe has put forward as an applied policy and strategy to assist the cities to deal with their multicultural realities. Such as title reflects a positive and pro-active approach and it is in contrast to the static definition of the evolving multi-cultural societies of the contemporary globe. Such approach also reflects new realities and the emerges of new actors in the field of cultural relations and diplomacy, which, on the one emerged as a respond to the new challenges imposed by the huge influx of “agents” of a different, to the domain of the dominant culture. Yet, this approach also implies the uniqueness of the “city” as THE exclusive and coherent unit of special organization, vis-à-vis other units, like the regions, the periphery or the states. Yet, such approach is also exposed to other challenges and weakness, either from within or from the wider political sphere and spectrum, whereas its applicability and therefore success or failure, might also reflect other centres of political gravity.

Beqë Cufaj

Cultural Relations as Conflict Prevention: Some Lessons for a Future “Post Nation State Cultural Policy”

Dr. Jens Adam

Jens Adam holds a position as assistant professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt-University in Berlin. His research interests include cultural policy, humanitarian aid, political violence, cities as well as processes of Europeanization and Cosmopolitization. For his most recent book “Ordnungen des Nationalen und die geteilte Welt. Zur Praxis Auswärtiger Kulturpolitik als Konfliktprävention” (Bielefeld 2018) he conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Berlin, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Sarajevo to study practices and formats of translating the German Foreign Office’s official policy to “prevent conflicts via culture”.* His current research project is based in Lviv (Western Ukraine) and focuses on the interrelations between urban development, statehood and Europeanization. * open access via this link

Around the year 2000 “conflict prevention” emerged as a new discursive formation to explain and legitimize sense and purpose of the German foreign cultural policy. This conceptual move could be understood as expression of an aspiration to complement or even replace hitherto dominant modes of cultural self-representation of a European national state that were heavily built on the “national” as a naturalised frame of reference. Empirical examinations of the translation of this new political ambition into practice of cultural cooperation reveal an ambivalent image: On the one hand it becomes apparent how the conjunction of established discursive, infrastructural and organisational formats of the German foreign cultural policy tends to reproduce further on elementary figures of the “national” as starting points of cultural relations. On the other hand the very practical search for new formats and positions, the generation and mobilisation of new forms of knowledge – that can be observed as part of everyday project work inside the established infrastructures – open some potentials to blur and go beyond these established epistemological orders. Which conclusions can be drawn out of these experiences of the last 20 years for the development of a new vocabulary, appropriate approaches and infrastructures of a “post nation state cultural policy”?