WORKSHOP “THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE”
29 MAY 2017
The Centre for Southeast European Studies of the University of Graz
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of the University of Belgrade
Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy, Belgrade
Center for Advanced Studies for Southeast Europe of the University of Rijeka
Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Sarajevo
The main objective of this workshop is to analyses the possibilities and constraints of different contemporary forms of public social engagement which seek to challenge the spreading trends of abandoning the imperative of democratic procedures and weak institutions. The workshop will introduce the idea of Social Engagement Studies, in their pursuit for new ideas and potential partners in advancing this prospective field. The event’s objective is also to establish friendly academic collaboration and to enable critical recourse to specific forms of social engagement challenging democracy in contemporary world.
Crisis of democracy spreads both in societies with long traditions of liberal democracy (embedded democracy) and in those in which a functional democracy has only existed for a short while. The ongoing socioeconomic transformation threatens the democratic order in a number of ways: the growing socioeconomic inequality decreases electoral participation, delegitimize democratic institutions and threatens to gradually transform both the established and the young democratic states into mere electoral oligarchies or liberal democracies (defective democracies). The event will provide space for elaborating on social engagement as a collective political action that asserts a strong intrinsic connection between the intensification of democracy (in particular its deliberative aspects) and the growth of a society’s capacity to solve its most fundamental problems (lack of social justice, economic crisis etc.).