Critical Explorations of Crisis: Politics, Precariousness, and Potentialities
Symposium by the Pufendorf IAS Theme CRISIS
This symposium critically explores ’CRISIS’. Crisis seemingly weaves our world together with alarming reports on climate change, financial collapse, people’s movement and displacement, armed conflicts, and so on. Claims to crisis may involve tangible displays of desperate refugees, civilian casualties or persisting, if not, permanent poverty. Crises narratives are even exacerbated by populist ideology. At the same time, crisis refers to social forces that can disrupt life and frame realities in ways, which go beyond prevalent discursive narratives.
Crisis claims in regard to any of these issues often have important reciprocal effects for each of the other areas. Crisis serves to justify rapid shifts in the socio-political and economic landscapes at both the national and international level, laying bare power, and other dynamics underlying the responses to these phenomena. At the same time, crisis can also provide a turning point and an opportunity for transformational change of systems and lifeworlds. In this sense, the critical study of crisis relates to abstract notions such as temporality, modality, and intensity and how these are intimately intertwined with the ways in which a crisis takes shape, is understood, and experienced.
The symposium opens up interdisciplinary and multifaceted dialogues in regard to the conceptualization of crisis in regards to politics, precariousness, and potentialities. We ask, how, on what basis, by whom and in what context crisis is proclaimed. Moreover, what does crisis mean for social justices, security, and rights in particular contexts for various groups due to gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, class, and bodyableness? Last, but not least, to what extent does crisis language open up avenues for agency, counter-politics, and various moral/ethical calls for change?