Peter Wagner (ICREA and University of Barcelona)
During the immediate aftermath of decolonization, the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, acknowledged its historical responsibility towards the former colonies and made this debt and duty the underlying rationale for its development policy. Already during the 1980s, however, the policy orientation changed, and the responsibility of each society for its own fate under conditions of market exchange was increasingly emphasized. With the formation of the European Union, the particular nature of the relation between Europe and its former colonies was further de-emphasized. The EU as a new actor positioned itself more neutrally, devoid of any historical burden, in the field of global politics and global commerce.
(Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt)
The specific role of journalism in Greek-German relations during the Euro-crisis
The Euro-crisis, the Greek debt crisis as well as the austerity programs of the Troika have been extensively dominating the public, political and media discourse in Europe since 2009/10. Especially in Germany a public debate was triggered by the question whether Greece should still receive credits or not. In return for credits the German government demanded radical structural reforms and austerity policies from the Greek government. In this context, both, German and Greek politics and journalism evoked different moral frames for sometimes crude mutual allegations regarding the cause of the crisis:
Eugenia Siapera (Dublin City University)
The current crisis makes evident the limits of, and tensions within, the European responses to the arrival of refugees at its borders. The North/South divide which is created is not geographical but socio-political and invokes in various ways the issue of the debt. Historically, the differing refugee experiences have created at least three debt relations: to past refugees, to current refugees and to future Europeans. This research will therefore look at the ways in which the past resurfaces, through historical photographs that mobilise the European past in the refugee crisis, through storytelling and narratives that revolve around Europeans as refugees and Europe as the cause of refugees, and through contemporary popular art, for example collages or street graffiti, that juxtapose Europe’s past and the present experiences of refugees.
Svjetlana Nedimovic (University of Barcelona)
Drawing on the moral-philosophical meaning of debt proposed in the overall project, I am using debt here as a metaphor for relating to the so-called troubled past: we talk of historical moral debts in cases of historical injustice and mass violence, within as well as between collectivities. This may be related to broader understanding of justice in terms of payment of debts. In the light of such wider understanding of debt, the research project explores ground and possibilities for a coherent, consistent and morally legitimated strategy of dealing with historical moral debts that would be in harmony with the political agenda and vision of the (even if most embryonic) New Left in the part of the Balkans.
Nathalie Karagiannis (Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt)
This project intents to perform its object, as it were, by making possible the encounter of German and Greek poets under the constellation of the debt. Poets will create a debt to each other , and will be asked to reflect poetically on the very conditions of possibility of this debt. This will be done in pairs of two, constituted each by one Greek and one German poet, which will remain the same all along the project. One poet will have to propose a poem on the subject of debt (see 2) and will thus be a creditor. After due translation , the other poet will have to respond to the first poem by a poem of her own, using a concept/theme/significant wording/verse of the first poem. The debt will thus be paid.
Simona Forti, Gabriella Silvestrini and Carlotta Cossutta (Università del Piemonte Orientale, Vercelli)
From Romanticism onwards, the German feeling of a debt to Hellenic culture takes on an ambivalent meaning. On the one hand, Ancient Greece represents the greatest culture that ever existed, and to which the West owes the features of its soul. On the other hand, Germany is ‘the’ heir who must repeat the Greek achievement, paying off the debt. This sub-project focuses on a specific legacy of this ambivalent inheritance: one which stems from the George-Kreis and is taken on by Nazi-Anthropology concerned with the so-called ‘Spiritual Racism’.
Lorena Fuster (University of Barcelona)
Among the different crisis of the sovereign debt and the so called European debt crises outstands the economical debt relation established between Greece and Germany. Starting out from the hypothesis that this relation has treats of exemplarity due, above all, to its profound roots in the past that exceed by far both the events of the present moment and the economical aspect, the sub-project focuses on the different indebtedness dynamics present in this common history and the current recreations and representations in the Greek and German films that try to deal with those processes.
Gerard Rosich (University of Helsinki)
The ‘Catalan’ commemorations of 3rd centenary of the end of the European wars of Spanish Succession (1714) ―which are associated in Catalonia to its conquest by the Spanish Kingdom and the consequent abolition of Catalan independent political institutions― was a turning point in a debate, shaped through huge amounts of scholarly books, academic congresses and media articles, aiming to reinterpret the past from the perspective of the present configuration, at the beginning of the 21st century, of the conflict between the Spanish Kingdom and Catalonia.
Stefan Nygård (University of Helsinki)
This study looks at debates on cultural debt in the context of networks of European intellectuals and policy-makers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. One of the outcomes of the major improvements in technology and communications in this period was a deepening of the trans-national or trans-local civil society in which these debates took place.
Bo Stråth (University of Helsinki)
This project aims at exploring the moral dimension of economics and political economy. The focus will be on the concepts of debt and guilt, in the Germanic languages contained in one term: Schuld, skuld. The interest is in the oscillation between these two meanings, between economics and political economy in a rather technical sense of debt and in the moral(istic) sense of guilt.