Prοject Leader

Peter Wagner is Research Professor of Sociology at the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and at the University of Barcelona. He has been Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Advanced Grant project Trajectories of Modernity (2010-2015) and is involved in the works of the International Panel for Social Progress. His recent publications include European Modernity: A Global Approach (with Bo Stråth, forthcoming 2017); Progress: A Reconstruction (2016; in French: Sauver le progrès, 2016; German edition forthcoming 2017) and Modernity: Understanding the Present (2012) as well as the (co-)edited volumes The Trouble with Democracy (2016, with Gerard Rosich), African, American and European Trajectories of Modernity (2015); and The Greek Polis and the Invention of Democracy: A Politico-Cultural Transformation and its Interpretations (with Johann Arnason and Kurt Raaflaub, 2013). Within the HERA project The debt he serves as the coordinator (official term: Project Leader).

Principal Investigators

Simona Forti is Professor of History of Political Philosophy at the University of Eastern Piedmont. She is one of the founding members of FINO”, a PhD Program in Philosophy coordinated by the Northwestern Italian University Consortium, and the standing president of Bios, an international and interdisciplinary research center on biopolitics and bioethics based at the University of Piemonte Orientale.
Simona Forti is widely recognized in Italy and aboard for her far-reaching studies on Hannah Arendt’s thought and the philosophical idea of Totalitarianism. In recent years she has given important contributions to the debate on biopolitics launched by Michel Foucault, by focusing on Nazi biopolitics of the souls and democratic biopolitics of the bodies. In her last volume, “New Demons: Rethinking Power and Evil Today,” translated into English and published by Stanford University Press in 2015, she deals with the contemporary reshaping of the notion of Evil.


Axel Honneth is Jack C. Weinstein Professor for the Humanities in the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University; Director of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt and Senior Professor of Social Philosophy at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Professor Honneth studied Philosophy, Sociology, and German Literature at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and Ruhr-Universität Bochum from 1969-1974, earning his M.A. in Philosophy in 1974.  His postgraduate studies were at Freie Universität Berlin from 1974-1976.  His Dissertation (PhD thesis), at Freie Universität Berlin in 1982 was entitled „Kritik der Macht. Foucault und die Kritische Theorie“. From 1983 to 1989 he was „Hochschulassistent“ (scientific assistant) to Prof. Dr. Jürgen Habermas, Dept. of Philosophy, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/M.; from 1982 to 1983 he had a Research Grant with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Habermas, Max-Planck-Institute for Social Sciences, Starnberg.  From 1977 to 1982 he was wissenschaftlicher Assistent (scientific assistant), Institute of Sociology, Freie Universität Berlin. Professor Honneth’s Habilitation (postdoctoral thesis and postdoctoral lecturing qualification) was in 1990 at the Department of Philosophy, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, entitled „Kampf um Anerkennung“ (The Struggle for Recognition). From 1992 to 1996, Professor Honneth was C4-Professor of Political Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin; from 1991 to 1992 he was C3-Professor of Philosophy, University of Konstanz and C4-Professor of Social Philosophy at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main from 1996 to 2015.
In November 2015, Professor Honneth received the Ernst Bloch-Preis from the City of Ludwigshafen (Germany) (please see the Suhrkamp Verlag announcement).
In April 2016, Professor Honneth received the Bruno-Kreisky Prize from the Karl-Renner Stiftung in Vienna. In June 2016, Professor Honneth was awarded the Ulysses Medal, University College Dublin’s highest honour, for his lifetime contribution to social philosophy and critical theory.


Bo Stråth is Professor emeritus in Nordic, European and World History at the University of Helsinki. He was Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Advanced Grant Project Between Restoration and Revolution, National Constitutions and Global Law: an Alternative View on the European Century 1815-1914 2009-2014). He is a board member of the Swedish research foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ). His recent publications include Europe’s Utopias of Peace: 1815, 1919, 1951 (2016) and A Brief History of Political Economy. Tales of Marx, Keynes and Hayek (co-authored with Lars Magnusson) (2016), and European Modernity: A Global Approach(co-authored with Peter Wagner) (July, 2017). Within the HERA project The Debt he serves as principal investigator of the Helsinki part.



Aristotelis Agridopoulos is a Doctoral Researcher and Research Fellow at the University of Heidelberg and Project Fellow within the HERA project The Debt at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. He studied Social Science, Philosophy and History at the University of Siegen. His research interests are Political Theory, Discourse Theories, European and Greek Debt Crisis, Political and Media Discourse Analysis, Theories of Radical Democracy (Castoriadis, Honig, Mouffe, Laclau, Rancière), Hegemony and Populism, Aesthetics, Art and Politics. His recent publications are the (co-)edited volumes Crisis and Discourses of Crisis. Greece in the European Context (in German), Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2016; Imagination – Autonomy – Radical Democracy. The Political Thought of Cornelius Castoriadis (special issue in German), kultuRRevolution. Journal for Applied Discourse Theory 71, 2/2016; Democracy – Aesthetics – Emancipation. Jacques Rancière’s Transdisciplinary Thought (special issue in German), kultuRRevolution. Journal for Applied Discourse Theory 75, 2/2018;; Email:

Carlotta Cossutta is a Post-Doc Fellow at the University of Eastern Piedmont. She completed her PhD in Political Philosophy at the University of Verona, with a thesis entitled “Public Bodies: citizenship, motherhood and power from Mary Wollstonecraft”. She is a member of the research group Politesse (Politics and Theory of Sexuality) at the University of Verona. Her research interest are biopolitics, gender studies and theories of recognition., Email:


Angela Lorena Fuster is Researcher at the University of Barcelona, where she also teaches courses on different areas of philosophy and feminist theory. On the one hand, her research is focused on issue related to political imagination, especially from the perspective of contemporary philosophers, and in connection with the historical genealogy of social imaginaries or collective self-understandings. On the other, she is specialist in the work of contemporary women philosophers and makes contributions to the field of gender studies. Her recent publications include “North–South and the question of recognition: a constellation saturated with tensions”, in P. Wagner, The moral mapping of South and North (2017), Hannah Arendt. Lectora de la tradición del pensamiento político occidental (2017; with Matías Sirczuk), “Redes de imaginación en el pensamiento femenino contemporáneo”(2016), Hannah Arendt. Cultura y política and Más allá de la filosofía. Escritos sobre cultura, arte y literatura (2016; 2014 with Fina Birulés), “The limits of recognition: history, otherness and autonomy” (2014; with Gerard Rosich) and “More than vulnerable: Rethinking Community”, in J. Sabadell-Nieto & M. Segarra, Differences in Common. Gender, Vulnerability and Community. Within the HERA project The debt she is researcher.Currently, she is also making a documentary in collaboration with Xavier Artigas and Metromuster within the framework of the research project The Debt. Historicising Europe´s Relations to the ´South funded by HERA. Email:

Eugenia Siapera is Senior Lecturer in the School of Communications at Dublin City University. She is the the Deputy Director of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism, and the Programme Chair of the MA Social Media and Communications. Her research is concerned with social media and politics, online journalism, and hate speech.  She is the author of Understanding New Media (Sage, 2011, second edition forthcoming 2017) and Cultural Diversity and Global Media (Wiley, 2010) and the co-editor of Radical Democracy and the Internet (With L. Dahlberg, Palgrave 2007) and the Handbook of Global Online Journalism (with A. Veglis, Wiley, 2012).  Her work has appeared in several journals, most recently in Information, Communication and Society, Journalism Studies and Journalism Practice.  Email: 

Nathalie Karagiannis is a Researcher at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. She has previously done research at the Universities of Barcelona, Trento and Sussex. Her interests increasingly combine the arts with a theoretical body of work whose focus is not the arts. She has two children. Recent publications of interest include:  South as Exile, in: Peter Wagner (Hg.): The Moral Mappings of South and North. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (forth. 2017), 21 σημειώσεις για τον Σαίξπηρ και τον Θερβάντες (trans: 21 Notes on Shakespeare and Cervantes). Athens: Nefeli (forth. 2017), Εξορισμός (trans: Exile). Athen: Melani, 2016,  Η αναζήτηση του Νότου/La búsqueda del Sur (trans:Seeking the South), Barcelona: Animal Sospechoso, 2016, Σαράντα (trans.: Forty), Athens: Agra, 2014, Democracy as a Tragic Regime: Democracy and its Cancellation, in: Critical Horizons 11. 1, 35–49, 2010, Multiple Solidarities: Autonomy and Resistance, in: NK and Peter Wagner (ed.): Varieties of World-Making. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press,  European Solidarity. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press (ed), 2007, The Tragic and the Political: A Parallel Reading of Kostas Papaioannou and Cornelius Castoriadis, in: Critical Horizons 7. 1, 303–319, 2006, Avoiding Responsibility: The Politics and Discourse of European Development Policy. London: Pluto Press, 2004. Email:

Svjetlana Nedimovic works in Sarajevo as an activist of an informal sociopolitical group 1grad1borba (One City, One Struggle). In 2007 she defended her PhD thesis at European University Institute in Florence. The thesis overall explored philosophical implications of Hannah Arendt’s political thought, but it was the segment on the concept of imagination and its relation to political action that set the scene for her future work which had since taken her away from linear academic paths, to the unpredictable terrain of (informal) political practice. While erratic puzzles and dilemmas of political practice have directed her research interests over the last 3 to 4 years, there is a recognizable pattern of intellectual pursuits emerging: concern with relating to the past within the framework of political work towards a (radically?) different future in a post-war society. This concern has driven her much earlier writing such as Silenced Legacy of Marx in Political Philosophy: Arendt, Castoriadis and the Possibility of Theorizing Revolution, (in: Marksovo nasljeđe (The Legacy of Marx), Udruženje za filozofiju i društvenu misao, Banja Luka, 2008) but also the more recent piece on Engaging with the Past as a Political Resource, (in: African, American and European Trajectories of Modernity: Past Oppression, Future Justice?, ed. by P. Wagner, Edinburgh UP, 2015) and seminars on transition as engineered dementia and necessary present-reckoning in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Email:


Stefan Nygård is a Historian with special interests in the modern history of intellectuals, culture and philosophy, in Finland, Scandinavia and Europe.He have worked and taught on these topics at the University of Helsinki and the European University Institute in Florence. In addition to the Debt-project, He’s currently involved in research projects on Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space (Academy of Finland), Minority, Nation and the World (Academy of Finland), and a project on the philosopher and public intellectual Georg Henrik von Wright (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland). Email:

Gerard Rosich obtained his PhD in Philosophy from the Universitat de Barcelona with a dissertation on the political foundations of modernity, with a special focus on the conceptual history of autonomy. He was previously a researcher at the ERC-AdG research project led by Peter Wagner ‘Trajectories of Modernity’ and hosted by the Universitat de Barcelona (2010-2015). Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki. Located in the areas of conceptual and intellectual history, political theory and historical sociology, his research is at present focused on the possibilities of addressing historical injustice against the background of contested interpretations of the past and on the legacies of imperialism, paying special attention to the place of Europe in modern history. He has written on the comparative historical analysis of the challenges and constraints that globalization imposes on democracy and on the history and theory of modernity. He has recently co-edited with Peter Wagner, The Trouble with Democracy. Political Modernity at the XXIst Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016) and has authored two books: Autonomy. The Contested History of a European Legacy, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018) and Independència i Autonomia. Una teoria històrica de la modernitat, (València: Editorial Afers, 2017). Email:

Gabriella Silvestrini is an associate professor in History of Political Thought at the Department of Humanities, University of Eastern Piedmont. She is currently President of the undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Communication (University of Eastern Piedmont) and Director of the Interuniversity Centre for Peace Studies. Her main research interests are the history of early-modern republican theories, natural law tradition and XVIIIth-century international political thought. She has recently published ‘État’, in Dictionnaire critique de l’Utopie au temps des Lumières, sous la dir. de B. Baczko, M. Porret, F. Rosset (Genève: Georg, 2016), 373-98; ‘Fra diritto di guerra e potere di punire: il diritto di vita e di morte nel Contratto sociale‘, Rivista di Storia della filosofia, 1 (2015), 125-41; ‘With Grotius against Grotius: Jephtha’s “Appeal to Heaven” in John Locke’s Two Treasises of Government’, in P.-M. Dupuy & V. Chetail, eds., The Roots of International Law/Les fondements du droit international. Liber Amicorum Peter Haggenmacher (Leiden-Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers), 2014, 59-94; ‘Justice, War and Inequality: The Unjust Aggressor and the Enemy of Human Race in Vattel’s Theory of the Law of Nations’, Grotiana, 31 (2010), 44-68. Email:

Henrik Stenius is the founding director of CENS. He specializes in the history of concepts. In recent years he has worked specifically on the concept of citizenship in the Nordic countries and the processes of translation as enablers of conceptual change. His publications include Nordic Associations in a European Perspective: European Civil Society (2010, edited together with Risto Alapuro), “The Finnish Citizen: How a Translation Emasculated the Concept”, Redescriptions 8, pp. 172-188 (2004), Frivilligt – jämlikt – samfällt: Föreningsväsendets utveckling i Finland fram till 1900-talets början med speciell hänsyn till massorganisationsprincipens genombrott (1987). Email:


Xavi Artigas is a film director and producer based in Barcelona.


Jean François Bissonnette is attached researcher at the Sophiapol laboratory of Paris Nanterre University, and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Ottawa. Situated at the intersection between political philosophy and economic sociology, his research work focuses on the relationship between debt, power and subjectivity. He co-supervised the publication of an edited volume entitled La dette comme rapport social: liberté ou servitude? (Le Bord de l’eau, 2017), and has published several articles in journals such as Politique et Sociétés, Terrains/Théories, World Economic Review (with Christian Laval), Journal of Cultural Economy, and Theory & Event. Email:

Antonis Liakos is Professor of Contemporary History and History of Historiography at the University of Athens. He is chair of the Board  of the International Commission for History and Τheory of Historiography (2010-2015)  and managing editor of the Journal Historein ( Born in Athens 1947, he was imprisoned by the Junta in 1969, while student of history at the University of Thessaloniki. Released in 1973, took his BA in 1977, and his PhD in 1984. He was Lecturer and Assistant Professor at the University of Thessaloniki from 1980 to 1990, when he was elected Professor at the Department of History and Archeology at the University of Athens. Research Fellow and Visiting Professor at the University of Birmingham (1989), European University Institute in Florence (1995), University of Sydney (1995), University of Princeton (1996, 2006), Ecole Normale Superieure (2001), member of the Board of the European Doctorate in Social History (2005-2010). Email:

Myrsini Zorba is a cultural policy researcher. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science. She taught Cultural Theory and Politics in the graduate department “Management of Cultural Units’ HOU (2007-2012) and Theories of Reading at the Teachers’ Training Institute in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education at the University of Athens (2005-8). She was director of Syros Industrial Museum (2008-2009), Member of the European Parliament (2000-2004) and Director of the Greek Book Centre (1995-1999). She has written monographs, articles and books, including: Cultural Policy. Europe and Greece in the second half of the 20th century, Patakis, 2014. “La culture comme politique publique” in Ph. Poirrier (ed.) La politique culturelle en Europe apres la 2me Guerre Mondiale, La documentation Francaise 2011. More information on