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Abb.: Amichai Green

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Crossing Borders – Border Crossings

Orta Kol


Via Militaris, Orta Kol, Orient Express, Autoput: Transformations of a Route


Via Militaris, Orta Kol, Orient Express, Istanbul Express and Autoput: these are different names for the famous route of traffic and communication connecting the Near East with Central Europe that, through the ages, was followed by soldiers, merchants, diplomats, migrant workers and refugees. By looking at this route from various perspectives and in the longue duree the project  aims at bringing into dialogue researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds who will address historical and social dimensions of governance, everyday experience and mobility.


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Critical Theory Goes Global


Universidade de São Paulo – HU Berlin. Joint research project:

Critical Theory Goes Global: Transfers, (Mis-)Understandings and Perceptions since 1960


Praxis 1968In light of the critique of universalist approaches in the last two decades by cultural and post-colonial studies, on the one hand, and the growth of anti-democratic ethnonational particularist movements, on the other, a reexamination of universalist, cosmopolitan philosophical concepts and methodologies has acquired renewed relevance.

At first glance, especially concerning the critique of Eurocentrism, classical universalism might be seen as – paraphrasing Dipesh Chakrabarty from a different but familiar context – “inadequate but indispensable”.  Chakrabarty’s critique of Eurocentrism makes sense insofar as it exposes the particularism concealed behind such forms of false universalism. The question arises, though, whether or not his Heideggerian inspired abandonment of universalism as such is justified? We think that the concept of a non-Eurocentric universalism is still worth exploring as an alternative to post-modern and post-colonial cultural relativism.  

In order to elaborate the possibilities of a reformulated universalist critical theory of society, and to reflect on both its inadequacies and indispensability, is seems promising to focus on the transfer, adaptation and modification of ideas in different social and historical contexts.


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