Category Archives: Uncategorized

PROGRAM: People’s Movements: Violence and Solidarity in the Southeastern Peripheries of Europe, An Encounter, 15-20 July 2016, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul



source: Ali Turunz, Belgrade 2016

15th July, Friday

Opening and informal introductions: Genealogy of LeftEast & the road to Istanbul

Meeting at 7 pm in the Boğaziçi South Campus Central Square (Meydan). The residents of the Boğaziçi Superdorm can meet earlier, at 6:30 pm, at the entrance of the dorm, and then march collectively onto the Meydan. To enter the campus, please, bring an official ID.

16th July, Saturday

Periphery, World System, and Decoloniality

Morning (10:00am-12:30 pm; Ibrahim Bodur Auditorium). Facilitators: Mary Taylor & Mariya Ivancheva

Discussion generating remarks/sharing experience:

  • Umut Türem and Saygun Gökarıksel (Boğaziçi University) – Probing the Connections between Turkey and Eastern Europe: People’s Movements, Nation-State, and Periphery
  • Rossen Djagalov (LeftEast/ NYU) – Fleeting convergences & long silences between the Middle Eastern & East European lefts in the long twentieth century
  • Veda Popovici & Ovidiu Pop (Macaz, Bucharest) – Decoloniality in Romanian art and politics
  • Aliona Liasheva, Viktoriia Muliavka (Commons, Kyiv) – Ukraine and World systems theory
  • Andras Juhasz (Levi Samit, Belgrade) – Re-articulations of class and neoliberalism in former Yugoslavia

Afternoon: Istanbul derive Ok Meydanı and Gezi Park/Taksim

17th July, Sunday

War, Displacement, and Neoliberalism

Morning (10:00am; Ibrahim Bodur Auditorium). Facilitators Saygun Gökarıksel and Raluca Parvu

Subtheme 1: Turkey

  • Seda Altuğ (Boğaziçi University) – Syrian Migrants in Turkey and Beyond
  • Ilgın Erdem (University of Massachussets) – Reflections on Violence and Politics
  • Haydar Darıcı (University of Michigan) – Kurdish solidarity in Turkey
  • Eda Elif Tibet (University of Bern / MİREKOÇ Istanbul) – Mediamaking and activism with refugee adolescents

Subtheme 12 the Balkans

  • Dan Cirjan (LeftEast/ CEU) – Migrant waves/generations: discourses on Romanian and Middle Eastern migrants in Europe
  • Spyros Marchetos (University of Thessaloniki/EReNSEP) – Fundamental human rights in present-day Europe: the case of the refugees
  • Nena Močnik (Ljubljana) – Internal displacement in former Yugoslavia and the current EU border crisis

Afternoon: visiting AD.DAR Center, Taksim, 5:00pm

Evening:  Screening of media works by participants and coproducers, Balon, Taksim, 8:30pm

18th of July, Monday

Feminist Struggles, Violence, and Neoconservatism

Morning (10:00am; Özger Arnas Hall). Facilitators: Adela Gjorgjoska and Mihnea Panu

  • Nükhet Sirman (Boğaziçi University) – Feminist Critique of Human Rights and Violence
  • Tamar Qeburia and Tatuli Chubabria (Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center, Tbilisi) – Feminism, periphery, violence, and neoliberal features at workplaces in Georgia
  • Görkem Atsungur (AUCA / CEU) – Struggles for the rights of women and sexual minorities rights in Turkey and Kirgizstan
  • Feyza Akınerdem (Boğaziçi University/Women’s Initiative for Peace/Recelblog) -neoliberal public culture, cultural polarization and women’s responses to new configurations of biopolitics in turkey as articulated from within the practice of the women’s initiative for peace.
  • Anna Nizhnik (Russian Socialist Movement RDS, Moscow) – Feminist struggles on the Russian Left
  • Sonja Dragovic (#Građanski Collective, Podgorica) -Women migrants and factory workers in Croatia and Spain
  • Sanem Öztürk and Özgül Kaptan (KADAV, Istanbul) – Reflections on Women’s Solidarity

Afternoon: Meeting with Feminist Groups at Mekan or KADAV, 5:00pm 

19th of July, Tuesday

Morning (10:00am; Özger Arnas Hall). Facilitators: William Coker & Rossen Djagalov

Organizing movements

Subtheme 1: moving beyond exclusion: solidarity and communing

  • Sonja Stojadinovic and Adela Gjorgjoska (Solidarnost, Skopje) – Organizing on workers’ and migrants’ rights in Macedonia and the Balkan route
  • Özge Çelikaslan and Alper Şen of (Artıkişler Collective, Ankara) – Media activism using visual materials to trace stories, spatial movements, collective sharing experiences, and “communing” practices.
  • Basak Durgun (George Mason University) – Articulating anti-racist discourse/practice among urban and green movements in Turkey

Subtheme 2: connecting different movements / new movement agency?

  • Foti Benlisoy (Baslangic Collective, Istanbul) – Strategies of forming a common front of struggle across social movements against fascist or authoritarian right-wing populism
  • Zeynep Serinkaya and Berna Akkızal (Initiative for Freedom of Expression, Istanbul) –  On the (diminishing) freedom of expression in Turkey and the (growing) rights violations under the current regime
  • Haris Husaric (Workers University, Tuzla) – New articulations of agency on the Left in Bosnia

Afternoon: Meeting with Turkish leftist groups (location TBA)

20th July, Friday
Breakfast discussion: What Is To Be Done (location & time TBA)


CfA:People’s Movements: Violence and Solidarity in the Southeastern Peripheries of Europe (Istanbul, 15-20 July 2016)

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: People’s Movements: Violence and Solidarity in the Southeastern Peripheries of Europe: An Encounter in Istanbul, July 15-20, 2016


Ali Turunz @ Belgrade 2016

This convergence seeks to bring scholars and activists from Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Turkey together to produce a body of analysis and a common platform for mobilisation in the context of the modern/colonial/ capitalist world-system and the current forms of neoliberal governing.  We aim to reposition Western European framings of recent ‘EU border crisis’ away from the self-legitimising Euro-discourses of Enlightenment, liberalism and civilizational hierarchy and closer to notions of violence pertaining to war, economic warfare, neoliberal patriarchal capitalism, colonial technologies and apparatuses of power, and right-wing populism. Initiating dialogue across these peripheries that have been ‘disconnected’ largely due to post/neo/colonial history, the spatial organization imposed by world capitalism and Cold War geopolitics, we aim to critically interrogate Western Europe’s self-serving narratives and structures of power and inequality, while exploring commonalities and specificities of anti-capitalist struggles in our various ‘peripheral’ locations. It is on this basis we wish to flesh out possibilities for solidarity and future collective action.

The encounter will engage a methodology of mixed-format, interactive, dialogical workshops and common activities hosted at Boğaziçi University and social/cultural centres in Istanbul, Turkey. People from an array of activist organizations in Istanbul will take part in our meeting and we will visit their centers, and have activities and meals with them. We plan to ground our discussion in some common readings, which will be circulated among participants before the workshop.

By meeting in Istanbul, we build on efforts (in previous summer schools and convergences organized with different groups in the region since 2011 and on the platform LeftEast) to create critical analysis of and activist alliances across the post-socialist landscape.  We also build on our last year’s encounter (organized with Murmurae and Egzilis) by continuing to develop analysis of processes of peripheralisation both as a spatialised power dynamic related through the uneven development of capitalism and as an epistemic point of intervention. By meeting in Istanbul we seek learn from the wealth of activism taking place in Turkey under serious duress.

15th July, Day 0: Welcome. Our opening conversation will tie together our key themes towards lines of common analysis and comparison, and moments of reflection and engagement. We will ask and elaborate together: What do we mean by periphery? What do we mean by violence? What do we mean by people’s movements? Who are we? What are our political horizons?

16th July, Day 1: Thinking at the Intersection of Periphery, Violence, and People’s Movements. We will collectively re-engage the notion of periphery defined in relation to the core within global relations of power, exploitation and inequality. We will seek to identify social-historical commonalities and differences within and between our respective regions and the implications of their self-understanding/self-positioning within the core-periphery power dynamic of the modern/colonial capitalist world-system. We will ask and elaborate together: What is the relation between the physical violence of war and the structural violence of neoliberalisation, including class domination and the “symbolic” violence of racism and xenophobia. In what ways do migratory conducts reflect and reinforce dominant core-periphery understandings and positionings? How is migration connected to labor regimes?

17th July, Day 2: War, Displacement, and Neoliberal Violence. We will explore the intersections of war and neoliberal capitalism in the context of forced migration. We will discuss: In what ways the on-going war in Syria and armed conflict in Turkey; as well as the strategic repositioning of the post-socialist countries as the external border of Europe affect geopolitical relations among Turkey, Eastern Europe, and the European Union (including increasing militarisation, surveillance and lethal reinforcement of borders) affect civilizational hierarchies? How do we address in our praxis the production of precariousness and the ‘super-exploitation’ of refugees and migrants across the peripheries and the rise of racist and nationalist movements? What is the role that activist groups and labor movements can play through solidarity with refugees and other migrants? Can we see activism along the Balkan route as a new form of internationalism and Balkan federation as a historical inspiration?

18th July, Day 3: Feminist Struggles at the Centre of War and Conservative-Neoliberalism. We will discuss the gendered and sexualised dimensions of violence of war and the reemergence across the peripheries of a conservative neoliberalism; as well as old and new feminist movements in Turkey, the Balkans and Eastern Europe.  We ask: how do we connect activism around the feminisation of the semi-legal rural and urban labour market(s), flexibilization of female labor, thriving sex trafficking, arranged marriage practices, as violence against women? What kinds of “counter-education” projects can work to supplant the kind of identity-formation and knowledge-construction taking place in schools? How do we engage education as an emancipatory collective social practice in the face of market-friendly social engineering and cultivation of neo-traditional, conservative, and nationalist sentiments? How does feminism relate to LGBT/Queer advocacy in traditionally conservative countries or in those experiencing a resurgence of machismo after the collapse of state socialism?

19th July, Day 4: Forming People’s Movements. We will draw our themes together to discuss existing and alternative forms of solidarities and popular mobilisations aiming to counter the rise of right-wing populism and nationalist movements in the neoliberal era, and to further tactical and strategic avenues for developing resistances in the periphery. We will discuss: How does the common narrative on the Western/regional Left influence our own struggle at home? What lessons are there from the Left in the South and East? How do the new geopolitical happenings influence our work in a day-to-day manner? What narratives and practices of solidarity and decoloniality do we deem effective and successful in our local context? How do we choose between humanitarian action and strategies of rupture and conflict? How can we counteract the liberal effort to use current events to strengthen Europe as a point of moral superiority and eternal return? How do we prevent return of phallocentric Germany-led Europe in a re-articulation of neoliberalism /re-masculinisation of societies? How do we approach populism as a strategy for conservative and nationalist mobilization, while also keeping in mind the various left-wing popular/populist movements and their emancipatory language and practice?

20st July, Day 5: What is to be done? Over breakfast together, we will focus on problems of organising, translation, alienation, and mobilisation. How can we continue to work to imagine and enact transnational tactics to disrupt liberal-capitalist spatial regulation and hierarchies and produce transformative action? What are the historical and political-economic barriers that hinder cooperation among activists across our countries, and how can forge routes of transnationalism and solidarity across them? How do we – often-isolated tiny movements – work to stop the new wars? How are internationalist leftists in peripheral countries to engage “anti-imperialist” arguments that function to justify nationalist and authoritarian systems? Who is our main antagonist in our national/international contexts? Are they other left or pseudo left groups, liberals, government, the west, empire, or capitalism? How is this decided – historically, strategically, and contingently?

TO EXPRESS INTEREST IN PARTICIPATING:  Please fill out our survey by June 12 th   2016

We have applied for funding and are waiting to hear news. As always, we will try our best to cover travel (primarily, and hopefully lodging and food as well) for those who need it the most. If you have institutional travel grants, please apply for them. We have been very lucky in other years that some fortunate people with higher incomes or funding have been willing to redistribute. Please consider doing this as well.

We look forward to seeing you in Istanbul!

The organizing team.

Report from our 2013 convergence

ScreenHunter_01 Aug. 15 12.42Picture: Daniel Šarić

Summer School “Between (post)Socialism and (neo)Liberalism” , at Social Center Xaspel in Sofia

This July in Sofia, an event entitled Eastern Europe: Between (post)Socialism and (neo)Liberalism. Ideologies, practices, resistances was hosted by New Left Perspectives and Social Center Haspel and supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. The goal of the event was to continue the transnational collaboration between radical activists and academics within Eastern Europe that was started during two previous summer schools in 2011 and 2012 in Budapest.

First event in 2011 entitled (Neo)liberalization of Socialism and the Crises of Capital took place at Central European University in Budapest and was organized by Mary Taylor, Johanna Bockman, Csilla Kalocsai and Judit Bodnar. It included lectures by G.M. Tamas, David Harvey, Ivan Szelenyi and others. Some of the initial participants, urged by the intellectually and politically stimulating experience, reassembled in July 2012, attracting new people, once again in Budapest, for a 5-day conference entitled Mapping Neoliberalism and Its Countermovements in the Former Second World. The main organizers this time were Agnes Gagyi, Csaba Jelinek and Rossen Djagalov. You can read an excellent report of Rossen Djagalov on what went on in 2012 as well as more on the event’s prehistory here.

The success of both previous convergences inspired participants to turn these meetings into an annual tradition. They decided to organize a third meeting, this time in Sofia, hosted by New Left Perspectives, and to reach out to new participants and organizations, particularly from the countries of ex-Yugoslavia. Recognizing the critical engagement of Rossen Djagalov with the dangers of liberal anti-populism, organizers decided to make it as a focal point. However, the topic of the summer school was extended to fit the interests of the group diversity in order to include issues related to (neo)liberalization of (post)socialism and urban studies/movements. Among the central organizing figures of the 2013 event were Mary Taylor and the New Left Perspectives coordinators Madlen Nikolova and Martin Petrov. The gathering took place at the Fridge & Haspel, a small venue in Sofia that is collectively run by members of Social center Haspel and New Left Perspectives, as well as by a local organization of artists named the Fridge.

The event kicked off with a short introduction by Mary Taylor on the morning of the 20th of July. It was followed by panel on The Rise of the Entrepreneurial City in the East After 1989: Neoliberalization, Gentrification and Resistances with presentations by Daniel Šarić, Márton Czirfusz and Themis Pellas. Šarić spoke about right to the city mobilizations in Zagreb, Czirfusz explicated the dynamics of the neoliberalization in Budapest and Pellas unpacked the possibilities for building up cross-national autonomous movements in the region, basing his argument on the experiences of urban mobilizations in Greece. The second panel was entitled Struggles Over the Right to Housing in the Neoliberal City in the East and comprised of three presentations. The first was the one by Anže Zadel, who traced the evolution of struggles over housing in the Balkans from socialist Yugoslavia to post-socialism. It was followed by an intervention by Mariya Ivancheva and Stefan Krastev, who comparated squatting practices in Venezuela and Bulgaria in relation to housing issues. The final talk was by Csaba Jelinek who spoke on the non-liberal answers to the housing problems in Hungary. The presentations were followed by a long Urban theory workshop, organized by Mary Taylor, Anže Zadel and Themis Pellas. There the potentialities between critical theoretical reflection and urban mobilizations were elaborated and discussed.

In the evening there was a round table discussion on the current protest mobilization in Bulgaria that has been taking place along with the summer school. The participants debated in length the ambivalent and complex meaning of the current protest wave in Bulgaria and the role that the tiny radical left can play in such protests that are somewhere in between a new color “revolution” and a potential for a critique of neoliberal capitalism. Another interesting point of the debate was focused on contrasting and comparing the summer protests in Bulgaria with the mobilization from February 2013 that brought down the right wing government.

The presentations and workshops on the 21st and the 22nd of July 2013 were focused on the region’s political economy of the transition to capitalism and the role of the current economic crisis in Eastern Europe. The 21st of July started with a panel on (Neo)liberalization of (Post)socialism and the European Debt Crisis in the East. Zsuzsi Posfai elaborated on the specificities of the process of privatization of utilities in Hungary. She was followed by Mariglen Demiri, who spoke about the Neoliberalisation of Post-Socialism in Macedonia. Sandra Martinsone presented her detailed economic research on the Latvian case. Andreja Živković put the initial liberalization of socialism and its eventual collapse within a global perspective vis-a-vis relation to international debt. Luka Mesec unpacked the “two speeds Europe” from the perspective of critical international political economy, elaborating on the divergent developmental models that lie in the European regional inequalities. Olexiy Viedrov talked about the shifting interconnections between Cyprus’ role as a Tax Haven, the Ukrainian political elite and its oligarchs. The final presentation was of Ajkuna Hoppe who spoke about the liberalization of Kosovo’s energy sector, its coal industry and its position in the region in the light of the recent protest wave there related to electricity price hikes.

The afternoon was dedicated to a workshop, organized by Rossen Djagalov, that aimed to start the production of a map of the post-socialist left. The vibrancy of the left organizations in the regions sparked a lively discussion on the importance of such a mapping project and a working group was set to finish up the process in the coming months.

In the evening a round table under the title of  Socialism, Postsocialism, Neoliberalism – Interconnections in CEE was organized with the participation of Don Kalb, Volodymyr Ishchenko and Florin Poenaru. (the talk can be downloaded/listened online here)

The third day of our convergence started with a panel on the Neoliberalization of Higher Education and the New Production of Knowledge. Razvan Dumitru brought in the debate intriguing anthropological insights on the understanding of the Moldovan formation of political subjectivities in the repertoires of contention there. It was followed by presentations by Daryna Korkach and Bartosz Ślosarski on the student protests against the neoliberal educational reforms in Ukraine (Korkach) and in Poland (Ślosarski). The second panel was entitled Resisting Neoliberal Austerity and Capitalism in Eastern Europe. It was started by Vladimir Unkovski-Korica who spoke about post-socialist working class formation in Serbia. Then Anej Korsika presented the new Slovenian Initiative for Democratic Socialism, that emerged out of the recent uprising there. Volodymyr Ishchenko proposed a typology of the radical left strategies in the context of the new mobilizations in Eastern Europe.

In the afternoon Mariya Ivancheva organized a workshop on the Recent Wave of Protests in East-Central Europe in Comparison, aiming to map the recent wave of contestation of the status quo in the region.

The 23rd of July was perhaps the longest day of the meeting and it was dedicated to the 2012 proposition to articulate an elaborate critique of liberal anti-populism. The morning started with an in-depth analysis on the role of “populism” in othering and enclosure of people power by Mary Taylor in the context of late 20th century global culturalization of the political and UNESCO’s politics of heritage. Her presentation was followed by an extremely original reflection on the strategies of the left by Andrea Jovanović and Aleksandar Stojanović. The trust of their argument was grounded on concrete social movements and not abstract values, showing the complexities of the radical left’s engagement with both liberal and conservative social mobilizations.

Alexandra Novozhenova talked about the de-politicization of socialist culture after socialism in privately owned art spaces. Martin Marinos proposed a framework within which we can understand the links between the rise of the far right and the liberal mainstream media. He was followed by a short talk by Dimitra Kofti. She explicated the dynamics of the usage of the concept of “populism” in Greece, a notion that escaped its more traditional liberal dwelling and has infested even the left, where the accusation of “populism” is sometimes mobilized to accuse one another and hence limiting its prospects for radical transformation. Rossen Djagalov presented on another stream of his larger project to articulate a detailed critique of liberal attempts to limit the possibilities of social change in the post-socialist world, namely on the liberal anti-utopianism. Such anti-utopianism, he showed, is used to argue that so called totalitarianism is a direct consequence of utopian thinking. He was followed by Zhivka Valiavicharska who critiqued post-1989 liberal historiography of socialism in Bulgaria that lumps up all its dynamic under the rubric of “totalitarianism”, unable to grasp the production of diverse set of ideas and practices. She spoke on her research into the Bulgarian tradition of Marxist Humanist though from the 1970s and the 1980s. Georgi Medarov and Jana Tsoneva tried to show the tensions between liberal and democratic practices, such as in the post-2001 use of the concept of “populism” as elitist liberal strategy to curtail democratic power, as well as within the 2013 protest movements. Ilya Budraytskis spoke about the evolution of Russian liberalisms in the context of the shift towards liberal capitalism after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The last presentation, of that long day of talks, was by Stanimir Panayotov, who gave a detailed analysis of the figure of the “gay male” within Bulgarian mainstream political discourses, such as the role of the “gay mafia” construction in rationalization of new inequalities.

After the tiring day of presentations and discussions some of the participants joined the evening protest in Sofia that ended with clashes with the police in front of Parliament, overflowing theory and practice, continuing informal intense political discussions on situation in Eastern Europe in the midst of the riots. For participant’s reflection on the ambivalence of the protests that were happening during the summer school check out Unpacking the “Bulgarian Spring” by Mary Taylor  here as well as Performing public spaces in the Sofia protests by Czirfusz Marton here.

The last day of this annual convergence started with presenting the results of the Fruška Gora Summer school that was held earlier in July in Serbia and organized by the Center of Politics of Emancipation. This was done by Miloš Jadžić and Vladimir Simović from Center of Politics of Emancipation (Serbia). It was followed by two workshops. Firstly one on Neoliberalizing Socialism – A Rearrangement of a Moral Universe organized by Agnes Gagyi & Razvan Dumitru. At the final meeting all participants were discussed how should they proceed in future, trying to define potential host and topics for the year 2014.

Georgi Medarov

Summer School “Between (post)Socialism and (neo)Liberalism”

JULY 20-24, 2013

Social Center Xaspel, Sofia

8 Madrid rd. (house in the inner courtyard)

 20th of July, Saturday

08:45 – 09:10

Mary Taylor


Panel: The rise of the Entrepreneurial City in the East After 1989: Neoliberalization, Gentrification and Resistances

Chair: Mary Taylor

10:00 – 10:20

Daniel Saric

The Right to the City Movement and its Contestation of Urban Transformation Policies in Post-socialist Zagreb

10:20 – 10:30


10:30 – 10:50

Márton Czirfusz

Mobilising the creative city: the case of Budapest

10:50 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:10

Coffee Break

11:10 – 11:30

Themis Pellas

Contemporary urban social movements in Greece and possible cross-national autonomous movement building in eastern Europe.

11:30 – 11:40


11:40 – 12:00

Coffee Break

Panel: Struggles Over the Right to Housing in the Neoliberal City in the East

Chair: Agnes Gagyi

12:00 – 12:20

Anže Zadel

Urban Struggles and Housing in Late Socialist and Post-Socialist Societies

12:20 – 12:30


12:30 – 12:50

Mariya Ivancheva and Stefan Krastev

The Role of the State in Cases of Urban Squatting: Comparing Sofia and Caracas.

12:50 – 13:00


13:00 – 13:20

Csaba Jelinek

Non-liberal Answers to the Housing Crisis in Hungary

13:20 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:30

Lunch Break

14:30 – 18:00


Urban Theory Lab (Mary Taylor, Anze Zadel, Themis Pellas)


Recent protests in Bulgaria


21st of July, Sunday

Panel: (Neo)liberalization of (Post)socialism and the European Debt Crisis in the East

Chair: Jana Tsoneva

09:30 – 09:50

Zsuzsi Posfai

Privatization of utilities in Hungary

09:50 – 10:00


10:00 – 10:20

Mariglen Demiri

Neoliberalisation of Post-Socialism in Macedonia

10:20 – 10:30


10:30 – 10:50

Sandra Martinsone

Neoliberal economic reforms (taxes, privatization, FDI and trade) in Latvia after Independence

10:50 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:10

Coffee Break

11:10 – 11:30

Andreja Živković

From the Market to the Market: the Origins of the Debt Crises in the Balkans

11:30 – 11:40


11:40 – 12:00

Luka Mesec

Debt Crisis in the East and the Eurozone

12:00 – 12:10


11:40 – 11:50

Coffee Break

11:50 – 12:10

Olexiy Viedrov

Tax Havens for Ukrainian oligarchs and Austerity in Cyprus

12:10 – 12:20


12:20 – 12:40

Ajkuna Hoppe

Financializing the Periphery? Europeanization and the Future of Money in Kosovo

12:40 – 12:50


12:50 – 14:30

Lunch Break

14:30 – 17:30


Mapping the Postsocialist Left (Rossen Djagalov)

18:00 – 19:30

Don Kalb

Socialism, Postsocialism, Neoliberalism – Interconnections in CEE


22nd of July, Monday

Panel: Neoliberalization of Higher Education and the New Production of Knowledge

Chair: Mariya Ivancheva

09:30 – 09:50

Razvan Dumitru

“Neoliberal” values and practices in the Moldovan Twitter Revolution.

09:50 – 10:00


10:00 – 10:20

Daryna Korkach

Student resistance and neoliberal tendencies in Ukrainian education

10:20 – 10:30


10:30 – 10:50

Bartosz Ślosarski

The Limitations of the Polish Student Movement in the Times of Higher Education Reforms (2008-2013)

10:50 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:10

Coffee Break

Panel:Resisting Neoliberal Austerity and Capitalism in Eastern Europe

Chair: Martin Marinos

11:10 – 11:30

Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

The making of the Serbian working class: some critical remarks on the transitions literaturе



11:40 – 12:00

Anej Korsika

Resisting Austerity and Capital in Slovenia: From the Recent Uprising to the Initiative for Democratic Socialism.

12:00 – 12:10


12:10 – 12:40

Volodymyr Ishchenko

Radical left strategies, social movements, and the coming political crises”

12:40 – 12:50


12:50 – 14:20

Lunch Break

14:20 – 14:50

Open Discussion

Comparing the political economy of the recent protest mobilizations in Eastern Europe

14:50 – 15:00

Coffee Break

15:00 – 17:00


The Recent Wave of Protests in East-Central Europe in Comparison (Mariya Ivancheva)


23rd of July, Tuesday

Panel: Critique of Liberal Ideologies

Chair: Martin Petrov

09:00 – 09:20

Mary Taylor

Liberal critique of populism; the othering and enclosure of people power

09:20 – 09:30


09:30 – 09:50

Andreja Jovanovic and Aleksandar Stojanovic

“Strategy of the Left in the context of Liberal Anti-populism”

09:50 – 10:00


10:00 – 10:20

Alexandra Novozhenova

Neoliberalization of culture in Russia

10:30 – 10:50

Martin Marinos

The Far Right and the Liberal Media

10:50 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:10

Coffee Break

11:10 – 11:30

Dimitra Kofti

The dominance of ‘rationality’ through anti-populism.

11:30 – 11:40


11:40 – 12:00

Rossen Djagalov

The Liberal Anti-Utopianism

12:00 – 12:10


12:10 – 14:00

Lunch Break

14:00 – 14:20

Zhivka Valiavicharska

Unsettling the Hegemony of Post-Socialist Liberal Historiography. Marxist Humanist Thought from the East-European 1970s

14:20 – 14:30


14:30 – 14:50

Georgi Medarov

Post-democratic Liberalisms after 1989 in Bulgaria. From anti-totalitarianism to anti-populism

14:50 – 15:00


15:00 – 15:20

Jana Tsoneva

Bulgarian Winter: Towards a Post-liberal Democratic Presentism

15:20 – 15:30


15:30 – 15:40

Coffee Break

15:40 – 16:00

Ilya Budraytskis

Russian Liberalisms

16:00 – 16:10


16:10 – 16:20

Stanimir Panayotov

The people’s anti-liberal rationalization of inequality: the case of LGBTs in Bulgaria.

16:20 – 16:30


16:30 – 19:00


Field-trip to the Woman’s market in Sofia (Zhivka Valyavicharska)


24th of July, Wensday

11:00 – 12:00

Milos Jadzic and Vladimir Simovic

Presenting the Fruška Gora Summer School 2013



Neoliberalizing Socialism – A Rearrangement of a Moral Universe (Agnes Gagyi & Razvan Dumitru)

16:00 – 19:00


Institutionalizing our project: Political Platform and Intellectual Cooperation (Agnes Gagyi)


Mapping Neoliberalism and Its Countermovements in the Former Second World

a five-day workshop July 23rd-27th, 2012 Budapest, Hungary

Budapest Center for Architecture @ 5 Petőfi Sándor Str, Budapest (see on the map)

MONDAY, 23 July
12.00 – 13.00
Registration and coffee

13.00 – 14.30
Talk: Mary Taylor via skype
The 2011 Neoliberalizing Socialism in Budapest: the 2011 CEU summer course

15.00 – 17.00
First Round of Introductions
All participants will briefly explain who they are, what they are fighting for (in research and activism) and introduce the institutions, publications, and groups with which they are affiliated.

18.00 – 19.00
Talk: Attila Melegh: “The Global 1950s”

TUESDAY, 24 July
10.00 – 11.00
Talk: József Böröcz: Whitening Histories

11.30 – 14.30
Excavating the origins of the neoliberal present in the late socialist past
Coordinators: Dan Cirjan, Rossen Djagalov, Piotr Wcislik

One of the recurring problems of most scholarship on postsocialism has been its tendency to build its analyses against the background of an undifferentiated socialist past, a homogenous set of institutions, economic practices and types of governance, which seem to have remained constant throughout the communist period only to be reshaped by the “great transformation” of the 1990s. This panel, by contrast, is based on the premise that a more nuanced, global, and historically informed perspective on late socialism will provide us with the much-needed understanding of the elements that were “re-formed”, reframed and re-organized through neoliberal policies under neoliberalism.

Late socialism also saw the emergence a particular type of discourse coming from dissidents, the “democratic opposition”, and reformists, which framed and interpreted “actually existing socialism” and its “crisis” outside of the official Party monologue. This type of discourse proved pivotal in shaping the postsocialist public sphere and paved the way for the “neoliberalization of the Left,” especially the reformist left, after 1989. In this sense, the panel has a dual aim: on the one hand, it seeks to understand the late-socialist reforms in the spheres of production and welfare provision and their relationship to world-economic processes, especially the capitalist restructuring of the 1970s and 1980s. On the other, it aims at reconstructing the process through which elements in the political thinking of the Left could lead to embracing neoliberalism as a progressive project.

15.30 – 18.30
History of class formation in CEE
Coordinators: Mikolaj Lewicki, Maciek Gdula, Adam Ostolski, Przemyslaw Sadura

The transformation of social structures after 1989 in so called post-communist countries is rarely analyzed with reference to the notion of class. The popularity of concepts such as inequality, social mobility and stratification contribute to naturalization of capitalism and do not form a basis for critique of new order. We would like to offer an analysis of social structures in Central and Eastern Europe from a number of class-oriented perspectives. The focus will be on three interconnected aspects:
changes in composition of class system, different class cultures and social conflicts. This approach offers not only a much richer perspective on what has happened during last twenty years but also allows us to pose questions about the prospects of social and political change.

WENSDAY, 25 July
10.00 – 14.00
“Is the revolution necessarily urban?”
Coordinators: Mariann Dosa, Csaba Jelinek, Zsuzsanna Pósfai

Many writings from critical/radical urban studies scholars since the 1980s highlight the pivotal role of cities and urban landscapes in neoliberal restructuring and governance. Apart from these theories, the emerging leftist struggles against the neoliberal hegemony have often been situated in and focused on the urban realm. An especially powerful and well-known concept encapsulating the intimate relationship between urban phenomenon and (counter-)hegemonic forces of neoliberalism is the Right to the City (RTC) framework developed by David Harvey. Another advantage of this conceptual framework is the way in which it links theoretical and practical approaches to change our cities. Recognizing the fact that many of the young critical scholars from our region have a special interest either in critical urban research or in urban movements, this session tries (1) to theoretically reflect on the role of cities in leftist countermovements, (2) to explore postsocialist specifics and differences within the region regarding urban policies, scholarship, marginality and movements and (3) to speculate about the potentials of a future urban focused coalition among the leftist actors in the region.

We will begin this session by introducing Harvey’s urban theories and his Right to the City concept. Afterwards, a case study of the Hungarian ’The City is for All’ grassroots group for housing rights will inform our discussion. Through this concrete example we will be able to address questions that we presume to be transversal in urban scholarship and activism.
After the case study, workshop participants will help us, through interventions, to establish our empirical base by answering the following questions about urban life in their societies: How was the privatization of the housing stock/ urban space carried out? Is there a housing crisis, and if yes, what characterizes it (is it quantitative, qualitative or accessibility crisis)? What is the structure of the housing sector and what are the main processes in it? What are the forms of urban marginality? What kind of mobilizations, forms of collective action are present? What are the centerpieces of current urban policy?

We will then move on to discuss the specificity of postsocialist cities and the applicability of the RTC framework to urban struggles here. (1) Can we agree with Harvey that — in this region not unlike his Western and Third-World examples — cities and urban movements should be crucial sites for leftist struggles? (2) Who are the agents of postsocialist urban movements (middle-class hipsters? vulnerable groups?) and what are the issues they problematize (homelessness, the urban environment), do they address the question of marginality? (3) What is the importance of an alliance between theory and practice in CEE cities? What are the main topics and dynamics of critical urban research in the various countries?
Finally, we will seek to determine possible lines of cooperation within this specifically urban topic.

15.00 – 19.00
Crisis, austerity, and countermovements, Part I. Movements on the right
Coordinators: Marek Mikus, Piotr Wcislik

In this panel we want to question the entanglements between neoliberal crisis, the postsocialist condition and the countermovements on the right. The goal is to see the real thing behind the various caricatures which proliferate in the academic descriptions, including on the Left. Most interpretations of nationalist protest movements classify them according to their sources or their political functions in the dynamics of postsocialist capitalism. As far as the sources are concerned, the interpretations range between the extemporaneous and contemporaneous arguments. The privileged trope of the former (traditional liberal) approach has been the “homo sovieticus,” designating a type of mentality unable to adapt to the postsocialist realities both in the marketplace (outdated welfare demands) and in the sphere of values (unprocessed xenophobia, traditional values, nationalism). The latter (more critical) argument assimilates the protest movements on the right under the umbrella term of “populism,” which is considered to be the product of the postpolitical condition of both Western and Eastern societies after 1989. As far as the political functions of those countermovements are concerned, the interpretations range between a “Troyan horse of capitalism” and a “surrogate Left” perspectives. In the first case, the focus is on how the objective economic sources of popular indignation are steered towards an (ethnic or ex-Communist) Other while redeeming the image of capitalism as a nice thing if run by decent people. In the second case, the ideological fundamentals of the nationalist right – such as the defense of popular sovereignty, critique of — hegemony and anti-elitism — are taken seriously to the extent that they overlap with left’s own agenda.

All these conceptual problems should include a comparative dimension in both time and space. Are the CEE nationalist protest movements from the 1990s the same as today’s? How do they compare with the far-right movements in Western and non-Western worlds? The objective of the panel is to rethink these interpretations with the view of the Left’s own strategy. Where is the place of the Left? With the liberals in a “popular front of modernization” or with the “people,” that is, the current constituency of right-wing protest?

10.00 – 14.00
Crisis, austerity, and countermovements, Part II. Movements on the left
Coordinators: Natalia Buier, Agnes Gagyi, Mariya Ivancheva, Piotr Wcislik

In the second session on countermovements to neoliberal regimes we discuss the contemporary movements associated with the left or considered as progressive both inside and outside the academia. We invite participants to introduce countermovements they know well so that we could reach a larger, international perspective of their workings as well as a sense of „what is to be done.”

Beyond serving to introduce relevant regional developments, the panel will problematize the study of social movements through a dual epistemological concern: on the one hand, it will ask how the array of recent social movements challenges our analytical tools as sociologists, anthropologists, students of history and culture; on the other hand, it also asks seeks to understand the inscription of dominant ideologies in the act of studying these movements and the complicity of academics in obscuring histories of militance. Our own relationship to those movements as both researchers and participants will be further discussed in the next panel: Academic struggles.

Talk: László Bruszt: Critical Sociology in the Era of Neoliberalism

16.00 – 20.00
Academic struggles: the position and task of the CEE academic left
Coordinators: Jana Bacevic, Natalia Buier, Rossen Djagalov, Agnes Gagyi, Mariya Ivancheva

The panel aims to be a theoretical reflection on our own work, as well as a strategic discussion about what we could do together, internationally.
We will begin with a discussion of the role of universities (as institutions) and higher education (as a field of knowledge production) in reproducing neoliberal ideology as well as its political and economic elites deploying that ideology. What are the implications of the changing conditions of knowledge production for the possibilities, stratagems, and spaces of resistance within the academe? Could critical pedagogy and activism be aligned within the university we know? What kind of epistemological challenge do practices such as militant ethnography pose? What do we make of the differences in position, history and vocabulary from similar questions asked in Western academia? From the institutional context, we will then move to the disciplinary one. Each of the disciplines represented at this workshop — anthropology, sociology, history, and so on — has a specific capacity for legitimating and critiquing neoliberalism. What would a leftist academic project look like in each of them? Finally, many of us also inhabit non-academic spaces, be they NGOs, journals of social critique, political parties. What is the relationship between our academic and non-academic engagements?

We invite participants to introduce the academic context of their work, join the debate about our common task, and think of possibilities of collaboration.

FRIDAY, 27 July
10.00 – 14.00
Interview Day
As many workshop participants happen to be editors or contributors to leftist magazines and web sites and as other, local publications might also join us, the last morning is left open for group/personal interviews and inter-publication networking. Those of us who are not giving interviews might just sit on the nearby terrace and continue our discussion over a few beers.

15.00 – 16.00
Wrap up
As a last move, we will share possibilities of further cooperation we could think of, and hopefully make practical steps towards them.