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Multidisciplinary Workshops Abstracts 2020-2021

Envisioning the Global South(s)

February-June 2021
Online (Zoom)

Organizers: Roberta Biasillo (MWF RSC), Matteo Capasso (MWF RSC), Wanshu Cong (MWF LAW), Maria Dyveke Styve (MWF HEC), Lillian Frost (MWF RSC), Maria do Mar Gago (MWF HEC) 



This multidisciplinary workshop aims at exploring strategies, processes and narratives through which Western gazes have contributed to the creation and making of the Global South.

The workshop critically examines the ways in which knowledge is produced on Asian, African, Middle East and Latin American regions. It does so to look at the social, environmental, political, legal premises and consequences of those views.

The contributors reflect on many of the questionable policies and practices born of these imaginaries and related histories that have been utilized in the regions since the colonial period. They further reveal how power, in the form of development programs, notions of nationalism, expert knowledge, landscape transformation and human right discourses, for instance, relates to Western and European-originated knowledge production systems.

Program (pdf)

Some sessions of this workshop were recorded and are now available to watch online.

Pricing Technologies and their Economic and Social Consequences

 25-26 March 2021
Online (Zoom)

Organizers: Arthur Dolgopolov (MWF ECO), Agnieszka Jablonowska (MWF LAW), Francesco Ducci (MWF LAW), Giacomo Tagiuri (MWF LAW)

PriTech is a two-day online research workshop that emphasizes technological developments in the way prices are calculated, recorded, and communicated, and the way online services are monetized, as well as the social and economic consequences of such developments that cause concerns from various disciplinary and policy perspectives. It is an interdisciplinary event that is meant to bring together economists, lawyers, sociologists, historians, and industry practitioners. Find more information at this link.

Program (pdf)

Some sessions of this workshop were recorded and are available online.

Humanitarian Intervention: the invention of a tradition?

April-May 2021
Online (Zoom)

Organizers: Josef Ostransky (MWF LAW), Orfeas Chasapis Tassinis (MWF LAW), Andrés Vicent (MWF HEC) 

What is the ideological background behind the birth of humanitarian interventions? What legal theories have been employed to support it? And how have various political and economic interests interacted with and drawn upon the normatively appealing concepts of humanitarianism? Conversely, how has the notion of humanitarianism been used in resistance to powerful actors?

The aim of the workshop is to explore humanitarian intervention as a key phenomenon in the birth and development of internationalism from diverse disciplinary perspectives. The workshop will critically examine the historical, political, and legal implications of humanitarian interventions from the past to the present.

The workshop is organized as a series of three discussions with renowned speakers who have worked on the topic of humanitarian intervention from different angles with the co-conveners acting as discussants. 

Program (pdf)

Some sessions of this workshop were video-recorded and are now available online.

Causes and consequences of inequality

13 May 2021
Online (Zoom)

Organizers: Weverthon Barbosa Machado (MWF SPS), Balaraju Battu (MWF SPS), Aruni Mitra (MWF ECO), Federica Querin (MWF SPS)

The aim of the workshop is to examine the sources of inequality and policies to tackle it by bringing together academics from different areas of social sciences. The workshop will critically examine data, theory, and policy implications. Focus will be on areas including but not limited to economic redistributive policies with related issues of justice like targeting equality in outcomes versus equality in opportunities, identity-based discrimination like gender and racial inequality in the labour market, intra-household inequality like bargaining power differences between the two spouses, intergenerational transfers, and unequal access to public goods like health and education.

Program (pdf)

The two keynote sessions were video-recorded and are now available to be watched here.


Turning the Tide: Contemporary Challenges to Health and Healthcare in Europe and Beyond

May-June 2021
Online, Zoom

Organizers: Aline Bertolin (MWF LAW), Katarzyna Doniec (MWF SPS), Alexandru Moise (MWF SPS), Takuya Onoda (MWF SPS), Tamara Popic (MWF SPS), Mirjam Reutter (MWF ECO)

Health and healthcare issues have never been as salient as in the context of the present COVID-19 pandemics. This lecture series addresses the following questions: What are the main challenges facing population health and healthcare policies in the context of the present pandemic in Europe and beyond? How have countries dealt with these challenges? And what are the future prospects of health and healthcare in this pandemic-ridden world?

The aim of this lecture series is to explore these questions from diverse disciplinary perspectives. The lectures will cover topics of health inequalities, vaccinations, mental health, EU's health future and healthy ageing.

The event is organized as a series of lectures with renowned speakers who have worked on the topic of health and healthcare from different angles, with the Max Weber Fellows acting as moderators.

Program (pdf)

All lectures were video-recorded and are now available to be watched here.


"Mobilities in Early modern and contemporary mediterranean"

27-28 May 2021
Refectory, Badia and Online (Zoom)

Organizers: Roberta Biasillo (MWF RSC), Maria Vittoria Comacchi (MWF HEC), Lavinia Maddaluno (MWF HEC)

People move. And so, do objects and knowledge. The 1990s mobility turn in the social sciences and recent migration crisis have increasingly brought to the fore that displacement, travel, and migration are part and parcel of any human society, shaping their social, geographical, environmental settings, as well as processes of knowledge production in significant and multifarious ways.Bringing together scholars working on early modern and modern times, presentations address multiple mobility patterns - from human migrations, to the circulation of ideas and knowledge, from exchanges of practices to transfers of goods - in the expanded space of the Mediterranean.This two-day workshop aims to discuss the Mediterranean area as a space of multilevel connectivity between interrelated regions, like North and Atlantic Africa, Western Asia and Europe; and to reframe the Mediterranean space from the perspectives of the environmental humanities, Mediterranean and African studies, intellectual history, and the history of science. 

On the first day, four thematic panels explore the Mediterranean space as a crossroad between Africa and Europe, different European countries, East and West. On the second day, two roundtables host presentations on ongoing research carried out by early career scholars.

Program (pdf)

"Technocracy in Time and Space"

31 May 2021
Refectory (Badia) and Zoom

Organizers: Adélie Chevée (MWF RSC), Wanshu Cong (MWF LAW), Paul Dermine (MWF LAW), Sebastian Diessner (MWF RSC), Tommaso Milani (MWF HEC), Takuya Onoda (MWF SPS), Giacomo Tagiuri (MWF LAW)

In a modern, complex society, knowledge and expertise are said to serve as an essential tool to tackle varieties of societal problems. The reliance on experts and expertise for governing – often dubbed “technocracy” –, however, is alleged to weaken ties between people and the government, thereby undermining the functioning of democratic politics.

Coming from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, we organise a workshop on "Technocracy in Time and Space" to revisit this alleged tension between technocracy and democracy, broadly conceived, in different historical and geographical settings. Key research questions to be explored throughout the workshop include: To what extent is technocracy compatible with democracy? Is technocracy displacing democracy across societies? To what extent does democracy rely on technocratic means to operate? Paying renewed attention to technocracy and technocratic forms of governance also invites parallel discussions about populism and ‘technopopulism’ as an alternative form of government. Thus, an inquiry into technocracy can highlight the conditions for, and the viability of, future democracy.

Program (pdf)

"Radical Democracy and Populism"

3 June 2021
Sala Europa (Vila Schifanoia) and Zoom

Organizers: Adélie Chevée (MWF RSC), Guadalupe Correa Lopera (MWF ECO), Takumi Shibaike (MWF SPS), Josef Ostransky (MWF LAW) 

In her recent book For a Left Populism (2018), the political theorist Chantal Mouffe argued that our contemporary ‘populist moment’ represented an opportunity for democratic reinvigoration through the formation of a ‘left populism’ in the name of radical democracy. Indeed, in the last ten years, several political parties on the left of the political spectrum but also social movements and organizations across the globe have adopted ideas and practices loosely inspired by populist ideologies, such as the absolute refusal of representatives, or calls for a wider use of the referendum.

In this workshop, we will discuss the relationship between populism (understood as a broad political ideology opposing the people versus a corrupt elite) and radical democracy, by exploring various empirical cases of elites, social movements, organizations and institutions which used various forms of democratic experimentations and discourses. Rather than focusing on academic ‘niche’ literature debates, this workshop will include scholars from different disciplinary and empirical backgrounds and aim at fostering a general conversation/reflection on the populist moment and its realization in today’s urgent political phenomena.

We will start with a roundtable on Mouffe’s work and proceed with presentations of ongoing research on empirical cases. We are particularly interested in discussing how ideas of populism and radical democracy differently appear in politics, history, economics, and law. Among other questions, we will ask ourselves: What are the similarities and differences between populism and radical democracy? Can populism and radical democracy cohabit, or are they fundamentally opposed? What are the current theories of populism explaining projects of radical democracy? When and how populist ideology may drive demands for radical democracy? What are the (real and hypothetical) consequences of these demands?




Organizers: Alexis Alvarez-Nakagawa (Visiting MWF LAW), Jorge Díaz Ceballos (Alumnus MWF HEC) 

"Anti Corruption"


Organizers: Aline Bertolin (MWF LAW), Michele Castiglioni (MWF SPS)

Page last updated on 23 June 2021

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