Posts from the ‘Activities’ category

Below, a selection of my activities is listed. For more see the sub-categories Convened Events and Talks, or browse the tags in the sidebar of the website.

Keynote: When the old is dying and the new cannot be born. Multiple crisis and transformation in Central Eastern and South

Current talk of ‘crisis’ suggests that we are living through an era, in which crisis has become permanent and exceptional politics the new norm (Agamben 2005). In that setting, prospects for individual and social development seem to narrow down to becoming more ‘resilient’ through adaptation. This keynote argues that this reading of permanent crisis and exceptionalism, while plausibly structuring our current perceptions, is not particularly helpful to grasp what is going on in Central, Southern and Southeastern Europe. I suggest that we need more specified notions of crisis and transformation. I will lay out some conceptual stepping stones for the conference’s further elaborations, sketching a genealogy of crisis thought and distinguishing between transformation as directed system change (Kollmorgen 2010) and ‘Great transformations’ in Polanyi’s sense (Polanyi 1944). Drawing on selected crisis periods in Spain and Poland for illustration, I will show how a Polanyian reading, combined with Gramsci’s idea of organic crisis, can illuminate the current conundrum between crisis, transformation and populism.

Windrad-Gondel im Hof des Neue Energien Forum Feldheim

Research and teaching project: How does sustainable transition work?

The European Union has started to align its cohesion and investment policies with sustainable development goals, and so have the federal German government and the government of the State Brandenburg. But, how are sustainability agendas understood and implemented locally, by actors who have commited to specific projects of sustainable transition, so-called change-makers? What sense do they make of multilevel sustainability governance? Students of European University Viadrina address these questions in a series of classes on sustainable transition in the State Brandenburg designed and directed by Amelie Kutter.

Talk: Crisis and politicisation. The example of the Covid-19 pandemic

Talk by Amelie Kutter at the JURE workshop ‘Policitisations of pandemic recovery’, 16 June, 2023, University of Helsinki. Unlike during earlier crises, the distributive effects of crisis and crisis management have not been subject of political constestation during the pandemic. What has primarily been contested is the legitimacy of national biopolitics, that is, the way by which public authorities seek to control for the health of a population in a given territory. The paper argues that the emphasis on self-determination vis-à-vis state authorities and the backgrounding of distributive effects of crisis management is related to the way the pandemic was constructed as a crisis in the first place and the specific type of political subjectivity – the responsible and resilient subject – that containment and recovery measures interpellated. This argument is drawn from discursive political studies, and a discourse conception of politicisation more specifically, which highlights the construction of political agency, opponency and voice previously unaccounted for in political competition (Kutter 2020).

Polity-Construction or How the European Union is (De-)Legitimised: A Discursive Political Sociology Perspective

The paper, presented at the 28th Council for European Studies conference in Lisbon/ISCE on 29 July, 2022, introduces a ‘discursive political sociology perspective’ that combines the theory of meaning-constitution developed in linguistically informed discourse studies with Bour-dieusian political sociology and the political theory of polity-building. It shifts attention from outcome (legitimacy) to process (legitimation) and from identification with existing EU institutions to discourse practices that only establish the means of communicating and cognizing EU politics in its potential and postnational character.