↓ print document 

International Study Week/Seminar
"Violence And Politics: The Challenges Of Our Time. Reading Hannah Arendt"

Organized by the Workers' and Punks' University of the Peace Institute in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, Ljubljana

Goethe Institut, Ljubljana

Ljubljana, Slovenia

September 17 - 27, 2004

Language: English

STUDY WEEK "FACULTY": Dr. Wolfgang Heuer, Freie Universtitšt Berlin, Assist. Prof. Vlasta Jalusic, Peace Institute


The topic:

Political thought is becoming increasingly concerned with a myriad of excesses and consequences brought about by a complex global, national and local web of political and social protagonists. These consequences include migrations, wars, terror, marginalization, social inequality, trafficking in human beings, etc. An important question presents itself, as to how national and local policies, which can prevent or alleviate the modern processes of marginalization, conflict, violence and terror, are shaped in a globalized context. New questions, such as this, are symptoms of radical transition and transformation both at the level of political action as well as at the level of reflection and thinking about the possible solutions for these contemporay challenges.

This is precisely our reason for wanting to approach the topic of violence and politics from the perspective of the thought of Hannah Arendt. The sheer extent of literature, published on Hannah Arendt in the last fifteen years, indicates, that her perspective is not only useful in broaching, but her own experience of totalitarianism and exile led her to a thorough reflection on the phenomena of racism, totalitarianism, violence, politics and power and in the rehabilitiation of the term of authority, and in meditating on the issues of modernity, racism, totalitarian systems, on the relationship between philosophy and politics, human rights and citizenship, sovereignty and the nation state, identity, minorities and exclusion, and the relationship, which has proven crucial in international politics these past few years - the relationship between economic globalization and its political consequences, and between the continents of Europe and America. In discussing these phenomena, Arendt examined the contemporary political thinking not only in order to redefine the understanding of politics but also to confront it with contemporary political issues.

The main focus of the Hannah Arendt study weeks will be the topics of violence and politics approached from the perspective of Hannah Arendt's thinking: the question of their relationship in the context of the contemporary challenges created by the new wars, terrorism, and organized crime on the one hand, and on the other, the various existing answers, attempts to combat, find a remedy, or a solution to these increasing phenomena.


There exist an obvious need for political thought and research to be constantly rooted in everyday life and problems of greatest urgency. The main aim of the study weeks is to offer two weeks of intense studying Hannah Arendt's selected texts on violence, power, and political action, and to discuss about the alternatives, given by liberalism, neo-conservatism, and republicansm. The purpose of this is two-fold: to provide theoretical, and a conceptual reflection of the phenomena of violence, politics, and political action, as well as a chance of experiencing the openness of a phenomenological thinking, and to remain ceaselessly committed to the environment and situations of the urging contemporary problems.

List of topics to be covered:

The Study Weeks are organised by the Peace Institute and supported by Peace Institute, Goethe Institute and DAAD. The program is initiated by the Workers' and Punks' University and linked to the Peace Institute's research project Politics and power in times of terror: thinking with Hannah Arendt.


Approximately 15 to 20 students from Slovenia and Germany.

Application Requirements:

There are no specific application requirements, but prospective applicants are encouraged to prepare a brief paper detailing their particular interest in any aspect of the topic to be covered, which can be a review of previous readings or a proposal for a research project.

Methodology and Course Requirements:

All students will receive reading materials in electronic form which they are expected to have read before the beginning of the Study weeks. They will consist of the following texts:

On Violence, Is America by nature a Violent Society, The Legitimacy of Violence as a Political Act (background texsts will be Thoughts on politics and Revolution and Civil Disobedience)

What is Freedom? Lying in Politics, Crisis of the Republic (background texts will be the Chapter Acting from The Human Condition).

The courses will combine lectures and other teaching methods. There will be two introductory lectures: Introduction to Hannah Arendt and How to read Hannah Arendt? Two public lectures of the instructors will be organized. In order to be adequately prepared for informed discussion, class members should assume responsibility for reading those additional assigned materials which they had not previously received before the date for which they have been assigned. Attendance at all class sessions and special lectures will be required, with students asked to keep a running log of questions, and issues raised in each session. Students will also occasionally be asked to form groups for the purpose of discussing their responses to the material read.

At the completion of the course the instructors will be available to continue to advise those students by e-mail who have developed special individual research interest which they seek to develop further.

Eligibility and Funding:

a) Students of social sciences and humanities - from third grade university study onwards;

b) post-graduates with teaching and research experiences may also apply;

c) age limit for participants is 35;

d) the language of instruction is English; thus all applicants have to demonstrate a strong command of English to be able to follow lectures and participate actively in discussions at seminars and workshops.

Peace Institute will cover instructors fees, provide reading materials (the coverage of accommodation and meals is still pending, i.e. will depend on the acquired funding). Participants will receive a reader prior to the course. Students are, however, responsible for the travel costs and for incidental expenses.


Successful participants will get certificates indicating their contribution to the Study week.


Please read the following directions carefully. Failure to follow the guidelines below may result in the withdrawal of your application from the selection procedure.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.




Peace Institute, Workers' and Punks' University (Ciril Oberstar)
Metelkova 6,
SI-1000 Ljubljana,


Ciril Oberstar, course co-ordinator
Peace Institute,
Metelkova 6,
SI-1000 Ljubljana,
Tel: +386 1 234 77 20, 234 77 29
Fax: +386 1 234 77 22
E-mail: oberstar@mail.ljudmila.org
WWW: www.mirovni-institut.si/dpu