How Sustainable is the World

Semester: SS 19
Lecturer: Univ.-Lekt. Dr.phil. Boris Buden

In the time of what Anthony Giddens calls “reflexive modernity,” individuals have to engage with the wider, globalized world if they want to act, understand and even survive in it. They will be able to do it only if they routinely interpret and act on the information produced by experts. This is how knowledge becomes constitutive of social life, shapes our identities and makes our planet into “the world of clever people,” as Giddens explicitly calls it. But what if the translation of the expert-knowledge into the languages of the everyday fails disclosing another world beyond the one of clever people? Is there any knowledge or reflexivity in this world and how to call it if it is not simply a world of dull people?

In this course we talked about Conservatism, Globalization and Socialism. The discussions were based on an interview with Anthony Giddens by Labinot Kunushevci. One of the key statements was that, we are suffering from ‘cosmopolitan overload’ and that a huge task lies before us – to create responsible capitalism. Further, Giddens stated that we live in a world that has moved ‘off the edge of history’ at the same time as it remains deeply embedded in it. Since it was up to each student to decide which statements we found interesting, there was a symposium at the end of the course where everyone presented and discussed their research.


Individual Project
Format: Paper
Topic: Living off the edge of history