Summer School “Political Participation: Ideas, Forms and Modes since Antiquity”. Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, Bielefeld University; Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, University of Bologna, 18.05.2015–22.05.2015.
Reviewed by Teresa Malice
Published on H-Soz-u-Kult (August, 2015)
Summer School “Political Participation: Ideas, Forms and Modes since Antiquity”
The Summer School was hosted in the context of the binational master’s degree program in history (BiBoG) offered by the universities of Bielefeld and Bologna. It was organized by the respective departments of history and took place from 18th to 22nd May at Bielefeld University. By courtesy of the DAAD-program Hochschuldialog mit Südeuropa 2015, which financially supported the event through resources of the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt), 26 Italian and Greek scholars, PhD-researchers and graduate students coming from Athens, Bari, Bologna, Naples, Pisa, Rome, and Turin were welcomed by Bielefeld University. Together with their German colleagues, the academics gathered with the aim of reflecting upon the use of the term participation throughout all historical epochs. The Summer School was opened by S.E. PIETRO BENASSI, Italian ambassador to Germany, who recalled the relevance of the German-Italian scientific exchange as paradigmatically evidenced by this event.
Participation has been extensively studied by international historiography, being of crucial relevance for its primary role within societies. Because of the contested ideas and visions that have surrounded it, the issue of allowance to participation has been the scientific starting point for discussion. In that direction aimed the opening presentation of the first panel. VITO FRANCESCO GIRONDA (Bielefeld) gave an overview of new theoretical perspectives and paths in relation to the implementation of this paradigm within historical research. The proposed analytical category was citizenship, considered as a source of political and social rights that concur to determine political participation. In this sense, participation is strictly linked to the mechanisms of belonging and their institutionalization in pre-modern and modern societies and can be utilized, according to Gironda, both as a theoretical notion and as an action model (Handlungsmodus).
In the panel, citizenship was presented in an interdisciplinary dimension, with a particular attention to its repercussions on the contemporary world. The sociologist THOMAS FAIST (Bielefeld) analyzed its extension in the era of migrations, by inquiring how and to what extent the new multicultural policies have contributed to the enhancement or the reduction of political participation among immigrants. In doing so, Faist casted light on the contemporary nexus between mobilization, representation and participation and on the shift from a political citizenship to what he defined as a “market citizenship”.
In a presentation focused on political science, RAFFAELE CALABRETTA (Rome) from the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies drew attention to an ongoing group research concerned with a novel party participatory decision-making mechanism called “doparies” (from the Italian dopo, “after”). Calabretta underlined their crucial specificity in comparison to the well-known primaries: doparies take place only after elections, with the goal of shaping party choices and challenging the boundaries of traditional citizen participation.
The second, third and fourth panel were dedicated to political participation in the antiquity, considering both the philosophical discourse connected to it and its various forms of implementation. As far as Ancient Greece is concerned, UWE WALTER (Bielefeld) focused on Bürgersein and political participation in archaic and classic Hellas. In particular, he provided an analysis of the inclusive communitarian model typical of the Greek citizen-state through the concept of citizenship proposed by Aristotle. Walter challenged this concept by interpreting it innovatively, referring to the thought of political scientists such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt. LUCIA CRISCUOLO (Bologna) addressed the issue of education, political participation and administrative efficiency during the Hellenistic period. Criscuolo showed the effort of the dominating Macedonians in replacing the political identity of the Greek polis, albeit with some apparent contradictions in the field of education. As a matter of fact the Hellenistic system taught the Greek culture, language, and values and took advantage of them, since their use was the only valid way to make especially new Macedonian officials trustworthy.
With regard to the Roman age, GIOVANNI GERACI (Bologna) examined opportunities and restrictions of the Civitas Romana in the late Republican period and in Imperial Rome, emphasizing the progressive opening of the Roman territories but also huge differences with the Greek politeia. This opening though, in Geraci’s opinion, had to deal with the constant problem of citizenship, seen as a privileging right status and not as a proper form of political participation. KOSTAS BURASELIS (Athens) shed light on the Constitutio Antoniniana, the law promulgated in 212 BC which consigned the Roman citizenship to all inhabitants of the Empire, with the only exception being the so-called dediticii – an expression that originally identified those who had surrendered to the Romans by giving up all their possessions. Buraselis showed this and other controversies of Caracalla’s decree, and the continuous play between innovative and conservative characteristics inside it.
Two Italian students and graduates presented their projects which were grounded in the same historical epoch. OLIVER PANICHI (Bologna) explained the significance of the graphē paranómōn, an indictment against unconstitutional proposals which was introduced in Athens during the democracy. Panichi located this institution and its double-check control over the democratic decision-making in a larger discourse on political participation in Athens in the 4th century BC. MARCELLO LUSVARGHI (Bologna) focused instead on the influences of the Roman aristocracy in the administration of the Roman-barbaric reigns. Lusvarghi resorted to a confrontation between Italy, where Theodoric was building his reign of Ostrogoths, and Africa, where the Vandals had taken power. A workshop conducted by KOSTAS BURASELIS and UWE WALTER, in which students reflected upon the results and discussions so far, concluded these panels.
The fifth panel was dedicated to forms and control of political participation in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. GIAN LUCA D’ERRICO (Bologna) presented his paper on the Roman Inquisition between the end of the 16th and the 18th century. D’Errico read the story of the Holy Office’s institution through the problem of consensus and the way it was achieved, considering repression as a category that proceeds hand in hand with participation. ULRICH MEIER (Bielefeld) drew attention to the political theory and cultures of participation in German and Italian communal societies during the Middle Ages. He introduced the cases of Bologna and Florence, analyzing their participatory rules and semantics of freedom before eventually comparing them with the ones of the German free cities.
In the afternoon, the Summer School’s activities continued in Lemgo, a city close to Bielefeld founded in the 12th century which was a member of the Hanseatic League. In this sixth panel, symbolical spaces of participation were discussed and Lemgo was taken as a case study. During a tour of the town, STEFAN GORISSEN (Bielefeld), ULRICH MEIER and UMBERTO MAZZONE (Bologna) presented particular settings connected to participation, like the market square, the city hall, the procession path and the corporations’ houses (Zunfthäuser).
The seventh panel revolved around political participation in the modern age. ANDREA D’ONOFRIO (Naples) analyzed aspects of social integration and participation of displaced people and refugees that moved to Western Germany in the decades after World War II had ended. D’Onofrio put his focus on the way these circa 10 million people were able to act as pressure groups, despite the integration difficulties and the internal divisions within their own leagues and associations. A different perspective on participation was offered by PAOLA RUDAN (Bologna) who provided a frame of women’s emancipation during the 19th and 20th century. She presented a study of the vicissitudes and the crisis of the modern political subject through the works and the experiences of feminist or pre-feminist writers and activists. Within the same section, PAOLO CAPUZZO (Bologna) talked about the history of consumerism, raising the question if it can be understood as conscious means of political expression and participation. Capuzzo maintained that consumption and political activities can be linked together by considering consume either in a negative sense, that is as boycott, by seeing the consumer movement as self-organization or by reading it as a regime, where the State shapes private needs. Finally, ANDREA MARIUZZO (Pisa) dealt with the role of anti-communism in shaping the political participation of post-war Italy. Mariuzzo outlined the fundamental features of the country’s party-centered political system and analyzed the use of the anti-communist rhetoric as political means. This had an important role in the 1940s and 1950s with the Christian Democracy, and was later brought to life again by Bettino Craxi and Silvio Berlusconi. CARLO SPAGNOLO (Bari) and MARICA TOLOMELLI (Bologna) led a workshop so as to synthesize the panel’s paramount output.
Panel VIII included the presentations of master theses or research projects of students and PhD-fellows focusing on contemporary history. ALESSANDRO STOPPOLONI (Bielefeld / Bologna) presented his work on the political psychologist Peter Brückner. He provided a frame of Brückner’s conception of science – where the researcher does not only have to observe the world but is also willing to change it – and explained two critical moments in Brückner’s life, when he was accused of establishing contacts with the terrorist group Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF). ANDREA SPICCIARELLI (Bologna) contributed a paper on the Italian liberal-socialist movement Giustizia e Libertà (GL) that was founded in Paris by a group of anti-fascist exiles. He underlined GL’s role in shaping the international public opinion about Italian fascism and emphasized its peculiar nature not as a traditional party, but as a revolutionary movement, thought of as a prodrome to a new kind of politics-making. SERENA PERINI (Bologna) was concerned with Herbert Marcuse and his presence at the 1967 congress “Das Ende der Utopie” by the Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund (SDS). She claimed that his ideas had a deep impact both on the students and the public opinion, but most of all had a role in the SDS’s shifting towards anti-authoritarian positions. TULLIO OTTOLINI (Bologna) engaged with Third-Worldism, outlining the basic structure and research questions of his PhD project. Ottolini’s aim is to study the reception of the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist critique in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, with a particular attention to collective groups active in those years and to the Italian forms of collaboration with liberation movements in the Third World. TERESA MALICE (Bologna) presented the first results of a collective oral history project promoted by the Fondazione Gramsci Emilia Romagna, whose aim is to create an archive of video interviews about the history, the role and the perception of the Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI) in Bologna in the 1960s and 1970s. Interview partners are former members of the PCI. Malice problematized the project’s methodology and presented some brief considerations after the first interviews were registered. DANIELE TORO (Bielefeld / Bologna) dealt with the Stahlhelm, a German right-wing paramilitary organization established at the end of World War I. He was particularly interested in the role of its youth members in the ideological positioning of the movement. Toro located this kind of participation, based on violence, in the broader frame of European fascisms. Ultimately, LIA BRUNA (Turin) provided an insight into the history of political thought, by situating the topic of participation within German political Romanticism (1789 - 1830). Bruna defined political participation as a power phenomenon, sketching forms of it in the Romantik, with particular attention to the work of one of its most crucial representatives, Adam Müller.
At the close of the Summer School, LAURA GARAVINI (Rome) – member of the Italian Parliament and chairwoman of the German-Italian parliamentary group there – delivered the final talk, raising the issue of a lack of participation within contemporary European politics.
Conclusively, the Summer School succeeded in bringing together young scholars from Italian and Greek universities, putting them in touch with their German colleagues and discussing a subject of pivotal importance to social sciences. In this way it was a prolific event and, as outlined by S.E. Pietro Benassi in his opening remarks, highlighted the need for the steady exchange and cooperation between scholars of different branches and nationalities. The universities of Bielefeld and Bologna can already provide one such example of a successful cooperation considering the binational master’s degree program BiBoG. It would be desirable if Summer Schools like this one can accomplish similar achievements and thus will be part of future collaborations within the realm of German-Italian scientific exchange.
Peter Schuster (Universität Bielefeld) / Johannes Hellermann (Universität Bielefeld) / Pietro Benassi (Italienischer Botschafter in Deutschland)
Panel I: Politische Partizipation – Eine interdisziplinäre Herausforderung?
Vorsitz: Thomas Welskopp (Bielefeld)
Vito Francesco Gironda (Bielefeld), Ein eindeutiges Paradigma? Politische Partizipation in der Geschichtswissenschaft
Thomas Faist (Bielefeld), From political to market citizenship: The transformation of the zoon politikon
Raffaele Calabretta (Rom), Intra-party democracy in the 21th century: challenging the boundaries of citizen participation with “doparie”
Podiumsdiskussion der Vortragenden mit dem Plenum, Leitung: Thomas Welskopp (Bielefeld)
Panel II: Die politische Partizipation im antiken Griechenland
Vorsitz: Dorothea Rohde (Bielefeld)
Uwe Walter (Bielefeld), Bürgersein und Partizipation im archaischen und klassischen Hellas
Lucia Criscuolo (Bologna), Education, political participation and administrative efficiency in the Hellenistic world
Kommentar Dorothea Rohde (Bielefeld), Diskussion
Panel III: Die politische Partizipation im antiken Rom?
Vorsitz: Uwe Walter (Bielefeld)
Giovanni Geraci (Bologna), Opportunities and Restrictions of the Civitas Romana in late republican and imperial Rome: a matter of choice?
Kostas Buraselis (Athen), Constitutio Antoniniana: Genese und Bedeutung eines Wendepunkts
Kommentar Uwe Walter (Bielefeld), Diskussion
Panel IV: Vorstellung von Abschlussarbeiten deutscher und italienischer Masterstudierenden und DoktorandInnen (Antike)
Oliver Panichi (Bologna), Graphe paranomon and political participation in the Athenian Democracy of the fourth century BC: an example of double check control over the democratic decision-making
Kommentar Uwe Walter (Bielefeld), Diskussion
Marcello Lusvarghi (Bologna), Influenze del ceto notabile romano nell'amministrazione dei regni romano-barbarici: Italia e Africa a confronto
Kommentar Giovanni Geraci (Bologna), Diskussion
Workshop zum Thema „Quellenanalyse: Partizipation in antiken Gesellschaften“
Leitung: Kostas Buraselis (Athen) / Uwe Walter (Bielefeld)
Panel V: Formen und Kontrolle politischer Partizipation in vormodernen Gesellschaften
Vorsitz: Alessandra Veronese (Pisa)
Gian Luca D’Errico (Bologna), The Connection between Religion and Participation: The Case of the Roman Inquisition
Ulrich Meier (Bielefeld), Politische Theorie der deutschen und italienischen Stadtgesellschaft im Mittelalter
Kommentar Alessandra Veronese (Pisa), Diskussion
Panel VI: Symbolische Räume von Partizipation: Das Beispiel Lemgo
Stefan Gorißen (Bielefeld), Der Marktplatz
Ulrich Meier (Bielefeld), Das Rathaus
Umberto Mazzone (Bologna), Die Prozessionsroute
Stefan Gorißen (Bielefeld), Zunfthäuser
Panel VII: Fallbeispiele politischer Partizipation in der Moderne
Vorsitz: Carlo Spagnolo (Bari)
Andrea D’Onofrio (Neapel), Formen der politischen und gesellschaftlichen Partizipation der deutschen Vertriebenen im Nachkriegsdeutschland
Paola Rudan (Bologna), A different Participation: Women beyond Emancipation (19th-20th century)
Kommentar Gisela Diewald-Kerkmann (Bielefeld), Diskussion
Paolo Capuzzo (Bologna), Kann Konsum bewusstes politisches Ausdrucksmittel und damit Mittel politischer Partizipation sein?
Kommentar Massimiliano Livi (Münster), Diskussion
Andrea Mariuzzo (Pisa), Beyond the Repubblica dei partiti? Anti-communism and the shaping of political participation in post-war Italy
Kommentar Paolo Pezzino (Pisa), Diskussion
Workshop zum Thema: „Politische Partizipation in der Moderne“
Leitung: Carlo Spagnolo (Bari) / Marica Tolomelli (Bologna)
Panel VIII: Vorstellung von Abschlussarbeiten deutscher und italienischer Masterstudierenden und DoktorandInnen (Moderne)
Andrea Spicciarelli (Bologna), Giustizia e Libertà: a ‘federation of personalities’ as a prodrome to new politics
Kommentare: Paolo Capuzzo (Bologna) / Stefan Laffin (Bielefeld)
Alessandro Stoppoloni (Bielefeld / Bologna), Fra teoria e pratica: la psicologia politica di Peter Brückner
Kommentare: Lia Bruna (Turin) / Lorena Rizzo (Bielefeld)
Serena Perini (Bologna), Herbert Marcuse und der SDS Kongress „Das Ende der Utopie“ (West-Berlin, Juli 1967)
Kommentare: Teresa Malice (Bologna) / Stefan Laffin (Bielefeld)
Tullio Ottolini (Bologna), Il Terzomondismo italiano e la recezione della critica anticolonialista e antimperialista degli anni Sessanta e Settanta. Lineamenti per una ricerca
Teresa Malice (Bologna), Political Militance and Participation in the Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI) in Bologna in the 1960/70s
Kommentare: Marica Tolomelli (Bologna) / Vito Francesco Gironda (Bielefeld)
Daniele Toro (Bielefeld / Bologna), Die europäischen Faschismen. Partizipation und Gewalt am Beispiel des Stahlhelms
Kommentare: Isabella Consolati (Pavia / Bologna) / Daniel Siemens (Bielefeld)
Lia Bruna (Turin), Die deutsche politische Romantik und die Partizipation (1789-1830)
Kommentare: Gianmaria Zamagni (Münster) / Vito Francesco Gironda (Bielefeld)
Laura Garavini (Vorsitzende der deutsch-italienischen Parlamentariergruppe, Rom), Mehr Partizipation wagen: Ein Gegenentwurf zum politischen Vertrauensverlust in die europäische Demokratie
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