The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: Events
Friday, 18 September 2020 - Saturday, 19 September 2020
Venue: Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Am Wingertsberg 4, 61348 Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften and City of Bad Homburg vor der Höhe
Bad Homburg Conference 2020»Europa. USA. Geteilte Zukunft?«/»Transatlantic Futures. Shared or Divided?«
Due to possible changes in the regulations for public events, we are unfortunately not yet able to provide further informations on participation and registration for the Bad Homburg Conference. We will provide these informations on this page as soon as possible.
We will also broadcast the Conference digitally on the internet. More detailed information will also be available on this page in the next weeks.
Please find the conference programme here.
About the conference
The question of the future of transatlantic relations is the focus of the fourth Bad Homburg Conference. For decades, intensive political relations and shared values united the USA and Europe, guaranteeing stability and security even in geopolitically turbulent times. However, this close relationship, which seemed to be firmly rooted in the USA’s involvement in shaping modern European democracies, has entered a crisis. The reversals in American foreign, security and trade policy of recent years are causing increasing concern at the political level. At the same time, we observe how democratic culture and common political values in the USA are eroding as a result of social and political polarization - a development that we also see in European countries. These strains on the transatlantic relationship are all the more serious as the geopolitical balance of power shifts among the USA, China and Russia. Europe in particular must, therefore, take on the responsibility of examining the future of transatlantic relations and alliances. Can we be confident that the USA will continue to side with Europe? Are the interests and values of these two powers diverging, leading them down different paths? What would such a separation mean for Europe? One of the aims of the conference is to investigate political and cultural initiatives that might facilitate a revival of transatlantic relations.
Friday, September 18, 2020 – 6 p.m.
OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE – 6 p.m.
Keynote: Klaus Scharioth
State Secretary of the German Foreign Office (2002–2006)
Germany's ambassador to the United States in Washington (2006–2011)
Saturday, September 19, 2020, – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
PANEL: TRANSATLANTIC POPULAR CULTURE AFTER THE »AMERICAN CENTURY«
PANELISTS: Ellen M. Harrington, Vinzenz Hediger, Verena Lueken, Ruth Mayer; MODERATOR: Johannes Völz
When the American publisher Henry Luce proclaimed the »American century« in an editorial in Life Magazine in 1941, his tone was anything but triumphant. »There is no possibility of the survival of American civilization except as it survives as a world power,« he warned. The world power he had in mind could not repeat the mistakes of the British Empire. Other American opinion-makers also saw the proven way to strengthen American interests in offering the rest of the world an attractive system. The superiority of the liberal-democratic and capitalist societal concept should manifest itself in political-normative, economic and, not least, cultural terms. The worldwide dissemination of modern mass media and targeted cultural diplomacy, therefore, moved to the center of what political scientists would later call »soft power«. But American popular culture was never just an American propaganda machine. Whether Hollywood, literature, or pop music, American culture was also stylistically influential because it made those voices heard that denounced the failure to uphold American and European values - not only by means of discourse, but also by aesthetic expression. If American popular culture is still able to inspire worldwide democracy movements, it could be a cornerstone for a future revitalization of transatlantic relations. But is the American cultural industry still as dominant as it was in the second half of the 20th century? Doubts are justified - just think of the flourishing film industries of India and Korea. Is the »American century« also over in a cultural sense?
PANEL: DEMOCRATIC WAYS OF LIFE IN AN AGE OF POLARIZATION
PANELISTS: Paula Diehl, Claus Leggewie, Slawomir Sierakowski; MODERATOR: Till van Rahden
Where political support for transatlantic alliances is losing its robustness, transatlantic relations of a different kind come into focus. Shared challenges connect the United States and Europe even in times of geopolitical reorientation. One of these common challenges concerns precisely that political culture of democracy that was long considered the realization of common political values. Our pluralistically open civil society, in which democracy can flourish as a way of life, finds itself under pressure on both sides of the Atlantic. In the USA, as in many European countries, processes of political polarization increasingly interfere with democratic coexistence. After many years of unavoidable reforms during which expert rule in Western societies on both sides of the Atlantic has attacked the pluralistic culture of debate, the disenchantment with politics seems to have come to an end. However, politics is now at risk of becoming a question of identification with a political camp. Political discourse serves less to negotiate compromises than to consolidate communities of like-minded people. But why is political polarization so pronounced in the USA in particular? And how can the processes of polarization on both sides of the Atlantic be defined more precisely? What is the role of those transnational populist forces that specifically fuel polarizing cultural wars? To what extent do polarizing tendencies stand in the way of the goal of the continued development the European project?
PANEL: TRANSATLANTIC SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY UNDER STRESS
PANELISTS: Michael C. Kimmage, Omid Nouripour, Constanze Stelzenmüller, Lora Anne Viola; MODERATOR: Gunther Hellmann
Without the USA, today's Europe would not only look different, but would also have a different position on the global political stage. The intervention in both World Wars, the substantial investments in the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of the European states after World War II, and the alliances within NATO laid the foundations for the close transatlantic relations in the decades that followed. The fact that tensions and conflicts arose in this process but were repeatedly overcome testifies to the stability and reliability of the transatlantic partnership. Whereas the scandal surrounding the monitoring of European governments by the NSA may still fall into the category of a temporary annoyance, the unexpected reversals in US foreign, trade and security policies in recent years have led to very high tensions. These reversals include, first and foremost, the withdrawal of the US from the role of a global political power and, associated with this, growing doubts about US security guarantees within NATO; however, the turnaround in Middle East policy, the trade dispute with Europe under threat of punitive tariffs, and the withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the Paris Climate Change Agreement have also played a role. At the same time, these shifts are taking place in a changing geopolitical balance of power between the USA, China and Russia. For Europe today, therefore, the question is not only how bilateral relations with the USA must be adapted to the new global political framework, but also how the European Union can strengthen its cohesiveness and at the same time independently guarantee the security of all partner states to a far greater extent.
Concept and Program
Prof. Dr. Andreas Fahrmeir, Goethe University/Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften; Dr. Bettina Gentzcke, city of Bad Homburg; Prof. Dr. Gunther Hellmann, Goethe University; Iris Helene Koban, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften; Dr. Albrecht Graf von Kalnein, Werner Reimers Foundation; Prof. Dr. Dr. Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, Goethe University/Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften; Prof. Dr. Darrel Moellendorf, Goethe University; Dr. Thomas Schimmer, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften; Prof. Dr. Johannes Völz, Goethe University/Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften; Prof. Dr. Simon Wendt, Goethe University
The Bad Homburg Conferences
The Bad Homburg Conferences are organized cooperatively by the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften of Goethe University and the city of Bad Homburg. They began in 2017 and will take place initially once a year over a period of five years every fall at the Kolleg in Bad Homburg. They offer a public forum for reflection on today’s important social questions with the aim of providing ideas and insights for shaping our future.
Iris Helene Koban, managing director, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften (email@example.com)
Dr. Thomas Schimmer, academic project manager, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften (firstname.lastname@example.org)