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Session Overview
RN36_08a_H: Europe: Issues of Periphery and Protectionism
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Agnieszka Kolasa-Nowak, Marie Curie-Sklodowska University
Location: HB.2.16
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: B, Level: 2.

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Field of Law in the Central European Semi-Periphery

Tomasz Warczok, Hanna Dębska

Pedagogical University of Cracow

The presentation shows the process of legal professions’ formation from the fall of communism in 1989, until the present. The core theoretical framework of the analysis is Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory, applied in particular to semi-peripheral conditions.

We claim that in (semi)peripheries, under the conditions of general weakness of states as „ordering” meta-institutions, particular social fields (i.e. scientific, legal, political, administrative) are poorly differentiated and overlapping – contrary to states of the world core. Because of this, agents are realising their practices in various contexts, combining resources from different fields. It is particularly visible in professional legal practices, where combining a purely scientific capital (professor of law) and professional capital (solicitor, barrister) is very common. These practices were already visible in social realism, but became most prominent under the conditions of (semi)peripheral capitalism, when the status of being an academic, together with the cultural and social capital connected to this position facilitated (and still does) the occupation of dominant positions in the local field of legal counsel with regards to a myriad of matters, especially the lucrative advisory services rendered to global corporations. The high status of cultural capital (and intellectualists) is in turn caused by an absence of local bourgeois, characteristic for the (semi)periphery.

The above presented situation alters the grounded sense of inter-professional conflicts, monopolisation processes, as well as the very concepts of „profession” and „professionalization”. Instead of a narrow specialisation in a specific area, the (semi)peripheral conditions cause a constant game of multiple inter-strengthening capitals.

Europe’s closest periphery: analyzing Ex-Yugoslavian transition processes from a post-colonial perspective

Edma Ajanovic

University of Vienna, Austria

Tough it is contested to speak of colonialization in the context of inner European relations (Ruthner 2001: 1) my presentation proposes a post-colonial approach in order to analyze the transition processes of the Ex-Yugoslavian states.

After Stalin broke with Tito in 1948 the latter introduced a ‘third way’, strategically refusing to take either the ‘Western’ or ‘the UdSSR’ side. His alternative path however ended in tragic wars and the disintegration of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. The transition processes that began after (and are still ongoing) in the successor states replaced this alternative socialist system with a capitalist system.

Looking at these processes from a post-colonial perspective I want to show that with the transition of Yugoslavia the ‘re-conquering’ of its successor states by ‘the West’ began. By contextualizing the transition processes in the history of Austro-Hungarian rule and the Ottoman rule in the region of ‘the Balkans’ as well as the current (dis-)integration of the European Union I a) discuss the re-establishment of ‘Western European’ centrality in Ex-Yugoslavia in reference to the historical colonial/monarchic relations b) discuss current ruptures of this ‘Western Europe’s ’centrality in Ex-Yugoslavia as new ‘players’ emerge.

A post-colonial perspective will enable an analysis of “centrality of [Western] Europe in the new constellation of global power and its place in neocolonial modes of production and capitalist accumulation“ (Gutiérrez Rodriguez 2007: 62). This will shed light on racist and ‘othering’ processes as well as the inequality in inner European relations. It will furthermore analyze transition processes as embedded in global and inner European power relations.

Economic patriotism – between the free market and protectionism (cases of Poland and Russia)

Piotr Binder, Oleg Oberemko

Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Broad and popular concepts of the free market, globalization or Europeanization understood as development of a European polity and identity do not appeal to the imagination of the key participants in public debate as they have throughout the last decades. There are many causes of the shift that we can currently observe including: consequences experienced by European societies as a result of the global financial crisis, various aspects of inefficiency of all-European governance, as well as the European migrant crisis. These phenomena (among others) created an environment where ideas of national identities and polities (re)gained a significant position.

As a part of this symbolic and ideological reconfiguration the notions of patriotism and especially of the vague and contentious economic patriotism became an important part of mainstream politics within various European countries. Within the proposed paper we would like to focus on the cases of Poland and Russia, two countries where for various reasons the category of economic patriotism has started to play an important role in public debate. Based on selected vivid examples of its use within two very different national contexts we would like to (1) elaborate on how the key definitions of economic patriotism are constructed; (2) identify dominant ways of understanding this ambiguous concept; (3) juxtapose national specificities of its applications.

Key words: patriotism, economic patriotism, protectionism, Poland, Russia

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