IR PhD student seminars
"Political Global Constitutionalism" by Dominik Derencin
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in re-thinking global constitutionalization. There is a growing body of literature that recognizes the importance of global constitutionalism as the most promising solution to the phenomena of fragmentation of international law. Fragmentation of international law is in regards a phenomenon, which refers to the development of highly specialized fields of international law, which are gaining independence, and autonomy to manage global issues on their own (e.g. trade law, human rights law, humanitarian law). Many scholars have turned to define global constitutionalism regarding searching for a universal value system, reorganization of the hierarchical legal system, reformation of international organizations, strengthening the global administrative law, etc. So far, however, there has been little discussion about the role of politics in global constitutionalism. This project aims to reimagine international law and presents the idea of political constitutionalization.
BIO: Dominik Derencin
Dominik comes from Slovenia. He holds a Master of Political Science from the University of Ljubljana. His research interests lie in the fields of international relations theory and international legal theory.
“The Discursive Construction of Imperial Consciousness: Political Imagination of Empire in the Making of Identity” by Görkem Atsungur
The primary purpose of this doctoral thesis is to understand the discursive construction of imperial consciousness by the political elites and examine the rehabilitation of the political notion of ‘empire’ in the making of identity in Russia and Turkey. State identity is a heuristic concept, and it compromised of two parts: the national identity (domestic) and the position enabled by the international states system (the systematic). In this context, both Russia and Turkey’s state identities have been dramatically transforming, and it requires demonstrating how this transformation is the result of changes in the constitutive parts at the domestic and systematic levels. Political elites in Russia and Turkey have been using very similar rhetoric and discourses on the imperial consciousness and legacy such as the greatness of the state, glorious imperial past, uniqueness and bridge of their civilizations. However, the ways in which they deal with the “empire” are different, somehow opposite. Therefore, the domestic and international consequences of the post-imperial identity are very different in Russia and Turkey. The comparison link between the changes in Russia’s and Turkey’s national identity and the structural changes in the international system brought by the Putin and Erdogan’s regimes have remained inadequately addressed, and neglected in the literature. Under these circumstances, the thesis attempts to understand how and why political elites mobilize imperial consciousness under the Putin and Erdogan regimes. The thesis argues that the contemporary discourses of national/state identity in Russia relate to a compound of lost empire. Some of the political concepts such as “Novorossiya,” “Krimnash,” and “Russkiy Mir” were (re)formulated, and post-imperial identity indulged irredentist and expansionist foreign policy behaviors such as in the examples of 2008 war in Georgia and the annexation of Crimea in 2014. “Russian World,” “historical Russia,” “Russia as a civilizational unit, around which the neighboring nations consolidate,” “Russia as a unique form of spirituality” refer to “Russia,” and they emphasize on the ethnic characteristics of “Russianness.” Thus, post-imperial identity in Russia brings ethnocentric momentum in the nation and state building processes. On the other hand, in Turkey, the construction of imperial identity did not refer to the ethnic identity and the reformulation of “Turkishness” and/or Turkey where the dominant discourse predominantly is seen Turkey as a “central country with multiple regional (national) identities.” As a result of these, even though political elites use the similar rhetoric of “empire” in Russia and Turkey, the way they understand the notion in somehow contradictory.
BIO: Görkem Atsungur
Görkem Atsungur has been working as a full-time faculty at American University of Central Asia since 2012 where he teaches a variety of courses related to European Politics and Society. He received his B.A in International Relations from Cyprus International University and his M.A. in European Studies from Istanbul Bilgi University and his Mgr. in Political Science – European Politics from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. Currently, he continues his Ph.D. studies in the Political Science: International Relations Major and Nationalism Studies Minor programs at the Central European University in Hungary.
“The relationship between socio-economic rights and social movements: ambiguities of legalist struggles” by Alberto Fierro
Socio-economic rights (SER) guarantee socio-economic goods like education, health-care and work to every human being. International treaties regard them as objectives of policy: states have a duty to the progressive realization of SER. Here arises a tension with economic neoliberalism, because the return to laissez-faire economics hinders the implementation of these rights. Despite the lack of state’s action, often activists and social movements struggle for the recognition of socio-economic goods (e.g. houses, education, favorable working conditions). The present project aims at analyzing the encounter between those activists and the SER framework. A second tension arises following a Foucauldian understanding of neoliberal techniques of government: rights and freedoms are tools to create disposable and docile subjects. Therefore, the Governmentality studies literature highlights the connection between human rights and neoliberal strategies of government. Yet, SER might be tools for resisting economic governmentality through the de-commodification of land and labor. Can socio-economic rights facilitate the formation of identities fighting socio-economic disposability? The present project aims at analysing these tensions in the cases of the South African shack-dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo.
BIO: Alberto Fierro
Alberto holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Turin, Italy. He also holds a “Diploma in Economics” (undergraduate program) from Collegio Carlo Alberto, Moncalieri. Before starting the PhD at CEU he worked four months in Tanzania, on a research project on water management in rural areas sponsored by the University of Turin and the Italian NGO L.V.I.A.\
In 2015 Alberto got a one-year scholarship from a private foundation (Fondazione Einaudi) to work on a research project in history of economic thought about the critique of German ordoliberalism developed by Michel Foucault. His PhD project is about the relationship between socio-economic rights and social movements, with a perspective that lies at the intersection of Critical Studies and Social Movements theory.