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The Assassination of Russia’s Ambassador and Berlin’s Terrorist Attack - What Do They Have in Common?

December 23, 2016

On the evening of 19 December, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was shot dead in Ankara. A few minutes later, on the same day, a lorry ploughed into a Christmas Market on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm Avenue, crushing 12 people and injuring 50 others, according to preliminary reports. The terrorist in Ankara shouted, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” Berlin’s barbarian killed silently. The Ankara killer was 22 years old, Berlin’s was 23. The latter was from Tunisia; he killed the original driver and stole the truck. No one has yet claimed responsibility for Turkey’s terrorist attack. ISIS has claimed responsibility for Berlin’s (frankly, I do not believe this claim; ISIS wants to be part of every terrorist act, as it terribly wants to be feared).

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The Assassination of Russia’s Ambassador and Berlin’s Terrorist Attack -  What Do They Have in Common?

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The Quest for Change: From Domination to Dialogue

June 30, 2016

Abstract: This paper explores the distinction between domination and dialogue. It analyses dialogical philosophy, mainly in the works of Mikhail Bakhtin and some other contemporary authors, grounding the universal character of dialogue as constitutive of human personality itself. Dialogism is a fundamental characteristic of language. In its normative role, dialogism can serve as the standard for the evaluation and critique of existing relationships within a socially and culturally diverse world. It can also serve as a regulative principle in the ennoblement of human relationships. This paper highlights intercultural philosophy and its grounding of the ideas of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. It analyses the manifestations of cultural diversity in Latin American, African and the African-American philosophies. These philosophies show the tendency to evolve from ethnocentrism to more openness and finally to inter-philosophical global dialogue. Dialogism is opposed to historical-cultural conditions that hinder it. In analyzing the historical contradiction between domination and dialogue, this paper points out its causes, such as calculative ‘instrumental reason’, colonial exclusion of the other, and the asymmetries of power. The current hegemonic US policy aiming for global domination is at odds with the dialogical and collaborative relationships of sovereign nations as equals. The paper argues for the implementation of dialogical relationships within society and in the international arena as well as for the collaboration of peoples, which is necessary to find a solution to social and global problems. The concept of the dialogue of civilisations—asserting a plurality of civilisations—orients us toward the study of intra-civilisational and inter-civilisational relationships, with the aim of fostering dialogue. The enhancement of dialogical relationships is both a condition and an indispensable means of progression toward a more humane, peaceful and just world order.

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The Quest for Change: From Domination to Dialogue

Expert comments

The Roles and Responsibilities of Educational Institutions and Strategies for Intercultural Citizenship Education in a Globalising World

The Roles and Responsibilities of Educational Institutions and Strategies for Intercultural Citizenship Education in a Globalising World

December 12, 2016

In our globalised and globalising world, we are searching for sustainable conviviality in confusing times. Education and the role of educational institutions are  crucial in facing the challenges of new intercultural realities. In this Expert Comment, Léonce Bekemans introduces his proposal for a human-centric approach to education and explores the role of education in facing the challenges and oportunities of these intercultural realities. Bekemans explains the objectives and competences of education for integral human development; introduces the concept, objectives, trajectories, and practices of responsible citizenship education; and addresses the need for intercultural citizenship education in globalising societies with regard to the objectives, competences, and strategies of educational institutions. The paper concludes with six policy suggestions to promote true intercultural citizenship education.

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15 February 2017 > Lecture by D. Trenin: “What Place for Europe in Russia’s Strategy of Greater Eurasia?”

In his lecture, Dr. Trenin will explain the tectonic shift that occurred in Russia’s foreign policy following the rupture with the United States and the European Union as a result of the 2014 Ukraine crisis. Having simultaneously abandoned its Plan A – integration into the wider West, and Plan B – re-integration of former Soviet lands into a tightly knit power unit controlled by Moscow, Russia was faced with the challenge of finding a new framework for its foreign policy. What has emerged, in the course of the last three years, is Greater Eurasia replacing Greater Europe. With Beijing moving west, and Moscow turning toward the east, China and Russia, instead of colliding with each other, have agreed to “harmonise” their strategies. Russia is also reaching out to India, Iran, and Turkey, to coordinate policies and expand ties. Rapprochement with Japan continues at a steady pace. Dr. Trenin will address the following questions in particular: With Europe also part of the Greater Eurasian space, what is its new place and role in Russia’s foreign policy? How do the Russians view the EU’s future? What is in store for Russia’s relations with Germany? With the post-Cold War pattern of Russia-Europe relations in tatters, what is emerging as the new normal? The lecture will take place at the DOC Offices in Berlin on 15 February 2017 at 2 p.m. Attendance is by registration only.

26 January 2017 > Lecture by Fred Harrison: The Economics of Civilisation – The Conflict Resolution Paradigm for the Age of Geopolitical Crisis

“A problem-solving paradigm is available to mobilise the financial power necessary to defuse the challenges that now threaten the global community of nations”, argues DOC author Fred Harrison. With neo-liberal models of the economy and politics now discredited, governments are unable to formulate solutions to the problems that are provoking the emergence of mass protest movements across Europe and the USA. Harrison argues that one way to escape the current political and philosophical quagmire is to interrogate the fundamental principles which made civilisation possible. In his lecture, Harrison will describe the analytical framework which facilitates the comparison of the financial foundations of the civilisation model with the systemic pillars on which the liberal democracies were constructed. That comparative study isolates the fatal weaknesses in modern social structures (especially in the realm of governance), and identifies the remedial policies. The hypotheses are tested against moral as well as efficiency criteria. At the heart of the new conflict-resolving paradigm is a financial synergy with the power to transform the evolutionary prospects for humankind. Harrison’s lecture will address the terms of an era of re-globalisation in which all participating partners would be net winners. The neo-liberal consensus would be replaced with an ethics-based doctrine of rights that are explicitly married to personal and social responsibilities.  The outcome is a vision of a new social contract in search of a democratic mandate. This new social solidarity would transcend ancient divisions while enhancing the cultural and spiritual diversity that released the evolutionary potential of humanity. And to test the strengths of this new paradigm, Harrison will apply it to some of the stresses currently threatening the fabric of the European Union (debt, migration, unemployment). Unlike the neo-liberal model, which fragments society, the Economics of Civilisation model delivers inclusive development of the kind that empowers people to renew their communities at the local, regional, and global levels of integration.   Fred Harrison’s lecture will take place at the DOC Offices in Berlin on 26 January 2017, from 14.30 – 17.00.   Attendance is by registration only.

26 January 2017 > Lecture by Fred Harrison: The Economics of Civilisation – The Conflict Resolution Paradigm for the Age of Geopolitical Crisis

“A problem-solving paradigm is available to mobilise the financial power necessary to defuse the challenges that now threaten the global community of nations”, argues DOC author Fred Harrison. With neo-liberal models of the economy and politics now discredited, governments are unable to formulate solutions to the problems that are provoking the emergence of mass protest movements across Europe and the USA. Harrison argues that one way to escape the current political and philosophical quagmire is to interrogate the fundamental principles which made civilisation possible. In his lecture, Harrison will describe the analytical framework which facilitates the comparison of the financial foundations of the civilisation model with the systemic pillars on which the liberal democracies were constructed. That comparative study isolates the fatal weaknesses in modern social structures (especially in the realm of governance), and identifies the remedial policies. The hypotheses are tested against moral as well as efficiency criteria. At the heart of the new conflict-resolving paradigm is a financial synergy with the power to transform the evolutionary prospects for humankind. Harrison’s lecture will address the terms of an era of re-globalisation in which all participating partners would be net winners. The neo-liberal consensus would be replaced with an ethics-based doctrine of rights that are explicitly married to personal and social responsibilities.  The outcome is a vision of a new social contract in search of a democratic mandate. This new social solidarity would transcend ancient divisions while enhancing the cultural and spiritual diversity that released the evolutionary potential of humanity. And to test the strengths of this new paradigm, Harrison will apply it to some of the stresses currently threatening the fabric of the European Union (debt, migration, unemployment). Unlike the neo-liberal model, which fragments society, the Economics of Civilisation model delivers inclusive development of the kind that empowers people to renew their communities at the local, regional, and global levels of integration.   Fred Harrison’s lecture will take place at the DOC Offices in Berlin on 26 January 2017, from 14.30 – 17.00.   Attendance is by registration only.

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