The Culture of Politics, Economics and International Relations, 2013

MatchPoints Seminar 2013, May 23-25

Welcome to the MatchPoints Seminar 2013!

The Culture of Politics, Economics and International Relations

The choice of the theme of this year’s seminar was inspired by two sources: first, by Robert D. Putnam’s research on social capital and institutions and, secondly, by Jan-Erik Lane and Uwe Wagschal’s book Culture and Politics (2012), in which they write: “The social sciences must come to grips with the anti-Tönnies predicament of the growing relevance of culture for politics. Predicting that associations would trump communities in terms of social and political saliency, Tönnies’s Community and Society … seemed a correct analysis of industrial society. However, in the postmodern society culture seems to be at least as important as economic relationships.” 

The conference will focus on the significance of culture for contemporary societies and international relations. More broadly, it will also address the question of how the role of culture in politics and society may be studied. 

A Distinguished Visiting Professor (DVP) is associated with the MatchPoints Seminar. Former DVPs include Professor Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University (now holder of an Honorary Doctorate from Aarhus University), in 2009-2011 and Professor Alistair Thomson of Monash University, in 2012. The present DVP is Professor Robert D. Putnam of Harvard University. Putnam will be associated with Aarhus University through 2014. His opening lecture on Thursday morning will mark the official inauguration of his professorship. 

The proposals we have received reflect a great interest among contemporary scholars in discussing the place of religion in contemporary societies. There will also be a good many workshops on the theme of social capital. I encourage you to visit workshops on themes that you may not be quite familiar with and to attend all keynote presentations. The MatchPoints Seminar is an interdisciplinary seminar, and we treasure dialogues across disciplinary boundaries.  

I hope you will have a pleasant stay with us in the beautiful campus of Aarhus University and the delightful city of Aarhus!

Michael Böss
Director, MatchPoints Seminar

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Professor Putnam: "Aarhus is efficient, rainy, and lovely"

Welcome to the new Distinguished Visiting Professor of Aarhus University, Robert D. Putnam from Harvard University.