A Book for Breakfast
In this event series, we juxtapose different books on current social debates by concisely presenting their arguments in the form of an essay. Together, we develop new ideas and engage in discussions – in good company and with coffee and croissants.
Migration and Flight
We are looking forward to the second round of “Book for Breakfast” in February 2022, when the topics will be “migration” and “flight”. The essay and the final title will be decided at the beginning of January 2022.
Book for Breakfast: Migration and Flight
In early January, our research fellow Birgit Bahtić-Kunrath will write an essay on the following three books
- Gerald Knaus: Welche Grenzen brauchen wir? Zwischen Empathie und Angst – Flucht, Migration und die Zukunft von Asyl. („What Borders do We Need? Caught Between Empathy and Anxiety – Flight, Migration, and the Furure of Asylum”). Piper Verlag, München 2020
- Sunjic, Melita H: Die von Europa träumen. Wie Flucht und Migration ablaufen. (“Those Dreaming of Europe. The Mechanisms of Flight and Migration”). Picus Verlag, Wien 2021
- Jad Turjman: Wenn der Jasmin auswandert. (“When the Jasmine Emigrates”).. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg 2018
We invite you to join us for a comfortable breakfast with coffee and croissants, where we can all engage in a conversation on the topic of migration and flight.
Reading the essay in advance is not a requirement, however, it will be useful for participating the subsequent discussion. We hope to be able to schedule an in-person meeting for the upcoming “A Book for Breakfast”-event in the end of February 2022. We will inform you in due time about any changes that might be necessary because of the pandemic situation.
If you would like to participate in the event, please register by sending an email to (email@example.com) or calling us at 0662/842521-161. The number of participants is limited.
We are looking forward to an inspiring conversation.
Going Through the Crisis Together?
Views on the COVID-19 Pandemic
Excerpt from an Essay by ifz fellow Birgit Bahtic-Kunrath
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our society has to face great challenges. After years that propagated an ideology of the ‘lean state’ – a state that interrupts the lives of its citizens as rarely as possible and, significantly, does not create any hurdles for the economy – we witnessed how state action has become of central significance again. To protect at-risk groups from contracting the virus, citizens accepted severe intrusions into their personal lives; the meaning of the word “solidarity” was thus expanded. However, in the meantime, this solidarity is becoming unstable. Critical voices are getting louder and, at times, more aggressive. A pandemic situation of one-and-a-half years has resulted in an expansive body of literature devoted to questions addressing the handling of this crisis, the justifications for the imposed measures, their adequacy, and if all of it opened-up new opportunities or rather solidified existing structures (e.g. see Holzinger 2020; Volkmer/Werner 2020). In these debates, the pandemic is regarded from different angles, and accordingly, the conclusions vary.
This essay provides a small glimpse into this broad literary debate by introducing three recent books on the topic and juxtaposing their lines of thought: In his latest work Von der Pflicht: Eine Betrachtung (“On Duty: Contemplations”), the philosopher and bestselling writer Richard David Precht explores our relationship towards the state and the body politic, which is facing a particular challenge during the pandemic (Precht 2021). The sociologist Reimer Gronemeyer uses his book Die Schwachen zuerst: Lektionen aus dem Lockdown (“The Weak First: Lessons from the Lockdown”) to focus on people inhabiting the margins of society – the elderly, the sick, the poor – who were only allegedly protected, as he believes (Gronemeyer 2021). In his collection of sermons “Die Zeit der leeren Kirchen” (“Time of the Empty Churches”), Tomáš Halík regards the Corona-pandemic as a chance to re-discover the value of contemplation in our loud age, and as an opportunity to re-think the Catholic church from its very core (Halík 2021).