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News from the Cluster

Press release | PALS

Liberal societies are under pressure worldwide: internally eroded by right-wing populist electoral victories and growing economic inequality, externally challenged by the power play of autocratic governments. The survey “ Public Attitudes towards the Liberal Script ” (PALS), conducted in thirty countries with over 60,000 participants, provides a crucial basis for future research. The resulting dataset offers insights into attitudes toward liberal principles and institutions and is now available to the public.


SCRIPTS doctoral researchers Johannes Heß and Tobias Klee at the exhibition "Europäische Resonanzen: Eduard Bigas überträgt Josep Pla in die Gegenwart"

One hundred years after the Catalan author and journalist Josep Pla travelled and reported on post-war Europe, the  Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to Germany opened an exhibition on his work, reimagining his writings through the artistic lens of Catalan artist Eudard Bigas. On June 20 th , 2024, the artist (who hails from Pla’s hometown of Palafrugell), gave a tour through his works, in which he interpreted Pla’s impressions with collages, montages, and drawings. The images draw on parallels between Pla’s time and ours: inflation, nationalism, and violent dictatorships.


SCRIPTS Blog Post No. 73 by Kriszta Kovács

University campuses, typically known as places for open and free exchange of opinions during peaceful times, have recently turned into battlegrounds. This shift has sparked discussions on the boundaries of academic freedom. Kriszta Kovács’s blog post focuses on the scope of this freedom and asks what the European Union institutions have done so far to protect academic freedom, a fundamental prerequisite for serious academic work.


SCRIPTS Think Piece No. 17 by Jaša Veselinovič

The outgoing European Commission promised to be a ‘geopolitical’ one. Five years later, the EU’s ‘geoeconomic turn’ can be seen as one of the von der Leyen team’s main legacies. As Jaša Veselinovič argues in this Think Piece, this shift consists not only of new economic policy tools but also entailed changes and adaptations in the EU’s foreign policy-trade nexus. He states that even though requirements of geoeconomic policymaking induced numerous (in)formal adjustments, they remain only softly institutionalised – and that their fate (and more generally legitimacy) under the future new Commission remains uncertain.


SCRIPTS Blog Post No. 72 by Anastasia Mgaloblishvili

In the face of ongoing protests in Georgia, SCRIPTS Doctoral Researcher Anastasia Mgaloblishvili analyses the significance of the outcome of the upcoming EU elections for the country's democratic development.


Workshop | Comparative studies of digital repression

Discussion and exchange about digital repression: AI-driven propaganda, digital rights, social media effects, surveillance, and censorship


Die SCRIPTS Wissensskulptur

Inwiefern werden die Versprechen des liberalen Skripts, wie Freiheit, Gerechtigkeit und Wohlstand erfüllt oder gebrochen? SCRIPTS untersucht in der neuen Wissensinstallation die spannungsreichen Kontestationen des liberalen Skripts.


SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 40 by Xinyuan Dai and Lucie Lu

Beyond Liberal Narratives. China and the International Human Rights Order


SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 39 by Jessica Gienow-Hecht and Steffen Just

Music and Human Rights Since World War II


SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 38 by Adriana Cuppuleri

20 Years of LIO Contestation(s). A Computational Text Analysis of Russia’s Foreign Policy Discourse (2003–2023)


SCRIPTS Blog Post No. 71 by Roberta Astolfi

Roberta Astolfi presents her political-philosophical reflections on Meloni’s proposal for a constitutional reform, which points to a deep ongoing crisis of representativity of the Italian government and raises questions about the future of the liberal democratic system.


SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 37 by Cristiane Lucena Carneiro and Mariane Monteiro Costa

Institutions of the Inter-American Human Rights System and Their Role in Shaping the Liberal International Order.



SCRIPTS’ scientists will host and actively participate in 33 panels and roundtables throughout the four-day event of the ISA 65th Annual Conevntion 2024. 


SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 36 by Arie Kacowicz

Before and After the Liberal International Order. Overlapping and Diverging Trajectories of the International Society and the Liberal Order


SCRIPTS Arguments by Curd Knüpfer

Two factors stand out in the ongoing contestations of the liberal script: 1) the rapid transformation of democratic media systems, accompanied by new modes of collective will formation, and 2) an increase in digitally facilitated connections among avowedly illiberal actors. To effectively address these challenges, liberal institutions must update the heuristics that guide their responses to these emerging phenomena.


New Leadership at SCRIPTS

The Cluster has elected a new leadership in its last plenary meeting and we are delighted to welcome Mark Hallerberg and Yasemin Soysal.


SCRIPTS | Midterm Conference

Midterm Conference (SCRIPTS) - The Cluster of Excellence "Contestations of the liberal Script (SCRIPTS)" is taking stock after around four years of funding.


Call for Papers: Workshop on Race and Multilateralism in the International Order

The research project “Race and Multilateralism: The Anatomy of a Complex Relationship” (RAM) based at the Freie Universität Berlin and funded by SCRIPTS, is organising a workshop on 23rd-24th May 2024 on the relationship between race and multilateralism in the international order. Call for Papers (PDF) Deadline: 05 January, 2024


Fall Academy “Challenging Inequality (II)” at the University of Konstanz

For the second time, the  Fall Academy  took place at the University Konstanz, 4 to 6 October 2023.


SCRIPTS Blog Post No. 69 by Alexander Libman

How do politicians, academic and intellectuals in the West talk about major international crises and contestations of the liberal script? The war in Gaza offers important insights in this respect, if one compares it to the war in Ukraine.