Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Lecture | Lisa Wedeen: "Scientific Knowledge, Liberalism, and Empire – a Revisiting"

Nov 08, 2022 | 04:00 PM - 05:45 PM

Open SCRIPTS Jour Fixe at the Oyoun in Berlin-Neukölln with a lecture by Lisa Wedeen, followed by comments & discussion with Andreas Eckert, Anne Menzel, Mohamed Amer Meziane and Schirin Amir-Moazami.

About the event

The intersection of (Political) Science and liberalism speaks to a longstanding elective affinity between two logics: the discipline's seemingly contradictory commitments to value-neutrality and a commitment to the value of preserving liberalism. Epistemic communities - their basic assumptions and oft-repeated terms - not only instantiated liberal values as self-evident but also established Political Science’s complicities in interconnecting science, liberalism, and empire in academic inquiry.

Having advanced these complicities in 2016, in her lecture Lisa Wedeen undertakes a revisiting. Do they need to be foregrounded and continue to resonate in contemporary circumstances of global authoritarianism, rapacious capitalism, conspiratorial thought, and threats of planetary extinction? How to think through the complex modes of political judgement necessary to theorize the present without being presentist? Are we in need to marshal critiques of liberalism and imperialism in political and epistemological terms?


Lisa Wedeen, Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and the College and Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago

Mohamed Amer Meziane, SCRIPTS Senior Fellow, Assistant Professor at the Center for Middle East Studies, Brown University

Schirin Amir-Moazami, Professor of Islam in Europe, Freie Universität Berlin, SCRIPTS Principal Investigator

Andreas Eckert, Professor of the History of Africa, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, SCRIPTS Principal Investigator

Anne Menzel, Political Scientist, Postdoctoral Researcher SCRIPTS, Coordinator Research Unit “Orders”


The event is open to the interested public. For participation please register until Monday, 07 November (and for short-term cancellation) via mail to: kel@scripts-berlin.eu.

About the Series "The Liberal Script in Critical Perspective"

This event takes place as part of the series The Liberal Script in Critical Perspective – a reflexive engagement with critiques of liberalism. It is not the aim to recalibrate liberalism in order to better respond to global challenges, but rather to think beyond liberalism itself. Given the inherent pervasiveness of liberalism and its modes of knowledge production, this can imply a critical exploration of liberal conscripts, but also mean engaging with de- and postcolonial scholarship, which has addressed liberalism’s limitations and opened up knowledge archives and scripts beyond the liberal script.

By regularly inviting international scholars who address these topics from different angles and disciplines, SCRIPTS engages in an open-ended discussion of the boundaries, critiques and alternatives to the liberal script.


Time & Location

Nov 08, 2022 | 04:00 PM - 05:45 PM

Lucy-Lameck-Str. 32
12049 Berlin