Open call for fellows

Open call for fellows


Jan Hoeft, Processes, 2022.

October 4, 2023
Open call for fellows
Metamorphosis of Values Beyond Capitalism
Warburgstraße 8, 20354 Hamburg, Germany
20354 Hamburg

Open call for fellows, academic year 2024–25 / Metamorphosis of Values Beyond Capitalism: War Economy and Democratic Planning.

Research question
In the face of the unfolding planetary catastrophe, how can we establish a more egalitarian and sustainable society through a democratically structured “war economy” and a corresponding new notion of freedom and progress?

Project for which we are seeking fellows
We are heading towards a planetary catastrophe with full speed. Free markets, economic growth, and technological progress, once supposed to be rational, efficient, and emancipatory, now threaten human civilization. In 1919, Otto Neurath rejected the “pseudorationality” of a market economy, arguing for the need to install a “war economy” not based on monetary exchange. In addition to pandemics, inflation, and wars which also characterized Neurath’s time, we are witnessing a climate crisis which accelerates the polycrisis. The Anthropocene therefore calls for new concrete visions to overcome the “pseudorationality” of the current system.

In the face of the polycrisis, neoliberal market fundamentalism is no longer acceptable, and correspondingly, there is an increasing demand for radically rethinking conventional values such as “market freedom” and “eternal economic growth.” The war economy in the Anthropocene puts forward two antitheses against the capitalist optimism: “planning” and “degrowth.” 

The obvious dilemma arises due to the incompatibility between the bottom-up and horizontal approach of degrowth and the top-down approach of economic planning under the war economy. In order to overcome this dilemma, this research program explores the rich but marginalized tradition of degrowth, socialism, ecofeminism, and post-development.

By drawing on various forms of democratic planning in theory and practice, we aim to explore new avenues of value creation for social well-being that go against and beyond the capitalist concept of value as endless profit maximization. We will work along three dimensions: (I) how is it possible to secure and even deepen democracy under war economy? (II) how can social and individual freedom flourish despite the obvious necessity to strictly follow social and ecological planning?, and (III) what would prosperity and development mean in life after capitalism? 

Responsible program chair: Kohei Saito, University of Tokyo.

On the basis of humanistic and social-scientific reflection on human becoming in the 21st century, THE NEW INSTITUTE develops concrete visions of future socio-economic and political realities. We gather thinkers and practitioners with interdisciplinary and intercultural backgrounds in academia, politics, business, media, the arts, and technology around projects that effect positive social change. 

Who we are looking for
Scholars from the humanities and social sciences or practitioners in politics, business, art, media, or journalism with a commitment to the mission of THE NEW INSTITUTE, and interest in collaborating across our programs. Individuals with expertise in degrowth and political ecology, as well as those working in fields of qualitative and quantitative research, e.g., with backgrounds in heterodox economics or radical philosophy are especially encouraged to apply. 

Find out more on our website.

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October 4, 2023

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