CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

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Emptiness: Living Capitalism and Democracy After (Post)Socialism

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 865976

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2020

  • End date

    31 August 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 929 263

  • EU contribution

    € 1 929 263

Hosted by:

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

Objective

This project proposes to study “emptiness” as a concrete historical formation that has emerged in conditions when socialist modernity is gone and promises of capitalist modernity have failed. It is developed on the basis of the following observations: (1), many towns and villages across the former socialist space are being abandoned by capital, the state, and people; (2), there is a proliferation of popular and scholarly imaginaries and discourses of emptiness as the ruination of material, social, and economic life, and the coming of a radically different future; (3), emptiness and emptying are politicized, with some political actors pointing to the risks of emptying and others considering narratives of emptying as themselves threatening to the existing political order; and (4), despite—or because—of politicization, emptying is subject to governance, as in the case of “shrinking cities” in East Germany. And yet, the material, social, and political contours of emptying and emptiness are poorly understood. This has considerable effects for how people act upon the concrete challenges that emptying and emptiness present.

The project mobilizes emptiness as an emic discursive figure derived from ethnographic research in the Latvian-Russian borderlands to study the withdrawal of the state, capital, and people in Eastern Ukraine, the Russian Far East, and Belarus. The project aims to: (1), study the experiences and narratives of emptiness and emptying; (2), examine the politics and governance of emptying and emptiness; and (3), use postsocialist “emptying” and “emptiness” as lenses for analyzing global reconfigurations of relations between capital, the state, people, and place. It argues that postsocialist emptying and emptiness prefigure emergent spatial organization of economic and political life, whereby capital flows and statecraft are increasingly concentrated in “global cities,” with the rest of urban and non-urban spaces becoming radically disconnected.

Host institution

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Address

Wellington Square University Offices
Ox1 2jd Oxford

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 929 263

Beneficiaries (1)

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 929 263

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 865976

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2020

  • End date

    31 August 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 929 263

  • EU contribution

    € 1 929 263

Hosted by:

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom