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The institutionalization of artistic practice in Eastern Europe after 1989
Author: Octavian Esanu

The postsocialist contemporary intervenes, from the historical perspective of Eastern Europe, in a wider conversation about “contemporary art.” It departs from, and revolves around, a concrete case in which a program called “for contemporary art” was assembled on the debris of the Berlin Wall by the Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros. The Soros Centers for Contemporary Art (SCCA) was a network of twenty art centers active during the 1990s in Eastern Europe. The book argues that this program played an important role in the actualization of the paradigm of contemporary art in the former bloc. The main goal of this study, however, is not to recreate the narrative but to take this Soros-funded art infrastructure as a critical point of inquiry in order to engage with key permutations occurring in art during the transition to capitalism. The book argues that with the implementation of Western art institutional models and norms by Soros, and other players after 1989, a radical departure takes place in the art of this region: a departure from an art that (officially at least) provided symbolic empowerment to the masses, toward an art that affirms the interests, needs, desires, and “freedom” of the private individual acting within the boundaries of the bourgeois civil society and the market. The book considers the “postsocialist contemporary” in a broader context of late twentieth-century political, economic, and cultural processes of (neo) liberalization, promoting and encouraging more critical historical materialist examinations of “contemporary art” – the dominant aesthetic paradigm of late-capitalist market democracy.

The aesthetics of problem-solving
Octavian Esanu

would be in full accord with Western practices and ideals of the “open society” – the political metaphor which Soros borrowed from Karl Popper's social theories. As discussed in previous chapters, the main postulates outlined in the mission statements of these centers – in their imperative to build an institutional infrastructure for the art of the open society, which is to say contemporary art – amounted to an ideology of postsocialist artistic institutions and practices in the 1990s. But such statements were the fruit of various managerial-bureaucratic narratives

in The postsocialist contemporary
Towards epistemological infinitude?
Peter Triantafillou

testify to a much more optimistic view of the abilities of scientific knowledge to inform ‘good’ policymaking. The chapter first traces the critique of excessive planning and the propagation of minor experimental interventions through the works of Karl Popper (Popper, 1966) and Donald T. Campbell (Campbell, 1969) in the 1950s and 1960s. It shows that, while they both rejected centralised planning based on some grand omnipotent science of society, both insisted on the democratic and societal benefits of scientific knowledge. However, the latter was to be generated by

in Neoliberal power and public management reforms

Scientific Governance in Britain, 1914-79 provides a ‘big picture’ account of science in modern Britain. It charts the changing contours of science and illuminates its role in governing the nation. The twentieth century saw a dramatic increase in publicly funded research and the number of scientific advisors across government. At the same time science was evoked in the pursuit of the effective and rational management of people and resources – of making policies and achieving Britain’s goals. Spanning fifteen essays, this book examines the connected histories of how science itself was governed, and how it was used in governance. Individually these contributions reveal a breadth of perspectives on the relationship between science and governance. Taken together they connect the many people involved in, and affected by, science in twentieth-century Britain. Essays on the governance of science include topics such as the establishment and functioning of new governmental departments and agencies, as well as the (sometimes uncertain) responses of pre-existing scientific bodies, notably the Royal Society. Operational Research features prominently as the model for later structures. Topics treated under the theme of governance by science include specific elaborations of the sometimes vague-seeming rhetoric of science’s rational fitness as a modus operandi. More concrete ambitions for science are explored in relation to broadcasting, psychology, sociology and education. The essays in this volume combine the latest research on twentieth-century British science with insightful discussion of what it meant to govern – and govern with – science.

Herman Bondi, Karl Popper and the making of scientific citizens
Neil Calver

15 Governance through education: Herman Bondi, Karl Popper and the making of scientific citizens Neil Calver ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man’, runs the famous Jesuit adage. The notion that governance is most powerfully exerted at an early stage has long informed scientists’ ambitions for the education of children. The cosmologist Sir Hermann Bondi was one such scientist, and through his presidency of the Association for Science Education (ASE) he was able to articulate and advance his ambitions. Bondi was a disciple of Sir Karl

in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79
Abstract only
Octavian Esanu

art in Eastern Europe, using the SCCA's history and activities as a point of empirical reference, must not be in any way confused with right-wing or anti-Semitic attacks on Soros. These attacks are nothing new. Soros has been the object of various conspiracy theories since the 1980s – in Kádár's Hungary, post-Ceaușescu Romania, and Yeltsin's Russia – and his foundations were early forced out of South Africa, China, and Belarus. But whatever criticism may be found, in this book, of Soros or of Karl Popper (Soros's intellectual model) – or of Cold War liberalism, the

in The postsocialist contemporary
Vittorio Bufacchi

experts have scientific knowledge, they have a direct line to the ultimate truth. As Karl Popper once said, science is the pursuit of truth, not the dogmatic certainty that we know the truth. Scientific theories are grounded on the best evidence we hold, and we ought to be prepared to change our mind when new evidence comes in. The moment we think we hold the truth, that we have the last word on an issue, we have betrayed the scientific method. And a few centuries before Popper, the same idea was endorsed by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire: ‘Cherish those who

in Everything must change
Abstract only
Philip Norton

programme. If electors believe that the government has failed to deliver what they expect of it, they can hold it to account by removing it from office at the next general election. Election day is, in the words of philosopher Karl Popper, ‘judgement day’. Electors know who is responsible for public policy – the party (or parties) in government – and can act to reward or punish that body. There is no divided responsibility. The government cannot hive off responsibility for public policy. There is what may be termed core accountability (Norton 2011a ). The House of Lords

in Reform of the House of Lords
Abstract only
Andrew Bennett

Quarterly 61: 4 (1992): 464: as Bouissac suggests, the disciplines are based around their particular ‘forms of ignorance’, each a separate ‘generator of uncertainty’. 12 Wilbert E. Moore and Melvin M. Tumin, ‘Some Social Functions of Ignorance’, American Sociological Review 14: 6 (1949): 788, 795. 13 T.S. Eliot, ‘The Perfect Critic’, in Frank Kermode, ed., Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot (London: Faber and Faber, 1975), p. 55. 14 See Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations (London

in Ignorance
A methodological overview
Matt Qvortrup

might be argued that the search for such ‘laws’ is altogether misplaced – and is even obsolete in the sciences themselves. As Hannah Arendt (1983, 61) has put it, the concept of laws in the social sciences and history was always a metaphor borrowed from nature; and the fact is that this metaphor no longer convinces us because it has turned out that natural science can by no means be sure of an unchallengeable rule of law in nature. Those who (still) entertain the thought that politics can – in due course – become a science are seemingly forced to agree with Karl

in The politics of participation