Abstract: How do we define a crisis? The semantic expansion and multifaceted contents of the term to depict all kinds of catastrophe, emergency and predicament highlights a persisting conundrum within both scientific and public debates: It is far from evident what exactly the concept circumscribes apart from its sloppy everyday usage and how it is to be analysed beyond what has been proposed by theories of crisis management and decision-making. This envisaged project is an attempt at tidying up the mess. It departs from conceptualizations that treat crisis as exogenous to the social and calls for a formulation of an ontology of the social in the first place. The genuinely post-foundational ontology to be developed henceforth includes the concepts of sedimented practices, dislocation, antagonism and hegemony. All four are mutually imbricated, and represent a theory of the social that will finally have to abandon the notion of crisis altogether, and replace it with a theoretical spectrum that grasps the indispensable instability of society, its deficiencies, fragilities and political failures.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Nabers

Kiel University, Political Science and Sociology

Anxiety, crisis and social change

Theory & Methodology

In a mutual approach of (Social / Natural) Sciences and Humanities, research on the different aspects of Anxiety Culture has to be carried out in a combination of methodological traditions and innovations, referring to data-sets and empirical findings in each area of investigation.