Nations and States in the Contemporary World: heritage – conflicts – challenges
University of Economy (WSG) Bydgoszcz
13th and 14th October 2022
We would like to inform you that the application deadline has been extended until 30th September 2022.
The idea of the conference arose from discussions about the national identity in the contemporary world that took place a dozen years ago during the international symposium at the University of Economy (WSG) in Bydgoszcz.
Favourable reviews of the post-conference publication “Nations in Europe. Identity and Mutual Perception” encouraged the organizers to revisit and verify the statements from the previous meeting, taking into account that the geopolitical situation in the world has recently undergone significant changes.
In the last ten years the world has been subject to a civilization change, which is visible in various aspects of the contemporary life, especially in the area of communication. Globalization has led to unification of social life and formation of a global culture, which has blurred differences between national identities.
It has contributed indirectly to discontinuity of cultural traditions, such as reversal of the mass media from the classical roots of culture, especially from traditional moral values, art and philosophy, leading to moral and epistemic relativism. Despite its uniform character, the contemporary culture may seem to lack the universality characteristic of the classic culture, or Christian traditions related to it.
The process of globalization has recently faced resistance of many social groups and seems to head, like ideologies behind it, toward its end. Some societies and communities understood that not only consumer goods but also intangible goods, such as national cultural values, play a significant role in their lives. Cultural identity, if eroded, creates a world in which individual freedom is threatened, social bonds get broken, and consequently national sovereignty and security are threatened.
The search for identity is conducive to discovering national traditions that underlie axiological and moral systems. As an example may serve here the rebirth of Confucianism in China, Buddhism in Mongolia, or Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. The current situation in the Ukraine reflects on the other hand the crisis of the relations caused by globalization.
Withdrawal from the globalized world, the culture dominated by consumption and the search for national identity will give rise to conflicts and pose challenges that require reformation of the international relations.
Today, in the face of the war in Ukraine it is necessary to reflect on the current state and direction of the development of the contemporary world, as it was in the 90s (Fukuyama, Huntington, Kondylis). A particular attention should be drawn to fundamental issues of the contemporary world, such as state-forming role of the culture, formation of national identity in its many aspects, the role of education in shaping patriotic attitudes, identification with cultural traditions of the nation, early recognition of conflicts caused by cultural aspects, finding solutions to cultural conflicts, seeking for values that will secure social cohesion and finally, to the meaning of symbolic forms that create unity
of the civil society. It is also essential to discuss challenges that the world is currently facing, i.e. confrontation of globalization and anti-globalization, national and transnational, as well as liberal and anti-liberal movements.
Other important issues are the quality and conditions of democracy, including the role of education as its essential part because democracy without a proper education is nothing more than window dressing.
Building on the previous conference, the organizers plan to publish a monograph in cooperation with the WSG University Press.
Working languages of the conference are Polish and English. Online participation is possible. On behalf of the Scientific and Organizing Committee we cordially invite you to take part in the conference.