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Paweł Lewicki

Studium am Institut für Ethnologie und Kulturanthropologie der Universität Warschau (1998-2004)

Promotion am Institut für Europäische Ethnologie der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2014), Titel:  

 

The EU-space and the “Euroclass”: reproduction of modernity, nationality and European lifestyle among “Eurocrats” in Brussels

 

Here's a summary of my thesis:  

Brussels as a „capital of Europe“ is a place where different political, national, economical and other interests are negotiated and where the EU bureaucracy inform European policies. These processes and negotiations are interwoven by an everyday struggle over cultural superiority that becomes visible in classifications of bodies, lifestyles, languages, in the constant re-production of national representations and in the establishment of the national stereotypes. Simultaneously, these struggles lead also to the establishment of a cultural bubble, a world for itself that in Brussels produced something that I call the EU-space. Although the capitals that are relevant in this space are drawn from many, sometimes even distant contexts, the struggle is in fact quite locally determined and permeated by class distinctions conflated with particular understanding of „modernity“ (of the moderns) and „European-ness“. Thus, such functioning of the EU bureaucracy lead to the establishment of what I call „the Euroclass“, a class of „moderns“ most notably coming from the old member states of the EU, who, on microlevel of the EU-space, defend their cultural superiority and in consequence preeminance in formal hierarchy in the EU apparatus. Among people coming from NMS, as I show on the example of Polish EU community within the EU-space, „modernity“ and „European-ness“ lead to divisions overriding national identifications. 

 

Zusammenfassung meiner Dissertation

In meiner Ethnographie der EU-BeamtInnen in Brüssel zeige ich, wie eine politische Idee und Konstrukt namens “Europa” zur Entstehung einer kulturellen Mikrowelt in Brüssels geführt hat, einer Mikrowelt, die auf der urbanen Gewebe dieser Stadt aufgebaut wurde. In diesem EU-Raum, wo die EU-Politiken von unterschiedlichen politischen Akteuren mitgestaltet werden, wird ständig ein kultureller Kampf um symbolische Macht ausgetragen, ein Kampf darum, wer und wann und welche nationale Repräsentation als „modern“ und “Europäisch” anerkannt wird. Dieser Kampf, so meine These, wird besonders nach der größten EU-Erweiterung im Jahr 2004 sichtbar und in dem EU-Raum mikorpolitisch und sozial relevant. Obgleich die Grenzen zwischen politischen Akteuren, zwischen privatem und öffentlichem, sowie zwischen EU-Raum und deren Umgebung verschwommen sind, es taucht immer wieder die Grenze zwischen “Osten” und “Westen”, zwischen “alten” und “neuen”, zwischen „modernen“ und „noch-nicht-ganz-modernen“ Europa in unterschiedlichen räumlichen, politischen, alltäglichen und kulturellen Kontexten auf. Diese Grenze wird in sozialen Klassifizierungen von Lifestyles, von Körpern und in Stereotypisierungen der nationalen Repräsentationen sichtbar sowie generell in Markierung der legitimen Formen des alltäglichen Handelns festgeschrieben. Gleichzeitig, wie ich am Beispiel der polnischen EU-community darstelle, schaffen diese Markierungen auch Divisionen innerhalb der Repräsentationen der „neuen“ in der EU. Was daraus hervorgeht, ist ein Bild der Brüsseler „EU-integration“ das sich als ein ziemlich parochialer Prozess der alltäglichen Grenzenziehungen entpuppt, indem der „Nord-Westen“ oder die Gründungstaaten sich als inhärent „modern“ und „Europäisch“ sehen und damit kulturell eine sog. Euroclass etablieren, die sich durch Ausgrenzung zu „den Neuen“ immer wieder aufs neue definiert und re-produziert.

 

Teaching activities: 

Winter Term 2014/15: HIV and AIDS in Central and Eastern Europe: Discourses and practices of prevention and healing in Postsocialist Europe

Summer Term 2015: Bodies: An introduction to anthropology of bodily practice and performances

in Summer Term 2015 I also gave an intensive research seminar at the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin under the title: Europa be-schreiben. 

Winter Term 2015/16: Europeanization

My fields of interests are broadly understood processes of Europeanization, particularly from post-colonial and (post-)imperial perspective, where "Europe" is defined as a process of entaglements and re-productions of imperial dynamics. I am interested how such "despatialized" Europe becomes visible in different locations and as a part and parcel of different phenomena. Along such "Europeanization", I am interested in how "Europe" becomes inscribed in and on bodies and how it creates cultural divisions denoted on bodies. Can we say that there is a "European body"? What is it and how can it be described? Pursuing these question includes such issues as racial markings and class divisions/distinctions, (gender and sexual) standardization and normalization, or biopolitics. In Nov. 2015 we organized an international, interdisciplinary and post-graduate Workshop to explore empirical and analytical qualities of "European bodies" (Here you can find proceedings from that workshop: http://www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-6409) Empirically I focus on cultural diversity in context of migration and mobility in Europe, particularly on marginalized people living with HIV/AIDS in Germany and Sweden.

Here's a summary of my current research project:

"HIV-Trajectories: Biopolitical Regimes and Transnational Migration in Context of HIV/AIDS in Europe"

Studies show that in recent years Sweden and Germany accepted high numbers of asylum seekers and "regular" migrants. They also indicate that in Sweden people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are mostly migrants coming from African countries. However, a more detailed glance on statistics provided by non-profit organizations that directly help marginalized PLWHA show large numbers of citizens of high-prevalence CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries and of the “new EU” benefiting from their actions. In Germany HIV positive migrants from these countries constitute a second largest group of PLWHA among all HIV positive migrants. Despite the urgency of the matter, there is still little ethnographic and contextualized research on health of migrants in context of HIV/AIDS from Eastern Europe or from the new member states of the EU in “the old Europe”. This research project explores HIV-trajectories - life courses of marginalized HIV positive migrants from countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, from Ukraine and Poland to Germany and Sweden. Taking into account their complicated health status, often accompanying legal problems and stigma, this qualitative study of mobile PLWHA reveals the individual, transnational management of different biopolitical regimes on one hand and on the other the different political, legal and practical settings to fight HIV/AIDS. It is based on an ethnographic field research in an HIV-clinic in Stockholm and includes biographical interviews of migrating PLWHA in Stockholm and Berlin. Focus on transnational HIV-trajectories unveils gaps and incoherences in health care and other systems (i.e. social welfare system or police system) in general and in particular in the functioning of policies towards marginalized and migrating PLWHA. On a more general level, this research project will significantly enhance knowledge on functioning of the German and Nordic welfare-state models and through that will help to outline best policy, legal and therapeutic solutions to fight HIV/AIDS in the EU.