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Dehumanizing the Other
Past Events
A conference at the CEU with the participation of John O'Sullivan, president of the Danube Institute.

Dehumanizing the Other:


How to Respond to Islamophobic, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Roma and

Anti-Refugee Speech?



Conference hosted by

Central European University, Department of History, Budapest, Hungary

Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, Bergen, Norway



June 4, Monday, CEU, Auditorium, Nador street 15, ground floor


17:00 Welcoming Remarks


  • Michael Ignatieff (President and Rector, CEU)

  • Balazs Trencsényi (Head of the Department of History, CEU)

  • Iver Ørstavik (Senior Advisor, Rafto Foundation for Human Rights)

  • Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt (Executive Director, Rafto Foundation for Human Rights)

  • Peter Molnár (Rafto Laureate, CEU, Radio Tilos)



17:15 Opening Keynote


Kenan Malik (British writer, lecturer and broadcaster)

Looking Closer to Home:
How Mainstream Politics Paved the Way for the Demonization of Migrants

Chair: Peter Molnar (Rafto Laureate, CEU, Radio Tilos)


19:00 Short performance of the “Hate Speech” Monologues



June 5, Tuesday, CEU, Oktober Hall, Oktober 6th street 7, ground floor


10:30 Dehumanizing the Other in Historical Perspectives - I


  • Francisca de Haan (Professor of Gender Studies and History, CEU): For Women’s Rights and Peace, Against War and Fascism: The Life and Legacy of Rosa Manus (1881 - 1942)

  • Prem Kumar Rajaram (Head of the CEU Open Learning Initiative, Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology CEU): Dehumanisation in the 19th-Century Colonies and Its Current Resonances in Europe

  • Leo Lucassen (Director, Research of the International Institute of Social History and Professor of Social History at Leiden University): Why Panic? Explaining the Extreme Reactions to the 'Refugee Crisis' from a Long-Term Perspective


Chair: Istvan Rev (Director, OSA, Professor at CEU Department of History)


12:15 “Hate Speech” against Civil Society Organizations


  • Eduard Nazarski (Director, Amnesty International Netherlands): Us Versus Them

  • Stefania Kapronczay (Executive Director. Hungarian Civil Liberties Union): Pushing back hateful messages: An opportunity to reinforce human rights values

  • Orsolya Reich (Advocacy Officer, Civil Liberties Union for Europe): Legitimacy, Hate and Foreign Funding?

  • John O'Sullivan (President, Danube Institute): Hatred, Hate and Hate Speech


Chair: TBA


13:45 Lunch


15:00 Remapping Hate Speech: Has Central and/or Eastern Europe

Caught up with Western Europe?


  • Iyad El Baghdadi: (writer, entrepreneur, activist, Fellow at Norwegian Think-Tank Civita): “Narratives of otherization, both individual (radicalization) and collective (populism)”

  • Monika Bobako (Poznan University): Islamophobia as a Technology of Power. The Case of the Anti-Refugee Discourse in Poland

  • Peter Kreko (Director, Political Capital)

  • Vera Messing (Center for Social Science, HAS and Center for Policy Studies, CEU) - Bence Ságvári (Center for Social Science, HAS): Factors Influencing Attitudes towards Migration. The Result of a European Cross-Country Comparative Study


Chair: Martin Kahanec (Dean SPP, CEU)


(17:30 Janos Kis, Rethinking Open Society lecture - Participants can attend this closely connected lecture although it is not part of the conference.)



June 6, Wednesday, CEU, Oktober Hall, Oktober 6th street 7, ground floor


10:30 How Dangerous is Dehumanizing Speech?


  • Kenan Malik (British writer, lecturer and broadcaster)

  • Michael J. Horowitz (Director of Hudson Institute's Project for Civil Justice Reform and Project for International Religious Liberty): Does Europe Need a First Amendment?

  • Sean Manion (Researcher, Dangerous Speech Project): Nativism and Foreigners: Dangerous Speech Deployed

  • Peter Molnár (Rafto Laureate, CEU, Radio Tilos): Dehumanization and Imminent Danger


Chair: TBA


12:15 Dehumanizing the Other in Historical Perspectives - II


  • Maria Kronfeldner, Professor (Department of Philosophy, CEU): What is Dehumanization?

  • Stefania Kulaeva (Executive Director, Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial): Minorities facing hate: vulnerability and self-exclusion

  • Dmitry Dubrovsky (Center of Independent Social Research, European University at St. Petersburg): From the Mentally Ill to the Morally Perversive: the USSR Legacy of Anti-Dissent Propaganda in Current Russian media


Chair: Balazs Trencsényi (Head of Department of History, CEU)


13:45 Lunch


15:00 No Limits for Dehumanizing Speech?


  • Henriett Dinók (Director, Romaversitas): The Framing of Hate: Hungarian Political Discourse about Anti-Semitism and Anti-Gypsyism

  • Nick Thorpe (Correspondent for BBC)

  • Dezso Mate (Doctoral Researcher at University of ELTE): Roma LGBTQ intersectionality and movement



Chair: Krisztina Bombera (News anchor for ATV)


18:00 Closing Discussion in Aurora (civil society space)


Hungary in the new era of rising China

Past Events

What does the rise of China and Beijing's new narrative mean for countries like Hungary?

Human Rights and Political Wrongs

Past Events

A lecture by Oxford historian Sir Noel Malcolm in Budapest on June 21 at the MTA.

Trump and America's Human Rights Diplomacy - Video


A lecture by Michael Horowitz.

Free Market Road Show 2018 - Panel 2


Developments and Prospects of “Sharing Economy” in Hungary.

Frank Furedi on the crisis of socialisation (video)


A lecture by Frank Furedi at the Danube Institute.

Political crisis in Australia? (video)


A lecture by James Allan.

Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence


Dr. David Dusenbury and Dr. David Martin Jones on the effects of technology on our lives and future.

Mid-Trump: a lecture by Byron York (video)


A lectury by Byron York on the American politics in 2018.

What happened? Debate on the election in Hungary (video)


Boris Kálnoky and Balázs Orbán on the 2018 parliamental election in Hungary.

The Day After: Dealing the Cards in the Wake of Brexit (videos)


Videos of the Brexit game, organised by the Danube Institute and Negomoot.


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