International Summer School in Critical Theory 2024. Social Critique and Economics

July 1-5, 2024


Summer School
Topic Call for applications

in cooperation with New School for Social Research, New York


The economy is irrefutably social. The division of labor, the distribution of social wealth, the modes of production and exchange are defining features of every society. What is more, economic practices depend on social and political institutions as well as cultural understandings without which the interactions of economic agents would become unstable or fail altogether. In other words, what we call “the economy” boils down to human activity and, as such, is subject to historical change. However, the precise relationship between economic practices and the other forms of social, political, and cultural agency is rather difficult to conceptualize. The economy seems to presuppose social dispositions (as the analyses of Max Weber and Louis Althusser suggest) as well as the social reproduction of human life and labor power (as feminist theorists have insisted). And – as the neoliberal era has amply shown – economic logics are capable of transforming and “colonizing” (Habermas) other social spheres, such as education and health care, science and art, and are embedded in historically entrenched relations of domination, dispossession, and extraction on a global scale (as postcolonial critics have argued). Weak versions of economic determinism could point to the dependence of all other social spheres on resources provided by the economy exemplified by the dependence on the economy’s dominant medium: money.

Conversely, the dependence of economic practices on social, political, and cultural background conditions, as well as on functioning ecosystems and sustainable access to natural resources, implies the possibility of dissonance, and thus conflict, between divergent social rationalities. Contrary to social theories that conceptualize the economy as a particular social system with definite boundaries and a specific rationality, the complex interactions and interdependencies of social spheres suggest the need for a wider, more social concept of the economy. Economy and society permeate each other and form a compound of socio-economic practices – a form of life. Such a wide concept of the economy revives core claims of classical Critical Theory. Social critique must address the material foundations of society, i.e. the ways in which society reproduces itself. The International Critical Theory Summer School 2024 aims at the renewal of such an overarching concept of society without which social critique is in danger of deteriorating into mere moral appeals.

Co-organized by the Rahel Jaeggi, Robin Celikates, Christian Schmidt, Zveta Pauly (Centre for Social Critique Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Alice Crary (The New School for Social Research).

Lisa Herzog (University Groningen)

Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Ingrid Robeyns (University Utrecht)

Kolja Möller (Technical University Dresden)


Robin Celikates (Freie Universität Berlin)

Christian Schmidt (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

How do I submit my application?

Please send your application via the form below and upload your C.V. and précis. The general deadline for applications is the 12th of February 2024. Only graduate students at the Berlin Universities may apply until the 12th of April 2024.


Why is there an extra deadline for students at the Berlin Universities?

Students at the Berlin-Brandenburg Universities can receive credit for participating. The later deadline for these students allows them to apply when their general course-choices for the summer is due. Therefore, those applicants who study at a University in Berlin or Brandenburg may submit their application until the 12th of April 2024.


The Call for Participation is targeted at PhD students and junior scholars. Can I apply as an M.A. student or as a Post-doc?

Yes, as an M.A. student or as a more senior scholar you may apply as well.


May I submit my application in German?

No, please submit your précis and your C.V. in English.


May I submit a chapter of my book or my dissertation?

No. Please send us only a précis of max. 1 page, describing your take on core concerns on the summer school topic: Social Critique and Economics. The précis should show which particular background knowledge and systematic positions you would contribute to our joint discussions. Please make sure the title of your précis summarizes its content.


When will I be informed if my application was successful?

We process the applications as quickly as possible and will get back to you towards the end of February. Students at the Berlin Universities, who may submit their applications until the 12th of April, will hear from us by the end of April.


How do you select the participants? What are the criteria?

Besides looking for the most interesting and fitting approaches to the Summer School’s central questions, we try to achieve a certain geographical and topical balance, and we give precedence to applications from PhD students and early post-docs over more junior and senior ones. Amongst applications ranked equally, we prefer those scholars who did not attend the Critical Theory Summer School the year before, since it seems fair to give the chance to participate to as many individuals as possible.


Please note that even though we try to make the selection process as transparent as possible, it may happen that although the mentioned criteria apply to you, you are not admitted to the Summer School. This is due to the fact that we receive a lot more applications than we can accept.


Are there any participation fees for the Summer School?



Is there a possibility to get funding for my participation in the Summer School?

Please note that there is no funding available for this year’s summer school. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide any travel funds for international students, but recommend to get in touch with your home institutions about possible financial support for attending the summer school.


Is it possible to get an official certificate of participation? I need one in order to get funding from my university.

Yes, of course. Please send us an e-mail at


Do I need a visa to enter Germany? How do I get a visa?

You can find out at the foreign office ( if you need a visa and what the requirements are. Please find out as soon as possible and let us know right away if you need an official invitation or confirmation of participation in order to get your visa.


Do you offer accommodation for participants? Can you help me find accommodation in Berlin?

Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to help with that. For free rooms, you may check and contact the Humboldt guesthouse. Generally, please consult the usual online search engines for accommodation.


When will the reading for the Summer School be available?

The literature will be available by the end of May.


Does the program extend to the evenings?

The program is limited to mornings and afternoons, finishing no later than 7 p.m.. However, there will be a public round table on the evening of Wednesday, July 3rd.


When will the Summer School start and end?

The first get-together meeting will be on the evening of Sunday, the June 30th, and we will finish with a closing party on Friday, July 5th. Thus, it will be best to plan arriving on Sunday noon (latest) and to leave not earlier than the following Saturday noon.


Can I participate in only a few sessions, or for half of the week?

In order to enable fruitful discussions, we kindly request participants to attend all sessions.


Are any of the sessions public?

Yes, the evening panel (July 3rd) is public.


Will there be recordings of the sessions?



Where can I find information on past Summer Schools?

You can find CfPs, programmes, and summaries of the final discussions of each Summer School in our archive (


If you have any further question:

Do not hesitate to contact us ( We will reply as soon as possible. Please note that submitting applications is only possible via the form provided below.  

The application for all non-Berlin students/scholars has been closed on February 12th, 2024.

The application for all Berlin participants has been closed on April 12th, 2024.

International Summer School in Critical Theory 2024. Social Critique and Economics