On Thursday, 7 April at 12.30, Gert-Jan Johannes, Inger Leemans and Tom Verschaffel, VNC fellows 2010/11, will hold a special seminar at Felix Meritis in Amsterdam together with special guests Hanco Juergens, Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam and Thomas von der Dunk, Journalist and Cultural Historian, about the cultural organization of the Dutch Republic and the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) in the 18th century.
They will discuss whether the Dutch cultural system should be regarded as a culture of consensus: an effective organization to structure society, to organize an active, critical public debate, geared towards reaching consensus, keeping the balance and preventing radicalization and conflict. Should the Learned Societies of the 18th century be regarded as shining examples of civic cultural and political participation? Why did the Austrian Netherlands develop a completely different system of cultural and political participation? Should this be labeled a culture of comprise? And finally: in what ways were these cultures of consensus and compromise challenged?