Tamara Cărăuş

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2012/2013
discipline Philosophy
Researcher at the New Europe College Institute for Advanced Studies from Bucharest, Romania

Research project

Democracy and Dissent: from Czech Dissidence to Radical Democracy


The project “Democracy and Dissent: From Czech Dissidence to Radical Democracy” examines the political philosophy of a Czech philosopher and dissident, Jan Patočka, founder and spokesperson of Charta 77. The assumption of this research project is that Patočka’s political thought, as captured in concepts like “breaking-through” and “permanent questioning”, provides a philosophical account on the conditions of disagreement, dissent, contestability, comparable to those elaborated by contemporary theorists of radical democracy (especially E. Laclau, Ch. Mouffe, J. Ranciere, W. Connolly, B. Honig).
The project analyzes the elements from Patočka’s philosophy outlining a post-foundational and post-metaphysical political philosophy: “negative Platonism”, “the birth of the political”, “breaking-through”, “problematicity”, «polemos» and others. The comparison of Patočka’s political thought and theories of radical / agonistic democracy shows that the political philosophy of the Czech philosopher contains the main aspects of agonistic democracy: the difference between politics and the political, the primacy of the political, the emergence of political subjectivity and the rethinking of politics starting from the irreducibility of conflict. At the same time, Patočka’s political philosophy differs from theories of agonistic democracy, given its combination of apparently incompatible perspectives of a radical non-foundational politics and a classical ethics of the “care for the soul”. Therefore, the main purpose of the project is to elaborate, from the perspective of theories of radical democracy, an adequate framework for interpretation and analysis of the interplay between Patočka’s radical politics and classical ethics. This interplay reveals several new aspects of Patočka’s political philosophy: the emergence of democratic subjectivity in the experience of «breaking-through», the democratic identification (with a community) in the experience of permanent questioning, and a non-teleological democratic perfectionism in the “care for the soul” and “breaking-through”. Finally, Patočka’s «Two Charta 77 texts» will be analyzed in the light of the new interpretation of Patočka’s political theory as an instance of democracy and dissent.



Tamara Cărăuş is a researcher in political philosophy at the New Europe College Institute for Advanced Studies from Bucharest, Romania. Currently she is the team leader (principal investigator) within research project Critical Foundations of Contemporary Cosmopolitanism. Tamara Cărăuş has an MA in Euroculture from the University of Uppsala, Sweden and the University of Groningen, The Netherlands and a Ph.D. from University of Bucharest. She has undertaken several research projects in political philosophy at Oxford University, University College London, Palacky University of Olomouc, among others.
Her current research interests are Political Philosophy: Poststructuralist Political Theory, Theories of Cosmopolitanism, Studies of Ideologies, Theories of radical/agonistic democracy, Political theory and legacies of Eastern European dissidence.

Selected publications


Capcanele Identităţii / Traps of Identity, Cartier, Bucharest, 2011.


Ethical Perspectives on the Postmodern Rewriting, Editura Paralela 45, Bucharest, 2003.


Tzara mea, ARC, Bucharest, 2001.


junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
discipline Political Science
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2017/2018
Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
discipline History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM)
discipline Art History