Current Projects

Past projects:

The Politics of Intimacy: Re-thinking the End-of-life Controversy, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 2018, based on the PhD Dissertation (2005-2009)

Debates on the end-of-life controversy are complex because they seem to highjack national and cultural traditions. Where previous books have focused on ideological grounds, The Politics of Intimacy explores dying as the site where policies are negotiated and implemented. Intimacy comprises the emotional experience of the end of life and how we acknowledge it—or not—through institutions. This process shows that end-of-life controversy relies on the conflict between the individual and these institutions, a relationship that is the cornerstone of Western liberal democracies.

Through interviews with mourners, stakeholders, and medical professionals, examination of media debates in France and the Czech Republic, Durnová shows that liberal institutions, in their attempts to accommodate the emotional experience at the end of life, ultimately fail. She describes this deadlock as the “politics of intimacy,” revealing that political institutions deploy power through collective acknowledgment of individual emotions but fail to maintain this recognition because of this same experience.

Mediating between “Fat Cats” and “Stupid Activists”: The Planning Controversy over Re-building Brno Railway Station
Project funded by the Laboratoire d’Economie et de Transport, Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l’Etat , University of Lyon 2009–2010.

Since many years Brno citizens and expert argue about whether to re-build the Brno railway station in its current location or to move it 800 meters down the south. This controversy is a timely example of the role of emotions in understanding planning controversies. The project builds on studies in planning that have dismantled the importance of discourses for enrolling particular policies and shows that we need to pay more attention to emotions that are part of those discourses. Emotions are understood as discursive experiences of values and assumptions that consolidate respective groups of actors.