Current problems of Europe

Competition of alternative civilization development projects and the role of institutions of ontological responsibility

Левицкий В.С.

Levytskyy Victor Sergeevich – Ph.D. in philosophy, Director of the Ukrainian institute of strategies of global development and adaptation (Belgium, Brussels)


The article substantiates a new view on globalization, which today can’t be perceived as an uncontested movement towards universal Western goals. At present, globalization is a competition of alternative civilization development projects, claiming to global leadership. Among the already formed alternatives to the Western project we can distinguish the Islamic project, the Russian world, the Chinese project of universal values. Each of them is based on a particular (religious) tradition, appeals to its cultural roots, acts as an alternative to the Western project, but at the same time uses Western methods and technologies for promotion. Today, each of these projects (including the Western one) is a social reality with its canons, rules, standards, practices that require constant maintenance of their objective status. To designate institutions that perform the function of maintaining the canonical image of reality, this article introduces a special term: institution of ontological responsibility. It is substantiated that the institutions of ontological responsibility is not a unique invention of the age of Modernity, but have been peculiar to humanity throughout its history. In archaic times, the function of «guardians of reality» was performed by the institutions of the priesthood, in the Middle Ages it passed to the Church, in the New Age, this role was performed by the Academies of Sciences, at the present stage, it is possible to talk about a gradual transition of this function to analytical centers and think tanks. To the set of classical functions of the institutions of ontological responsibility of all epochs (canonization of ontology, identifying anomalies threatening the canonical image of reality, eliminating anomalies), today a unique function is added that is inherent only for the modern stage – conscious construction of social reality. Thus, globalization reaches the level of competition between different social realities represented by global development projects, while institutions of ontological responsibility play the role of shaping and maintaining the image of reality.


civilization development projects, Islamic project, Russian world, Chinese project, globalization, institutions of ontological responsibility, social reality.

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