Engagement is not synonymous with commitment, even though the two words are used in translation between English, French, and German. However, engagement is also not some supplementary phenomenon or a technical term that the phrase social acts already includes in itself or that the concepts of ‘commitment’ or ‘joint commitment’ somehow necessarily imply. I would like to describe a special kind of social acts and attempt to determine the function they have in relation between various agents and most importantly define their significance in the transformation of a group or social group into an institution or higher order entity. My premise is that there are acts whose aim is to engage others or all others, since they refer to all of us together, and in so doing reduce negative (social) “acts” as well as various asocial behaviors within a group or institution. In this sense, engaged acts could alternatively also belong to a kind of institutional acts, since they introduce certain adjustments to the institution, changing or modifying its rules, increasing its consistency and efficiency.
Petar Bojanić, professor of philosophy, studied at the University of Belgrade and at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), where he received his D.E.A. for a work on “La figure de la paix chez Levinas et Kant” (supervised by Jacques Derrida) in 1997. In 2003, he received his Doctorat de 3e cycle from the University of Paris X (Nanterre) for his dissertation “La guerre (dernière) et l’institution de la philosophie” (Dissertation committee: E. Balibar, G. Bensussan, J. Derrida, and J-L. Nancy). Bojanić is the director of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT) at the University of Belgrade and the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe (CAS) at the University of Rijeka. He has held numerous fellowships and visiting professorships, including at the Society for Humanities at Cornell University, the Centre for Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen, the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna and Torino, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Bonn, etc. Translation of his book Violence et Messianisme. Paris–Milano: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin; Mimesis International (2015) is published this year in Routledge.