Clandestine counter-publics in politics and science are booming. Their existence suggests that the public of subjects and science policy is in crisis. The common world of a subject or science, which must be understood as the result of negotiations, disappears. The result of the tactically motivated withdrawal from the common world is a specific form of “worldlessness” (Hannah Arendt) of networks and micro-societies. For example, consider a selection of more recent start-ups from specialist and science policy: There is the Scientific Freedom Network, the Women's and Gender Studies Network in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Digital Education Network, the Society for Intercultural German Studies, the Society for Intercultural Philosophy and so on.

They all oppose a scientific or specialist political public in which they do not see themselves and their goals represented. They see themselves as a forum for scientific or science-political exchange, but also seek proximity to politics or those political actors from whom they hope to receive support. So they are often lobbyists on their own behalf and fuel trends in research and teaching. A subject like “gender research”, which deals with interesting interfaces between the disciplines, has to deal with the public in many disciplines, since gender research in medicine means something different from the question of gender in sociology or German studies.

The networks thus desire political control in favor of topics, trends and theories.

On the other hand, they sense the suppression of freedom of research and topics in the supposedly official science policy and in the public sphere of the subjects.

They complain about non-scientific targets, but also see themselves as victims of hegemonic structures in science and the public.

Subaltern of all factions

They often believe they represent a science of the subaltern, the science of a group that has been excluded from the hegemonic culture of their subject. The history of the subaltern, which, according to Antonio Gramsci, is “necessarily fragmentary and episodic”, allows the subaltern of all factions to pose the question of the cultural representation of their identity, their political agenda or their history differently. The subaltern subjects, "by definition not unified", are fragmented, underrepresented, invisible.

The subalterns of science policy are first brought about by the disputes about hegemonic tendencies in science policy and the social order. “These relationships,” writes Gramsci, “are not mechanical. They are active and conscious, that is, they correspond to a greater or lesser degree of understanding that the individual has of them. Therefore, one can say that everyone becomes different to the extent that he himself changes, in that he lets the totality of the relationships, whose center of connection he is, become different and changes. "