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23-24 October 2014

Conference: After the Leviathan? About the Creation of Global lines of politics and polity in and after the Age of Extremes

Keynote Speaker:
Prof. Rudolf Stichweh, University of Bonn

Programme Schedule
Date: 23-24 October 2014
Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

click to see poster

Abstract: Reinhart Koselleck has pointed out that the 20th century was marked by two–sometimes intertwined and sometimes contradicting–structural changes: On the one hand, we can see that the nation-state became the dominant paradigm of political organization, but, on the other hand, the state lost more and more of its power to contain and to pacify social-political processes from within. Furthermore, it appears that Carl Schmitt was clairvoyant when he turned his famous definition of sovereignty from “Sovereign is he who decides about the state of exception” in: “Sovereign is he who decides about the radio-waves”. Indeed, in the aftermath of the Age of Extremes the concept of an international order of sovereign leviathans may well be outdated. From a structural point of view world society as a social space of horizons of comparability has replaced the international political arena. These global horizons of comparability communicate standards and represent hierarchies that contribute to a new drawing of global lines of cooperation and conflict. The Arabian Spring, the crises in Ukraine and in Thailand demonstrate the convertibility between different social-, cultural, and political registers when local protests turn into global ones.

- The first part of this workshop will deal with global lines of friendship and conflict after the Age of extremes taking their historical background into account. We are interested in contributions dealing with the historical creation and legitimation of homogeneity and heterogeneity inside world society. We seek to address questions such as: What kind of actors, discourses, institutions (values and norms) and interaction do we have to take into account for understanding global history of conflicts and cooperation? Are we moving towards a world state? What kinds of role do global lines in terms of critical junctures and asymmetries of power play? Last but not least: Does sovereignty still matter?
- In the second part of the workshop we will deal with the question of the construction of global history, transnational memory and lieu de mémoire for establishing a kind of nomos of earth and global political lines.

All are welcome. No registration is required. For enquiries, please contact Dr Andreas Leutzsch at leutzsch@hku.h

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