2018 Special Focus: Subjectivities of Globalization

In an early attempt to conceptualize globalization, Roland Robertson (1992: 8) defined it as "the compression of the world and the intensification of the consciousness of the world as a whole”. This classic definition comprises both the material processes associated with globalization and the (inter)subjective dimension of the concept, its place in our collective thought-patterns and its role in how we make sense of the world. However, while the material – economic, political, cultural, environmental etc. – symptoms and implications of globalization have been discussed extensively in what is now an impressive body of literature, the subjective side of the process has not been examined in adequate depth. The 2018 Global Studies Conference aims to fill this research gap by placing its focus on how we increasingly not just act but also think in terms of the world as a whole. The conference will thus revolve around the ideational dimension of globalization as expressed in beliefs, discourses, arguments and narratives about global trends and processes. The questions addressed by this conference concern:

  • The relationship between material practices and ideational dimensions of globalization;
  • Competing analytical approaches to the subjective dynamics of globalization;
  • The historical development of global consciousness, the formation and transmission of global identities and values;
  • The meanings of globalization that circulate in the public sphere, the way how they are mobilized in political debates and the extent to which their mobilization destabilizes established ideologies and worldviews;
  • Origins and nature of contemporary explicitly globally-oriented discourses, ideologies and doctrines;
  • The evolution of the concept of globalization and how its evolving usage has reflected the changing socio-political context.

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