|Economy and Trade||Politics, Power and Institutions|
|Society and Culture||Resources and Environment|
|2016 Special Theme: Rethinking Global Space in the Age of the Anthropocene: Futures of Ecological Interdependence|
When studying the historical evolution of global socio-political spaces, we may assume two distinct, yet symbiotically connected, human perspectives. On the one hand, institutional perspectives that manifest themselves in modes of sovereignty, territorial boundaries, and technical aspects of political authority. On the other hand, ideational perspectives that shape variations in cultures, identities, and norms of ethics and justice. Critical appraisal of these perspectives is generally cast within a human-centered paradigm. Such perspectives, however, frequently neglect the context of the natural environment. As a counterbalance, it is now being said with increasing frequency that we have entered a new geological age, a distinct era in planetary history, the age of the Anthropocene. This age is defined by human-induced changes to the natural environment: rising global temperatures, sea levels, and CO2 in the atmosphere, to name just a few consequential eco-systemic changes. The question for this conference is whether this is a necessarily distinct, third major perspective on the socio-political dynamics of globalization. The special focus of the 2016 Global Studies Conference --Rethinking Political Space in the Age of the Anthropocene: Futures of Ecological Interdependence-- asks the following: if a characteristic feature of our contemporary epoch transcends our standard institutional and ideational perspectives for the generation and interpretation of global political space, in what ways does the perspective of a new historical epoch in natural history demand the reconsideration of how we view global socio-political space generally?