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GERMAN-CFP-L  March 2010

GERMAN-CFP-L March 2010

Subject:

CFP: Cosmopolitanism and German Politics (Deadline: March 25, 2010)

From:

"Schmidt, Olaf" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

German Studies CFP Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 Mar 2010 07:43:18 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (135 lines)

Call for Papers

The Political Studies Association German Politics specialist group
(GPSG) plans to organise its annual workshop around the theme of
cosmopolitanism, with a view to publishing contributions in a special
issue, hopefully with German Politics. We would like to invite you to
take part in the project. Our hope is that colleagues will assess their
areas of expertise from a cosmopolitan perspective, thereby providing an
innovative unifying theme for the special issue, whilst retaining a
broad range of case studies based on everyone's specialist interest.
Please find a draft proposal below and attached.

The theoretical and methodological debate surrounding cosmopolitanism is
relatively new, but it raises important issues about our empirical focus
on German politics and how we can incorporate the global and the
transnational, but also the ethical and the normative aspects of
cosmopolitanism into our work. 

Should you be interested in participating in the special issue and the 
accompanying workshop, please send a provisional paper title and, 
ideally, an abstract by March 25th 2010 to [log in to unmask] 

This deadline is in order to be able to present a revised special issue proposal 
to German Politics by April 1st. However, if you are not able to prepare an 
abstract by then, a working title would also be welcome. The date and location 
of the workshop are yet to be finalised, but will likely be in September of
this year.

We look forward to hearing from you.
German Politics Specialist Group



Special Issue Proposal: Cosmopolitanism and the Study of German Politics

Writing in the January 2010 issues of the British Journal of Sociology
and International Politics, Professors David Held, Ulrich Beck, Yasemin
Soysal and Nina Glick-Schiller, all leading scholars of cosmopolitanism,
review the field and set out agendas for future research. They agree
that classic sovereignty, if it ever existed, is being redefined, and
that new legal frameworks are emerging at a supranational level (Held
2010, 54). In Beck and Sznaider's (2010 [2006], 382) view, it is time to
move on 'from a nation-state definition of society and politics to a
cosmopolitan outlook [...] and raise some of the key conceptual,
methodological, empirical and normative issues that the
cosmopolitanization of reality poses for the social sciences.' Such a
'critique of methodological nationalism' (Beck and Sznaider 2010 [2006],
382) is a particularly difficult issue for a state-focused area of study
such as German politics, and therefore one which needs to be taken
seriously and addressed explicitly. By considering how cosmopolitan
theory and methodology can be applied to political enquiry, which has
long been structured around nation-states, the proposed special issue
would thus make a valuable contribution to the wider debate. Following
Soysal (2009), it seeks to place 'Germany in the Nexus of the National
and Transnational' but also to transcend this national/transnational
dichotomy by highlighting the 'transnationality that is arising inside
nation-states' (Beck and Sznaider 2010, 389). The special issue tackles
seminal questions: How do we trace transnationality in the sphere of
domestic politics, if that very category is under fire? Can we discern
traces of ethical and normative cosmopolitanism in Germany's foreign
policy, or is foreign policy now too entwined with domestic and
international networks to be a useful organising concept? Can we apply a
supranational framework to the national context, or is this approach
inherently contradictory? Is a cosmopolitan methodology even thinkable,
when applied to a single state? If so, how do we study the German state
from a cosmopolitan perspective?

Cosmopolitan thinking is not merely a utopian vision for doing away with
national allegiances and the existing 'nation-state' system. Instead, it
provides the basis for a nuanced critique of state-centric reasoning and
policy-making spanning a whole range of ethical, legal and political
issues. At the same time, cosmopolitanism refers to the global trend
that Beck and Sznaider, cited above, call 'the cosmopolitanization of
reality'. What might also be termed the 'cosmopolitan challenge'
encompasses a range of pressures confronting contemporary nation-states,
including globalisation, regionalisation, transnationalism, migration
and diaspora. With its long-standing commitment to European integration,
its globalised economy, its experience of reintegrating a German
diaspora, and its mixed record in coping with migration and
asylum-seekers, Germany is a particularly interesting case for study
from a cosmopolitan perspective. This approach allows for integrated
analysis of international dynamics, not only in the field of migration
and population flows, but also concerning security questions,
international law and intervention, transatlantic relations, economic
networks, and trading regimes among others. The special issue's theme
would thus offer fresh insights across the spectrum of Germany's
domestic and foreign politics, by disrupting the binary distinction
between 'home' and 'abroad', and privileging the analysis of
cross-border flows rather than stopping at state frontiers.

Cosmopolitan thinking emerges as much more than an abstract alternative
to national loyalties. Nevertheless, the implications for domestic
authority and legitimacy are also crucial, as nation-states seek to
square popular support for national autonomy with limited scope for
'going it alone' amongst dense webs of regional alliances, trading
networks and international organisations. As instant communication
facilitates everything from intelligence-sharing to global broadcasting,
governments must be alive to the international dimension of
nation-building. For instance, Germany is a prime example of how
contemporary nation-builders have responded to regional integration as a
significant boost, rather than a potential threat, to their country's
power and influence. Rather than considering the cosmopolitan challenge
as fundamentally antagonistic to supposedly beleaguered nation-states,
then, the special issue sets out to study the interplay of German
politics and nation-building with cosmopolitan forces. The very
flexibility of nationalist ideology does not preclude support for
supranational integration, globalisation, migration or a range of
ideologies. The distinction between supra-state, state and sub-state
levels of governance is becoming less relevant to a globalising world,
in which the locus of power and authority is likely to become more fluid
and diffuse. This makes cosmopolitan analysis necessary and exciting.
Nevertheless, the global political map continues to be established,
challenged and reconfigured in predominantly nation-state terms. Through
in-depth study of the German case, this special issue would help tease
out the complexities of twenty-first century governance using an
innovative conceptual framework. Not only does this explore new
directions in the study of German politics, but it provides a solid
basis for wider comparative work based on cross-cutting research themes,
rather than country case studies.

References
Ulrich Beck and Natan Sznaider (January 2010) 'Unpacking cosmopolitanism
for the social sciences: a research agenda' British Journal of Sociology
pp. 381-403 David Held (2010) 'Cosmopolitanism after 9/11' in
International Politics Vol. 47 (1) pp. 52-61 Soysal, N.Y. (2009)
'Germany in the Nexus of the National and Transnational' in H. W. Smith
(ed.) Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, Oxford University Press
(forthcoming)

*******************
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Acting Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html

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