The ACG, in partnership with the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Germany Academy, will host a discussion and reception on Democracy Under Pressure: Cleavages and Contestations.
Processes of cultural, social and economic diversification are omnipresent in a closely connected world. While often peaceful, these processes also bring to the scene contestation and conflicts between groups over the distribution of economic resources and cultural influence: global realignments caused by migration, supra-national decision-making, and international economic interdependencies have added to citizens’ perceptions that their countries and societies are tightly coupled with other parts of the world and, as a consequence, are coming more and more “under stress”. People fear that their group or society might no longer be able to live as before or become one of the globalization losers. They perceive current global realignments as a threat to their individual identities, mores, economic prosperity, and political self-determination.
On both sides of the Atlantic, (too) rapid social change and growing social complexity may overwhelm indi-viduals who – nevertheless – attempt to deal with it via various mechanisms. One of the coping mechanisms can be seen in the formation and support of political and/or social movements that represent their interests. The America-First doctrine, Brexit, and the rise of right-wing (populist) parties in Europe might only be a harbinger of the new challenges which the Western democratic systems of representation, conflict resolution and regulation will have to face in the years to come. Additionally, new forms of mediatization and datafication are rising play-ers in the social and political arena, armed with the power to transform the perception of social and political ‘truth/s’ – making it/them more contestable than ever and thus contributing to the complexity at hand.
To grasp the phenomenon at hand in its full complexity, an interplay of social science and bordering discipli-nary perspectives (i.e. from law, anthropology, and media studies) are necessary. A transatlantic interdisciplinary research network (TIRN) and a joint doctoral program would provide the platform to explore these perspectives and to merge them in one comprehensive research program. The research aim of TIRN is then to investigate the (new) drivers, fields and forms of social and political re-formation which characterize Europe and the US in the 21st century, and to critically reflect the disciplines’ own role in past and present processes. The workshop on December 11-12, 2018, is dedicated to finding both the essentials for a common research program and also the academic and institutional partners to materialize our mission goal.
Registration for the event is required to attend. Seating is limited.
Please RSVP by December 7, 2018 by writing an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.