The Centre’s second Annual Conference 'Communicative Power and Global Cooperation' organized in collaboration with the Main Research Area 'Transformation of Contemporary Societies' at the University of Duisburg-Essen aimed to explore the intersections between communication and cooperation as important elements in global politics as well as transnational and global governance. Questions of how such communicative power is achieved or produced, whether it is (il)legitimate in the age of digital media, how they are expressed through the arts and, lastly, what this means for global governance were addressed in four panels by thirteen speakers. Despite the current Covid-19 pandemic, the event’s virtual format did not limit the debates, but, living up to its main focus, 'communication', sparked interdisciplinary and productive discussions.
Sigrid Quack, director of the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (GCR21), set the stage by introducing the thematic focus of the 2nd annual conference and its four panels:
- Achieving and Producing Communicative Power (chaired by Volker Heins)
- (Il) Legitimacy of Communicative Power In the Digital Media Age (chaired by Nina Schneider)
- Communication in Arenas of Global Cooperation (chaired by Maren Hofius)
- Communicative Strategies in Practice – Narratives in Art And Media (chaired by Jens Steffek)
The conference was concluded with closing remarks from Volker Heins and Jens Loenhoff. Volker Heins reflected upon how global cooperation is assumed to be inherently benign and meant to solve global problems. However, scholars focusing on global cooperation showed that some type of cooperation can be also be part of the problem. Aspects such as communication, not only in an interpersonal manner, but also communication through institutions, media and technology has to be taken into consideration. Jens Loenhoff added that the panels' questions were not answered fully and that discussions need to continue: How can communicative power be elaborated as an analytical resource for those different fields of research? How can we resolve the apparently paradox that communicative power creates identities, which themselves create communicative power? Also, the issue of digitalization holds major importance: How does it support communicative power?
The online event of the second annual Conference succeeded to bring scholars from different countries and disciplines together despite of the current Covid-19 pandemic, nourishing interesting debates and discussion around the issue of communicative power in the context of global cooperation research.
A more detailed report including results from the individual panels will be published in the Centre's Quarterly Magazine (10 July 2020).