The Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21), in cooperation with the Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ), and the Deutsches Institut für Interdisziplinäre Sozialpolitikforschung (DIFIS) at the University Duisburg-Essen, was official virtual organizer of the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), 3-5 July 2021. The local organisation committee for the virtual sessions was comprised of Matthias Schuler and Tobias Schäfer (KHK/GCR21), in cooperation with Ute Klammer (IAQ und DIFIS). SASE is an interdisciplinary scholarly association with more than 1000 members from around the world, including disciplines such as economics, sociology, political economy, political science, organization studies, management, psychology, law and history. Beyond SASE’s interdisciplinary and international orientation, the Society shares with the KHK/GCR21 an ambition to examineeconomic and social behavior and its policy implications at many levels – for societies and institutions, locally, nationally and globally, as well as its ethical and normative implications.
At the conference, KHK Managing Director Sigrid Quack concluded her one-year presidency of the Society with a keynote address on'The Pandemic as an Historical Conjuncture: Understanding Of the Present, Imaging the Future’. She described the pandemic asa confluence of cross-cutting pressures for change, each unfolding with its own temporal dynamic in a relatively condensed period of time. The intersection of these cross-cutting historical processes accelerates the problematizing of existing institutions, generating a situation of high uncertainty that provides opportunities for broader shifts in direction. Yet, whether such opportunities are realized depends, she argued, on collective sense-making of the pandemic situation, shifts in policy paradigms and imaginations of alternative futures.
KHK researchers and fellows presented ongoing research at three jointly organized panel sessions. The panel session Imagining Pathways for Global Cooperation, chaired by fellowMalcom Campbell-Verduyn, included presentations by research group leaders Katja Freistein and Christine Unrau and associate fellows Maryam Deloffre and Bettina Mahlert on chapters of the forthcoming edited volume of the same title. By exploring performative effects of symbolic representations of future, present, and past forms of global cooperation, the papers in this panel evoked a lively debate on the role of imagination and reflexivity for contemporary global cooperation, broadly defined as cross-border collaboration among two or more parties addressing collective problems that are perceived to be of global scale, taking place within broader global governance architectures.
The panel sessionPolycentrism: How Governance Works Today, chaired by research group leader Nina Schneider, included presentations by Co-director Jan Aart Scholte and alumni fellows Fariborz Zelli, Jothie Rajah, and Alejandro Esguerra.This panel, composed of contributions from a forthcoming book project, provided an overview of the different perspectives to understand and initiate such exchanges, illustrates how to conduct them, and demonstrates their benefits for knowledge and practice. The panel provides an overview of different methods for understanding the new ways through which contemporary society is governed. The in-depth conversation among the institutional, legal and relational perspective generated a lively exchange and debate with the panel participants, promising rich cross-fertilisations and creative innovations for future research.
At another panel on Digital Data Governance from a Polycentric Perspective: Policies, Practices and Technology, chaired by Co-director Jan Aart Scholte, fellows Carolina Aguerre, Malcolm Campbell-Verduyn, Nathalia Sautchuk-Patricio and Janet Xue presented works in progress from the Centre’s policy field global internet governance. The contributions explored challenges for governance that arise from the digitalisation of data. Zooming in on different technologies and principles – blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and net neutrality – the papers explored the polycentric dimension of digital data governance, and particularly the roles of firms, civil society, and states. Interesting debates with the participants ensued about the different approaches/practices to digital data governance beyond data protection and the impact of new technologies such as AI and blockchain on existing data governance arrangements and conceptualizations.
Furthermore, fellow Malcom Campbell-Verduyn organized a panel onCovid-19 and International Political Economy – Same as It Never Was?The contributions to this panel injected nuance into how patterns of continuity and change in the regulation and governance of the international political economy are understood in regard to the consequences and attempts to resolve the volatile themes surrounding COVID-19 pandemic. Raising skepticism about the extent to which we can understand ‘this time as different’, contributions to this panel pointed to ways in which key changes in the regulation and governance of finance, labour, migration, and production must be situated within continuities preceding the initial shocks of the global pandemic.
KHK/GCR21 website published daily reports during the SASE conference. Visit https://www.gcr21.org/the-centre/news and search news items between 3 and 8 July 2021.