Imagining Pathways for Global Cooperation

The objective of this book project is to explore how global cooperation is shaped by the ways in which we interpret, narrate and envision its nature, conditions and evolution. By exploring performative effects of symbolic representations of future, present and past forms of global cooperation, the volume engages with the recent social science turn towards studies of anticipation and imaginaries of the future, as well as more long-standing research traditions on narratives, history and collective memory. Contrary to structural approaches, it highlights the reflexivity of actors and processes of 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. The shift towards imaginaries allows us to systematically explore the dynamic dimension of global cooperation as it becomes more complex, more plural and also more politicized. While building on widely recognized insights about the power of shared imaginations to shape collective action, this volume will elaborate more specifically how imaginaries shape pathways of global cooperation. The contributions employ various forms of process analysis to identify not only which imaginaries came to shape cooperation but also alternative imaginaries that were left behind and have become forgotten. Bringing together different disciplinary perspectives, including political science, international law, sociology, and history, the volume contributes a new perspective to ongoing discussions on stalemates in international politics and future directions of global and transnational governance.

Keywords  Pathways, Imaginaries, Reflexivity, Global Cooperation