Best Paper Award for Freistein, Gadinger, Unrau

The best paper award of a renowned German academic journal went to Katja Freistein, Frank Gadinger, Christine Unrau - altogether research group leaders at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research. Just published in the ZIB Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen their article takes a closer look at globalisation narratives of rightwing populist movements and marks the latest output from a research project, which has been developed at the Centre over the years, and now runs through different research fields. 

Freistein, Gadinger and Unrau ask from an International Relations perspective what  role anti-globalisation plays for these groups. However, their approach adds a new perspective to IR research. Using interpretive methods of narrative, visual and metaphor analysis, they want to contribute to the 'performative turn' in populism studies. This approach is interested in stage-like configurations of political space and wants to understand how actors arrange and define this space in stories and metaphors. They see metaphors as entry points to broader narratives and take a closer look on those: the house and the wall. They represent strategies that establish inside/outside dichotomies and thereby can generate emotional consent - which, as the authors interestingly add, ' also opens up avenues for resisting these claims'.  The authors go on and highlight three dimensions of the metaphor, the ‘Outside’, the ‘Inside’ and the ‘Father of the House’. The perspective here opens interdisciplinary space, since these concepts and structures relate to a vast corpus of literature in the social sciences and in anthropology.

Populism research is well based in two current research fields at the Centre, namely  'legitimation and delegitimation in global cooperation' and 'global cooperation and diverse conceptions of world order'. An upcoming conference on 'Re-Imagining the Past' includes contributions that ask how rightwing populism narrates the more or less glorious past for current purposes. 'Remembrance between Retrieval and Retro-projection'.