At its first Annual Conference, the Centre and its international fellows opened a dialogue with other projects and agendas at the University Duisburg-Essen and partner institutions which address related topics from different perspectives. New challenges faced in this recent field of research formed a central focus throughout the topics and methodological approaches discussed at the conference. Petra Stein, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, underlined in her greeting address the importance of exchange and collaboration between the faculties and international guests within academia, especially in light of the complexities of trans-border phenomena, to enrich our research and our understanding of current global trends.
In his greeting address, Volker Steinkamp, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, alluded to the 'profound optimism' for globalization 20 years ago, a sentiment that since then has 'almost disappeared', not in the least because the challenges and prospects of new populisms seem to affect the outlook for cooperation and multilateralism profoundly. Sigrid Quack, the Centre's Director, and Jan Aart Scholte, Co-Director at the Centre, introduced the Centre's research agenda and identified three main tendencies with regard to global cooperation research:
- the stalemate within the multilateral systems;
- the complexity of actors, scales and modes of governance; and
- the politicization of international cooperation.
Panels dealing with the transformations in global development cooperation, labour governance and transnational regulation, overlapping governance in regional arrangements with a special focus on Africa, norms and the public discourse, environment and climate, urban models and prospects for democratic governance brought together experts from the disciplines of literature, economics, development policy, urban studies, sociology, political science, international law and philosophy and resulted in fresh, complex and fruitful exchange on current topics as well as disciplinary and methodological considerations for interdisciplinary research.
in their concluding remarks, Sigrid Quack and Dirk Messner,Co-Director at the Centre, reflected that the concept and target of this event, to bring scholars of the home university from different disciplines together around the 'boundary box' of global cooperation research, proved quite fruitful and interesting to participants and the organizers alike and the Centre therefore looks forward very eagerly to continuing and deepening cooperation with related strands of research at home and abroad.