The KHK would like to welcome new research fellows Dr Siddharth Tripathi, Dr Rotem Medzin, and Dr Nora Stappert. We look forward to productive and enriching collaborations over the next year. Please read on for details about the research projects that the fellows are brining to the Centre.
Dr Siddharth Tripathi
Senior Research Fellow, January 2022 – December 2022
- Research Group: Global Cooperation and Diverse Conceptions of World Order
- Affiliation: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and University of Erfurt
- Project at the Centre: 'Revisiting the Analytic Gaze: From Knowledge of Politics to Politics of Knowledge in the Global South'
The changing constellation of international politics and the rise of ‘emerging powers’ and new actors especially in the Global South are a characteristic feature of today’s world order. These actors have challenged the cosmology of dominant Northern/Western discourses on setting the agenda in international politics by creating alternatives like Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), BRICS and G77 as a group of developing countries within the United Nations. The critique of the dominant discourses have been highlighted through categories like the Global South and alternative conceptions of world order focusing on South-South Cooperation, Pan-Asianism and Pan-Africanism. The discipline of IR underwent professionalization, institutionalization and diversification in the last decades, resulting in a widening of theoretical and methodological approaches. However, a change in the research focus did not come along with a systematic change in research approaches since the epistemological and ontological underpinnings have been largely influenced by Northern concepts, such as the modern Westphalian state. The epistemological and ontological hold of the colonial knowledge system continues to exacerbate the epistemic and the structural hierarchies which are a characteristic feature of North-South dichotomy, also within the Global South. As a result, even the ‘Global South’, which carries the potential to highlight and address hierarchies in international politics, sometimes perpetuates and reproduces them latently. This necessitates the need for identifying patterns and assumptions of knowledge production in IR to explore the ordering practices and conceptions of world order within the Global South. It becomes especially relevant in the current context where there is a rise of populism and nationalist sentiments in states like India which championed the cause of ‘Third Worldism’ and ‘Non-Aligned Movement’. This ideational shift in world view from outward-looking to more inward-looking, calls for deeper engagement and analysis of the bidirectional impact of politics and knowledge production in IR in the Global South and its implication on conceptions of world order. In my interdisciplinary research project, I aim to examine how the epistemic and structural hierarchies in mainstream IR manifest in knowledge production in IR in India. Additionally, I will explore the alternative/competing ideas between different epistemic communities in India to assess the underlying assumptions and world views and its possible implications for world order. Methodologically this would entail using mixed methods (incorporating content analysis, interviews, surveys and social network analysis) based on critical pedagogy.
Dr Rotem Medzini
Postdoc Research Fellow, January 2022 – December 2022
- Research Group: Legitimation and delegitimation in global cooperation
- Affiliation: The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government & the Federmann Cyber Security Research Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
- Project at the Centre: 'Enhanced Self-regulation in Data Governance'
The emergence of new information technologies, which use algorithms to improve decision-making, offers big promises and new challenges. For many stakeholders the new information technologies are a powerful and exciting instrument of decision-making and improved regulation. They see the potential of algorithms to identify patterns in massive volumes of data and subsequently augment and even fully replace human-based decision-making. At the same time, more and more academics, civil activists, and politicians have also called to make these emerging information technologies the subject of regulation as algorithms are considered opaque, biased, and privacy invasive. A plurality of solutions is being proposed in the literature and government policies to regulate these emerging information technologies. This research project demonstrates that a new category of self-regulation policies emerges and terms them as “enhanced self-regulation”. Policymakers and organizations apply these policies to grant agency and delegate responsibilities to actors with unique capacities and skillsets. They consequently make them into regulatory intermediaries – actors that are neither policymakers nor regulated organizations yet have a vital role in the regulatory process. This research project answer two interrelated questions regarding these new policies of enhanced self-regulation: first, how do enhanced self-regulatory regimes for governing emerging information technologies emerge? Second, what are the similarities and differences in the regulatory design of these enhanced self-regulatory regimes in addressing the challenges of emerging information technologies? Answering these questions can advance our understanding of the polycentric nature of data governance and the role of regulatory intermediaries in enhancing the legitimacy and efficiency of self-regulation in data governance.
Dr Nora Stappert
Senior Research Fellow, February 2022 – January 2023
- Research Group: Legitimation and Delegitimation in Global Cooperation
- Affiliation: School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Leeds
- Project at the Centre: 'Processes of (De-)Legitimation through Law: Understanding Communities of International Legal Practice and the Proposal to Criminalize Ecocide'
Within the International Relations literature on legitimation and delegitimation in global governance, specifically legal legitimation narratives, alongside the legal practitioners who often propose them, have received relatively little attention. To better understand the legal dimension of (de-)legitimation, this project focuses on the role of international lawyers as protagonists of processes of (de-)legitimation, specifically with regard to international criminal courts. How and with what consequences have international lawyers been engaged in the (de-)legitimation of these courts? And through which processes, and with what implications, has the protection of the environment and climate change been constructed as a legitimate concern within international criminal justice in recent years, culminating in proposals to include ecocide as an international crime within the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court?