International Conference: Transnational Networks. Contributions to the History of “Globalisation”
16-18 November 2007, Vienna
Abstract of the Conference Report
The first year of ITH’s triannual conference cycle “Labour history beyond borders” was spent on the large theme of networks. We organized 2 conferences to explore a wide range of transnational networks in history and in present:
The regular (43rd) Linz Conference on: “Transnationale Netzwerke der ArbeiterInnen (bewegung)/Transnational Networks of Labour/Réseaux transnationaux du mouvement ouvrier”, Linz, 13.-16.9.2007
The international conference: “Transnationale Netzwerke. Beiträge zur Geschichte der ‘Globalisierung'”/Transnational Networks. Contributions to the History of ‘Globalisation'” in cooperation with the Institute for Economic and Social History, University of Vienna, the Society for Social History and the Karl Renner-Institute, Vienna, 16.-18.11.2007.
Both conferences gave a rather unsystematic tour d’horizon on networks as an object of research. The conferences were structured by a few basic distinctions: 1) networks that primarily circulate ideas, standards and practices without necessarily moving persons in space; And 2) networks that primarily circulate persons. Within the 1st category we additionally tried to distinguish between personal networks and networks centred around organizations. The topic “network” certainly is “in the air”. It imperatively demands an interdisciplinary approach. We had it discussed by a wide range of social scientists, historians, political scientists, researchers in International Relations and in International Development who tried such an integrated approach already in their contributions.
Animated general discussions evaluated benefits and limits of networks as object of historical research. The debates centred around some core questions: Can networks be seen as specific forms of sociation of the modern individual? As forms of communication and association that allow the individual to link itself “in” and “out” in an easy and self-determined way? Large space was given to knowledge-networks. Such epistemic networks increasingly link applied research via expertise to politics, the economy and “civil society”. The scientific interest in the study of such forms of production and global dissemination of concepts and meaning certainly has to do with new experiences. In the conferences, we tried to analyse these experiences, to develop models for their explanation and to test them in case studies. We could not distil a homogeneous concept of “network” out of the contributions. The heuristic concept “network” successfully served as a stimulans for the productive conferences, but it probably cannot structure a separate sector of research. The concept “network” led us on a tour de force through the disciplines and served to unite the participants of the conferences in a temporary but all the more intense community of discourse. The inspired discussions were an indicator for this successful transdisciplinary intellectual creation.
Reports on the conferences were published in various journals and in the Austrian radio Ö1. A selection of the contributions of both conferences is to be published by ITH.
International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH), Institute for Economic and Social History of the Vienna University, Society for Social History, in co-operation with Renner Institute
Sponsored by: Federal Ministry of Research, Municipal Culture Office of Vienna and Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft
Renner Institute, Europasaal, Gartenhotel Altmannsdorf, A-1120 Vienna, Austria
Transnational Networks are currently one of the main topics of globalisation studies. They are analysed as a main vector of the globalisation of knowledge, norms, attitudes, cultural practices and lifestyles. Eventually, current global development in economy, society and politics brings this topic into the focus of research. Thus, analysts of those evolutions we characterise as “globalisation” have brought fluctuating networks as form of organisation of a dynamic “space of flows” (Manuel Castells) into discussion.
Research on transnational networks is a necessarily transdisciplinary enterprise. A sociological, historical, approach can as well be integrated as a perspective from economic and political science and from globalisation studies.
Networks are more informal, more fluid, less consolidated than organisations. Times of expansion of a deregulated global economy make non-governmental organisations prosper. Transnational networks communicate with this world of non-governmental organisations, but they are not identical with them. Structured organisations may function as visible nodal points of informal networks. The examination of networks focusses our view on interactions between structures (organisations) and individuals under the condition of spatial distance. It is therefore not surprising that the concept of “networks” became topical in the debates on “globalisation” where “de-spatialisation”, transcending of borders and world-wide networking are tantamount.
The concept “transnational” is to express, in differentiation to the notions: international, or: multinational, a new quality of entanglement engendering global networks and organisations transcending the space of the nation state. Such networks and organisations cannot usefully be analyzed in the framework of nation states because they are situated beyond such borders.
It is an aim of the conference to focus the attention on forms of transnational networks in the history of “globalisation”. Time focus should be on the 20th century. Which forms of transnational networks emerged and what was their contribution to the world-wide spread (“globalisation”) of political attitudes, practices, lifestyles, forms of action and ways of thinking? Which epistemic networks emerged? Which forms of links between individuals and organisations, which personal and organizational nodal points can be observed? How did communication in those transnational networks function? How is knowledge, how are norms and standards generated and circulated, how are thus influence and power disseminated?
Networks may be constituted by the circulation of people and networks may be constituted by the circulation of ideas, concepts, beliefs, attitudes, without the necessity that people who make them circulate, move themselves in space.
This simple distinction may serve to establish a basic structure of the conference.
Networks that move people or, the other way round, come into being by the circulation of people, shall be distinguished from networks that move ideas, concepts, beliefs, attitudes, or come into being by the circulation of such ideas, concepts, beliefs and attitudes.
An alternative structuring could follow a differentiation of cultural spheres and of the distribution of power.
The concept “transnational” should not veil that in most cases networks with such a claim can nevertheless be fixed to certain spaces. Transnational networks also have a center and a periphery. The rapid increase of transnationally operating non-state networks and “non-governmental organisations” is corresponding with the “globalisation” of an economy eluding state regulation. The centers of those networks and organisations operating in a transnational identity are situated in the centers of global power, in the centers of the world economy. Values, ideas and practices spread by them are in principle compatible with values, ideas and practices in those areas, though they may not (yet) be majoritarian. The analysts of “transnational” trends, many of them themselves endowed with a transnational identity, are equally situated there as well as their institutes and their sponsors. Thus, the history of networks which are radically “alternative”, because substantially different in culture, as a rule is written in a perspective from these centers of global power. The conference shall try to get such “radically alternative” networks in their focus whose centers are/were not identical with centers of global power.
A third structuring effort could distinguish types of networks of Labour following their forms of organisation and of action:
• Networks in connection with international organisations:
– the world of multilateral organizations as a frame of action for transnational elites and as a space for the commissioning and implementation of expertise
– Churches and church-like organizations: mission-orders and evangelical networks
• Advocacy networks emanating from transnational Lobby-groups as advocates of certain issues, in a wide range from NGOs like Attac, Global, international Jewish organizations to policy-orientated think tanks.
• Transnational epistemic networks as organisators of knowledge-transfer – networks of researchers, endowments, foundations, think tanks.
• Consultancy networks – Political PR-consultants Spin doctors, Consultants in International Development, experts in global norms and morality defining and certifying rules of correct conduct, of corporate social responsibility, etc.
• Networks of transnationally conceived social movements like the different currents of the historical Labour movement from loose associations like the 2nd International to such efforts to stear a “World Party” as the Comintern, or the contemporary “Anti”- or “Alter-Globalisation movement”.
• Migration networks of all sorts of temporary and permanent expatriates and diasporas: from networks of migrating workers, political migration as a form of network communicating political concepts and lifestyles, to transnationally circulating elites.
• Networks of TNCs
Venue: Gartenhotel Altmannsdorf, Hotel 2 (new building), Europasaal, Oswaldgasse 69/corner Hoffingergasse, A-1120 Vienna, Austria
International conference, organised by the International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH), the Institute for Economic and Social History of the University of Vienna and the Society for Social History, in co-operation with the Renner-Institute. Sponsored by Federal Ministry of Research, Municipal Culture Office of Vienna and Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft.
Idea & Conceptual outline: Berthold Unfried
Friday, November 16, 2007
12.00 am – 7.00 pm:
Registration of the participants at Gartenhotel Altmannsdorf, Hotel 2, Europasaal
Karl Duffek (Karl Renner Institute)
Josef Ehmer (Institute for Economic and Social History, Vienna University)
Berthold Unfried (International Conference of Labour and Social History)
2.30 – 4.30 pm:
SESSION I (Notions and concepts)
Chair: Berthold Unfried
Johannes Paulmann (Historisches Institut, Universität Mannheim): National, international, transnational: Umrisse einer Kritik der transnationalen Ökumene
Comment: Jürgen Mittag
Christoph Boyer (Lehrstuhl für Europäische Zeitgeschichte, Universität Salzburg): Über Nutzen und Nachteil des Historikers für die Netzwerktheorien
Comment: Wolfgang Neurath
4.30 – 5.00 pm: Break
5.00 – 7.00 pm:
SESSION II (Migrations of ideas, standards and practices)
Chair: Josef Ehmer
Kees van der Pijl (University of Sussex): Transnational Classes and the Structure of the Global Political Economy
Comment: Karin Fischer
Ariel Colonomos (CNRS/Centre d’études et de recherches internationales, Paris): “Normativists in Boots”: Lawyers and Ethicists in the Military
7.30 pm: Dinner
Saturday, November 17, 2007
9.00 am – 1.00 pm:
SESSION III (Migrations of ideas, standards and practices)
Chair: Johannes Paulmann
Sebastian Schüler (Seminar für Allgemeine Religionswissenschaft, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster): Die Transnationalisierung globaler Heilsgüter am Beispiel der Pfingstbewegung
10.00 – 10.15 am: Break
Giuliana Gemelli (Dipartimento di Discipline Storiche, Università di Bologna): Academic networks as drivers of European scientific integration: the role of the Ford Foundation in shaping the agenda of political sciences
Maria Mesner (Stiftung Bruno Kreisky Archiv, Wien): Global Population Policy: Emergence, Function and Development of a Network
1.00 pm: Break for Lunch
2.30 – 6.30 pm:
SESSION IV (Transnational knowledge networks)
Chair: Karin Fischer
Markus Kaiser (Department for Comparative Sociology, Faculty of Sociology, State University of St. Petersburg): Networks of Local and Global Experts in Development: Epistemic Machineries in a Global Context
Comment: Berthold Unfried
Dieter Plehwe (Social Science Research Centre Berlin, Department Internationalization and Organization): The transnational neoliberal Mont Pèlerin Society network of intellectuals and think tanks and transnational discourse structuration: Revisiting the “Washington Consensus”
5.00 – 5.30 pm: Break
Therese Garstenauer (Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Universität Wien): Transnational networks: Im/Possibilities of Exchange between Soviet and ‘Western’ scholars
7.00 pm: Dinner
Sunday, November 18, 2007
SESSION V (Migrations of people)
Chair: Christoph Boyer
Josef Ehmer & Annemarie Steidl (Institute for Economic and Social History, Vienna University): Networks in the history of migrations
Michael Twaddle (Centre of African Studies, University of London): Indian migration networks in East Africa
Jean-Baptiste Meyer (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Montpellier): Diaspora Knowledge Networks: New Social Entities, New Policies
Final Discussion: Benefits and problems of a network-approach to the history of ‘Globalisation’
2.00 pm: End of the conference
Abstracts of the contributions
Christoph Boyer (Lehrstuhl für Europäische Zeitgeschichte, Universität Salzburg)
Über Nutzen und Nachteil von Netzwerktheorien für die Geschichtswissenschaften
Netzwerktheorien sind aus den technischen Disziplinen und aus der allgemeinen Systemtheorie, aus den Naturwissenschaften, aus Ökonomie und Soziologie zunehmend auch in die Geschichtswissenschaft “hineingewandert”. Die einschlägige Forschung hat sich in den letzten beiden Jahrzehnten stark verdichtet und ausdifferenziert; sie hat damit allerdings auch eine “Modewelle” hervorgerufen. Häufig wird, gerade in kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschungskontexten, der Netzwerk-Begriff vage und ausufernd, metaphorisch oder mit unreflektiert-normativer Färbung verwendet (Netzwerk als “gute”, weil angeblich nichthierarchische Form der Vergesellschaftung) oder als theoretischer Passepartout überschätzt.
Erforderlich ist deshalb eine Prüfung der Leistungskraft des Konzepts sine ira et studio – zum einen als Kategorie der Beschreibung, zum anderen als Explanans in weitergreifenden theoretischen Kontexten. Netzwerke werden dabei aufgefasst als spezifische Agenturen der Vergesellschaftung, angesiedelt zwischen Markt und Hierarchie, mit “mittlerem” Grad der “Formalität” und Stabilität. Grundlage der Vernetzung ist die Ressource “Vertrauen”, (Selbst-) Organisationsprinzip ist die Horizontalität lose gekoppelter Akteure. Netzwerke erbringen, so die These, eine spezifische Variante von Kommunikations-, Ordnungs- und Steuerungsleistungen; generell dienen sie eher der Kontingenzbewältigung bzw. der ad-hoc-Kompensation von Markt- bzw. Organisationsversagen als strategischer Langzeitplanung.
Die Prüfung der Tauglichkeit dieses Konzepts bzw. Theorems (auch der theoretische Status wird präziser zu bestimmen sein) soll sowohl generell wie auch speziell, d.h. im Blick auf die Geschichtswissenschaft erfolgen. Anders gefragt: Welche historischen Entitäten sind mit Gewinn als Netzwerke konzeptualisierbar? Zu prüfen ist dies sowohl auf der Mikro-Ebene (z.B. zwischenbetriebliche Beziehungen, in sozialen Milieus) wie auch auf der Makro-Ebene (Netzwerke etwa als spezifische Form der Organisation politischer Macht). Im Blick auf das Konferenzthema wird der Brauchbarkeit des Konzepts in über- und transnationalen Kontexten spezielles Augenmerk gewidmet.
Ariel Colonomos (CNRS/Centre d’études et de recherches internationales, Paris)
“Normativists in Boots”: Lawyers and Ethicists in the Military
War making has several unexpected outcomes. Among them, the development of a new kind of expertise in the field of law and ethics: “normativists in boots”, lawyers and ethicists, who are “embedded” with the different corpses of the US military. These professionals produce their own expertise, ultimately they help the State and the military to justify their use of force and they prevent lawsuits and moral bashing from altering the State’s margin of maneuver. These “national” (or nationalistic) networks focus on the definition of international justice. They are confronted to other normativists, transnational activists that operate within civil society and network transnationaly and most often belong to the human rights community. What is the outcome of this clash of virtues? Does the State have the “upper hand” in norms making? Does this interaction favor the development of new rules of war more adapted to the current situation of asymmetrical warfare?
Josef Ehmer & Annemarie Steidl (Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Universität Wien)
Networks in the history of migrations
The concept of “networks” has been widely used in recent historical studies of migration. Usually it concerns personal relations among migrants as well as between migrants and non-migrants on a local, regional and trans-national level. The concept appears particularly fruitful in respect to temporary labour migrations of the early modern period. The paper discusses networks in some wide-spread early modern types of migration such as seasonal labour migration, peddling, transhumance, drove, and tramping systems of journeymen. The focus is on the respective basic social relations within networks, such as family and kinship, common local or regional origin, ethnicity and religion, as well as institutions such as guilds.
Therese Garstenauer (Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Universität Wien)
Transnational networks: Im/Possibilities of Exchange between Soviet and ‘Western’ scholars
My paper deals with mutual reception, transfer and exchange between Soviet and ‘Western’ scholars (mainly social scientists and historians) in the 1960s – 1980s. Soviet social sciences were reinstated in the late 1950s after a break of about 30 years. There was interest in communicating with the international scholarly community, but it was only feasible under specific conditions. I will ask in how far international exchange was possible at all, with what opportunities and impediments. I will investigate these questions by performing citation analyses (especially with regard to the appearance of ‘Western’ authors in Soviet publications), analyses of participation in international conferences, joint publications and research projects. The basis for this analysis are contemporary publications as wall as (auto)biographical writings of and about Soviet scholars. Apart from my concrete research focus, I would like to tackle the question if networks are useful as exploratory and explanatory tools for studies in history of science.
Giuliana Gemelli (Dipartimento di Discipline Storiche, Università di Bologna)
Academic networks as drivers of European scientific integration: the role of the Ford Foundation in shaping the agenda of political sciences
In the framework of the Ford Foundation’s policies in Europe during the softer phase of the Cold war, the creation of research networks was considered a crucial complement to the narrow and formalistic training that dominated educational programs in European universities and a basic framework to enhance the circulation of new talents in the European continent. The aim was to produce fresh research and increase not only the link between European and American institutions but also among European scholars and academic networks. The goal was also the creation of effective links between intellectuals, administrators and political representatives in the European countries as drivers of integration and dissemination of a new agenda whose aim was the dissemination of a new paradigm in political and social sciences as well as the lowering of the role of “old” elites of power, particularly lawyers. Traditionally in Europe as well as in other parts of the world lawyers were the main players in the relations between academic and political power.
This goal emerged in the Ford Foundation’s agenda after a period of attempts – and to some extent confusing experiments – to attract European intellectual and professional elite through the diffusion of values which were typical of the warmest phase of the cold war. The Fifties were the period during which American Foundations started to play the role of attractors vis-à-vis a new emerging elite of social and academic scholars and scientific entrepreneurs who identified the American models with the process of modernisation of European societies after World War II.
The paper will analyze comparatively the opportunities and the constraints in the emerging role of epistemic communities with a specific focus on political and social sciences, using the American Foundations grant-making policies as a “window” to analyze the behaviour of the institutional actors.
Markus Kaiser (Department for Comparative Sociology, Faculty of Sociology, State University of St. Petersburg)
Networks of Local and Global Experts in Development: Epistemic Machineries in a Global Context
Networks of local and global experts constitute a new figuration of global knowledge in societal change, development and transition inducing development through the access to knowledge. A new global knowledge architecture is emerging. Knowledge has become a decisive and competitive resource for local and global development, especially since the paradigm ‘knowledge for development’ was set off and promoted by the World Bank in 1998/99. Development organisations and development experts are central actors in producing and steering global knowledge by using novel management structures.
The new knowledge networks evolve on the basis of modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The technologically supported social networks help to bridge the knowledge gap between developing as well as countries in transition and industrial countries by closing the knowledge and digital divide. Development experts being located in the various regions of the world have established a transnational epistemic community and play a strategic role in knowledge sharing. Within its electronic modification, knowledge is moderated, codified and standardized to facilitate distribution and possible acquisition. Experts formerly working in the global South moved on to the countries in transition bringing in the global concepts as for example market behaviour, business plan development and global (training) tools like CEFE (Competency based Economy Formation of Enterprises).
The culture of planning and of knowledge production within development organisations is gradually changing. A homogenisation of knowledge in development cooperation takes place while paying attention only to consumable local knowledge esp. in countries in transition. Locally learned experiences are brought in and validated by the lessons learned and evaluation machinery in an unchallenged project or programme context. Disturbing news or experiences or voices are ignored and in the context of countries in transition often devalued as Soviet, as old knowledge. However, the plurality of local cultures continues to persist.
Maria Mesner (Stiftung Bruno Kreisky Archiv, Wien)
Global Population Policy: Emergence, Function and Development of a Network
In using the Rockefeller philanthropy and the Ford Foundation as case studies my presentation traces down the development of the “population” network, identifies the various actors’ motivating attitudes and tenets as well as their strategies to achieve their ends. By focusing on ruptures and contradictions within philanthropic foundations as well as between foundations and other groups I will ask how the networks adapted to a changing environment. I will discuss the preconditions for the shift in paradigms which occurred in the 1950s and 1960s and will scrutinize the links and relations between groups of actors which made the population network viable and functioning.
Jean-Baptiste Meyer (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Montpellier, France)
Diaspora Knowledge Networks: New Social Entities, New Policies
The diaspora knowledge networks (DKN) – associations of highly skilled expatriates willing to contribute to the development of their origin countries – have emerged in the 1990s. They provide a new option with regards to 3 policy areas: Innovation/S&T, Migration and Development/Cooperation, for both the North and South.
A new actor in the recent and developing transnational arena, DKNs have been received with some suspicions, doubts and even criticisms on their real, effective ability to perform a development role.
Recent evidence convincingly dismisses excessively sceptical approaches and shows the actual and potential importance of such kind of networks. They are numerous and many of these, especially in Asian cases, have had an outstanding positive effect. A survey of existing visible DKN and historical analysis on the Indian IT growth and expansion do show the original and irreplaceable developmental action of these networks.
However, the experience also shows the erratic activities, limited results and precarious life of many DKN. This fact does question the dynamics of such networks: do they have autonomous effects or are they strictly context dependent? What are the market and/or policy impacts on their developments?
This presentation draws on the history of intellectual networks and of transnational academic connections as well as on diaspora studies. It also uses concepts of the actor/network sociology to explore the way that action shapes the context and therefore results of transnational activities and relations in the making.
In the process of building sustainable diaspora networks, traditional entities – such as state, national organisations, public local institutions as well as firms, NGOs and intergovernmental organisations – may be involved. They can find there a new field of expansion and the reproducibility of some DKN’ successes is a challenge for all.
Johannes Paulmann (Historisches Institut, Universität Mannheim)
National, international, transnational: Umrisse einer Kritik der transnationalen Ökumene
Die Allgegenwärtigkeit des Transnationalen in der aktuellen Geschichtswissenschaft fordert zu einer kritischen Auseinandersetzung heraus. Die Bezeichnung “transnational” wird häufig austauschbar mit anderen Begriffen benutzt: international, kosmopolitisch, weltumspannend oder global. Oder sie dient lediglich als attraktive Bezeichnung, mit deren Hilfe “irgendwie” grenzüberschreitende Phänomene als bedeutsam markiert werden sollen.
Der Vortrag zeigt im ersten Teil die verschiedenen Wege, die in die transnationale Geschichtsschreibung geführt haben. In Deutschland waren dabei andere Forschungsbereiche maßgeblich als in der außerdeutschen Geschichtsschreibung. Der Beitrag erläutert, warum der scheinbar neue Zugang auf viele Gruppen und Richtungen so anziehend wirkte. Eine Rolle spielten Gegenwartserfahrungen, wissenschaftspolitische Positionen und historiographische Debatten. Nicht zuletzt erwies sich auch gerade die unscharfe Begrifflichkeit als Vorteil.
Der zweite Teil des Vortrags zeichnet die Umrisse einer Kritik an der transnationalen Ökumene. Manche Historiker stehen dem Transnationalen grundsätzlich skeptisch gegenüber, weil sie den Nationalstaat für den entscheidenden lebensgeschichtlichen Bezugsrahmen halten. Weniger prinzipielle Kritiker helfen durch ihre Einwände, die Grenzen einer transnationalen Geschichtsschreibung zu bestimmen. Diese liegen zum einen darin, dass der gewählte Zugang die Analysekategorien mehrfach vorbestimmt. Ferner bleibt das Verhältnis zu den Bereichen ungeklärt, die nicht transnational determiniert waren. Schließlich muss über die historischen Narrationen reflektiert werden, in die transnationale Erscheinungen eingeordnet werden.
Der dritte Abschnitt stellt Möglichkeiten vor, wie soziales Handeln in Bereichen jenseits der Nationalstaaten untersucht werden kann. Ein besonderes Anliegen ist es, die Mikroebene der Akteure mit den strukturellen Bedingungen in sogen. Grenzräumen systematisch zu verbinden. Ob es so gelingt, eine überzeugende transnationale Geschichte zu schreiben, muss die Praxis zeigen.
Dieter Plehwe (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Abteilung Internationalisierung und Organisation)
The transnational neoliberal Mont Pèlerin Society network of intellectuals and think tanks and transnational discourse structuration: Revisiting the “Washington Consensus”
“Washington Consensus” (WC) politics emphasizing fiscal restraint, privatization, deregulation, and financial liberalization during the 1990s are frequently considered to reflect the imposing power of Washington based global financial institutions, and ultimately of the United States as the remaining superpower after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Debt ridden Latin American governments are remembered to by and large have had to operate under conditions of increasingly severe external constraints, which left them with no alternative to open their economies up to the global market, and with few opportunities to influence the harsh conditionality attached to international lending during and after the “lost decade” of the 1980s. The new policy agenda led to rapid de-nationalization of public sectors and domestic economies in support of corporate globalization, and to rising unemployment and poverty in many countries. Following the Zapatista up rise against NAFTA in 1994, a growing opposition against corporate globalization blamed rapidly increasing inequality in Latin America on the WC priorities, which were held to epitomize Western neoliberalism, expressive of the hegemonic interests of the North, and the United States and her giant corporations in particular. Although such a perspective captures some (state centred) dimensions of the prevailing hierarchy in the power relations between the North and the South in general, and between the U.S. and Latin America in particular, a closer examination of the transnational neoliberal networks of intellectuals and the discourse coalition sustaining the WC yields a more comprehensive perspective. The intellectual and political responsibilities for WC politics are shared by Southern domestic and by transnational social forces. A closer examination of the transnational neoliberal discourse community and coalition suggests that transnational networks of intellectuals and think tanks in particular have yet to be understood as a powerfully institutionalized agency at both supranational and national levels due to their transformative capacities both in academic and policy research. The intellectual roots of the transnational neoliberal discourse coalition sustaining WC politics can be traced to the comprehensive neoliberal discourse community of the Mont Pèlerin Society (MPS), a well organized global network of neoliberal intellectuals and think tanks.
Sebastian Schüler (Seminar für Allgemeine Religionswissenschaft, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
Die Transnationalisierung globaler Heilsgüter am Beispiel der pfingstlich-charismatischen International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Kulturelle, technische und ökonomische Globalisierungsprozesse des 20. Jahrhunderts, sowie gesellschaftliche Pluralisierungsprozesse von Lebensstilen und Weltanschauungen haben auch den Blick auf ‘Religion’ verändert. Die so genannte “Pentecostalization” kann als Beispiel religiöser Globalisierung genannt werden. Spätestens seit Max Weber umschreiben religionswissenschaftliche und kulturwissenschaftliche Analysen von Religion Prozesse und Strategien der Transnationalisierung mit Hilfe religionsökonomischer Theorien und Methoden. Glaubenssysteme und religiöse Weltanschauungen können daher in Anschluss an Pierre Bourdieu als Heilgüter verstanden und unter marktökonomischen Bedingungen untersucht werden. Bestimmte konfessionelle Ausrichtungen wirken wie Heilsprodukte oder sogar Marken, die vertrieben werden können und dem gesellschaftlichen und individuellen Kontext angepasst werden müssen.
In diesem Vortrag sollen Strategien der Vermarktung von Heilsgütern am Beispiel einer spezifischen pfingstlich-charismatischen Denomination (ICFG) in Geschichte und Gegenwart nachgegangen und dabei Spannungen des religiösen (und ökonomischen) Feldes im Prozess der Transnationalisierung ausgelotet werden. Religiöse Heilsgüter sind (oftmals und vor allem im evangelikalen Bereich) globale Produkte, die für einen globalen Markt (zur Errettung aller Menschen) bestimmt sind. Ähnlich wie bei Konsumgütern (globale Marken) müssen auch globale Heilsgüter vor Ort wieder relokalisiert werden, um sie dem spezifischen lokalen Markt anzupassen. Zunächst soll dieser These Rechnung getragen werden, indem Voraussetzungen und Verhältnisse von Orthodoxie und Heterodoxie am Beispiel der ICFG aufgezeigt werden. Ausgehend von religionsökonomischen Prozessen der Transnationalisierung sollen dann Konflikte im religiösen Feld ausgemacht werden, die das Verhältnis von lokalem Markt und globaler Marke beschreiben. Hierzu soll einigen Beispielen des Umgangs mit religiösen “Gütern” (Legitimation religiöser Sprache und Handlungen, Geistgaben, Devotionalien, religiöse Ausbildung, usw.) in unterschiedlichen religiösen und subkulturellen Milieus nachgegangen werden. Von weiterem Interesse ist dabei die Frage nach Strategien der Multiplikation und Ausbreitung religiöser Heilsgüter im transnationalen Raum. Wie also verstehen sich lokale Gemeinden als “Vorposten” neuer Gemeindegründungen in anderen Regionen und Nationen. Ebenfalls von Interesse scheint mir dabei die Rolle der christlich-charismatischen Identitäts- und Netzwerkbildung und die dabei entstehenden “inneren” und äußeren Aushandlungsprozesse und das pfingstlich vereinigende Selbstverständnis der Gläubigen in Bezug auf das globale wie lokale Feld. Der Prozess der Transnationalisierung von Heilgütern könnte daher anhand eines Dreischritts von der Entstehung einer globalen Heilsmarke über die Relokalisierung vor Ort und die erneute Translokalisierung unter globalen Prämissen beschrieben werden.
Michael Twaddle (Centre of African Studies, University of London)
Indian migrational networks in East Africa
Chronologically, this paper attempts to cover Indian migrational networks during the eras of
1. archaic globalization
2. free trade imperialism in the late eighteenth and for much of the nineteenth centuries
3. European colonial administration in the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century
4. the first years of national sovereignty in the 1960s and 1970s, and
5. the era of neo-liberal hegemony maintained by the Washington consensus.
Analytically, an attempt is also made to distinguish between structural constraints upon migrational networks in East Africa and responses by Indian migrants in each of these eras.
Kees van der Pijl (University of Sussex)
Transnational Classes and the Structure of the Global Political Economy
My argument in this contribution is based on the idea that the global political economy since more than a century has evolved as a specific spatial constellation combining at least two different state/society. On the one hand, an originally Anglophone, integrated West made up of states sharing a liberal constitution and allowing their societies a considerable measure of self-regulation enshrined in civil law; on the other, a succession of relatively strong states organising their societies from above (with varying degrees of central planning and coercion). France, Germany, Japan and Italy, and the USSR, have been such rivals, or contender states, to the liberal West; China would be the key contender today.
Capital as mobile wealth competitively exploiting society and nature, emerged as an extra-territorial social force in the context of the liberal, ‘Lockean heartland’. It profited historically from the structural free space and entry conditions prevailing in the Atlantic English-speaking world; the West has all along pursued global liberalism and created the spaces for capital to expand transnationally.
The global governance projected by the liberal West builds on the prior experience with informal, flexible forms of class rule operating behind the formal structures of parliamentary government. They were pioneered in the British Commonwealth and transmitted to the English-speaking world at large and to the European Union.
Terms like the West etc. are not empirical categories, let alone ‘actors’. They denote fields of action in which the actually directive social forces, the ruling classes first of all, are constantly engaged in shaping a common orientation and direction; it is not given. It must be elaborated as an ideational constellation, what I call a ‘comprehensive concept of control’ – a structural constraint supported by a particular configuration of classes and fractions of classes galvanising themselves behind a common strategic orientation, which then serves as the framework in which everybody defines their ‘interests’. As Max Weber famously put it, ‘not ideas, but material and ideal interests, directly govern men’s conduct. Yet very frequently the world-images that have been created by “ideas” have, like switchmen, determined the tracks along which action has been pushed by the dynamic of interests’.
The process of establishing and renovating the hegemonic consensus of the West is achieved through an infrastructure of informal networks, from business boardrooms to the more prestigious planning bodies. These bring together, in the private surroundings required to allow the expression of differences, key statesmen, media managers, and other ‘organic intellectuals’ of the transnational capitalist class. In the contemporary world, the networks of interlocking directorates among the largest corporations, as well as the Bilderberg Conferences, the Trilateral Commission, the World Economic Forum, and a range of comparable bodies are active in this sense. As Gramsci recognised, transnational class networks ‘propose political solutions of diverse historical origin, and assist their victory in particular countries – functioning as international political parties which operate within each nation with the full concentration of the international forces’.
In the paper I intend to develop one or more examples of how this actually works around some topical issue when the time comes.