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Graduiertenkolleg "Authority & Trust"
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GKAT Events – Winter Term 2018/19

September 17-18, 2018, Heidelberg Center for American Studies

Workshop "The Shifting Patterns of Global Authority: Driving Foreign Policy Change?"

Conveners: Florian Böller (HCA) and Sebastian Harnisch (Institute for Political Science)

Donald Trump’s “America First” policy, the (re-)emergence of China from a regional to a global power, and Russia’s renewed assertiveness are indications for the instability of a multipolar order and the shifting patterns of global authority. When authority, defined as the legitimate claim for leadership pertaining to a global order, becomes contested, both smaller states and major powers need to adapt their foreign policies. They may forge new alliances or discard old responsibilities and reject leadership themselves. That way, changes in global authority also transform foreign policy choices.

Drawing on Peter Gourevitch’s “second-image reversed” perspective, this workshop addresses the topic whether and how changing patterns of authority on the international level lead to changes in foreign, economic and security policies. We expect that reactions by foreign policy decision-makers are embedded in and constituted by domestic perceptions of global authority; that they need to be established through contested political processes with partisan and societal actors holding diverging interests; and that they are shaped by material resources as well as by aspects of policy-learning, historical experiences, and institutional variables.

For students of Foreign Policy Analysis and neighboring disciplines, the question is how the shifting patterns of global authority affect foreign and security policy decisions within different states and regions. This issue entails conceptual aspects, such as how to conceive of authority in a multipolar world and how global authority is linked to normative orders (human rights, universal values) and material elements of power (military, economy). Moreover, how do domestic actors conceive these shifting meridians of authority and what are the policy choices they face? In what way are policy-makers constrained by changing power relations and shifting ascription of authority in the global sphere? How do rising powers, such as China, try to fill the demand for global leadership in view of a supposed decline of US authority under the Trump presidency?

The workshop seeks contributions which address these and related questions. We are especially interested in papers that both engage in theoretical debates and provide empirical evidence for their theses. The workshop is neither limited to specific theoretical schools nor methodological approaches.


October 23, 2018 | 6.15 P.M.

"America’s Decade of Confusion: The Political Consequences of Financial Crisis"

Alasdair Roberts

University of Massachusetts (Amherst), School of Public Policy

November 8, 2018 | 6.15 P.M.

"Popular Fiction Portfolios"

James English

University of Pennsylvania, Department of English

November 28, 2018 | 6.15 P.M.

"Sustainable Forms: Routine, Infrastructure, Conservation"

Caroline Levine

Cornell University, Department of English

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Letzte Änderung: 2018-10-15
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