Where and what is the global?
Research seminary of the Collège d'études mondiales
with Sabine Selchow and Benjamin Nienass
The aim of this seminar is to discuss one of the terms and concepts that we all use and inevitably (have to) deal with: the adjective 'global' and the notion of 'the global'. What does it mean and what does it take to 'penser global'? Is 'the global' nothing but the opposite of 'the local'? And what about 'the transnational'? is it different from 'the global'? Our presentation aims to kick off the discussion by distinguishing between two different ways of thinking about 'global' and 'the global'. First, 'global' can be seen and discussed as a highly popular adjective that has come to be attached to almost everything. But of course language is not innocent, it produces the world. Hence, the question is: what do people 'do' when they say 'global'? Second, 'the global' can be seen and discussed as an analytical tool through which scholars explore the world. Here, the question is: what does 'the global' capture what other concepts, such as 'transnational', do not capture? Both questions imply being aware of and thinking about issues of power and knowledge (production). Consequently, they are at the heart of the discussions about the relevance, added-value and problematique of 'global studies'. Do we need 'global studies'? What is its added-value? What can 'global studies' do what other disciplines cannot? Or, is the question rather what *should* 'global studies' (be able to) do? In order to have a substantive discussion we invite you to read the attached article by Jan Nederveen-Pieterse, and think about what role 'global' / 'the global' plays in your research and discipline.
Sabine Selchow est chercheuse postdoctorale au sein de la chaire d’Ulrich Beck Re-mapping inequality and power in an age of climate change : the ermergence of “cosmopolitan“ risk communities.
Benjamin Nienass est chercheur postdoctoral dans la chaire de Nancy Fraser Repenser la justice sociale.