ttt: event The 'Shock of the Global': EUropean Visions of a Globalizing World (Panel at the 4th European Congress on World and Global History) | Connections

The 'Shock of the Global': EUropean Visions of a Globalizing World (Panel at the 4th European Congress on World and Global History)

The 'Shock of the Global': EUropean Visions of a Globalizing World (Panel at the 4th European Congress on World and Global History)

Steffi Marung, Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig; Matthias Middell, Global and European Studies Institute, University of Leipzig
Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris
From - Until
11.09.2014 -
Marung, Steffi

Europeanization on the one hand and globalization on the other are – both in public discourse and in academic debates - often seen as distinct phenomena: Europeanization as processes of integration and interaction within Europe, while globalization seems to „happen“ outside, in the rest of the world, and as something the EU has to react to. This narrative is particularly prevalent with regard to EU-rope and its institutions. „The“ EU is optionally presented as a manager of, a safe haven against or a role model in globalization processes. Rarely both trends are seen as historically consistently interrelated – as historians have convincingly demonstrated, e.g. with regard to the „great divergence“ between Europe and China during the 1800s or to the linkages between global economic and political orders, colonization and European civilizing missions. Furthermore, political geographers have made plausible Europeanization as the outward diffusion of EUropean solutions, thereby underlining the externalities of Europeanization projects. In contrast, a reductionist perspective often characteristic for EUropean studies has resulted in what is often criticised as an „introverted“ European (integration) historiography.

An additional blind spot in this debate is also not easy to address: It often remains unclear who or what „the“ EU is or does: There are policies and narratives ascribed to it, seen as an outcome of a network of actors and interrelated interests, yet the highly differentiated nature of these institutions seems to be not sufficiently understood. It is not only in the recent so called „Debt“, „Euro“ or „Greek crisis“ that these complicated circumstances are discussed, making visible the competition between different territorial orders including supranational agencies, nation-states and social networks. This setting, currently bemoaned as a „crisis“ is neither new nor emerging without actors.

In a first effort to address these desiderata, a panel at the European Social Science History Conference (Vienna, April 2014) is projected (currently under review). Pursuing this endeavor, a subsequent panel will be arranged at the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History (Paris, September 2014), given the positive evaluation by the Steering Committee and the Programme Committee of the congress.

In both panels narratives and scenarios of „globalization“ as they are developed by different EUropean actors since the 1970s will be presented, thereby mapping a highly diverse and contradictory field. Among the institutional actors to be addressed are the European Parliament, the Commission, the Council, the European External Action Service, the Committee of Regions. Through the composition of the papers a set of actors and institutions shall be investigated which produce contradictory discourses and contingent policies, and are far from forming a coherent EUropean project of globalization. The temporal framework for these investigations ranges primarily from the 1970s up to the present, however, further extension back in time is welcome. Individual as well as collective actors can be put in focus. Potential papers may also address reactions to and resistance against the globalization management of EUropean agencies as well as competing visions of world order and globalization.

Instead of naturalizing globalization we understand by it rather a political, economic, social and/ or cultural project of specific actors with concrete interests and strategies, its dynamic being fueled by the dialectic of de- and re-territorialization. It is not a process „happening“ to EUropean actors which they have simply to react to, neither is EUrope seen as an „unmoved mover“ of these processes. Therefore, what globalization is and entails, how the underlying and ensuing world order is to be described can vary profoundly, and subsequently the papers in the panel shall address questions such as: How are global entanglements described, how and where are centres and peripheries positioned, which order shall be enforced globally and how shall this be implemented? Which challenges and potentials are ascribed to increasing global entanglements, when is „globalization“ supposed to begin, who or what is perceived as being responsible for it, how are subjects and objects of this development defined?

In this manner a comparative perspective as well as the disclosure of transfers and connections between these agencies ought to be facilitated. As a result, the panels will suggest arguments about the interrelatedness of EUropeanization and globalization processes as well as shed light on the at times contradictory dynamics of EUropean strategies in a globalizing world.

We invite authors for the panel at the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History, willing to develop a paper along the suggested lines. A brief abstract of about 500 words as well a brief CV of the author is requested by 30 July 2013.

For more information on the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History: E-Mail:; Web: congress


Contact (announcement)

Dr. Steffi Marung
Centre for Area Studies
University of Leipzig
Thomaskirchhof 20
04109 Leipzig
Phone: +49 341 9737891
Editors Information
Published on
Temporal Classification
Regional Classification
Additional Informations
Country Event
Language(s) of event
Language of announcement