Glocal Junctions

Research depart­ment V uses practice-theoretical approaches to study conflict and peace processes in glocal situations. Research focuses on the complex en­tangle­ments in which inter­twined local, regional, and global life-worlds and action con­stel­lations recreate each other. Locality, like the global, is always relational. It can thus only be under­stood in the context of junctures with—and partly the dis­junctures of—know­ledge stocks, discourses, actors, or fields of action. The research depart­ment examines the political rationalities that arise in glocal situations and theaters of action: Do fragmented and yet glocally inter­woven spheres of action influence political strife or violent conflicts? How? What impact do normative concepts such as legitimacy, modernity, or ap­propriate crisis inter­ventions have on real disputes in specific settings? How is  globality/ locality produced or prevented through concrete every­day actions? The depart­ment’s focus on “large issues, explored in small places” calls for an inductive metho­do­lo­gical approach to re­construct social experiences and every­day cultural rationality in obser­vable theaters of action. According to this orien­tation, research in depart­ment V is primarily ethno­graphic.

In line with PRIF’s research program Coercion and Peace (2018), depart­ment V first asks how actors generate, respond to, and transform coercion in glocal practice, and then how, as a global-local mechanism, coercion shapes political conflicts, especially the possibility of trans­forming conflict peace­fully. Coercion is not to be under­stood as just a regulatory means used by actors: Coercion requires social legitimacy and is there­fore always embedded in normative orders; subjects and societies are hence not just audiences but are also actors who validate the use of coercion and (re-)produce its social and political re­gulation. This dialectic prompts us to view social arenas as places where coercive practices are constituted, safe­guarded, and legitimized.