Glocal Junctions

Research department V looks to peace and conflict dynamics as glocally situated social practice. With this take we aim at unpacking the complexity in which diverse local life-worlds are a part of and interact within the global connectivity of political conflicts and the different forms of their regulation. This department was created in 2017 in order to broaden PRIF’s scope of research by a systematic inclusion of bottom-up perspectives and related conceptual and methodical approaches, like for example, ethnography.

While the particular attention of department V is concentrated on the so-called local dimension of agency, the existing global interlinkages across localities are more than mere framing conditions: the global circulation of ideas, information, commodities, knowledge regimes, conceptions of the world or concrete models of social organization and political order are not trouble-free but generate frictions and dis-junctures. Such disaccords are often gateways for the rearrangement of social and political power relations. They challenge cultural routines and impact the courses of peace processes or conflict dynamics. “The local” is thus always to be understood as a relational category within a broader picture of contingent and often messy connections which cut across worldly spaces. We draw on the terminology of “glocalization” (Robertson) to stress the significance of these dialectical intersections which permeate alleged micro phenomena. 

Department V pays special attention to the ways in which heterogeneous actors link up their local concerns and experiences with multi-scalar levels of political agency; in the ways in which they (re)gain capacities to act; and/or whether and how the fragmentations in global-local connections influence the further tracks of political struggles and their eventual regulations. Among the highly relevant fields of study are for instance the strategic construction and use of cultural rights arguments in collective identity politics and resulting violent conflicts, the impact which globally traveling concepts of otherness or hegemonic notions of modernity render for communal opportunities to mobilize action against presumed enemies, or the local-global connectivity of markets of violence.

In the scope of the research program Coercion and Peace the Research Department examines how actors produce, react to and transform coercion within a glocalized context. It also investigates how coercion as a global-local mechanism shapes political disputes and peaceful conflict management.