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Bielefeld Graduate School
in History and Sociology
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Workshops and Conferences 2017

Beyond External Borders: Multi-level analysis and comparative perspectives on migration governance

(16-17 März 2017, BGHS,Universität Bielefeld)

Organisation: Yaatsil Guevara Gonzalez, Susanne Schultz, Inka Stock (Bielefeld University), Aysen Üstübici (Istanbul)

Much of the scholarship on migration has focused on the border as a site of control. Particularly during the last decade a strong diversification and externalization of border control and management mechanisms, in- and outside potential countries of destination, has been observed. In the context of the EU, the externalization of border policies has led to the increasing involvement of the EU in the border infrastructure of the so-called transit countries, and even countries of origin, in striking readmission agreements to deport irregular migrants and rejected asylum seekers. Increasingly there has been an entanglement of development cooperation with migration management policies in the process of incorporating so called transit and origin countries into international migration control and management policies. This has also led to the increased involvement of international, intergovernmental and local organizations in the migration-development policy debates.

On the one hand, our interest thus focuses on the policy and legal analysis of practices of externalization, mainly - but not exclusively - considering the EU and the United States as powerful drivers of externalization policies. On the other hand, the workshop aims to shed light on the different forms of agency under these conditions. Therefore, we are particularly interested in exploring the reactions which externalization policies provoke among migrants, civil society actors and nation states in the Global South. By doing this, we will map the spaces of contestation and change to externalization policies from the perspective of the Global South at different levels and from different academic perspectives.

The workshop builds on a joint panel at a European migration research conference last year. It will work with brainstorming methods and short inputs prepared by the participants and organizers. The outcome of the workshop shall be the basis for further collaborationsupport towards a special issue.

The workshop is open for interested parties. If you would like to participate beyond the introductory speech, please register by sending an email to the organizers: external-borders@uni-bielefeld.de.

Workshop-Programme (pdf)

The Times of History

(20-21 March 2017, BGHS, Bielefeld University)

Organizers: Zoltan Boldizsar Simon (Bielefeld)

The question of historical time(s) is at the core of theoretical debates on history. In fact, it has already played a central role in a large variety of perspectives and has created a point of convergence among the well-established approaches of Whitean narrativism, phenomenology, "end of history" theories, the postmodern "incredulity toward metanarratives," and the investigations of Koselleck. Yet, what seems to be more important is not that half-a-century old theories converge in their shared implication of questions regarding the temporality of history, but that the question of historical time(s) is also at the forefront in newer approaches. It features equally prominently in Derridean "hauntology," in theories of presentism as explicated by Hartog or Assmann (claiming that we are living in a time when our sole point of view is that of the present), in the discourse around the notion of "presence" as advocated by Gumbrecht or Runia), and in political theories of the self-identified Left from Ranciere to Mouffe (complaining about the lack of future visions to challenge the status quo).

In 2015 December, Bielefeld already hosted an inspiring workshop entitled Time in History / Time as History. This second installment continues the discussion with a somewhat broader focus that revolves around the more inclusive theme of The Times of History.

The workshop is open for everyone. If you would like to participate, please register by sending an email to Zoltán Boldizsár Simon: zoltanbsimon@uni-bielefeld.de.

Workshop-Programme (pdf)

The Values of Neoliberalism

(2-3 March 2017, BGHS, Bielefeld University)

Organizer: Arne Käthner (Bielefeld)

In contemporary discourse the term 'neoliberalism' serves as the punching bag of anti-capitalist rhetoric. It stands for an insatiable pursuit of profit regardless of social and political repercussions. During the 1930s, however, neoliberalism was self-declared. Indeed the term was introduced to emphasize the break with 'laisser-faire' liberalism and to promote 'new' conceptions for an ideal society. The workshop will return to these early instances of neoliberalism and its development throughout the following decades. Special attention is paid to the analysis of national- and transnational networks and the ideas developed within these settings. After the Second World War various Think-Tanks were initiated to negotiate the terms and conditions for liberal societies. The most prominent being the Mont Pèlerin Society (MPS). The leading principles and concepts just as the ways of dissemination, however, were in fact contested among the participants. The workshop will accordingly focus on the related- but likewise competing visions of an ideal society developed in transnational liberal networks and its (attempted) national implementations in Europe and beyond.

Workshop-Programme (pdf)

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