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Understanding the Transformations of World Politics

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Mathias Albert (Bielefeld, GER)

Heidi Tworek (Vancouver, CAN)

Tobias Werron (Bielefeld, GER)

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Maren Winkelhage

Understanding the Transformations of World Politics

Ordering Principles and Infrastructures of Communication

April 2024 - September 2024

The project aims to enable a better understanding of world politics and change in world politics by bringing together world-leading expertise from different disciplines that over the past years have contributed to the study of world order(s) in historically nuanced and sociologically sensitive ways. It studies world politics as a dynamic field that has always been characterized by a plurality of ordering principles.

It will foster a better understanding of how, for example, the ordering principles of regional or global empire, territorial sovereignty, cultural identity, free market-orientation relate to each other in a deeply interwoven, yet also highly differentiated social context (‘world society’-perspective). A specific objective of the project pertains to its inquiry into how the interplay of ordering principles is enabled and shaped by – underpinning and resulting – infrastructures of communication. Though often unaccounted for in trans-historical comparisons of ‘international orders’, infrastructures of communication not only dramatically change how much can be said and how quickly (‘technical’ infrastructures), but also what can be said how by whom, and with which consequences (‘symbolic’ infrastructures).


Prof. Dr. Mathias Albert
Bielefeld University
Faculty of Sociology

Prof. Dr. Heidi Tworek
University of British Columbia
Department of History and School of Public Policy and Global Affairs

Prof. Dr. Tobias Werron
Bielefeld University
Faculty of Sociology


Prof. Christian Bueger
University of Copenhagen
Faculty of Science

Assoc. Prof. Diana Lemberg
University of St Andrews
School of History

Assoc. Prof. Bettina Mahlert
Universität Innsbruck
Fakultät für Soziale und Politische Wissenschaften

Prof. Heikki Patomäki
University of Helsinki
Department of Political and Economic Studies

Dr. Ralf Rapior
Universität Bielefeld
Fakultät für Soziologie

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