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  • F05

    Machtvergleiche in Zeiten weltpolitischen Wandels, 1970-2020

    Weltkarte verzerrt proporational zur globalen Reichtumsverteilung
    © Worldmapper, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (Unported)

F05 (A01) | Comparing Power in Times of Global Political Change, 1970-2020


During the first funding phase, the project looked into military force comparisons as a specific form of comparing power. The second funding phase expands the research perspective to study shifts in the competition and combination of different forms of comparing power since the 1970s. Drawing on the example of the transatlantic community of states, it addresses the question of how, and to which extent, the development of practices of comparing is shaped by trans- and international communities of practice.

There has been an intensifying debate within the transatlantic community since the 1970s regarding distributions of power across various dimensions, as well as on the significance of these dimensions (such as political, military and economic power). The project assumes that communities of practice develop specific narratives of change ‑ such as on a new, multipolar world economic order, or on the rise and fall of individual states – and that these communities disseminate comparative knowledge and render them politically effective by means of such narratives.

The combine two longitudinal studies with two case studies. The two longitudinal studies reconstruct the development of discourses on international power shifts and distributions in two North American (USA and Canada) and two Western European states (Germany and Great Britain) between 1970 and 2020. The two case studies complement the two longitudinal studies by analysing how shared practices of power comparison emerge within the framework of international institutions. The examples here are, on the one hand, the founding of the G7 in the mid-1970s as well as the partial replacement of the G7/G8 by the G20 in the late 1990s and 2000s, as well as, on the other hand, the foreign policy activities of the European Union (EU) since the 1990s. The objective of the project is to combine these four sub-studies in order to present for the first time a comprehensive reconstruction of how shared practices of comparing power emerge, change and develop policy-shaping effects by way of communities of practice.

Project Management

© Philipp Ottendörfer

Mathias Albert

© Philipp Ottendörfer

Thomas Müller

Academic co-worker

© Philipp Ottendörfer

Nike Retzmann

© Philipp Ottendörfer

Dorothée Grünholz

© Philipp Ottendörfer

Martin Koch

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