Governance and Governmentality

The concept of ‘governance’ inquires, especially, into forms and modalities of institutionalisation and to the effect of rules, particularly the rule of law. Classical political science links the question of governance to formal political institutions.

Nowadays and for the purpose of this research line, governance is understood in a much broader sense: First, seen as a process, governance is as much an effect of formal legal and political structures as of societal forces and practices testing their limits. Second, governance is not confined to pre-defined political socio-spatial orders, but is an object of more or less conflictive negotiations regarding societal divisions, inclusions and exclusions. These negotiations comprise the world’s being ordered in centres and peripheries. Indeed, observing Asian connectivities and positionings through comparisons demonstrates the shifting constellations of power and knowledge hierarchies.

Third, departing from Foucault’s concept of governmentality, the popular participation in governing practices, challenging or endorsing values and norms, and shaping the rules of subjection, becomes an important object of inquiry. This workshop will assess how to study modalities of governance in practical fields such as security protection or establishing new forms of inter-Asian co-operations. Subnational violence and processes of de/democratisation provide further important perspectives for comprehending the nature of governance in Asian societies.


Cooperation Partners

Bielefeld University

Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies

Institut für Sinologie, Universität Heidelberg

Institut für Ethnologie, Universität Leipzig

Institute of Asian and African Studies




Two workshops at the National University of Singapore

Embodied and Sensorial Knowledge (18 and 19 February 2022)
Organizer: Prof. Dr. Kelvin Low

Alternative Discourses (17 and 18 February 2022)
Organizer: Noorman Abdullah

Situating Knowledge - Kathmandu Conference (Postponed to the beginning of February 2021)

An International Workshop within the  Knowledge Production and Circulation
Workshop organizers : Prof. Dr. Dhruv Raina Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz

Knowledge on the Move: Connectivities, Frontiers, Translations – Tokyo Conference (Postponed to Janurary or February 2021)

An International Workshop within the  Knowledge Production and Circulation
Workshop organizers : Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs Prof. Dr. Riho Isaka

Exchange program

The DAAD granted Prof. Christiane Brosius four years of funding (2020–2024) on the topic "Urban transformation and placemaking: Fostering Learning from South Asia and Ger­many"

New publications

Pfaff-Czarnecka, J., & Brosius, C. (2019). Shaping Asia: Connectivities, Comparisons, Collaborations. isa.e-Forum, 1-10.​