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The Transnational Modern State

  • Dr. Friederike Kuntz & Christian Volk
  • DFG research proposal

In the course of growing interest in the phenomenon of globalisation, scientists’ attention is drawn towards the multifaceted relationships between the state, on the one hand, and processes of social limitation on the other. These processes of social de-bordering and the concentration on cross-border social relationships are frequently referred to as transnationalisation, and distinguished from purely interstate activities. Accordingly, prominent examples of transnationalisation are migration (today: Africa -> Europe//19th century: Europe -> America), cross-border cooperation between corporations, the global financial market or social protest movements like Occupy. Although examinations of this interplay between the state and processes of social de-bordering might reach different conclusions in detail, they share the evaluation that the state is currently transforming. The preconceived notion is usually that the state up to the early/mid-20th century should be seen as a self-contained form of social organisation and government. The starting point of this research project is to question this tacit and generally shared assumption. In the course of the research project, a perspective of the modern state will be developed that views it from the outset as a historical form of government that has been shaped by trans-regional social entanglements and which tends towards the forming of networks in executing its governing function. Such a perspective provides the opportunity to rethink and examine the currently assumed transformation of statehood. With this change in perspective the research project also links up with and combines the latest contributions from the disciplines of history, sociology and legal science.

- Conference programme
- conference report