KFG director Thomas Risse turned 60 on December 17, 2015. On this occasion, Anja Jetschke (University of Göttingen) and Andrea Liese (University of Potsdam), together with the KFG, organized a workshop reviewing Risses contribution to the field which was held at the Seminaris Campus Hotel Dahlem from December 18-19, 2015.
News from Jan 07, 2016
The conference was organized in six panels which revolved around research areas that Risse has substantially influenced in his career until today (please find the program here). Nicole Deitelhoff (Frankfurt), Anna Holzscheiter (Berlin), and Harald Müller (Frankfurt) discussed the communicative turn in International Relations and the current state of the art, 15 years after Risse’s “Let’s Argue” piece. Risse’s work on European identities, public spheres, and politicization was critically reflected by Edgar Grande (Munich), Cathleen Kantner (Stuttgart), Barbara Pfetsch (Berlin), and Frank Schimmelfennig (Zürich). Ingo Peters (Berlin), Pia Fuhrhop (Berlin), and Mareike Kleine (London) dealt with foreign policy analysis and Risse’s earlier contributions to it, while Michael Zürn (Berlin), Adrienne Héritier (Florence), Marianne Beisheim, Gregor Walter-Drop, and Lars Brozus (all Berlin) focused on (limited) statehood as well as Europeanization research. Comparative regionalism and Risse’s research on diffusion were covered by Tanja Börzel, Marianne Braig (Berlin), Anja Jetschke (Göttingen), and Wiebke Wemheuer-Vogelaar. Last not least, Anke Draude (Berlin), Andrea Liese (Potsdam), Hans-Peter Schmitz (San Diego), and Jens Steffek (Darmstadt) discussed the current state of the art with regard to research on transnational actors and the “power of human rights.”
Given the participation of these distinguished scholars, vibrant and controversial debates unfolded, critically reflecting the diffusion of Risse’s work within the academic community. Here are some highlights: Nicole Deitelhoff deplored that the empirical turn in the study of communication led to a neglect of equally important normative questions. Frank Schimmelfennig showed that Risse’s work on European identity was empirically right at about 50%. Edgar Grande disagreed profoundly with Risse’s positive evaluation of the EU’s politicization and used a Risse quote from 1996 to make his point. Adrienne Héritier questioned whether Risse’s more gradual approach to Europeanization was capable of dealing with the current EU crises with regard to the Euro and the refugees. Ingo Peters et al. explained Risse’s approach to IR from his personal motivations as a catholic and a human rights as well as peace activist. Jens Steffek distinguished between transnational actors as “Mountain Lions” (advocacy networks) and “Labradors” (service providers). In sum, participants not only engaged in a serious discussion of a whole variety of academic issues, they also had a lot of fun.
Thomas Risse and the KFG would like to thank all participants for a truly exciting as well as insightful event. The workshop clearly showed: There are a lot more topics to be researched.