Thursday, 15 November 2012

Powers, Regions, and Civilisations. Current Trends in World Politics

A roundtable with Peter Katzenstein

The WZB honors Peter Katzenstein for his outstanding contributions during his eight-year term as chairman of the WZB´s advisory board. Matthew Stephen, Juan Díez Medrano, and Tanja Börzel will discuss with Peter Katzenstein three trends he has analyzed in recent writings: In the 1990s, a dominant trend appeared to be the triumph of liberal universalism. Second, especially in the last decade, new powers in the former periphery of the world system are shifting the center of gravity away from its traditional North Atlantic heartland. This shift is accompanied by a noticeable regionalisation of many social and political processes. A final development concerns the interaction of distinct but interrelated civilisations. The dominance of English-speaking powers and its encounters with other civilisations arguably have shaped the modern world.

This roundtable will seek to elucidate some of the connections and disjunctions between  some of these trends.  Does liberal universalism take precedence over patterns of regionalisation, or are both processes subsumed by the interaction of historical world civilisations? Have civilisations imprinted themselves in liberal universalism – is it just a particular British history writ large through great power politics? What does the rise of new powers with other civilisational heritages imply?

Peter Katzenstein, Cornell University
Matthew Stephen, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies
Tanja Börzel, Freie Universität Berlin
Juan Díez Medrano, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Moderated by Michael Zürn, WZB

The lecture is followed by a reception.