Towards a Global History of Political Concepts

In the last two decades, scholarly research in the humanities and the social sciences has been overtaken by the extension, intensity, velocity, and impact of the transformations usually labeled under the sign of globalization. This «shock of the global» is evident in most fields. In the field of political thought/political theory for example concepts like modernity and sovereignty have been exploded as conventional political categories have proven their incapacity to grapple with the present .

The research group on the Global History of Political Concepts takes up these questions with the aim of challenging the traditional borders of the history of modern political thought, by assuming a global perspective. This does not mean merely the assumption of a  «world-wide» geographical scale. More radically, the assumption of a global perspective implies a process of «displacement» and «disorientation» of the cartographic, plain, Eurocentric, and rational theoretical framework of modern political concetuality and a leap beyond the «methodological nationalism» that has characterized many social and political analysis of political modernity and of globalization. More precisely, it means both the provincialization, i.e. the recognition that the classical notion of sovereignty is based on a theory originated in Europe which is necessary but not sufficient to understand political modernity in non-European contexts and meant to apply properly only to this specific part of the world, and its globalization, the opening up of the borders of the classical definition and scope of political concepts, and the awareness of their emergence and functioning in a steady confrontation with the challenges posed by the colonial world, by the conquest, the government and the exploitation of the «rest of the World». On the one hand it means then assuming a decentered perspective in order to grasp the tensions and contradictions which characterize modern political concepts and their histories. On the other, it aim at developing a new global lexicon of fundamental political concepts.

To develop this innovative and ambitious research program, the groups will promote seminars, conferences, publications, and will sponsor researches, particularly for junior scholars.

 

GRANTS AND SCOLARSHIPS
 

The research group Towards a Global History of Political Concepts announces a call for proposals to support Junior scholars (PhD and Post-Doc).

Proposals must be summited by May 15, 2017 (GMT+1).

 

DOCUMENTS
 

Theses for a global history of political concepts, by Anthony Bogues and Raffaele Laudani (with the contribution of Isabella Consolati).