Globalization and the Transformation of the International State System

Norbert Lechner Lecture, Diego Portales University, Chile, November 14, 2018.

In a globally integrated capitalist economy borders between states are supposed to become economically irrelevant. Globalization is the ultimate form of liberalization; it shields free markets, instituted on a global scale, from national state intervention, in particular of a redistributive kind. Rather than markets located in states, under globalization states become located in markets. This has momentous consequences for the nature of statehood, both domestically and internationally. States located in markets lose the capacity to protect their economies and societies from market competition; in fact their economic role, if one is left for them at all, is to deregulate their national economies in order to make them more competitive, internally first and as a consequence externally as well. (…)

Links:
Video (youtube.com)
– Continue reading on catedranorbertlechner.cl [PDF]

Imaging Europe: Beaucratic Narratives and Ideological Dreams

The Frisby Memorial Lectures, University of Glasgow, September 19, 2017

The European Union is not Europe. Europe is a two thousand year old civilizational landscape housing a multitude of different but related societies. The European Union is a political construct dating from the 1950s that has in its short lifetime undergone continuous deep transformation. Like earlier political constructs in Europe, it seeks legitimacy by encouraging stories about itself that connect it to Europe as a continent and its supposed historical purpose, cultural identity, and moral unity. European cultural and historical narratives deployed to legitimate the European Union as a political project are the latest in a long line of earlier stories of Europe, each linked to the political and economic objectives and power relations of the day. Like other ideologies, they are dropped and replaced depending on what political opportunities allow or require; they tell us more about Europe’s politics than about Europe. Identification with Europe as a civilization does not require identification with the European Union as a political construction. Depending on the changing condition of the latter it may in fact be incompatible with it.

Video

The social condition of critical social science

Presented at the conference „Humanities and the Social Sciences in the Twenty-first Century“ organized by the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), June 15-16, 2015

The presentation will attempt to define critical social science and explore its relationship to practical politics and collective action. It will then examine the different roles contemporary society offers to critical social scientists, after the demise of the figure of “organic intellectual”. It will focus on the situation of a critical social science cut off from political power and influence and under pressure from neoliberal “reforms” of academic scholarship and teaching. It also considers the need for critical social science to assert itself in a pluralist public governed by market laws against the white noise produced by omnipresent mass media, both conventional and new.

Links:
Video (presentation starts around minute 12)
Conference Program [PDF]