Summer School - 2018

Global and Transnational Sociology Summer School 2018


June 11 – June 22, 2018

Dr. des. Ana Carolina Alfinito Vieira (University of São Paulo) Transnational Social Movements, Protest Dynamics and Social Change

This seminar introduces students to theoretical and empirical approaches towards studying the recent upsurge in transnational social movements, its causes, patterns and consequences. Case studies will cover movements in issue areas such as environment, climate change, social justice, resource extraction, economic policy and gender relations. While much of the work on global and transnational social movements has focused on progressive and left-leaning activism, the seminar will also explore the global right-wing and its forms of action in regions such as Europe, North America and Latin America. We will examine the ways in which local social movements - such as those situated in the Ruhrgebiet and in other regions of Germany - are connected to global networks and processes of mobilization, and how these linkages affect the patterns and consequences of mobilization. The seminar alternates between lectures, discussions and group work to prepare presentations and other relevant contributions to the course.

Prof. Dr. Flemming Christiansen (Universität Duisburg-Essen) China's Globalization: Discussing the Border and the Community

We will address the meanings of border and community in three dimensions arising from China's globalization: (a) global labor migration and the "transnational Chinese community"; (b) cross-border ethnic identities and communities in China, and (c) ethno-nationalism and China's overseas development policies. In effect, we will explore the politics of belonging among Chinese workers abroad (huagong), the complex two-way belongings along the international borders of Xinjiang, Gansu, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang, as well as the protean use of ethnic identity in Chinese development projects in Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa."

June 25 – July 6, 2018

Prof. William Carroll, PhD (University of Victoria) The global corporate elite and its opposition: networks of power and resistance

This course features social network analysis in mapping the forces of "globalization from above" and "globalization from below", in the early 21st Century. The former include the large corporations that control much of the global economy but also political and cultural organizations involved in policy-planning, lobbying, mass media and social media and higher education. We will explore the research literature that characterizes the elites at the top of these institutions as a global corporate elite or transnational capitalist class. The latter, pressing for global justice, include a wide range of social movements, political parties, alternative media and solidarity-economy organizations whose practices span national borders. Thematically, we will explore how these top-down and bottom-up forces have developed in recent decades and how their agency informs political contention around such issues as transnational neoliberalism, global inequality and the climate crisis.

Prof. Dr. Frank Kleemann (Universität Duisburg-Essen) Digitization of work and industry: Comparing national industrial policies and corporate initiatives

The ongoing digital transformation of work and industry involves a plethora of digital technologies, e.g. artificial intelligence, algorithms, and learning systems; interconnected physical devices, autonomous logistics, and cyber-physical systems (“Internet of Things”); robotics and additive manufacturing technologies; or wearable and ‘smart’ devices.  However, the paths of digitization differ. Current processes of digitization in manufacturing are particularly shaped by, mostly national, corporate initiatives and industrial policies such as the U.S. „Industrial Internet Consortium“, “Industrie 4.0” in Germany, “Industrie du futur” in France, or the „Industrial Value-Chain Initiative“ in Japan. In a rather hands-on seminar style, we will conduct comparative research on the different initiatives and policies, on their institutionalization, main vantage points, represented interests, scope, and practical effects.