The Complex Discursivity of Global Futures in the Making

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 18:15
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Reiner KELLER, University of Augsburg, Germany, Germany
Global and transnational civil society, the proliferation of arenas and organizations involved in the definition of ‘world problems’ and ‘standards making’, the burgeoning economic power of the BRIC-states as well as general recognition of a ‘post-colonial constellation’ together constitute a challenging reconfiguration of transnational or global orders of discourse. The ongoing social-structural transformations linked to such processes deeply change global social relationships of knowledge. The guiding thesis of the presentation therefore states that new transnational orders of discourse emerge resp. are in the making which confront heterogeneous local and regional discourse histories. Established ways of evidence building and justification are no longer beyond question, but at stake. Their future ‘Gestalt’ and shape are still widely contingent, and imply far reaching social and political effects.

The complex discursivity of such sites and processes of discourse, communication, and knowledge production is a result of the hybrid constellations of the actors and knowledge claims involved, interconnections of heterogeneous arenas of dialogue and negotiation, diverse cultural rationalities of factuality, evidence, and legitimation, and also of translation between epistemic cultures and languages from around the world. The concept of transnational spaces of discourse refers to such new discursive formations and interconnections in which social actors and politics of knowledge beyond boarders are concerned with the construction, problematization and reworking of forms of knowledge and templates for action for specific purposes. Such current (re-)orderings of discourse largely differ from the global formations of discourse established in the  last centuries. In order to address these current challenges, the contribution focuses on the reach of sociological tools for analyzing transnational and global discourses as knowledge-making activities which will profoundly shape the global future.