General Research Projects
Debating the Legitimacy of Borders: How the Admission or Refoulment of Refugees is Justified Across the World
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gerhards, Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau , Prof. Dr. Marianne Braig
Oct 01, 2019 — Sep 30, 2022
In the past years, the number of refugees and asylum seekers has increased substantially across the world. The UNHCR currently counts nearly 30 million persons in need of international protection, e.g. Syrians fleeing civil war, Rohingya escaping from religious violence in Myanmar, or people leaving the unstable situation in Venezuela. This has increased the pressure on destination countries to open up their borders to those seeking protection.
Gender, Borders, Memory: Contestation of the Liberal Script in the Catalan Separatist Movement
Prof. Dr. Jessica Gienow-Hecht , Prof. Dr. Marianne Braig , Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar
Oct 01, 2020 — Sep 30, 2023
The project “Gender, Borders, Memory” (GBM) aims to understand the role and influence of gender and memory within border contestations of the liberal script. We seek to examine the extent to which gender and history condition border definitions and border contestations in liberal regimes. The project's main line of research asks: What is the relationship between gender, historical memory, and contestations of the liberal (border) script?
High Hopes and Broken Promises: Young Adult Life Courses in Senegal
Prof. Dr. Anette Fasang, Prof. Dr. Andreas Eckert
Aug 07, 2020 — Aug 06, 2023
The research project investigates the demographic, historical and sociological conditions of Senegal that may give rise to contestations of the liberal script, particularly by its young adults. Many post-colonial countries in Africa have followed the liberal script – implementation of democracy, free markets, and expanded education – yet have failed to achieve the liberal promises of meritocracy and prosperity. Such failed promises may lead to disillusioned youths that question the liberal script, resulting often in emigration that in turn threatens the borders and stability of the destination liberal democracies.
Leader Types and (Liberal?) Narratives of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar , Prof. Mark Hallerberg, PhD, Prof. Dr. Slava Jankin
Sep 01, 2021 — Aug 31, 2024
This project compares the key decision-makers in the pandemic, with a focus on leaders, their health ministers, and their finance ministers and the narratives used during the pandemic. We take into account the role of health and finance ministers because much political and public debate on the ...
Negotiating the Future of Education: The UNESCO’s Futures of Education-initiative and the OECD’s Future of Education and Skills 2030-initiative
Prof. Dr. Florian Waldow , Prof. Dr. Tobias Berger , Prof. Dr. Marcelo Caruso
Feb 01, 2021 — Feb 14, 2024
In the project “Negotiating the Futures of Education”, we want to analyse how visions of the future of education are negotiated and contested, looking at how narratives about the future of education are constructed by UNESCO and OECD in two currently running projects, Futures of education ...
Regional Conferences on Contestations of the Liberal Script With the Cluster’s International Partners
Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel, Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn , Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse
Apr 01, 2021 — Mar 31, 2024
In the context of the Cluster’s internationalization strategy and in cooperation with the Cluster’s 21 international partners, SCRIPTS has the ambition to “bring the cluster to the world” in the different regions in the world. In this context, we propose the format of “regional ...
Science Friction: Patterns, Causes and Effects of Academic Freedom Contestations
Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel, Prof. Mattias Kumm, S.J.D. (Harvard), Prof. Dr. Katrin Kinzelbach
Sep 01, 2021 — Aug 31, 2024
The project brings together the disciplinary perspectives of international relations and comparative politics with international and comparative constitutional law to analyze, assess and explain the growing contestation of academic freedom around the world. We start by identifying the core ...
Social Inequalities, Migration and the Rise of Populist Parties
Prof. Dr. Johannes Giesecke , Prof. Dr. Heike Klüver, Prof. Dr. Martin Kroh
Aug 01, 2019 — Aug 31, 2022
This project seeks to examine the combined roles that socioeconomic inequality, migration, and populist-party rhetoric play in the rise of European populist protest. The hypothesis is that extremist parties – in order to mobilize voters – have exploited (perceived) inequalities and recent migration trends in their campaign strategies by a) strategically appealing to nationhood as the boundary of an imagined in-group and b) depicting immigrants as an economically and culturally harmful out-group.
The Challenge to the Challenge: The Belt and Road Initiative’s Implications for Liberal Trade and (Digital) Finance and the Response in Other Countries
Prof. Mark Hallerberg, PhD, Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar
Oct 01, 2020 — Feb 14, 2024
In this project, we consider the implications of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for the liberal script. We focus on two policy areas, namely trade and finance. Both are critical for the potential re-allocation of wealth across borders. We begin with a definition of the script in this ...
The Liberal Script in Ukraine's Contested Border Regions
Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse, Prof. Dr. Christian Volk, Dr. Sabine von Löwis
Oct 01, 2020 — Sep 30, 2023
The aim of this study, located between geography, political science and anthropology, is to analyse different challenges to the liberal script in border regions, in particular with regard to sovereignty, mobility and individual vs. group rights. The case of Ukraine offers an interesting within-case variation on the claims and practices surrounding borders. It thereby speaks to a broader comparative and transregional context. First, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine are among the most blatant contemporary challenges to the liberal script as enshrined in international law. Second, Ukraine’s western regions bordering the EU are characterized by the tension between mobility and controlled access as well as the contestation of competing notions of the nation-state and the political regimes they underpin (e.g. on both sides of the Ukrainian- Hungarian border). And third, Ukraine’s border with Transnistria – a de facto state let in between Moldova and Ukraine – highlights the practical and security implications of a contested border on neighbouring states. The feasibility of the qualitative data collection has been tested in the pilot study Ukraine‘s contested border regions with funding by the Research Unit Borders in 2019. The new data will be of interest to European policy-makers and opens up possibilities for engaging the wider public by bringing to life a range of border experiences. The project extends the international network of SCRIPTS in Eastern Europe.
Towards a Typology of Contestations
Prof. Dr. Stefan Gosepath, Prof. Dr. Michael Zürn
Oct 15, 2019 — Oct 14, 2022
The synthesis research project aims to survey and categorize contestations of the liberal script, which vary globally in both type and underlying purpose. To properly understand the contestations and their causes and consequences, a useful typology needs to be developed. The project aims at a categorization according to the actors or dissenters, their normativity, as well as the emotions, strategies and processes used in achieving their goals.
‘Transformative Constitutionalism’ and the Borderlines of Liberalism
Prof. Dr. Tobias Berger, Prof. Dr. Philipp Dann
Jan 01, 2020 — Dec 31, 2022
The project aims to analyse non-liberal conceptualizations of social transformation and their relationship to the liberal script. It takes the concept of transformative constitutionalism (TC) as a central site for the articulation of a non-liberal vision of (future) order – with a particular interest in its role in India and the Global South more generally. It takes TC as an entry point to investigate alternatives to the liberal script as they emerge in the Global South. We seek to focus on alternatives that are non-liberal rather than illiberal. Whereas illiberal conceptualisations of social and political order constitute a direct attack on core principles of the liberal script, non-liberal alternatives exist on the borderline between the liberal script and its explicit contestants. Grounded in different philosophical traditions and cosmologies, non-liberal conceptualizations might differ in the ways they think about the self and society, time and space, stability and change etc, but they are not necessarily incompatible with the core normative aspirations of the liberal script. Our research project starts from the assumption that notions of TC constitute a privileged site for the reconstruction of such non-liberal conceptualisations of social and political order.