Public Lectures

Past, present and future of globalization

We were honored to welcome Manfred B. Steger, Professor of Global and Transnational Sociology at the University of Hawaii-Mānoa as Distinguished Global Fellow 2021 at the Center for Advanced Studies. Up until December 2021, Manfred Steger provided his expertise as one of the most acclaimed researchers in the field of Global Studies to the scientists at Eurac Research and to the broader public.

2nd Public Lecture
Disjunctive Globalization and the Production of the Unhappy Consciousness
24.06.2021 | 9 – 11 am

What are the impacts of reconfigured globalization on subjective experience in the local contexts of everyday life in our era of the Great Unsettling? Continuing with the assessment of the current state of globalization offered in his first public lecture, Professor Steger shifts in this talk the focus of analysis from the macro-level of social formations to the micro-level of individual consciousness. In particular, he examines the production of an “unhappy consciousness” torn between the enjoyment of global digital mobility and the visceral attachment to the familiar limits of local everyday life. The 2020/21 Covid-19 pandemic has intensified and accelerated this problematic formation of a divided self, especially through the normalization of new spatial practices in response to the rapid spread of the virus. As restrictions were imposed to reduce the mobility of human bodies even in their immediate environments, the local became an area under assault. The global dynamics discussed in this talk are likely to have a lasting impact on the reconfiguration of subjective experience in the local contexts of people’s everyday lives.

1st Public Lecture
Deglobalization or Reglobalization? Rethinking Theoretical Approaches
29.04.2021 | 9 – 11 am

What is happening to globalization in our era of the “Great Unsettling”? Professor Manfred B. Steger argues that the current moment of intensifying instability, dislocation, and insecurity on a global level provides an important opportunity to take stock of the present state of globalization. But rather than mischaracterizing the Great Unsettling as “deglobalization,” it should be understood as “reglobalization.” We are witnessing a profound rearrangement of globalization’s major formations that move at different speeds and at varying levels of intensity. Gaining a better understanding of the crisis of globality requires a new theoretical framework that captures these distinct formations of globalization, ranging from the embodied to the disembodied. Steger applies this new approach to delineate the crucial role of structural disjunctures in the globalization system. The reconfigured relationships that have developed among these formations shape the contemporary globalization and cast a long shadow on its future dynamics.