A broad variety of social transformations taking place from the local to the global level have made the people and social systems on the one hand more interconnected and interdependent, and on the other hand more divided. Information and communication technologies, mass migrations, environmental issues, flows of capital, goods and services in the global markets have made local problems globalised and global problems localised. Enormous increases in opportunities opening for growing numbers of individuals have been combined with a similar increase of threats and fears. Since fears may create both self-fulfilling and self-destroying prophecies in different social contexts, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between the imagined and actual threats.
Moreover, people’s positions in social structures and their perceptions are characterised by huge differences and inequalities. Some are able to enter transnational social spaces and/or benefit from transnational flows and exchanges, enjoying the opportunities of the emerging social orders. Others are – or feel to be – excluded from these processes and confined to the local/national level. Not only they are not able to enjoy or even see the potential gains from transnational interdependencies, they may even look at them with scepticism and fear. Many of them may thus feel safer when hidden behind the newly established national strict border controls, fences and walls.
The division between the gainers and the losers from globalisation is not new but it has clearly been strengthened. It is also clearly linked to some older inequalities and a potential generator of the new ones. It could be either addressed through complex mechanisms of inclusion at different levels or it could further contribute to the rise of different political populisms, extremisms and religious fundamentalisms.
The aim of the conference is to embrace a variety of issues reflecting the connections and divisions, relating them to local and global frameworks.
Further information: CfP (PDF)