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Session Overview
RN15_10a_IC: Rethinking the Role of the State
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Pertti Alasuutari, University of Tampere
Location: Intercontinental - Arcade II
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level

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The contradiction between the increasing interdependence at the global and regional levels, and rising isolationism at the national.

Larisa Vdovichenko

Russian State University for Humanities, Russian Federation

In recent years the process of integration and strengthening of supranational mechanisms of regulation of international relations are exposed to serious challenges. On the one hand, this is due to the inability of existing mechanisms of international organizations to cope with the growing threats of illegal migration, terrorism, drug trafficking and aggravation of interstate conflicts resulting from the unsolved economic, political, social and other important issues. This is causing some government politicians to protect the national government from these negative processes. In parallel, the strengthening of isolationist sentiment on the part of the population of some countries. On the other hand, these changes in dominant trends in the relationship between global, regional and local processes requires the increased attention of sociologists not only on theoretical but also practical levels. The aim of this paper is to analyze people's views on the strengthening of the barriers of the state in relation to the external among, the slowing of the global processes. It seems to us interesting to compare views on this topic of political figures in different countries, as well as public opinion there. This report continues the study of the author on the subject, which is necessary for a better understanding of new aspects of the contradictions between the trends of people's consciousness in relation to global and local processes. The results are based on the materials of the personal case study of this theme and some surveys conducted by poll centers.

Rethinking the role of the State: coercion and ideology in global context

Laura Fernández de Mosteyrín

Universidad a distancia de Madrid, Spain

The state is a central concept of the social science's tool. It's nature has been widely debated in the last decades. While it is affected by global and local tensions and by the erosive power of neolioberal forces, one of the most outstanding characteristics of western states in the last decade is its highly regulative capacity. If examined in terms of of coercion, policing and control, essentially -but not only- related to counterterrorism, state power appears to be stronger than it seems.

Borrowing from historical sociology and recent theorizations of the sociology of war, this paper examines the concentration of coercion in Spanish State, relate this transformation to counter terrorist efforts in the context of the 'war on terror' and discusses the extent to which this state power amounts for the category of 'securitarian state'.

Doing "deliberative mini-publics": How shall we study translocal knowledge spaces of politics?

Jan-Peter Voß

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

The paper starts with a broader question: What is the relevance of ‘knowledge spaces’ for late modern politics? We suggest that the circulation of certain models that describe what politics is and how it can be done are equally important as spaces which are constituted by the reach of violence or the validity of laws. If they are, how can we study them? We focus on “deliberative mini-publics”, a model of democracy which builds on professionally organized deliberations among representatively sampled groups of citizens. The model has spread across the globe since the 1970s. We argue that the network of sites in which the model is practiced constitutes a new space of democratic culture cutting across various regional political cultures. It comprises sites where the model is applied for the production of “public views” on particular issues, and sites where it is scientifically studied or where it is developed as a professional standard or marketed as a service. Conceptually, we start from studies of “policy mobilities” and “policy assemblages”, but we are not content with observing “translations” and “fluidity” as we follow models through different contexts. We have a closer look at what it is that connects the various practices in different places. How are they connected, what is it that holds them together, materially and discursively? What we find here, we argue, is a space to be studied with concepts like Knorr Cetina’s “global microstructures” or John Law’s “situated globalities”.

Crowding in and crowding out: An example for Africa’s opportunities to clarify theoretical controversies in Europe (and elsewhere)

Harald Künemund1, Paskas Wagana2, Marvin Blum1

1University of Vechta, Germany; 2St. Augustine University of Tanzania

One of the oldest theories in the field of ageing is that modernization is accompanied by a loss of social and economic functions of older people and a shift in responsibility from the family to a public solidarity system. It is often assumed that a strong welfare state reduces the willingness of families to provide financial support and services to their aged parents because it substitutes public resources for those previously provided by the family. This relationship has been called the "crowding out" hypothesis – the state crowds out family obligations and erodes private intergenerational solidarity. Both theoretical arguments and available empirical evidence also support the reverse hypothesis, namely that the relationship between the state and the family can be described as a process of "crowding in": Generous welfare systems provide resources that help to increase rather than undermine family solidarity.

The same argumentation can be identified for example with reference to charity donations, voluntary activities and civil society in general. Empirical evidence, however, has been extremely limited in most of these cases. We argue that such interactions are perfect examples where we can expect sub-Saharan Africa to contribute to the international sociological discussion. As examples we present results from studies on intergenerational relations within the family in Tanzania and provide an outlook on further research activities.

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