Interview: Jingdong Yuan über China in der globalen Ordnung und deutsche Gebäudeisolierung

In der vierten Episode unserer Interviewreihe hat Gastgeberin Lynda Iroulo Professor Jingdong Yuan zu Gast. In seiner Funktion als außerordentlicher Professor am Department of Government and International Relations der Universität Sydney forscht Yuan u.a. zur Rolle Chinas in der globalen Weltordnung. Im Interview gibt er darüber hinaus Einblicke in seine Gedanken zum WZB, seine Forschung zur politischen Ökonomie von doppelverwendungsfähigen Technologien und bewundert die gut isolierten Berliner Apartments.

Eine gekürzte, schriftliche Version des Interviews sowie das gesamte Interview als Audiodatei (beides auf Englisch) finden Sie hier.

Interview: Jingdong Yuan on China in the Global Order and German Building Isolation

In the fourth episode of our interview series, Lynda Iroulo talks to Jingdong Yuan, Associate Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Listen in, as Yuan gives insight into his thoughts about the WZB, his research on the political economy of dual use-technology, studying China in the global order, and his appreciation for Berlin’s well-insulated apartments.

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

Iroulo: What brings you to the WZB and for how long will you be here?

Yuan: I heard about the WZB from one of my colleagues, Professor John Keane, who runs the Sydney Democracy Network. He has very close ties with the WZB, and we have this fellowship where one or two faculty members every year get selected to be a visiting fellow to the WZB and spend a couple of months and do research. It triggered my interest, and I took a look at what the WZB does, and I was quite surprised; this is a vast operation, a few hundred scholars from all over the world working on social sciences. In the past, I tended to go to places that focused on area studies, like Asian studies or China studies, but this is more interdisciplinary with social sciences, and maybe history and humanities as well. I wanted to be part of this fascinating and exciting organization. In particular, the Global Governance unit, which has some sub-research areas that fit my research interest. That is why I applied, and I am very lucky to be selected. Now I am here, spending eight weeks, so, roughly two months.

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Kann ein Populist der Anführer der freien Welt sein?

Populismus und die liberale Weltordnung vertragen sich nicht gut. In Ihrem Blogeintrag widerspricht Jelena Cupa dieser Auffassung. Cupa argumentiert, dass selbst ein Populist wie Donald Trump, „Anführer der freien Welt“ hätte werden können. Er hat sich jedoch bewusst dagegen entschieden.

Präsident Trump, im Gegensatz zu seinen Vorgängern, sieht die Vereinigten Staaten nämlich nicht als Vorreiter einer liberalen Weltordnung, sondern als deren Opfer. Die Schuld für Amerikas „sozialen Abstieg“ gibt der Präsident daher Verteidigungsbündnissen und Handelsabkommen.

Die komplette englischsprachige Version des Beitrags finden Sie hier.

Can a Populist be the Leader of the Free World?

Populism and the liberal international order don’t mix well: The more populism there is, the less liberal the international order appears to become. Moreover, judging by the year-long presidency of Donald Trump, the liberal international order seems to be in particular danger if the most powerful state in the system catches the populist bug. Why is this so? Are populism and the liberal world order fundamentally incompatible? Can a populist be a leader of the free world?

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Interview: Mervyn Frost über Praxistheorie und seinen versehentlichen IB-Fokus

In der dritten Episode unserer Interviewreihe spricht Lynda Iroulo mit Mervyn Frost, Gastwissenschaftler am WZB und Professor für internationale Beziehungen am War Studies Department des Kings College in London. In ihrem Gespräch geht es um die Themen und Debatten, die Frosts Karriere am meisten beeinflusst haben, Praxistheorie in den Internationalen Beziehungen, seine erste (unerwartete) Lehrerfahrung, und warum der Straßenverkehr in Berlin viel zivilisierter abläuft als in London.

Eine gekürzte, schriftliche Version des Interviews, sowie das gesamte Interview als Audiodatei (beides auf Englisch) finden Sie hier.

Interview: Mervyn Frost on Practice Theory and unexpectedly teaching IR

In this episode, Lynda Iroulo talks to Mervyn Frost, Professor of International Relations at the Department of War Studies, King´s College London. If you want to find out more about the debates and authors in International Relations (IR) that influenced Mervyn´s career most, his first unexpected teaching experience and why he thinks traffic in Berlin is much more civilized than in London, we’ve got your back!

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

Iroulo: What brought you to the WZB and for how long will you be here?

Frost: Well, I used to be a Professor at the University of Kent, and I came here in 1999 for the first time. Professor Dieter Rucht had organized a seminar on global citizenship, and I remember being very impressed with the institution and of course with Berlin. I have always had in mind that I would like to spend a sabbatical leave here and now I am doing exactly that. So, that is kind of the background of it, but as you said in your introduction, I have been interested in ethics in IR for many years now, I think it is over 40 years. The Global Governance Unit has got an interest, not only in the technicalities of Governance, but also in the normative aspect and the ethical aspect, so I thought this would be a nice home for me to work with sympathetic scholars who are all working in the same field.

Iroulo: What will you be working on during your stay at the WZB?

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Ist Robert Keohane gerade unbemerkt ein Neo-Gramscianer geworden?

In seinem Blogeintrag widmet sich Matthew Stephen der Frage, ob Robert Keohane kürzlich einen wissenschaftstheoretischen Wandel vollzogen hat. Keohane, der Anfang der 80er Jahre mit dem liberalen Institutionalismus eine neue Leseart der internationalen Beziehungen vorschlug, scheint seit den letzten US- Präsidentschaftswahlen (endlich) die Machtverhältnisse, Ungleichheiten und Risiken der Globalisierung zu berücksichtigen. Nach Stephen lässt dies Keohane beinahe als „neo-Gramscianer“ erscheinen.

Die komplette englischsprachige Version des Beitrags finden Sie hier.

Did Robert Keohane just become a neo-Gramscian and no-one noticed?

Thomas Cole – The Course of Empire Destruction (1836)

In a recent article in Foreign Affairs (‘The Liberal Order is Rigged’), Jeff Colgan and Robert Keohane have highlighted some shortcomings of the liberal international order. They point out that not everybody has been a winner from economic globalization, and they are worried about the emergence of ‘populism’ and the threat that this may pose to institutions such as the United Nations, European Union, World Trade Organization, and NATO.

Episodes of introspection and self-doubt amongst many scholars and policy makers have been common since Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. What is interesting about this one in particular is that it comes from one of the foremost scholars in the field of International Relations, who is in large part the originator of the liberal institutionalist approach to international politics.

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Der Aufstieg der Killerroboter: Sollten uns Maschinen töten dürfen?

© 2015 Russell Christian for Human Rights Watch

In seinem Blogbeitrag thematisiert Sassan Gholiagha die Besonderheiten von tödlichen autonomen Waffensystemen – so genannten Killerrobotern – sowie die mit ihrer Anwendung einhergehenden Problematiken. Im Unterschied zu den ohnehin schon kontrovers diskutierten Drohneneinsätzen, können tödliche autonome Waffen beliebige von Menschen bestimmte Ziele selbstständig ausfindig machen und eliminieren.

Diese „Lizenz zum Töten“, so argumentiert Gholiagha, stellt die Weltgemeinschaft vor drei generelle Probleme: 1) die Anwendbarkeit des Kriegsrecht und die Bedeutung der Abwesenheit von Emotionen, 2) die Frage nach der Verantwortung autonomer Waffensysteme und schließlich 3) den Effekt der Entmenschlichung.

Die komplette englischsprachige Version des Beitrags finden Sie hier.

The Rise of Killer Robots: Should machines be allowed to kill us?

© 2015 Russell Christian for Human Rights Watch

For the past four years, diplomats, academic experts, and NGO representatives have come together for a number of meetings in Geneva to discuss regulating the so-called Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. While drones have become a normal part of military operations, LAWS, or as those critical of them like to call them, killer robots, are still in a stage of early development. What makes them special is that they are capable of navigating through air space searching for potential targets, and once they have found them, they can use their weapons to select them and fire on them, all on their own. Put bluntly, these are machines that – once deployed – can kill humans on their own without human interference. While the use of drones – especially in so-called targeted killing operations – already raise a myriad of legal, ethical, and technical questions (which I discuss in some more detail here), LAWS add an additional layer of complexity, leading to three problems when it comes to granting them the agency to kill: the laws of war and the issue of emotions, responsibility, and de-humanization.

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