Lecture Series "Theorizing Global Order"

Lecture Series Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"

Theorizing (i)nternational (r)elations (capital and small letters) presupposes a conception of what the subject matter and its bounds actually is all about. We have to have some idea of the entity at the center of our theorizing – usually related to the “international” and some “relations” which connect political communities and/or human beings. Notions such as “international system” therefore refer to some “whole” which delimits the horizon of the political in spatial terms. It also establishes an inevitable a priori fixation or foundation for theorizing in IR.

“Order” – as in “world order” or “global order” – is another concept for grasping this “whole”. In abstract terms we take it to refer to a bounded realm or arrangement consisting of connected parts which have to cohere in some fashion. World order conceptions thus refer to an imagined whole which is structured internally by certain principles (eg. “sovereignty”, “balance of power”) and dynamics (eg. “power politics”, juridification). Human thought and practices shape (our understandings of) these orders. For this reason conceptions of order are not fixed. They depend on prevailing practices of community formation, structures of intercommunal interaction and our very beliefs about these practices. Moreover, political order thus conceived is inherently normative. To speak of some order as being (more or less) “orderly” or, alternatively, of being “better” or “worse” from a normative point of view represents a category mistake.

For a long time, prevailing conceptions of “western” IR could have been read as having committed such a category mistake since “order” – widely conceived to be “the central problem of IR” as a discipline (Ikenberry) – has often been regarded as the opposite of “disorder” or “anarchy”. During the past decades this perspective has been challenged and criticized on many fronts. In this Lecture Series scholars with different backgrounds and theoretical preferences will offer a fresh look on what it may mean to “theorize global order”.

Prof. Gunther Hellmann


29 April 2015, 6.15pm
Prof. R. B. J. (Rob) Walker, University of Victoria, Canada
The Modern International: A Scalar Politics of Divided Subjectivities

13 May 2015, 6.15pm
Prof. Pinar Bilgin, Bilkent University, Ankara
The International in Security

27 May 2015, 6.15pm
Prof. Iver Neumann, London School of Economics and Political Science
Diplomacy as Global Governance

10 June 2015, 6.15pm
Prof. Chris Reus-Smit, University of Queensland, Australia
Cultural Diversity and International Order

24 June 2015, 6.15pm
Prof. Erik Ringmar, Lund University, Sweden
Nomadic Political Theory

8 July 2015, 6.15pm
Prof. Siddhharth Mallavarapu, South Asian University, New Delhi
The Sociology of International Relations in India: Contested Readings of Global Political Order

Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum, HZ6

Presented by:
Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"

Brochure: click here...

Past: click here...


Sense of Doubt. Resisting Oblivion

A scientific-artistic projet of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" with the video exhibition memórias inapagáveis in the Metzlerpark, Museums Angewandte Kunst. Opening, 10. September 2015, 19 Uhr. For further information and programme: click here...

Trailer of "Sense of Doubt. Resisting Oblivion"

Upcoming Events

4-5 September 2015

International Workshop: Postsecularism in Global Context: New Perspectives on the Role of Religion in Postsecular Societies. Participants: Eduardo Mendieta (Pennsylvania State University), Andre C. Willis (Brown University), Malachy Okwueze (University of Nigeria), Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Goethe Universität Frankfurt), Samuel F. Müller (New School for Social Research), Emmanuel Ogbunwezeh (International Society for Human Rights). More...

10 September until 11 October 2015

A scientific-artistic project of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders": Sense of Doubt. Resisting OblivionMore...

10 September 2015, 7pm

"Sense of Doubt. Resisting Oblivion". A scientific-artistic project of the Cluster of Excellence "Normative Orders" with the video exhibition memórias inapagáveis: Start of the project. Welcoming speeches: Prof. Dr. Felix Semmelroth (Deputy Mayor in Charge of Cultural Affairs Stadt Frankfurt am Main), Matthias Wagner K (Director Museum Angewandte Kunst), Dr. Julia Cloot (Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain gGmbH), I.E. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Ambassador of the Republic of Brazil). Introduction: Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther (Curator, Co-Director Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Danilo Miranda (Director Sesc/SP). More...

Latest Media

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New full-text Publications

Günther, Klaus (2014):

Normativer Rechtspluralismus - Eine Kritik, Normative Orders Working Paper 03/2014. More...

Günther, Klaus (2014):

Criminal law, Crime and Punishment as Communication, Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2014. More...