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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group on History and Theory of International Relations

CIRR-HTIR colloquium - TILMAN LANZ: "Intellectual Retrenchment"

When:Th 19-05-2022 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Room 1315.0042, Harmonie building & Online

Research colloquium of the chair group History and Theory of International Relations.

Tilman Lanz
Intellectual Retrenchment


The concept of retrenchment provides a tool for the study and analysis of complex forms and rationalizations of retreating from the globalized world, especially of those who have been in some way engaged with it previously. In this presentation, I focus on a specific type of retrenchment, namely its intellectual or academic variant. Retrenchment can often be readily observed among groups or individuals that are cut off from partaking in process of globalization, people sometimes called the ‘losers’ of globalization. In such contexts, retrenchment tendencies can indeed be widely observed. In this presentation, however, I want to pursue what happens when members of the global academic elite engage in similar processes of retreat. I investigate why those who are paradigmatic ‘winners’ of globalization might also reject and vilify it, or at least certain versions of it. I will pursue a specific case of intellectual retrenchment, Caroline Emcke’s book Gegen den Hass (Against Hatred - 2016). I analyze how she organizes her intellectual retrenchment, how it functions, what its reasons are, and how such retrenchment impacts the political agendas of those intellectuals and academics, engaging in it. Finally, I return to the main concept of retrenchment and analyze how intellectual retrenchment is similar to or distinct from its other forms.