About Politics, Media and Nation-building
As soon as society becomes organised and – in particular – hierarchical, power must be manifested publicly in order to maintain and legitimise itself. All authority structures seeking to maintain their position must use arguments to convince the public of the natural and independent character of the socio-political, socio-economic and cultural constructs to which all belong. Every social context, local, national or international, has its own politico-administrative instruments and organisations, and distinguishes itself through its own political culture and political history. The central question for this research is how authority structures deal with the increasingly interwoven social trends towards globalisation on the one hand and the tendency among certain groups to emphasise a desire for individuality or autonomy on the other.
It is not only the politico-administrative organisation that plays a role in political organisation and culture (including the delineation of different administrative responsibilities); socio-economic factors in particular help determine political behaviour (the ‘political culture’).
The research focuses on ‘political culture’ and its history in the abovementioned areas (local, national and international). The notion of political culture embraces the two following domains of historical research:
- what definitions have been given in the course of time to the domain of ‘the political’ (‘das Politische’) and
- what linguistic, argumentative, organisational and rhetorical strategies have been adopted in order to define the domain of ‘the political’? Self-evidently, the media have importantly contributed to this, especially in more recent times.
The research in this group is centered around three main focus points:
- The dominantly historical aspects are studied in the E.H. Kossmann Institute. Contacts are Prof.dr. D.F.J. Bosscher and Dr. D.J. Wolffram. Focus points are political philosophy and theory, political organizations, politics and media - mediatisation, and the history of policy-making.
- The other area of research is much more related to the evolutions in the International Relations and Organisations (in particular to questions related to the European Union, the United Nations as well as safety problems, humanitarian aid and their military aspects. The last elements are the main occupation of CESS (the Centre for European Security Studies), which is directed by Prof. P.M.E. Volten. The socio-economic aspects of the above-mentioned research projects are studied by a group directed by Prof. dr. H.W. Hoen.
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