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“SFB 700 International Conference “Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood. By whom, for whom, and to what effect?” held at Freie Universität Berlin”

From May 26-28 the SFB 700 held its 2011 International Conference entitled ““Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood: By whom, for whom and to what effect?” at Freie Universität Berlin. Invited were 150 leading social science scholars to discuss the results of Center’s work some six years after its inception.

News from Jul 04, 2011

The participants were welcomed on Thursday, May 26 by the coordinators of the Research Center, Thomas Risse and Stefan Rinke and had the opportunity to discuss current international events in the Arab world with Tom Koenigs, the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee in Germany’s National Parliament (Bundestag) during an After-Dinner Speech at Berlin’s Ethnological Museum.

Following an opening presentation by Thomas Risse on the research questions and preliminary results of the SFB 700, lively discussions evolved throughout Friday, as participants dispersed into several panel sessions. Members of SFB 700 introduced their various projects and received feedback from discussants as well as from peers in the audience. Addressing questions such as “How Does Governance Happen?”, “How much State is Necessary for Governance?”, and “Governance for Whom?”, participants were introduced to the current state of research at SFB 700. For members of the Research Center the panel sessions proved to be a valuable opportunity to receive reviews and comments from leading colleagues, which will allow the SFB 700 to refine its research questions and hypotheses in the coming years.

On Friday evening, the conference was opened to the public. A panel of experts and scholars from the Middle East and outside discussed the recent revolutions and ensuing challenges to authoritarian statehood in North Africa and the Middle East. The panel “Authoritarian Statehood Challenged: The Arab World in Turmoil”, included Sinan Antoon (New York University), Michael N. Barnett (George Washington University), Cilja Harders (SFB 700), Amichai Magen (The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya), Sherif Younis (Helwan University, Cairo) and was chaired by the SFB 700’s Managing Director Gregor Walter-Drop.

Addressing a crowded lecture hall at Henry-Ford-Bau on Saturday, James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology at Yale University, gave an intriguing Academic Keynote Address on “Non-Governance:  A Brief History of Non-State Spaces”. The conference concluded with a panel discussion that included the distinguished scholars Ulf Engel (Universität Leipzig), Stephen Krasner (Stanford University), Ursula Lehmkuhl (Universität Trier) and Ursula Schröder (SFB 700), who shared their concluding thoughts on the next years of research at the Research Center with members of SFB 700 as well as with a large public audience.

Video footage of keynote events as well as photos from all conference events are available through the SFB 700 Conference homepage: http://www.sfb-governance.de/conference2011

The Collaborative Research Center SFB 700 would like to thank all participants and guests for the lively discussions during the conference and the great interest taken in its research. Their contributions and insights were valuable and highly appreciated. The SFB 700 aims to further disseminate its research results and stay connected with the academic community and beyond.

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