Manual Re-Imagining a Politics of Life: From Governance of Order to Politics of Movement

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Since the late s, the Nordic states have adopted strategies to brand themselves as nations and as a region in the global reputational market. Given the international prominence of Nordic social models and their salience for self-understanding within Nordic countries, we examine how these models have been used to create the general Nordic brand and have emerged as specific brands themselves.

We also analyse cross-cutting themes of agents and audiences, model selectivity and brand aesthetics. Transnational migration has transformed the Nordic countries into multicultural entities during recent decades. Questions of assimilation, integration or multi-culturalism, and the relations between immigrant groups and majority societies have become controversial.

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They have been exploited by populist parties, and are becoming significant for domestic political agendas. At the same time Norden maintains a high profile in global issues such as development, peace, and the environment. Humanitarianism has become a global industry, where the Nordics are regarded as esteemed promotors and actors. Does this mean that Norden has become more fluid and ambiguous as a concept? The impact of climate change is likely to be particularly marked in the High North, while the Nordic countries are significant actors in both renewable energy and fossil fuels.

ReNEW seek to improve accounts of intra-Nordic diversity; by charting global agendas and interactions; and by strengthening a post-colonial perspective. Rather than inquiring about Nordic approaches and essence we will do research on the global challenges confronted by Nordic societies. The aim is to understand issues such as multi-culturalism, diversity, mobility, Europeanization and globalization.

Perceptions of the Nordic region as a distinctive political entity have long been reinforced by references to Nordic culture, education and specific Nordic cultural products. In recent years phenomena as diverse as Nordic noir, new Nordic cuisine and Nordic design have achieved global recognition, as Nordic literature and architecture have historically. ReNEW will also focus on the rapidly developing area of digital technology and culture.

The Nordic countries are on top of rankings for digitalization and noted for their progress towards a digital economy and society, while Nordic innovations in the fields of social media and gaming are also well-known e. Skype, Spotify, Rovio.

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While digitalization presents new opportunities for research, teaching and communication in all areas of scholarship, it also raises serious questions: How can we deal with the challenges to the public sphere posed by cultural development patterns related to mediation and digitalization? Nordic cooperation and region-building. Democracy, governance and law.

Public policy, gender equality and labour markets. Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation. We might say that our first contemporary legal project of re-thinking has been the project, underway for more than twenty years, to write new histories of our conventional fields. To understand what they thought they were renewing and replacing, and how what we have thought about global governance has nevertheless stayed so long so similar. We now have histories which track the origins of contemporary international law not to or the Roman Empire, but to the mid and late nineteenth century, histories which link our conventional legal disciplines to the imaginative political and ideological projects of particular people, inspired by one or another version of European liberalism and legalism, wed to the colonial endeavor, and histories that follow the repeated remaking of these traditions across the twentieth century in bursts of modernist revision.

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As projects of re-imagination, reconstitution and reform, our conventional disciplines have been pulled this way and that by political and ideological trends which have swept through the society and the academy, perhaps most conspicuously in the last years by feminism and various post-colonialisms — but also by neo-formalism, institutionalism and fads for everything from linguistic to economic analysis. There remains much we can learn from exploring these conventional projects, although we have lost confidence in them both as maps of the world and as programs for liberal reform.

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Taken together, their picture of the way the world is governed is striking for its blind spots and biases. But it remains worth understanding why not and how they could have seemed so coherent for so long. The intellectuals who built them also sought to reconnect the global legal order with the social and psychological forces of their day, to codify that order, to capture it in principles, structure it with new institutions, and treat those new institutions as more than the sum of their parts.

We can learn from their ambitions as well as their techniques. Broadly speaking, these were all humanist endeavors, extending what they had learned at home about humanism to the global stage.

Re-imagining the public / re-imagining the political - Making Science Public

We can learn from the limitations and possibilities of a century of legal humanism on the world state. Moreover, little that these conventional disciplines set in motion has been lost — it is all there, in fragments, built into this or that corner of our imagination and our institutional fabric.

Their ideas and formulations continue to have currency. Indeed, even when we move away from the conventional disciplines, we find a history of renewal and reform. In the United States , three projects of re-imagination stand out, each, oddly, associated with a particular University. We might see them as the mothers-of-all-reinventions in the field of global governance.

At the base was not the politics of sovereignty — but neither was there a grundnorm. There were procedures and values, modes of communication, persuasion and compulsion. Everything was on a continuum, anti-formal, requiring judgment and human ethical choice. Elites inhabited a policy process, in which they would as often make as follow the law.

Global governance was a work in progress, a terribly serious business, neither irrational politics nor rational law, but an ongoing project to choose a world public order of freedom and justice.


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The second was something of a reaction, an alternative found for a generation in Manhattan , at Columbia and NYU, and associated with in an astonishing group of figures — Franck, Friedmann, Henkin, Schachter and their many colleagues. Rules seemed more necessary to restrain the Cold War great powers. The United Nations loomed large, the Charter providing at once a set of restraints, a venue for multilateralism, and a ready vernacular and perspective for the legitimation and delegitimation of national power. For the Manhatten School , global governance was to be as much a work of the spirit, a work on the self, as a structure of rules and institutions.

If he was right, Holmes and Hohfeld had been defeated. It was not all about remedies and every right no longer implied a correlative duty. Social order had been replaced — and ensured — by collective social practice and belief. Human rights was not the only idea proposed for governance-by-consciousness. There was also democracy, human freedom, and the human propensity to truck and barter.

Neo-liberalism, after all, was not only the disciplining creed of a few international financial institutions and first world governments — it was the spirit of an age, enforcing itself wherever two were gathered in its name, in city governments, corporate boardrooms, local central banks and dozens of national civil services.

(Re)Imagining Law: Marginalised Bodies/Indigenous Spaces

The third great project of re-imagination was a bit of a reaction to the reaction. The state was opened up, broken apart, replaced by the shifting internal dynamics of national bureaucracies and local powers, and the distribution among them of the authority to resolve various issues. The focus shifted from keeping the peace, structuring co-existence or facilitating projects of cooperation to dispute resolution and the chastening of political will which comes with exposure to the sands of international reaction.

Their work was also interdisciplinary, drawing on public choice theories and new institutionalisms in both political science and economics. No doubt these traditions overlapped and learned from one another. Each explicitly rejected conventional disciplinary boundaries, blurred public and private, national and international, and drew inspiration from colleagues elsewhere in the social sciences. For each, the legal order stood at the center of global order. For each, the global order had a structure — a world of cooperation and co-existence, of democracies and others, of states promoting a world public order of freedom or justice and those with more dubious designs.

From the inside, it was all invention, imagination, new governance and the art of managing conflicting principles while aiming for the receding horizon of global justice. There is now a large literature assessing the weaknesses and limitations of these schools of thought. They have criticized one another and survived long enough to give rise to internal eddies of discontent and rethinking.

Like the disciplines which preceded them, they remain all around us, their central ideas, institutional and doctrinal innovations remain useful, and are, in fact, used every day by courts and diplomats and activists and scholars. Just when we were beginning to think we might have had it licked, I am afraid that these traditions, like those which they overthrew, lost their ability to inspire.

But they suddenly seem parochial — studied elsewhere as yet more idiosyncratic emanations of the American empire. Each has been sullied by the struggle for policy bite in Washington. The last few years have brought yet another group of large scale proposals to re-interpret the world of law.