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Previous GGS Annual Conferences

GGS Annual Conference 2020 - "Solidarity in Times of Crisis"




The 2020 iteration of the annual GGS conference was held on the topic of “Solidarity in Times of Crisis”, and it took place on December 3rd and 4th. Despite the uncertainties and restrictions that the pandemic situation imposed upon us, we were able to conduct the conference on the planned dates – albeit in a different setting from what was originally planned. To ensure the possibility for as much interested people as possible and limit the traffic between different cities and countries, the largest part of the conference was carried out online. Everyone interested as well as many speakers could join via the provided online tools. In addition, after the ‘long summer of isolation’ in 2020, the section also facilitated the opportunity for a limited number of GGS members and some of the speakers to meet in Giessen – under strict adherence to a sanctioned safety concept and the rules of distancing.

In theconference, the various speakers talked about the more than timely issue of theories as well as practices of solidarity. On December 3rd and 4th there were two panels each day from 3 to 6 pm. In the evening, there was a keynote lecture by José Medina (Northwestern University, Evanston) on December 3rd (7 – 8.30 pm) and an international and interdisciplinary Roundtable Discussion on December 4th (7 – 9 pm).

The detailed program and further information were published on the website of the organizing section “Human Rights and Democracy”.




Thursday, December 3


Dimensions of Solidarity


Moderation: Hannes Kaufmann (Justus Liebig University Giessen)


Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt University Berlin)

Transforming Solidarities


Amy Niang (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)

Solidarity and Knowledge


Ulf Tranow (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)

Solidarity as an Analytical and Normative Concept


               (short break)


Gada Mahrouse (Concordia University, Montréal)

The Role of White Allies in Antiracism Solidarity


David Alvarez (Universidade do Minho, Braga)

Coalescing Subjects: Social Movements and Asymmetrical Conditions in the Public Sphere


Jared Holley (Free University Berlin)

Recovering the Anti-Colonial Roots of Solidarity


7-8.30 pm     

Keynote Lecture:

José Medina (Northwestern University, Evanston)

Protest, Silencing, and Solidarity


Moderation: Jeanette Ehrmann (Justus Liebig University Giessen)


Friday, December 4

3-6 pm

Practices of Solidarity


Moderation: Greta Olson (Justus Liebig University Giessen) 


Robin Celikates (Free University Berlin)

Against Integration. Solidarity ‘from Below’ and Migrant Practices of Critique


Regina Kreide (Justus Liebig University Giessen)

Political Solidarity


Andreas Busen (Hamburg University)

Performing Solidarity


(short break)


Manuela Boatcă (University of Freiburg)

The Solidarity Fund vs. the Currency of Abuse: EU Responses to Crisis


Jeanette Ehrmann (Justus Liebig University Giessen)

Selective Solidarity. Unsettling the Coloniality of Democracy


Sebastian Garbe (Justus Liebig University Giessen)

Weaving Solidarity. Decolonial Perspectives on Transnational Advocacy of and with the Mapuche


7-9 pm       

Roundtable Discussion:              

“We’re All In This Together? Solidarity in Pandemic Times”

Moderation: Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez (Justus Liebig University Giessen)


Megan Ming Francis (University of Washington, Seattle)

Beata Kowalska & Radek Nawojski (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

Jorge Calbucura (Mapuche Documentation Center, Ñuke Mapu)

Tilo Wesche (University of Oldenburg)

Volkan Çıdam (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul/Humboldt University Berlin)

Hauke Brunkhorst (Europa University Flensburg)


GGS Annual Conference 2019 "Beyond Western Liberalism: Mapping Blind Spots in IR Norm Research"

 (click to enlarge)



Beyond Western Liberalism:

Mapping Blind Spots in IR Norms Research


Annual Conference of the GGS –

Giessen Graduate Centre for Social Sciences, Business, Economics and Law

(University of Giessen)


Convened by

GGS section “Norms and Changes in Global Politics”

in cooperation with

DVPW thematic group “IR Norms Research”

Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (ISFH)

Institute of Political Science (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)


Keynote Speaker:

Jeffrey T. Checkel

Professor & Chair in International Politics

European University Institute


Date: 2nd – 3rd December 2019

Venue: Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Main building, Ludwigstr. 23, room 315, Giessen

Keynote lecture: Main building, Ludwigstr. 23, Senatssaal.


IR norms research has developed a significant body of knowledge on the question of how norms affect international relations. It has established approaches in IR that do not only take material or rational interests into account, but also the implications, meanings and effects of ideas, norms and identities. It shows how norms matter in international relations, how they come into existence and change over time. Even though IR norm research has established a geographical focus both in the global North and the global South, the substantial focus of the norms being discussed often lies on liberal or so-called Western norms, or on norm entrepreneurs who promote Western or liberal standards of appropriateness in an international context. Accordingly, a critical strand of norms research has developed over the past years, criticizing an overly ‘Euro-centric’ or ‘Western-centric’ perspective, and encompassing a broader understanding of norms as processes rather than fixed entities. It contributes to the further development of IR norms research, which is not only limited to norms as the object of research, but also takes the position of the researcher and the larger context of norms into account. This approach requires going beyond a simple ‘good v. bad’ distinction of norms, and to develop a more in-depth understanding of the standards and models that serve as yardsticks for the evaluation of norms and normative orders.

Registration: The conference welcomes interested participants (limited places available). Please register no later than November 22nd with .

The complete programme is available here.

GGS Annual Conference 2018 "Discourse, Power, Subjectivation"

The 2018 GGS annual Conference wasorganised by the research section Cultures of the Political. Under the topic "Discourse, Power, Subjectivation" the conference took place from September 12 until 14, 2018.

Discourse Studies cover a growing field of interdisciplinary research on meaning making practices, communicative activities and symbolic representations. Cultural studies, linguistics, media analysis, geography, and history, among others, highlight the role of texts, pictures and language in the constitution of truth and reality. Actor-oriented disciplines such as political science, sociology, pedagogy or economics and management studies are interested in the formation of subjectivities, identities and agencies. Focussing on the nexus of discourse, power and subjectivation this conference aims to bring different strands from the interdisciplinary field of Discourse Studies into dialogue.

Further information about the conference is available on the Diskursnetz Homepage.

GGS Annual Conference 2017 "Digital (In)Visibilities"

In Kooperation mit dem Zentrum für Medien und Interaktivität (ZMI), dem Forschungscampus Mittelhessen (FCMH) und dem Kinderrechte Filmfestival veranstaltet das Gießener Graduiertenzentrum für Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Rechtswissenschaftem (GGS) seine 4. Jahrestagung zum Thema „Digitale (Un)Sichtbarkeiten“. Die Tagung findet vom 6. – 8. Dezember 2017 auf dem Innenstadtcampus der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen statt. Neben Prof. Dr. Dariuš Zifonun (Uni Marburg) und Prof. Dr. Gerrit Sames (THM) als Keynote Speaker, erwarten Sie spannende Vorträge, Discussion Roundtables mit Ina Daßbach, Dr. Jutta Hergenhan und Prof. Dr. Dorothée de Nève (ZMI), René Grund und Dr. Michaela Goll (JLU, Institut für Soziologie) sowie einem Networking-Treffen mit dem FCMH.



Tagung Poster



Die Digitalisierung ist eine der treibenden Kräfte in der heutigen Welt und verändert unsere Gesellschaft nachhaltig. Während die Wirtschaft das schon lange erkannt hat und sich intensiv mit Arbeit und Industrie 4.0 auseinandersetzt, sieht sich gegenwärtig auch die restliche Gesellschaft vermehrt mit dem technischen Wandel konfrontiert. Öffentliche Angelegenheiten wie etwa das Gesundheits- und Bildungssystem werden zunehmend mit größtenteils unsichtbaren und algorithmischen Systemen digitalisiert. Plattformen wie Facebook, Google(+), Twitter, Instagram und viele andere verändern unser Kommunikationsverhalten und Möglichkeiten der Partizipation. Dabei werden im Hintergrund private Daten zum Öl der digitalen Welt.
Wir leben in einer zunehmend vernetzten und verdateten Gesellschaft in der neue Formen des Arbeitens, des Kommunizierens und des Lernens entstehen.

Das wirft viele Fragen auf:


  • Was passiert eigentlich im Hintergrund mit meinen Daten?
  • Wie werden wir in Zukunft arbeiten, wie forschen?
  • Wie lernen und bilden wir uns weiter?
  • Wie wollen wir unsere Kinder auf diese Zukunft vorbereiten?
  • Wie wollen wir in Zukunft an politischen Prozessen teilnehmen?
  • Wo liegen die versteckten Herausforderungen und Chancen?


Mit der Tagung wollen wir den Raum geben in einem interdisziplinären Umfeld Erfahrungen zu sammeln, Fragen aufzuwerfen, zu reflektieren und zu gestalten.


Studierende, Promovierende, Postdoktorierende, Nachwuchswissenschaftler*innen, Professor*innen und Mitarbeiter*innen aller Fachrichtungen und Universitäten sowie alle Interessierten Personen sind herzliche eingeladen an der Tagung teilzunehmen.


Hier finden Sie das vollständige Programm der Tagung



GGS Annual Conference 2015 "Intersectionality and Biography"


27th - 28th November 2015

Intersectionality pursues the goal of describing dimensions of social inequality in their 'interweaving' or 'crossover' and analyzing their interplay. Different social categories, such as gender, age or ethnicity, are therefore not considered individually or as an additive, but at the same time. Social categories in their 'interconnectedness' are not necessarily seen as static, but can be understood in their interaction as dynamic processes, as they can be traced in biographical progressions.

We assume that the innovative potential of an intersectional perspective in the context of biographical research could prove fruitful, since biographical approaches allow different social categories to be considered at the same time and, on the other hand, to trace whether and how the interplay of different social sciences can be pursued Categories may have changed over the course of life. A biographical view could open up a new possibility for determining the biographical relevance of social categories.


Keynote Speakers:

Helma Lutz (Frankfurt am Main)

Dorle Klika/Christine Demmer (Siegen)

GGS Annual Conference 2014 "Mediatisation of Social Conflicts"

3rd - 5th December 2014


Technical developments, especially in the field of new information and communication technologies, have contributed significantly to a change in our worlds of life. The Gießen Graduate Conference "Mediatization of Social Conflicts" focuses on the role of media in social transformation processes of public discourses and everyday practices. In doing so, the question will be examined of the influence of media on the arrangement, discharge and reception of social conflicts. Are they conflict-stiffening, aggravating or even generating new conflicts? With which methods can the interaction of media and social conflicts be examined against this background? The focus will be on media change and conflict visualization, mass medial conflict communication in theory and practice, the mediatization of age (s) and the mediatization of violence (conflicts).


Keynote Speakers:

Prof Dr Manfred Faßler (Frankfurt)
Prof Dr Hans-Jürgen Bucher (Trier)
Prof Dr Kurt Imhof (Zürich)
Prof Dr Rainer Winter (Klagenfurt)

GGS Annual Conference 2013 "Communication in Capital Markets"

24th - 25th October 2013

The functioning of financial markets is to a significant degree a matter of communication. This applies both to their economic and their social dimensions. Communicating with financial markets has become increasingly important for firms, investors and policymakers. Moreover, the channels of information dissemination and transmission are continuously evolving. At the same time, financial processes, which tend to become ever more specialized, technicized and opaque, are being made subject to public communication, interpretation, and critique. The issue of financial communication, thus, represents a meeting ground for academic research in economics, business studies and the social sciences. The conference “Communication in Capital Markets,” organized at the newly founded Giessen Graduate Centre for Social Sciences, Business, Economics and Law (GGS), brings together doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from sociology, finance, economics, and accounting with scholars and practitioners in finance and media communication.


Keynote Speakers:

Prof Dr Doris Merkl-Davies, Bangor Business School, UK
Tobias Spanka, General Manager, Germany & Austria, Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing Group, Brussels, Frankfurt/Main