ALMA Research Series in summer term 2021

15. July 2021 - 12:30

In 2016, the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) has launched the ALMA research series in cooperation with Freiburg University. The research series aims at interconnecting research interests from different parts of the university and affiliated institutes. ALMA places particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity: a feature that is also evident in the discussion format, which includes presenters and discussants from different disciplinary backgrounds. The overall focus lies on empirical-comparative analyses of socio-political phenomena in extra-European areas and societies. The main target group of the ALMA series includes social sciences and humanities scholars that are currently pursuing a PhD and/or pursuing advanced/postdoctoral research projects.

The ALMA Research Series thus benefits from exchange and discussion among many. In view of the current circumstances we are moving the series to a digital room, although this is not our preferred option.

The lectures take place on Thursdays from 12.30 pm to 2 pm CEST via zoom - four times during term. Please register (name, first name, email address; at the bottom). You will receive a zoom link for participation.


These are the lectures of summer term 2021

July 15th 2021 Elite Networks and the Transregional Dimension of Authoritarianism: Sino-Emirati Relations in Times of a Global Pandemic; Paper by Julia Gurol (Political Science), Discussant: René Trappel (Sinology)

Scholarly debates on Chinese foreign policy in the Middle East and the international dimension of authoritarianism have gained momentum since the launch of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. At the same time, the global pandemic provided a window of opportunity to autocrats worldwide to fine-tune their modes of surveillance for the sake of regime survival. This article deconstructs Sino-Emirati relations in the field of digital surveillance. Inspired by Social Network Theory, we explore three transregional public-private elite networks as multipliers for the travelling of authoritarian practices. We show that authoritarian diffusion under the umbrella of fighting the pandemic is not spatially bound to geopolitical proximity or other structural similarities, but rather a global phenomenon that is reproduced by state and non-state actors.

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Elite Networks and the Transregional Dimension of Authoritarianism: Sino-Emirati Relations in Times of a Global Pandemic