Research on “International Dissidence – Rule and Dissent in Global Politics” at the Goethe University Frankfurt examines radical political resistance in its organizational and discursive expressions as a means to reconstruct forms of global rule. The projects are funded by the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

International Dissidence - Rule and Resistance in Global Politics

Graffito at Goethe University Frankfurt, March 2012. Photo by frankfurtstreets@tumblr

The on-going process of globalization leads not only to ever denser international and transnational relations, it also accentuates resistance against the global political order, as is evident in increasing opposition to liberal economic models, disregard for international regulations and open protest against ‘western values’, for example. These developments are potentially linked to the fact that international institutions and norms increasingly affect national politics and demand ever more adaptation from both states and non-state actors. Protest and other forms of political resistance have found little systematic treatment in International Relations until now because established paradigms of international politics are not equipped to capture these phenomena. Only a perspective that conceives of global politics as a manifest system of rule in its institutional and normative instantiations can perceive, explain and assess the normative import international dissidence, that is, radical opposition to institutions and norms at the core of international politics.

The question as to when opposition radicalizes and transforms from mere dissent to dissidence is at the core of the dissidence research network. To this end, it is necessary to distinguish different forms of radicalization and to determine the role structures of rule in global politics play in each. The various projects will contribute by reconstructing different dimensions of international dissidence, rule and resistance in international relations.