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1997 Conferences

Non-State Actors and Authority in the Global System

(Inaugural conference) 31 October - 1 November 1997, University of Warwick.

Globalisation versus Regionalisation: New Trends in World Politics

(Ph.D. conference) 10–11 December 1997, University of Warwick.

Over 100 postgraduate students from universities in the UK and on the Continent attended this postgraduate conference of 12 panels with papers on the neo-liberal world financial order, the myth of globalisation, the options of South Africa in the era of globalisation and many more topics. The parameters of the debate were set by the two keynote speakers. Professor Phil Cerny (Leeds University) maintained in his lecture ‘Globalising the Political, Politicising the Global,’ that globalisation, in which economic and technological factors were important drivers, had led to a structural change of the international state-system. In the new multi-layered system, additional centres of power had emerged below and above the state. This would not, however, imply that globalisation was characterised by an inevitable spread of liberalisation. Instead, politics could assert itself over market forces and various different future developments were conceivable. On the other hand, Dr. Grahame Thompson (Open University), denied in his presentation ‘What is "New" about Globalisation: Trends and Responses for National Policies,’ that these changes were significant enough to warrant a total econceptualisation of our thinking about the international economic system. The ‘beasts’ of the international economy had changed, but it would still be states which had the opportunity to tame them and counter socially negative neo-liberal policies.