25 Aug PODCAST | “A revolution without revolutionary subjects”: Ulrich Beck on the global world
This seminar discusses sociologist Ulrich Beck’s theory of reflexive modernisation, comprising the three theorems of individualisation, risk society and cosmopolitisation. According to this theory, modernisation and modern knowledge production reflexively backfire and do not only undermine modern institutions but the very principles they are grounded in, setting into gear a ‘revolution without revolutionary subjects’, as Beck puts it, a lived reality of cosmopolitisation. Recognising that Beck himself saw the main goal of his intellectual endeavour as pushing for an epistemological shift in the social sciences from ‘methodological nationalism’ to ‘methodological cosmopolitanism’, the seminar puts forward for debate a ‘translation’ of his theory into an approach that studies socio-political realities from within a ‘cosmopolitised world’.
Sabine Selchow is Research Associate at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, London School of Economics (LSE), and Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London (UCL). From 2013-2016 she was Research Fellow in the ERC-funded project ‘Methodological Cosmopolitanism’, under the directorship of the late Ulrich Beck at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Germany. Sabine is currently Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellow in the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney. She holds a PhD in Government from the LSE.