Urban Governance: Innovation, Insecurity and the Power of Religion

The Tenth Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality were held in Berlin from 18 - 23 March 2009 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB). The Roundtables addressed the chances and challenges that the “new urban age” entails. With particular focus on different forms of innovative urban potential, on security governance, and on the power and influence of religion, discussions centered around current developments and governance strategies found in large urban agglomerations unprecedented in size and growing at an accelerated pace.

Following an international essay competition, approx. 40 young(er) academics and activists discussed their research and ideas with prominent scholars in three workshops chaired by Prof. Harald A. Mieg (Professor of Geography, Humboldt-University Berlin), Prof. Gunnar Folke Schuppert (Professor of Law, WZB / Hertie School of Governance) and Prof. José Casanova (Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University).

The following evening lectures accompanied the programme:

1) Saskia Sassen (Professor of Sociology, Columbia University) - Keynote Speech, 18 March 2008
"Cities as Frontier Spaces: Where Governance Crises Become Concrete and Urgent"
Discussant: Harald Mieg (Professor of Geography, Humboldt-University Berlin)

2) Gunnar Folke Schuppert (Professor of Law, WZB / Hertie School of Governance)
"Failed States and Public Security"
Discussant: Kurt Shaw (Executive Director, Shine-a-Light, Santa Fe)

3) José Casanova (Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University), 20 March 2008
"Immigrant Religious Communities and Governance from Below in Global Cities"

An international jury will award three three-months fellowships to be used for research at the WZB, the Humboldt-University and the State library Berlin. The Grant includes a monthly stipend of EUR 1,000 plus accommodation and its winners will be invited to join a follow-up workshop in Berlin in 2009/2010.

Members of the Jury are:

  • Susanne Baer,
    Professor of Law and Gender Studies, Humboldt-University Berlin
  • Sabine Berking,
    Researcher, Irmgard Coninx Foundation
  • Leopold von Carlowitz,
    Researcher, Irmgard Coninx Foundation
  • José Casanova,
    Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
  • Jürgen Kocka,
    Professor of History, WZB
  • Ari Kohen,
    Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.
  • Harald A. Mieg,
    Professor of Geography, Humboldt-University Berlin
  • Anél de Plessis,
    Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa.
  • Ingo Richter,
    Professor of Law, Chairman of Irmgard Coninx Foundation
  • Gunnar Folke Schuppert,
    Professor of Law, WZB / Hertie School of Governance
  • Michael Waibel, Research Associate, Economic Geography, University of Hamburg