The Case for Interdisciplinary Crisis Studies

Annika Rosamund Bergmann, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Mo Hamza, Jeff Hearn, Vasna Ramasar, Helle Rydström

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Abstract

Alarming reports on crises are appearing and being published on a daily basis in different expressions from climate change, to people’s movement and displacement, to armed conflict. Claims to crisis may involve tangible displays of desperate refugees, civilian casualties or persisting, if not, permanent poverty. Moreover, crisis relates to more abstract concepts such as failing democracy, instability in the liberal world order or national and global economic inequality. Crisis, in a sense, seemingly weaves the contemporary world together (Latour 1993), and this trend is reinforced by the frequent occurrence of mediatized or media-tuned global crisis narratives, many of which are currently shaped by populist apocalyptic ideology (Judis 2016). At the same time, crisis refers to social forces that can disrupt life and frame realities in ways, which go beyond prevalent discursive narratives (Jaques 2009; Smith and Vivekananda 2009). Crisis can also serve as a turning point and an opportunity for transformational change in a system (e.g. Polanyi 1944; Walby 2015). In particular, we outline an interdisciplinary approach to crisis as both concept and event, and thus to crisis studies, that moves away from some tendencies to see crisis as ahistorical, but rather emphasises uncertainty and contingency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Discourse
Early online date13 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Mar 2020

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Rosamund Bergmann, A., Gammeltoft-Hansen, T., Hamza, M., Hearn, J., Ramasar, V., & Rydström, H. (2020). The Case for Interdisciplinary Crisis Studies. Global Discourse. https://doi.org/10.1332/204378920X15802967811683