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Tech Wars and Global Critical Infrastructures: Me at SPS 23

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I am happy to announce that two contributions have been accepted to the Science Peace Security (SPS) ’23 conference this September in Darmstadt. This is the third SPS conference and the previous ones were absolutely wonderful, so you can imagine how much I am looking forward to it.

The first contribution is a paper by Jakob Landwehr-Matlé, Kai Oppermann (both TU Chemnitz) and myself from our „Tech War“ project. Here’s the abstract:

In the course of digitalisation, technology leadership has become a central dimension of the increasing geopolitical and geo-economic great power competition in the US-China-EU triangle. The securitisation of digital high technologies finds expression in the widespread perception of an intensifying „tech war“ between the three actors. This paper discusses the prevailing interpretations of digital technology competition in the interaction between the US, China and the EU from a social constructivist perspective. By means of a narrative analysis, the focus is placed on narratives in order to be able to analyse the intersubjectively negotiated patterns of interpretation of the acting actors and ultimately to identify possibilities for cooperation and risks of conflict escalation. As a paradigmatic case study, the field of artificial intelligence (AI) is treated, in which narratives of an „AI arms race“ and technological leadership become prominent in recent years.

The second contribution will be a poster on my emerging project on Global Critical Infrastructures. This will be mostly pretty pictures and figures but here’s the abstract nonetheless:

Critical infrastructure (CRITIS) is “an asset or system which is essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions”. In other words, CRITIS are essential for the supply of populations, but the concept is only ever applied to the national scale. But what are the critical infrastructures of humanity as a whole? In the face of the advancing Anthropocene and accelerating environmental change, this contributions asks whether world society’s infrastructures are prepared for supplying all of humankind while adapting to more sustainable modes of governing essential functions. Its main aim is a reconceptualization and a rescaling of the CRITIS concept to a global scale. To that end, it identifies CRITIS sectors from a comparison of national taxonomies. Drawing on literature on global governance and global public goods, it then advances a framework for theorizing

 authority and responsibility for the global provision of critical goods and services.

Are you coming to Darmstadt? Chat me up using the code word „Blog“ and I’ll give you one of the cool „Staatskollaps“ buttons we made for a project a few years ago.

[EDIT: The preliminary program is now out at Check it out!]


  1. […] I am co-organizing two panels on the geopolitics of digital infrastructures at the German Geographical Congress (not sure about that translation, though – it’s the Deutscher Kongress für Geographie). I’m doing this together with Georg Glasze and Finn Dammann – two proper geographers who have kindly taken on this boundary-crossing political scientist. Both panels are scheduled for Friday afternoon (22 September). This is possibly not the most attractive time for conference-goers but it allows me to attend the DKG even though it overlaps with the SPS conference in nearby Darmstadt. […]

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