What are fiction stories

Political narratives

Theorizing narratives: conceptual and methodological considerations


Political narratives. Contours of a political science narrative theory

A turn to narration can be observed both in the political public as well as in social science research practice. The central importance of narratives in conveying meaning in human communication is hardly disputed anymore. However, the implications and practical research consequences for political science have not yet been clarified. What role do narratives play in social understanding? What is the formative power of narratives for politics? What is the political aspect of storytelling? Which narrative techniques and practices can be observed in particular among political actors? How does such a research perspective differ from approaches that focus on arguments or discourses? The present contribution aims to approach these questions conceptually and thus shed light on the fundamental problems of a political science narrative analysis. As a preliminary result, an open heuristic is proposed that aims to make the focus on the narrative fruitful for political science.
Frank Gadinger, Sebastian Jarzebski, Taylan Yildiz

Narration upon narration. Importance and methodology of narrative analysis

After literary studies, linguistics, cultural studies, psychology and philosophy, the concepts of narration, narration and narrative have also motivated a large number of studies in the social sciences. While social-scientific narrative research mostly focuses on viewing narratives as research objects, following work from historical studies in particular, but also initial approaches in political science, the attempt is made to take a second perspective of the narrative as a research strategy and form of representation, usually more interpretive to present social science research. The aim of this article is to outline the outlines of the most important approaches and developments in the field of social science narrative research and to shed light on their theoretical roots.
Dominika Biegoń, Frank Nullmeier

Narratives in the field of politics, politics through narratives. Reflections on the Role of Narrations in Political Science

The human being was and is a story-telling, receiving and interpreting being! In this regard, narratives are to be understood as a “metacode” by means of which we - culturally and transculturally - “(re) construct” and interpretively process realities experienced in different ways, by providing them with structures from human time, and above all in the first place once to make it communicable, so to speak in a narrative way to "speak". As a rule, people in acts of narration draw - in a more or less creative way - from the store of (inter-) culturally available stories, be it to express lived experience in the narrative or to design possible worlds in fictional stories, be it to say who we are or were, could or should be as a collective or as an individual - including the history of (collective) (self) threats.

Political Imaginative. From the public narrative to transnational spaces of discourse

Social science terms are not without preconditions, but can be characterized as imaginative in which historically grown categories are expressed in a research-shaping way. Such a powerful imaginative is expressed in the term public, which can be heard again and again in contemporary discourses in science and practice. In the literature, however, different names are used for meta-concepts that aim to describe the performative power of social science terms. In this article it is argued that this fact can be sharpened theoretically and conceptually with the concept of the imaginative. The conceptual sharpening is based on a constructivist-knowledge-sociological approach, which poses the question of the constitution of knowledge systems as they are fundamental for communication in science and society. Which orders of knowledge are conveyed via an imaginative depends on the historically grown patterns of perception and interpretation as well as on the respectively established values ​​and symbols.

Design narratives: policy fields and technology


Narratives and the participatory governance of green nanotechnologies. Methodological and methodological considerations

Following the conceptual considerations of my previous contribution on narrative discourse analysis, the following article aims to provide some information on the question and analysis perspective as well as the methodology and to illustrate this with examples from the field of participatory governance of knowledge production in the field of nanotechnologies. The contribution is based on the assumption that narrative discourse analysis and concepts of governance research could be fruitfully combined without the necessary justification work being able to be done at this point. In the German governance discussion - I would like to point out the background information to the reader - the term governance mostly refers to processes of non-hierarchical coordination of actions, in complex, often polycentric structures of action and decision-making, in which both state and non-state actors are involved are or can be. Mostly in contrast to the concept of control, the term governance emphasizes the importance of institutional regulatory structures in the structuring and coordination of actions and practices. This also applies to the governance of knowledge production. Without being able to justify this at this point, however, I assume firstly that governance processes are not only based on cooperation and consensus-building, but are to a large extent shaped by conflict and dissent, whereby in principle the productive role of dissent should not be underestimated is. Secondly, I would like to claim that narrative discourses, which are characterized by a conflict of interpretations about the appropriateness of innovation programs, structure not only the processes of the coordination of actions by stakeholders and other actors involved in the discourse, but also when a corresponding policy field is being constituted and the relevant policy field Structuring of the definition relationships - this includes, among other things agenda-building and agenda-setting processes) - and play a central role in the legitimation of innovation policy programs. In this respect, the assumption that civil society actors also participate in the conflictual process of knowledge and technology production in the innovation-political field of so-called nanotechnologies forms the background thesis of the following methodological and methodological considerations, which are essentially illustrative. The subsequent discussion, however, does not claim to have captured the breadth and dynamics of the trans- and international nanotechnological governance discourse. Neither do I go back to the currently discussed problems of governance research at this point.

The city as a horizon of meaning: On the contextuality of political narratives

The interpretative turn in policy research, with its interest in the context-bound construction of problems, has so far hardly found its way into local policy research. Starting from the city as a narrative sounding board, against the background of which political problems are constructed discursively in a specific way, has so far been at best a marginal research perspective. The present article follows considerations on the “intrinsic logic of cities”, according to which every city evokes a distinct horizon of meaning, and reconstructs from a city-comparative perspective to what extent this is reflected in city-specific narratives about local problems. The analysis of the problematizations in Frankfurt, Dortmund, Birmingham and Glasgow shows that each city has its own relation of past, present and future in the sense of a meta-narrative that functions as a collective reference point in the discourse.
Marlon Barbehön, Sybille Münch

The green revolution at the gas station? The relevance of political narratives using the example of the introduction of the biofuel E10

In the course of the introduction of the biofuel E10, there is apparently a tension between the German love for the automobile and the environmental awareness of the Germans: Although environmental awareness has also increased with regard to motorized private transport in recent years, the boycott of E10 appears in 2011 to show the limits of green driving. In this article, the various argumentation and interpretation patterns in the media discourse on the introduction of the biofuel E10 are worked out. In addition, various media-conveyed narratives are reconstructed that provide information on the reasons for the rejection of E10.

Narrative Perspectives: Global and Local


Narrative praxiography. Clandestine Practices and the Grand Narrative of Somali Piracy

Praxiography, the empirical study of practices, faces a fundamental methodological problem: How can practices be studied when access to direct observation of the activities that constitute practices is closed? The paper develops the approach of narrative praxiography as an answer that focuses on the study of narrative. A practice like that of piracy cannot simply be inferred from a classic spectrum of ethnographic methods such as participatory observation. However, a narrative on which the practice is based can be reconstructed using public statements by Somali pirates. This narrative is to be understood as a constitutive part of the practice. The narrative is both instrumental in carrying out the practice and an identity-creating construct. The basis of such an understanding of narratives is the move away from a representative understanding of the text towards a pragmatic and performative understanding. The article is structured in three parts. The first part examines the relationship between narratives and practices from a conceptual point of view. The second part reconstructs the grand narrative of Somali piracy using passages from interviews and press releases by pirates and then “follows” the narrative in those situations in which it is used. In a third part, the question of the extent to which the outlined research perspective of narrative praxeology can also be applied in other fields in which participatory observation is hardly possible.

Global narratives, local rhetoric: The 2004 locust plague in Senegal

Political narratives can occur on different communicative levels. B. appear as part of media-led discourses, live debates, files and minutes or newspaper reports. In all of these contexts, political narratives usually manifest themselves as solidified concepts, images, argumentation patterns or genres, but they can sometimes also appear as spontaneous expressions and fluid forms of expression, which initially form a potential for further stabilization. Especially because of their tendency to become entrenched and the resulting social standardization, political narratives are often highly controversial among the individual parties involved in the discourse, at least at the beginning. The theme of this text is the relationship between discourses that are disseminated through globally circulated media and communicative practices that are practiced in a context-sensitive local here and now. Of course, the local forms of communication do not occur in isolation from the discursive influences of the wider environment, nor are the discourses that continue to circulate separate from local dynamics. Both levels are in an interaction, which, however, can be more or less strong. Narrative patterns, which are the subject of this book, can be found on both levels of communication, local practices as well as global discourses. Such narratives can also assume political meanings and functions on both levels, but the dynamic here is very different: it is dialogical and context-sensitive on the local level and monological and less contextual in the global discourse. Due to the quasi-propagandistic, hegemonic discourse power of global narratives, a homogenization (and, associated with this, a semantic emptying) of the discourses and ideas spread across the world was feared; however, due to the unpredictability of local dynamics, a so-called re-embedding, i.e. H. noted a creative re-contextualization and new contextualization of global ideas in a contextually shaped here and now.

The liberal meta-narrative and identity conflicts: Against the liberal Just Peace as a script for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In the political discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the concept of Just Peace is a much-cited reference point. The following article will present a specifically liberal understanding of Just Peace and argue that the weaknesses of the previous peace policy in the Middle East conflict can be explained by certain “blind spots”, which implies this understanding. For this purpose, the metanarrativity of liberal ideas of justice and peace is to be shown, so that on the one hand their contingency and on the other hand their aporetic structures become visible. The liberal narrative shows a particular weakness in relation to identity conflicts, as shown here using the example of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The dictum of the end of the “great narratives” should therefore also be taken seriously in the practice of peacebuilding and the liberal meta-narrative of Just Peace should be abandoned as the script of the Middle East peace process. Instead, small, group-specific narratives should be given more space, as the post will conclude. Such a reconstruction of the conflict opens the perspective for reconciliation and sharpens the view for specific justice claims, which can only be served if the focus is neither on a seemingly neutral liberal peace solution nor on the hegemonic narratives of the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Narratives of domination: literature and image


The great story of successful popular rule and its literary disturbance - an exemplary presentation based on forgotten novels from the interwar period

Narratives are narratives that produce reality, stabilize interpretations and naturalize them in such a way that alternative ways of thinking seem to be excluded. A prominent example is the narrative of democracy as a successful achievement of “our” culture, even if this narrative is incompatible with experiences in the political field, which works largely through exclusionary principles (cf. Bourdieu). Long before post-democratic phenomena were theoretically understood, counter-narratives can be found in literary modernism in which such mechanisms of exclusion are illustrated. Using the example of a fundamental change in principles of vision and division (Bourdieu), this article shows the benefits and the political necessity of interdisciplinary research that understands the division of the sensual (Rancière) as a matter of science, politics and art.

Visual Narratives in Politics. Representations of Barack Obama's rule in political art

The connection between images, politics and power has been the subject of controversial discussion in political science for some time. While the systematic preoccupation with visual representations in the field of international relations has increased significantly in recent years, the debate between Klaus von Beyme and Christine Landfried about the lack of a political science-informed examination of art, i.e. an art politology, shows that there is definitely a need is to reflect more methodically on the connection between art, images and politics. But while von Beyme recently stated rather resignedly that political science was more interested in democracy after the Second World War, in which the "amalgamation between art and politics" had steadily decreased, which is why there could be no art politics, Christine Landfried demands that Development of an art politics in the sense of Beymes, which must deal with the "tradition of art politics and the legitimation principles of democratic states".

Narrative Power Techniques: Leadership and Mediation


Storytelling in the United Nations: Mahbub ul Haq and human development

Based on the observation that United Nations employees can play an important role in processes of ideal change on an international level, this article deals with a certain form of individual influence - storytelling.My understanding of storytelling as an influencing tactic combines collective elements of sociological practice theory with the reflective, actor-related considerations of Michel de Certeau. I analyze storytelling on the basis of three analytical elements: a (chronological) plot, a series of characters and an interpretive theme - each of which unfolds its effect in interaction with the subjectivity of its storyteller. I illustrate these theoretical considerations with the case of Mahbub ul Haq, who, as special advisor to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) administrator, succeeded in introducing the idea of ​​human development in the United Nations system and international development policy at the beginning of the 1990s establish.

Political narratives in authoritarian domination contexts

In autocracies, the political narrative focuses mainly on political leadership and is above all part of strategies for securing the existing structure of rule. Narratives thus function primarily as a means of ideological legitimation of authoritarian rule. The focus of the article is on the relationship between political narratives, the implementation of ways of thinking and their effectiveness. This relationship, so the argument goes, can be particularly impressively studied using the example of the narrative “father of the nation” typical of authoritarian regimes and the portrayal of the personality of authoritarian leaders contained therein. The political role of the paternal narrative is analyzed in the article by means of a narratological-political-scientific analysis of the ideological foundations of the Kazakh regime and placed in the overall context of political (master) narratives.