(Post-) Cold War Europe
The Dilemmas of Communication between East and West: Beyond the Iron Curtain (1945-2011)
1) Fundamental Research Question
2) Scope of Research
The research group's shared interdisciplinary methodology and approach is fundamental to its work. All disciplines employ hermeneutics and discourse analysis. "Gender" is a central analytical category within this:
(A) The conventional, somewhat antiquated term "diplomacy" still makes one think of elitist negotiations between heads of state behind closed doors. However, for the discipline of history, diplomacy is here defined as "intercultural communication" practised not only by official representatives of the state (heads of government, ministers, officials) but also other groups such as intellectual elites, business leaders and civil society organisations. In this sense, "diplomacy" is reinterpreted as bi- or multilateral intercultural communication of any kind between specific representatives of different political, economic, social or cultural subsystems. Theoretically, these involve four or more semiotic systems: (1) the language and cultural horizons of a representative of a particular system, (2) the language and interpretative system of his foreign interlocutor, (3) an overriding, inter- or transnational semiotic system such as Western diplomatic protocol – i.e. an international code (either accepted by both sides or, if one side rejects it, referred to by only the other side), and finally (4) the different public discourses of the societies affected, which can drive or hinder communication.
Within this framework, the methodology draws on, amongst others, histoire croisée and New International History as well as discourse analytical approaches from the Social Sciences and Humanities.
(B) In addition, process tracing will be used to analyse selected negotiating procedures from the perspective of political science. This approach will guarantee a fruitful pluralism of methodologies. Quantitative and qualitative interviews (in the form of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews) will locate the corresponding communication in the national and transnational discourses on specific topics. Goffman's frames will be employed, for which the software MAXQDA will be used.
2) Scope of the Research
4) Research Questions
5) Sources / Archives