Associate Professor of International Affairs and Associate Director of International Affairs
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Building
Jonathan Bach is Chair of the interdisciplinary Global Studies undergraduate program and Associate Professor of International Affairs at The New School in New York. His current work concerns post-socialist transition in Germany and China and how these societies appropriate their past. Bach draws from anthropology, sociology and political science to explore how received notions of sovereignty, space and identity are reformulated through micro-level practices. He has also written on information technology and organizational change, labor migration and citizenship, and political theory. Bach is the author of Between Sovereignty and Integration: German Foreign Policy and National Identity after 1989 (St. Martin’s Press 1999), and his articles have appeared in Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Politics, Public Culture, Theory, Culture and Society, Cultural Politics, Studies in Comparative and International Development, Geopolitics, and Philosophy and Social Science.
My current research concerns the relationship between space and identity, with a focus on the practice and performance of sovereignty in its encounter with changing spatial arrangements. I am less interested in sovereignty’s erosion than in its resilience and reformulations. Previous work has concerned the intersection of territorial space and national identity (in my doctoral work on German foreign policy after unification), virtual space and organizational identity (in my work with David Stark on NGOs and information technology), and memory space and cultural identity (in work on the material and virtual legacies of the vanished German Democratic Republic). Currently I am looking, separately, at two manifestations of the global economy: offshore spaces and state-led migration (with Scott Solomon). The first concerns the phenomenon of free economic zones as a form of modern urban space (with a special interest in Shenzhen, China), and the second the government-led export of a country’s labor force. I also continue to be interested in topics related to German political and cultural identity, non-governmental organizations, and information technologies, as well as normative theory.