Vai alla Homepage del Portale di Ateneo Curriculum Global cultures Second cycle degree/Two year Master in History and Oriental Studies


Giorgio Grappi (University of Bologna)

from 12 December 2022 at 17:00 to 15 December 2022 at 18:45

Aula Specola - In presence event

The seminar explores the relevance of logistics for social sciences and political theory. Long regarded as limited to the science of physical distribution, logistics has become a discipline concerned with organizing, moving and assembling goods, production and labor across space and time. Overriding the entire supply chain operations, logistics condenses the logics of contemporary production. With the openness of economies to a global scale and thanks to new technologies and media, such as the container and the digital, logistics has become a force driving changes across jurisdictions and sovereignty. Logistics is today part and parcel of how the economy, politics and power work. Enmeshed in state politics, logistics nonetheless transcends the boundaries of states for its own internal logic by bounding together supply chains, infrastructural corridors and labor across different jurisdictions. Logistics is thus part and parcel of the way globalization has unfolded in past decades, bridging changes in production, political decisions and shifts in the way power condenses along transnational lines. Drawing from a literature that has integrated logistics into critical theories of contemporary politics and capitalism, in the first part of the seminar we will introduce some key concepts of logistics and we will discuss how seemingly technical issues have acquired political relevance. We will particularly pay attention to the politics of corridors and unpack some of its main features and implications. In the second part of the seminar we will discuss from this angle some recent dynamics. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the rising tensions between China and the United States and now the War in Ukraine, globalization seems to be at the eve of a new turn. Among the keywords of an emerging jargon in global politics we find concepts such as resiliency, decoupling, friend shoring. What can we learn from a critical approach to logistics about these turbulent times?