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Calls for Papers

Call for Papers: ‘Anthropocene Politics: International Relations after the end of the World’, Section 03 at the European International Studies Association (EISA) Pan-European Conference, Prague, September 2018

The call for papers and panels CLOSES 1 FEBRUARY

Section Chairs: Delf Rothe, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) and David Chandler, University of Westminster

Anthropocene Politics: International Relations after the end of the World

The Anthropocene—the new geological epoch of humanity’s own making—promises to be a major challenge to scholars of IR. The Anthropocene is much more than a discussion of how to deal with climate change. As Timothy Morton prominently argued, the advent of the Anthropocene marks ‘the end of the world’—not (only) physically, as ecological catastrophe at planetary scale, but in a philosophical sense. The Anthropocene collapses the foundations of modernity: subject-centred rationalism and anthropocentric norms, discourses and regulations. The speed and energy of planetary changes overwhelm existing political institutions, from national parliaments to UN organisations.

For some, the discovery of Anthropocene leaves little hope for future international relations. They paint a bleak scenario, in which Anthropocene politics resembles a mere management of the post-apocalyptic present: the governance of polluted oceans, flooded cities, and deserted landscapes. In this new world, survival is all we can hope for. Others, however, paint a more optimistic picture. For them, the collapse of the modernist universe represents a unique possibility: to decolonize international relations, to become attuned to the needs of nonhumans, to (re)discover non-Western indigenous cosmologies, to renegotiate political ideas including security, participation or well-being, and to establish new forms of (cosmo)political cooperation.

This section is devoted to this wide range of discussions which seek to interrogate the claims made for (and against) the Anthropocene. For this, it invites contributions from a wide range of perspectives, including constructivism, post-structuralism, new materialism, post- and decolonialism, feminism, IPE, environmentalism, (critical) realism, and rationalism.

The conference will take place in Prague from 12-15 September 2018. All information about the conference can be found here – http://www.eisapec18.org
You can submit your panel, roundtable and paper proposals through the online platform here https://www.czech-in.org/cmportalV15/Account/Login? ReturnUrl=%2FcmportalV15%2Fportal%2FPEC18%2Fnormal
Submission guidelines are available here – http://www.eisapec18.org/abstract-submission-guidelines.htm

Questions should be sent to info@eisapec18.org or directly to David (D.Chandler@westminster.ac.uk) and Delf (rothe@ifsh.de).


Call for Papers: International Studies Association Conference 2018, International Studies Association, 4-7 April, San Francisco

Panel Proposal: The Vegetal Moment in Global Politics? Vegetal Ontologies of Presence and Resistance in the Anthropocene

Organisers: Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly, PAIS, University of Warwick
Professor David Chandler, Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster

Of what status are trees and plants in global politics? What claims are made on their behalf in political activism? And how can vegetal ontologies advance our conceptualisation of the Anthropocene?

Questions of vegetal significance are not new. In Heidegger’s text ‘What is Called Thinking?’, his phenomenology was articulated through an encounter with an apple tree. The tree faces Heidegger’s protagonist, defying standard phenomenology, in an account of the vibrant presence of the vegetal. Similarly, Michael Marder has uncovered the place of the plant within Western philosophical trajectories (2014) and together with Luce Irigaray (2016) has articulated the feminist necessity to embrace vegetal ontologies within the Anthropocene.

We are interested to receive abstracts (of 200 words max) which situate the recent emergence of vegetal ontology in Eurocentric thought alongside non-Western ontologies of copresence, such as Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think (2013). Can useful conversation occur without replicating colonial appropriation? We also seek papers which theoretically and empirically explore activism undertaken on behalf of vegetal being, such as environmental activism in neoliberal, colonial or decolonial contexts. Finally, we are excited to receive abstracts addressing the appropriation of vegetal being and ontology within urban regeneration projects and memorial symbolism, as well as papers which explore the importance of vegetal ontologies for the Anthropocene and digital era.

Please send your abstracts of 200 words (max) to c.heath-kelly@warwick.ac.uk & D.Chandler@westminster.ac.uk by 15th May.


Call for Papers: ‘Mapping, Mercator and Modernity: The Impact of the Digital’ Workshop

Date: 25th-26th April 2017
Venue: Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Schifferstr. 196, 47059 Duisburg

This funded workshop will explore the relationships between mapping, linearity, imaginaries of control and global cooperation. What drives the growing demand for mapping and visualizations of the world? Does this reflect an increased capacity for contestation or of control and regulation or perhaps even a retreat from the world? What is at stake in the fact that maps and visualizations are not the world but leave an irreducible gap? How does the digital transform the politics of maps and mapping?

This workshop is part of a two-day event, including a public forum, the 8th Käte Hamburger Dialogue. Participants will include:
Claudia Aradau, Reader in International Politics, King¹s College London
David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster, London
Mark Duffield, Emeritus Professor at the Global Insecurities Centre, University of Bristol
Anna Feigenbaum, Principal Academic in Digital Storytelling, Faculty of Media and Communication Bournemouth University
Ute Schneider, Professor of Social and Economic History, Historical Institute, University Duisburg-Essen (tbc)

The workshop and Dialogue form part of a Mercator project interrogating the transformation of technologies of global cooperation with the questioning of the epistemological and ontological assumptions of modernity. Gerhard Mercator lived in Duisburg for the last 40 years of his life (1552-1594). As a major founder of both the linear time and space of modernity, Mercator is most famous for his world map, the projection of the world in 1569 making straight lines match fixed courses of sail. Intended for mariners¹ use, the map became the accepted view of the world despite its famous distortions.

We would be particularly interested in papers including (but not necessarily limited to) the following themes:
* The power and importance of mapping as a technology for understanding, constructing and intervening in the world.
* The impact of the digital on what we understand as mapping in relation to time and space.
* The political possibilities of thinking and mapping otherwise and the implications for global cooperation.

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to Elena Simon, simon@gcr21.uni-due.de by 10 March 2017. Draft papers will be circulated before the workshop with the possibility
that we may produce a collective publication.

The workshop is funded by Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Universität Duisburg-Essen so please state if you wish to be considered for
funding for transport/accommodation.


Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual convention, Boston (April 5-9, 2017) – ‘Rethinking the Digital and the Analogue: Epistemologies of the Anthropocene’

Call for abstracts for two panels at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual convention 2017 Boston (April 5-9, 2017)

‘Rethinking the Digital and the Analogue: Epistemologies of the Anthropocene’

Convenors: Charlotte Heath-Kelly (University of Warwick), Nat O’Grady (University of Southampton) and David Chandler (University of Westminster)

While there is agreement that the Anthropocene calls into question modernist epistemologies and exhausts reductionist ontologies and linear causal reasoning, there seems to be much less agreement on what it means to ‘know” ourselves or the world in the epoch of the Anthropocene. How can knowledge be acquired in a complex and fluid world, where binary conceptions of the inside/outside, mind/matter, subject/object and culture/nature are no longer held to operate? We will be organising two panels, one focused on the digital and the second on the analogue as epistemological approaches with alternative renderings and possibilities. The questions we are concerned with include: Do Big Data approaches and the Internet of Things enable new forms of sensory knowledge or machinic knowledge assemblies? Can forms of analogical thinking challenge modernist homogenising and reductive approaches of the ‘Digital’ (Galloway, Laruelle against the Digital, 2014)? Can new forms of ‘Analogue’ knowing emerge, perhaps derived from forms of indigenous knowing or slum-dweller repurposing or technological hacks? Are cybernetic approaches enabling new forms of relational ontology (Pickering, The Cybernetic Brain, 2010; Hayles, How we became Posthuman, 1999; Halpern, Beautiful Data, 2014)?

Abstracts of 200 words, by 15 September 2015 deadline please to C.Heath-Kelly@warwick.ac.uk, N.O’Grady@soton.ac.uk and D.Chandler@westminster.ac.uk


** Deadline Extended ** – 24th April 2016

CfP – The Politics of Representation – Graduate Conference, Wednesday 8 June 2016

The Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster is pleased to host the first event of the recently founded New Perspectives Series, an initiative by the DPIR graduate community that aims at promoting critical and cutting-edge research among doctoral- and early-career-researchers. The first installment of the series wishes to engage with (and challenge) the idea of ‘representation’, a prolific and widely utilized concept in political and international analysis with often take-for-granted implications.

We welcome submissions by doctoral researchers that explore approaches to representation through a multi-disciplinary lens, and invite paper-submissions that touch upon one or several of the following thematic complexes:

– Theories of political affects
– Embodiment and corporeal experience
– Network- and assemblage-theories
– Performativity and experimentation
– Non-representational agency in global affairs
– Ethics of (non)-representations
– Direct action, activism, the politics of the everyday
– Feasibility of immanent politics
– Spatializing practices and the politics of space
– Power and (non)-representation
– Discursive representation of (in)-security
– The unknown as a discursive space
– Representations of danger
– Representation, insecurity, and culture/identity
– Representing danger through counter-narratives

Abstract-submissions should be limited to 300 words and need to be accompanied by a 100-words biography. Manuscripts must have an approximate length of 2.000 – 8.000 words. Please submit both via newperspectives@westminster.ac.uk

Deadline for abstract submission: Sunday, 24 April 2016
Conference paper submission: Monday, 30 May 2016

Please submit abstracts via newperspectives@westminster.ac.uk
Please visit https://newperspectivesseries.wordpress.com/portfolio/call-for-papers-2/

The organizers are please to announce a best-paper-competition that will reward a piece of rigorous and innovative research with a £ 100 book voucher. The author will also receive the opportunity to present his or her work ahead of the Keynote Event.

Participation and registration is free of charge.


Workshop, Call for papers:

Beyond Liberal Peace? Exploring the Rise of Pragmatic Approaches to Peace

The Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen, 28-29 April 2016

Organized by David Chandler (Westminster University) & Louise Wiuff Moe (DIIS, Danish Institute for International Studies)

The politics of international peace building is undergoing changes with regards to both its conduct and theory. On the backdrop of the bankruptcy of orthodox liberal peace approaches to fragile states and conflict settings, policy makers and academics from different fields, are starting to move towards a more pragmatic position with regards to the means and ends of peacebuilding. Much work has gone into analysing the problems, limits and unintended consequences of linear teleological Liberal Peace approaches which seek to impose external frameworks of understanding and the problems and contradictions of the Liberal Peace is well established, and has been engaged with from a number of new institutionalist, post-colonial, Foucauldian and critical positions. Where there has been a lack of research emphasis is upon the alternative policy approaches beyond Liberal peace, which are only now coming to the centre of attention. This workshop explores this new area of pragmatic approaches. Pragmatic approaches consciously seek to go beyond the Liberal Peace paradigm. Pragmatic approaches do not assume that international interveners necessarily have the knowledge or the power to set out predefined policy goals or lead the processes of attaining them. Where Liberal Peace approaches tended to set up a discursive divide between international interveners and local groups and organisations, based on superior attributes of power, resources, knowledge and values, pragmatic approaches seek to build upon existing ‘everyday’ capacities, institutions and practices on the ground. Pragmatism, in brief, has the connotation of an anti-foundationalist approach that derives theory from practice and is grounded in actual experiences, rather than in the abstractions of normative frameworks. Rather than emphasising external resources and knowledge, these approaches start from existing capacities and understandings and seek to build upon them, to reach solutions to contextspecific challenges. This workshop seeks to engage with pragmatic approaches to peace, asking how intervention works and is legitimised in the context of building upon contextual practices and institutions rather than seeking to overcome and redirect them; what agendas, values and power relations underpin this emerging shift; what conceptual and theoretical lenses may help us study this ‘practice turn’ and; whether the contradictions of the Liberal Peace approach are overcome in these ways.

To this end, we invite scholars from peace and conflict studies, anthropology, international relations, political science and sociology to present papers that address one or more of the following sets of questions:

What are the grounds for intervention in pragmatic approaches? In Liberal Peace approaches the external subject position of the liberal intervener was well defined, as external to the ‘local problematic’ and as the contributor of expertise which the ‘locals’ were seen to lack. Thereby intervention could follow predetermined goals –yet, what is on offer in regards to pragmatic approaches to peace? As interveners declare a lack of knowledge; deferring to local expertise, they downplay their capacity to affect change and claim to learn from the locals as much as they impart their own knowledge and skills, the question becomes, why intervene in the first place? In brief, what are the grounds for intervention in pragmatic approaches?

Pragmatism and Liberal Peace: continuity or change? To what extent are pragmatic approaches indicative of international/liberal retreat, disorientation, and discontinuity; a ‘post liberal’ state of confusion?, or, conversely, to what extent do they represent continuities – or even the expansion – of liberal impositions and governing rationales, reframed through new narratives?

Pragmatic approaches as politics of failure? While the concept of peacebuilding was initially understood in terms of the possibilities for transferring externally-created expertise and blueprints, the recent pragmatic discourse is shaped by widely acknowledged failures and deadlocks, which in turn drives the shift from ‘grand planning’ to pragmatism. How does the political recognition of failure relate to pragmatic approaches? And, in this regard, can failure operate as a mechanism which enables the continuation of peacebuilding interventions?

Further information We are planning to publish a selection of the papers in a journal special issue with International Peacekeeping. If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please submit an abstract (250- 300 words) to Ann Sophie Krogh Kjeldsen (Student Assistant, DIIS) askk@diis.dk (with subject: “pragmatism and peace”) by 15 November 2015. Paper invitations, based on accepted abstracts, will be issued by 11 December 2015. Full draft papers are due by 31 March 2016. The workshop will start at 1 pm 28th and end at 4 pm 29th April. Lunch and refreshments during the workshop + a workshop dinner will be covered by DIIS.


Call for abstracts, Special Issue of Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses: Resilience and the Anthropocene: the political ecologies of complexity

The Anthropocene signals a new geological epoch in which humans have become a geophysical force. The possibility that human activity now produces the environments on which it depends destabilizes the image of a stable Earth that has grounded Western philosophy and politics for two millennia. Critical scholars assert that Anthropocene thinking can provoke new understandings of spatiality, temporality, ethics, responsibility and politics. As Simon Dalby (2013) suggests, a new kind of politics becomes possible when we begin to consider that the stakes include (de)forming the world we inhabit. However, Brad Evans and Julian Reid (2014) argue that the Anthropocene just as easily presents a dangerous, vengeful Earth teetering on the brink of systemic collapse – a catastrophic discourse that creates fearful subjects who desire resilience in order to survive a calamitous future. The Anthropocene’s world-deforming vision leads into a reactionary bio-politics of resilience that fashions adaptive neoliberal subjects capable of surviving whatever surprises complexity has in store.

Thus two concepts have been central to the shifting dynamics of power and agency under the political ecology of complexity: the Anthropocene and resilience. And yet, resilience techniques do not produce uniform effects. The deployment of resilience always occurs within particular socio-ecological contexts striated by multiple conflicts and tensions. Resilience intervenes in, and is inflected by, these contextually-specific relations. Ben Anderson’s (2015: 62) call to recognize that “‘resilience’ names a fractured, multiple, empirical field rather than a series of generic characteristics” means that not only will resilience be something different in different times and places, it will also produce uneven and potentially unintended effects as well. Thus, there is no guarantee that resilience interventions will necessarily reinforce neoliberal order; they could just as well catalyze new ways of harnessing complex life’s potentiality. The bio-politics of resilience may attempt to constrain and regulate adaptability, but these constraints are plastic, malleable, and can thus be broken, cast aside or even re-molded into weapons.

This special issue of Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses will explore the indeterminate political ecologies opened by the Anthropocene and resilience. It takes seriously the call from Dalby, Evans and Reid, Anderson and others to think through the different ways politics might be thought, practiced, and analyzed through the malleable worlds of the Anthropocene and the complex life of resilience thinking. We invite abstracts from across the disciplines that offer empirically driven, theoretically informed papers that engage with the Anthropocene and resilience to explore the shifting forms of geo-politics and bio-politics that reinforce and challenge neoliberal political ecologies. Abstracts may touch on these themes in any number of fields, including but not limited to climate change adaptation, disaster management and development, international relations, environmental security, or urban development and security.

References: Anderson B (2015) What kind of thing is resilience? Politics 35(1): 60-66; Dalby S (2013) Biopolitics and climate security in the Anthropocene. Geoforum 49: 184-192; Evans B and Reid J (2014) Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Submission Instructions: Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to Kevin Grove (Aberystwyth University/Florida International Univeristy, kevinjgrove@gmail.com) and David Chandler (University of Westminster, D.Chandler@westminster.ac.uk) by 12 October 2015. Deadline for invited full submissions will be 1 March 2016.


Call for Papers: ‘The Politics of Digital Technology’
Panel Proposal for the International Studies Association 57th Annual Conference, Atlanta Georgia, 16-19 March 2016
Convenors: Linda Monsees and David Chandler

The importance of technology, especially digital technologies, for world politics has increasingly caught the attention of IR-scholars. The so-called digital revolution asks us to rethink the role of technology in our current times and to consider how its specific characteristics might challenge traditional political ontologies. It is now widely acknowledged that technology is more than a residual category for theorizing world politics but in the centre of ongoing transformations. These transformations can be observed in real-world political debates and policy-making (Wikileaks and data gathering, the rule of the algorithm, digital humanitarianism, Big Data and the Internet of Things) and also in a growing theoretical interest in science and technology studies (STS) and the ‘material-turn’.

Contributing to this debate, this panel seeks to rethink the possibilities for theorizing the relationship between technology and politics. The current challenge lies in meaningfully conceptualizing technology and its relation to politics in a way that does not reduce technology to just another variable determining the outcome of policies. However, assuming that all technology is always already political might hinder us from understanding the specific linkages between technology and politics or the distinct characteristics enabling technology to be political. Insights from science and technology studies might help to engage with the social role of technology, but the question of how technology is political remains open. Adapting STS to political science might need additional tools for thoroughly engaging with the political aspects of technology. That is why we would like to bring scholars together who work from different theoretical perspectives and use a variety of approaches.

We welcome contributions that ask how we can grasp the distinct characteristics of the relationship between politics and technology. Theoretical and/or empirical contributions that aim at understanding the above outlined questions are welcomed. Possible contributions might ask about the politics of certain technologies, the specificities of digital technologies or how technologies might challenge traditional categories of International Relations.

Please send proposals with a title (limited to 50 words) and an abstract (limited to 200 words), three tags, and at least one author to Linda Monsees (lmonsees@bigsss.uni-bremen.de) and David Chandler (d.chandler@wmin.ac.uk) by 15 May 2015.


Call for papers (TWO SESSIONS): RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Exeter, 1-4 Sept 2015
Session convenors:
· Jonathan Pugh (School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle, UK)
· Elaine Stratford (School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania)
· David Chandler (Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster)

Islands, Archipelagos and the Anthropocene I: contemporary debates in island studies

Some 600 million people live on islands (10% of the world’s population) and 44 of the world’s 192 sovereign states are island states (Baldacchino, 2007; Baldacchino and Royle, 2010). While until recently island studies remained “a largely unacknowledged field of study” (Baldacchino, 2006:5), today a number of factors directly associated with the Anthropocene are combining to increase the profile of small islands. Once peripheral small islands, atolls and archipelagos are increasingly being positioned in international debates surrounding questions of human and non-human interactions, risk, resilience, climate change, complexity, territoriality, culture, relationality, geo-politics and mobilities (Edmond and Smith, 2003; Clark, 2004; Steinberg, 2005; Gillis, 2007; Sheller, 2009; Kelman and West, 2009; Fletcher, 2011; Grydehøj, 2014; Shell, 2014). Such concerns have been recognised at a number of levels including the United Nations naming 2014 ‘The International Year of Small Island Development States’ and the holding of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa, June 2014. We are also witnessing the growing international prominence of the International Small Island Studies Association (ISISA).

Islands have always been sites for the emergence of new ways of conceiving the world (Gillis, 2007; Cameron, 2012); from Homer to Shakespeare and more recently Hau’ofa (1994), Glissant (1997), Brathwaite (1999) and Deleuze (2004). Today, as recent analysis surrounding ‘archipelagic thinking’ reveals (DeLoughrey, 2011; Stratford et al, 2011; Pugh, 2013; Hayward, 2012; Hay, 2013), contemporary island scholarship is raising new questions for debates about the Anthropocene and for land-locked, oceanic, relational and post-human geographies. As Alison Mountz (2014:8) recently pointed out more generally, “there are many reasons why islands are and should be of growing interest to geographers.”

This session will examine the contemporary nature of island studies against the backdrop of the Anthropocene. We seek a wide a range of papers that could address but will not be confined to the following:
· What is new about the idea of the Anthropocene for island studies and islanders? Is it useful, problematic, or otherwise?
· What work are the key concepts associated with the Anthropocene doing in island studies? How are they changing the nature of analysis, discussion and solutions to island problems?
· How do Anthropocene debates engage long-standing and recurrent themes in island studies, including but not limited to: conceptualisations of islands as paradoxical spaces of insularity and openness; island-island and island-sea relations; island independence; land-locked geographies; oceanic geographies; relational and post-human geographies? (Steinberg, 2005; Lambert et al, 2006; Deloughrey, 2011; Stratford et al, 2011; Clark and Tsai, 2012; Pugh, 2013; Anderson and Peters, 2014).

Islands, Archipelagos and the Anthropocene II: Resilience, Catastrophic Risks, Feelings, Emotions, and Affects

Resilience has become a key way of framing problems and intervening in life; from international development and security, through to community development and child psychology (Weichselgartner and Kelman 2014). There is an emerging critical literature that examines resilience and associated questions of biopower and governmentality (e.g. Duffield, 2012; Grove, 2012; Reid, 2012; Evans and Reid, 2014). Here resilience has more recently been argued to be a ‘post-liberal episteme’ and active rather than reactive response to the challenges of complex life (Chandler, 2014; Pugh, 2014).

Such concerns have important implications for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), where resilience has now become one of the key frameworks of analysis and international intervention, particularly when it comes to the role of the international development industry (Grove, 2012; Weichselgartner and Kelman 2014). Here small islands have become pivotal sites of international engagement and resilience debates, because small islands are often associated with sea-level rise, disasters, hurricanes, tsunami, large scale population migrations and displacements.

But as yet little research has examined the work that resilience does as a concept and practice to frame the affects, emotions, and feelings associated with catastrophic risks.

This session examines how resilience works as a concept, policy-making tool and practice to constitute, enclose, and define certain epistemologies of feelings, emotions, and affects while excluding, clarifying or silencing others. Although we are primarily concerned with small islands, we will consider related papers that examine the work that resilience does to frame ways of knowing about the more-than-rational, the non-representational and affect.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to both Jonathan Pugh Jonathan.Pugh@ncl.ac.uk and Elaine Stratford Elaine.Stratford@utas.edu.au by 6th February 2015. For the second session please also copy in David Chandler D.Chandler@westminster.ac.uk


Call for Papers: Section 54 of the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: Violence, Agency and Critique in a World of Complexity

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite submissions of individual paper proposals to our five-panel series at the upcoming Pan-European Conference on International Relations, 23-26 September 2015, Giardini Naxos, Sicily. Details here.

Section chairs: Delf Rothe (University of Hamburg) and David Chandler (University of Westminster)

Section Rationale

The threat of ISIS fighters gaining ground in Iraq and Syria highlights a major problem for today’s decision-makers: in a world of complexity any political intervention in the international sphere can have unintended consequences which might worsen the problems at stake or produce novel, more serious ones. Complexity seems to question the long accepted axioms of international policy-making and the conceptions of violence, agency and critique within the fields of political and social theory. Scholars of IR have approached the phenomenon of complexity from different, partly opposing angles. Some have argued for the need to rethink the ontology of international politics, developing analytical models that account for surprise, non-linearity and feed-back loops and applied these to a wide range of material phenomena from climate change to conflict. Others understand complexity as a discourse or episteme which increasingly informs the ways global risks in fields including finance, civil protection, or counter-terrorism are being governed and are often critical of complexity as a governance paradigm due to its technocratic, de-politicising nature. This proposed section brings these different voices together to discuss the impact of complexity upon the international sphere in general and upon expressions of violence in this sphere in particular. We are interested in the way complexity affects agency which seemingly becomes more distributed, flatter, and unpredictable. We would also like to explore what the stakes of complexity are with regard to methods and possibilities of critique (both enabled and foreclosed) and the limits to both inductive and deductive research methodologies.

We welcome papers that relate to one of the following themes and questions:

1. War and conflict in a world of complexity
· How do forms of violence change in a world of complexity?
· How does complexity discourse impact the Western way of war?
· How do we account for post-human violence in our approaches to security and conflict?

2. Uncertainty, anticipation and performative security
· How do security practices deal with uncertainty and complexity?
· How is anticipatory security performed by devices such as listings, algorithms, computer-models, catastrophe insurance bonds, etc?

3. Peacebuilding, complexity and the local turn
· How is complexity approached in recent practices of peacebuilding?
· Is there a post-liberal paradigm of peacebuilding and if yes, how can it be described?

4. Environmental terror: Complex climate change, disasters and resilience
· How did resilience become the dominant approach of governing disasters and environmental risks?
· How does non-linear climate change affect Western threat discourse and practices of risk-management?
· How is complexity being treated in popular representations of climate change and environmental risk?

5. “Dingpolitik” and evidence-based policy making
· What is the role of scientific evidence in governing complexity?
· What could an approach of evidence-based policy advice look like?
· Is there a shift from Realpolitik towards Dingpolitik, i.e. from political struggles over given objects towards political struggles over ontological questions and the very being of objects?

Paper proposals (max. 200 words) are to be submitted via the conference online application system: www.conftool.pro/paneuropean2015

Deadline for submissions is 15 January 2015!

If you’ve got any further questions don’t hesitate to contact us at: D.Chandler@westminster.ac.uk; rothe@ifsh.de

We look very much forward to receiving your proposals.


Call for Abstracts: ECPR joint sessions workshops in Warsaw 29 March-2 April 2015, workshop on Pragmatic Approaches to Peacebuilding workshop, convened by Louise Wiuff Moe (DIIS, Copenhagen) and David Chandler (Westminster, London). Deadline for submissions 1 December 2014.

The politics of international peace building is currently undergoing changes with regards to both its conduct and theory. On the backdrop of the bankruptcy of orthodox liberal peace approaches to fragile states and conflict settings, policy makers and academics from different fields, have started to move towards a more pragmatic position with regards to the means and ends of peacebuilding. This workshop explores this new area of pragmatic approaches and International Practice Theory.

Pragmatic approaches consciously seek to go beyond the Liberal Peace paradigm. Pragmatic approaches do not assume that international interveners necessarily have the knowledge or the power to set out predefined policy goals or lead the processes of attaining them. Where Liberal Peace approaches tended to set up a discursive divide between international interveners and local groups and organisations, based on superior attributes of power, resources, knowledge and values, pragmatic approaches seek to build upon existing ‘everyday’ capacities, institutions and practices on the ground. Pragmatism, in brief, has the connotation of an anti-foundationalist approach that derives theory from practice and is grounded in actual experiences, rather than in the abstractions of normative frameworks. Rather than emphasising external resources and knowledge, these approaches start from existing capacities and understandings and seek to build upon them, to reach solutions to context-specific challenges.

This workshop seeks to explore pragmatic approaches, based upon both field research and conceptual and methodological argumentation, in order to discuss the advantages and possibilities as well as the drawbacks or limits to Pragmatic Peace and International Practice Theory.

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