Welcome to Professor David Chandler's WebsiteUnder reconstruction, please bear with me


8-9 January 2018

Co-convening an author’s workshop (with Pol Bargues-Pedreny and Elena Simon) for the Routledge book Mapping and Politics in the Digital Age, at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen.


7-8 December 2017

Attending the author’s workshop ‘IR in an Age of Critique’ for a special issue of Global Society at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen.


27-28 November 2017

‘The Lingering Death of Hope: Affirmation in the Anthropocene’, presentation for the workshop ‘The Politics of Hope’, University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business SchoolProgramme.


Tuesday 21 November 2017

‘Rethinking Autonomy in the Anthropocene’, roundtable presentation at the AHA! Festival, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.

How does the Anthropocene modulate, constrain, or even abolish autonomy? Through 20-minute presentations followed by a panel dialogue, David Chandler, Etienne Turpin and Anna-Sophie Springer will respond with perspectives from within and across their fields of international relations, philosophy, design research practice, exhibition-led inquiry, software development, curating, writing, and publishing.

The Anthropocene is much more than a new geological epoch; it is also more than a problem of global warming and climate change. In his presentation, David Chandler will argue that the concept of the Anthropocene, in the social and political sciences, poses a major challenge to the idea of autonomy – both at the individual and collective levels. If human activities are now bound up with global and ecological processes, we can never again imagine that humans have autonomy. We are told that our existence is one of entanglement and attachment: the implications of this for human freedom are far reaching.


Friday 10 November 2017

Resilience in the Anthropocene: Governing through Mapping, Sensing and Hacking’, the Kapuscinski Development Lecture, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia.

The rise of resilience as a governance discourse is intimately connected to the perceived failings of traditional, liberal or modernist forms of politics, which assumed that governance could be centrally directed on the basis of ‘command-and-control’ understandings. Confidence in this framework has gradually eroded, with an appreciation that the world is much more globalised, interconnected and relationally entangled than ‘top-down’ forms of governance assume. Resilience approaches appear to have arisen to fill the gap between traditional framings of governance and the need to respond and adapt to contingent and unexpected events and shocks. The new geological epoch of the Anthropocene appears to further bring to a close subject-centred or anthropocentric understandings of power and governmental agency. The three modes of resilience governance analysed in this lecture all depart from a modernist framing and seek to govern adaptively or responsively in ways which increasingly appear to become at home in the Anthropocene condition.

The resilience mode of Mapping shifts the focus from the ideas and understanding of governing agencies to the importance of the object of governance itself. Mapping assumes that causality is non-linear and that knowledge is not universal. In Mapping as a mode of resilience, governance interventions cannot impose or direct outcomes from above but only work indirectly to shape or enable the processes of interactive emergence. Sensing as a mode of governing resilience shifts the emphasis of thinking from causality to correlation. Sensing seeks to maintain the status quo and works on the surface of appearances, seeking to respond to the emergent effects of processes rather than to intervene at the level of causal chains of understanding. Sensing depends upon the ability to see things in their process of emergence with an imaginary that sensing responses can become increasingly real time, thereby not preventing problems from arising but minimizing their impact or disturbance. For Hacking as a mode of resilience, the process itself comes first. Hacking is a much more interactive and affirmative engagement with the contingencies of the Anthropocene. Hacking as a process of ‘becoming with’ seeks to achieve resilience through enabling the creativity of contingent relations rather than merely seeking to resist or limit external effects.


21-22 October 2017

Sunday 22 October 2017 : 11.45-13.15 Panel section III: Thinking within and beyond the Anthropocene Chair: Adrian Rogstad, Discussant: David Chandler; Papers: Philip Conway: ‘From episteme to epoch: deanthropocentring historiography’; Danielle Young: ‘Politics tied to the present: climate change and the temporality of sovereignty’; Cathy Elliot: ‘H is for Heterotopia: Temporalities of the “new nature writing”’; Harshavardhan Bhat: ‘In an Air of Complicity’; Scott Hamilton: ‘Foucault’s End of History: The Anthropocene and the Re-Governmentalization of the Cosmos’


Friday 20 October 2017

I will be speaking at panel sessions on the theoretical aspects of resilience and the impact resilience has on EU’s external engagements and EU-Russian relations at ‘Resilience in the EU and Russia’ seminar at St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, RussiaMaps.


Wednesday 18 October 2017

‘Ontopolitics in the Anthropocene: An Introduction to Mapping, Sensing and Hacking’, discussion of my forthcoming book. Time: 16:00 – 17:30; Room: Y25-L-40, Irchel Campus, Geographisches Institut, University of Zurich (UZH), SwitzerlandChapter draft, Introduction: Affirming the Anthropocene.


Tuesday 17 October 2017

‘Big Data: Algorithmic Governance and the Rise of the Correlational Machine’, Department Lecture, part of the Colloquium of the Department of Geography on Big data series, Time: 16:15 – 17.30; Room: Y04-G30, Irchel Campus, Geographisches Institut, Zurich University (UZH), Switzerland.

Abstract: It is a popular trope that Big Data relies on correlation rather than causation, however this is rarely taken seriously either by its advocates or its critics. This presentation will argue that the rise of correlationism is key to understanding how Big Data works to produce knowledge, how this knowledge enables a specific mode of governance and how this mode of governance is legitimised in terms of social and political theory. Often it is argued that Big Data appropriates so much data there is no need to theorise. This is not exactly the case, but Big Data does enable new entities and processes to be seen through correlation: the enrolling of new actants in more-than-human assemblages of sensing – via correlational machines – through biosensing, social media searches or pixel analysis. Examples of each will be provided. Big Data could be seen as actor network theory in practice, seeing not fixed entities but networks of relation and their stabilising effects. As Agamben has noted, governing on the basis of effects rather than causality has profoundly depoliticising consequences, these will be considered here, with the inflection of contemporary philosophical discussion on the problem of ‘actualism’ and the importance of how we grasp entities and relations for understanding the potential for change.


Friday 22 September 2017

Pessimism in International Relations, interdisciplinary workshop (funded by the BISA Poststructural Politics Working Group), Council Room (K2.29), Strand Campus, King’s College London. Hosted by: Dr Tim Stevens and Dr Nick Michelsen, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

Workshop rationale: Pessimism abounds in international politics. From visions of cyber insecurity and economic dystopias to narratives of ecological decay; from the abandonment of migrants to the sea to the complexities of the Syrian civil war; from the return of East-West geopolitical tensions to the empowerment and rise of demagogic forces within democracies worldwide. Commentators lament a sense of rising and apparently unassailable global crisis. In response, we are recurrently bidden to the promise and potential of optimism in the face of such dynamics and events. In contrast, to be pessimistic about these phenomena is to cleave to an anti-social and regressive perspective on international politics. Pessimists are derided as reactionaries, irrational or emotional, yet there is no a priori reason why pessimism should be any less respectable or defensible than its more acceptable counterpart, optimism. Moreover, pessimism has a long philosophical heritage, from Rousseau, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer to Adorno, Camus and Foucault, that can illuminate contemporary problems in international politics. In International Relations, pessimism is often implicit in narratives of terminal decline and, indeed, in the critical project also: IR is viewed as an academic discipline constrained by its own formative concepts and intellectual history to an empty fatalism. This workshop invites IR scholars to look again at the philosophy and politics of pessimism, and draw out its implications for the discipline of IR and the theory and practice of international politics.

Paper title: ‘Pessimism in the Anthropocene’ Abstract: Can you be pessimistic after the catastrophe has already happened? Can you be pessimistic after ‘The End of the World’ (Morton 2013)? Or in the knowledge that there can be ‘no happy ending’ (Tsing 2015)? Perhaps pessimism was an unchecked privilege of the moderns? We know that pessimism is/was a modernist preoccupation rather than an indigenous concern as ‘for native people of the Americas, the end of the world already happened – five centuries ago’, beginning on October 12, 1492 (Danowski & Viveiros de Castro 2017: 104). To be more precise, perhaps pessimism was the privilege of critical theorists, informed by the nihilism of the Frankfurt School, imagining modernity as the process of the disenchantment of the world: a product of the myths of the Enlightenment (Adorno & Horkheimer 1997) and the modernist divide between culture and nature (Latour 1993). This paper engages with the imaginary that the great age of pessimism as critique is finally at an end. Pessimism can have no place in the Anthropocene because disenchantment is no longer possible: man can never be returned to the world or somehow reunited with nature (internally and/or externally). As contemporary theorists are delighted to inform us, there can be no illusion that the world was ever there ‘for us’ or that we can commune in non-modern ways to hear and heed the ‘voices’ of the non-human others (Bryant 2011, Brassier 2007, Colebrook 2014; Povinelli 2016). There can be no pessimism once the world no longer is imagined to have sense or purpose or meaning. The Anthropocene is thus imagined to be a gain in intelligibility (Brassier 2007: 238) at the price of the eclipse of both the modernist imaginary (with its optimistic telos of universal knowledge and progress) and its romantic critical counterpart of disenchantment and pessimism.


13-16 September 2017

11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, ‘The Politics of International Studies in an Age of Crisis’, Barcelona, Spain.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

08:45–18:00 European International Studies Association, Young Researcher’s Workshop, Workshop 1: ‘Knowing what and how: research methods in complex environments’, organized by: Kerstin Tomiak (Cardiff University), 24.021 Mercè Rodoreda

11:00am – 12:30pm, Panel 2 Chair: Joana Ricarte, Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra; Discussant: David Chandler, University of Westminster:

Making Sense of Scientific Policy Advice in a Post-Factual World – An Epistemological Inquiry; Charlotte Rungius, University of Augsburg; Doing ‘Outsider’ Research in Divided Societies: Dynamic Positionality in Semi-Structured Interviewing; Chiara Milan, Scuola Normale Superiore; Despoina Karamperidou, Europe an University Institute; The ambivalent ways of methods, Kerstin Irene Tomiak, Cardiff University

3:45pm – 4:45pm, Panel 4 Chair: Joana Ricarte, Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra; Discussant: David Chandler, University of Westminster

Studying identity and foreign policy relations with discourse analysis: Turkey during the rule of the AKP; Justyna Szałańska, University of Warsaw; Visual Discourse Analysis: A Pluralistic Approach to Working with Visual Data; Erika Marie Kirkpatrick N/A

4:45pm – 5:15pm Concluding Discussion Chair: David Chandler, University of Westminster

Thursday 14 September 2017

9:00am – 10:45am – 20.027 – TA01: Roundtable: International Relations After Critique: Chair: Peter Finkenbusch, University of Duisburg-Essen; Presenter(s): David Chandler (University of Westminster), Gideon Baker (Griffith University), Claudia Aradau (King’s College London), Leonie Ansems de Vries (King’s College London)

4:45pm – 6:30pm – 20.061 – TD47: Technology and Knowledge Production – Chair: Julien Jeandesboz, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Discussant: Debbie Lisle, Queen’s University Belfast; Cyborg Knowledge: More-Than-Human, All Too More-Than-Human, David Chandler, University of Westminster; Disembodying the Power of Nuclear Weapons: Experts and the Materiality and Governance of Nuclear Technologies, Anne Harrington, Cardiff University, Matthias Englert, Oeko Institute; Science to blame? Problematising the relationship between science and technology, Carolin Kaltofen, University College London; Seeing through the crowd: The visual assemblage of micro-mapping, Delf Rothe, University of Hamburg; What is a weapon? Understanding knowledge practices in contemporary arms control, Marijn Hoijtink

Abstract: In this paper, I analyse the connection between cyborg technological assemblages of mediation and forms of posthuman subjectivization. The emergent nature of this connection is mapped through taking three examples of cyborg knowledge paradigms. The first is reactive; here, the technologically-driven generation and use of ubiquitous data is seen to enable new methods of mapping/tracing relations in time and space enabling processes to be shaped and intervened in. The second is responsive, the paradigm of sensing, the Internet of Things and datafication: seeing relations in real-time, to enable increasingly automated processes of governing emergence. The goal is that of resilience: the maintenance of the status-quo or homeostatic governance. The third form of subjectivization is autopoietic, less goal-directed and therefore more future-orientated, for example, through hacking as a project of exploration of relations and processes, detaching and repurposing assemblages creating new possibilities. All three cyborg paradigms could be seen as stages through which more-than-human technological assemblages, in enabling adaptive possibilities, have facilitated the building of a home in a posthuman world.

Friday 15 September 2017

11:15am – 1:00pm – 20.027 – FB01: Governance in Post-Foundational IR – Chair: Maria Martin de Almagro, University of Cambridge Discussant: Christian Scheper, University of Duisburg-Essen; Haunting concepts a ‘specter’-analysis of the nexus between peace, security, and development, Richard Georgi, University of Gothenburg; Entangled Agency: Rethinking International Security in a Complex World, Peter Finkenbusch, University of Duisburg-Essen; The Discursive Operation of International Human Rights as Means and Ends of Governance: A Critical Post-Foundationalist Approach, Laura Pantzerhielm, WZB Berlin Social Science Center; After Failure – Experimenting with Non-Normative Alternatives to Statebuilding, David Chandler, University of Westminster; Critical methods and the praxis turn in IR: insights from critical policy studies, Aglaya Snetkov, ETH Zurich

Abstract: Twenty-five years of peacebuilding/statebuilding have left international intervention, cast in a liberal peace framing, at an impasse. We can still see its legacies in discussions of the way forward or lessons learned where international actors are still mired in its legacies, for example, in Bosnia or Kosovo. This paper seeks to explore new approaches which seek to go beyond discourses of failure. The mainstream policy discourses started from the position of the failure of international goals of peace/development/security/democracy and then sought to allocate the blame – this informed the ‘turn to the local’ and the focus on more-or-less ‘hybrid’ outcomes and the unintended paradoxes and ‘frictions’ of the transfer of policy aspirations – while the goals were largely maintained. This paper reflects on the progress of the ‘After Failure’ project in Kosovo, which is seeking to map and to understand the complex relations of actors and emergent outcomes in assemblages of policy-making and implementation to see if it is possible to draw potentialities for things being or working otherwise from within these processes themselves. Is it possible/or desirable to more beyond critique or ironic reflection to focus upon the play or potential of reality to shape understandings?

Saturday 16 September 2017

2:30pm – 4:15pm – 20.027 – SC01-1: Roundtable: New Materialism and Decoloniality – A Conversation II Chair: Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa, University of Portsmouth; Presenter(s): Rosalba Icaza (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Kerem Nisancioglu (SOAS, University of London), David Chandler (University of Westminster)


5-12 August 2017


30 June – 1 July 2017

‘What Happens when all knowledge is “Minoritarian”?’, paper for the ‘Economies of Cultural Knowledge’, London Conference in Critical Thought, School of Law and Social Sciences London South Bank University, London.

Abstract: This paper explores the (seemingly) unstoppable trend towards the ‘minoritarianisation’ of knowledge. We know from our Deleuze and Guattari that ‘royal science’ or ’state science’ sought to fix and abstract knowledge into a rational or universal order, whereas ‘nomad science’ or minoritiarian ways of knowing seek to free thinking, making it more problem-focused, fluid, contextual, experimental and problem-focused (TP: 422). Minoritarian knowledge – analysed here using the examples of i) differential forms of non-linear mapping, ii) analogical forms of sensing and iii) experimental or playful forms of recomposition and hacking – were marginalised or understood as pre-modern or as ‘cultural’ knowledge. D&G further note (TP: 433-4) that royal science is a legal model, reterritorialising knowledge and reproducing the knowing subject from a fixed, external, point of view, while minoritarian knowing ‘follows’ in search of singularities making knowing ‘coextensive with reality itself’ thereby blurring the separation of subject and object of knowledge (TP: 435). This paper suggests that minoritarian ways of knowing are increasingly dominant today, especially in high tech modalities of GIS mapping, Big Data, the Internet of Things, Public Service Jams and Hackathons etc and that this is reflected in contemporary theory, from actor-network approaches to speculative realism and OOO.


Thursday 29 June 2017

I will be speaking at a roundtable debate, along with Dr Aidan Hehir and Dr Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, at the book launch of Elisa Randazzo’s, Beyond Liberal Peacebuilding: A Critical Exploration of the Local TurnDepartment of Political Science, University College London, UCL Roberts Building, G08 Sir David Davies LT, Torrington Place. 6.00-7.30pm. Details are here.


15-16 June 2017

‘The Ambivalences of Abstraction: From the Holocaust to the Anthropocene’, presentation for a ‘Workshop on The Ambivalences of Abstraction’, organised by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, at the GridIron Building, Pancras Square, LondonProgramme here.

Abstract: This paper focuses on the contemporary ambivalence towards abstraction within critical theory, heuristically counterposing the Frankfurt School retreat from abstraction to the speculative realist perspective that abstraction has not been pushed far enough. For Kracauer (and the Frankfurt School of critical theory he influenced) modernity (or civilisation itself) was seen to be built on the power of abstraction as both a material and ideational force (Sohn-Rethel; Adorno and Horkheimer). It was little wonder that the Frankfurt School would see the crises of the C20th – totalitarianism, the Holocaust and Hiroshima – as the products of the modern or Enlightenment episteme – seen to reduce the world to a narrow and reductionist rationalism, dehumanising and alienating ‘man’ and disenchanting the world. The crises of the C21st – climate change, the 6th extinction and the Anthropocene – are eliciting different responses to abstraction. While, for the Frankfurt School (and for post humanist, ANT and nonrepresentational approaches today) the problem with abstraction was epistemological – the forces of abstraction (both mental and material) separated ‘man’ from himself and the world – new techniques of ‘learning to be affected’ and new technologies (of sensing) – could return the human to the world as a ‘real’, embodied and entangled subject. The other approach to the ambiguities of abstraction is to push in the opposite direction, to further the reason of the Enlightenment to see abstraction as an ontological dynamic of life itself (Meillassoux, Brassier, Bogost, Morton, Harman, Bryant). For speculative realism, all life (and non-life) is separated from the world, which is alien and inaccessible to it. Abstraction as an ontological mode of existence removes ‘the world’ – which is no longer there ‘for us’ – rather than merely removing ‘man’ from the world. Whereas the Holocaust put the problem of reason and the ambiguities of abstraction to the fore, the Anthropocene is held to reveal abstraction to be the ontological ‘stuff of life’ itself. These two approaches to the ambiguities of abstraction – reason without abstraction and abstraction without reason – have different practical and ethico–political emphases. The paper concludes with what is at stake in the ambiguities of abstraction today.


Wednesday 14 June 2017

I will provide the keynote presentation ‘New Wars, New (in)Securities, New Peacebuilding?’ at the conference ‘Peace vs Security in Public Policies’, International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP), Museum of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


1-2 June 2017

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Public lecture ‘Peacebuilding – The Twenty Years‘ Crisis’, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) Lecture Series ‘Peace & Security Essentials’, discussant Prof. Anna Geis, Helmut-Schmidt University Hamburg, 18.00, 2nd floor, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH), University of Hamburg, Germany.


Thursday 25 May 2017

Introduction to Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology or What its Like to be a Thing (2012), Materialisms Reading Group, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, London.


20-21 May 2017

Conference keynote ‘Governmentalities of the Digital: Mapping, Sensing and Hacking’ for  ‘Digital Objects, Digital Subjects: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Activism, Research & Critique in the Age of Big Data Capitalism’, 6th Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Society Conference, University of Westminster, London.

Abstract: In this presentation I explore three ways of rethinking the human through the digital. The first is reactive; here, the use of ubiquitous data is seen to enable new methods of mapping/tracing relations in time and space. In this paradigm, problems are seen more clearly through an ontology of depth, ‘drilling down’ to context where processes/path dependencies come to light which can be intervened in. The second is responsive, the paradigm of sensing and datafication: seeing relations in real-time, to enable increasingly automated processes of governing emergence. Here, the Internet of Things and cyborg more-than-human assemblages are imagined to govern with rather than over or against potential problems or threats of climate change, disease or socio-economic crises. The goal is that of resilience: the maintenance of the status-quo or homeostatic governance. The third form of adaptation is autopoietic, less goal-directed and therefore more future-orientated, for example, hacking as a project of exploration of the possibilities of relations and processes, detaching and repurposing assemblages creating new possibilities. In all three, the ‘what-is-ness’ of the world is given its due; there are no assumptions of linear, abstract or universal frames of knowledge or governmental capacity. They could also be seen as stages through which ‘the digital’, in enabling adaptive possibilities, has facilitated the building of a home in a posthuman world.


Friday 19 May 2017

I will be convening and presenting on ‘Big Data and the Ontopolitics of the Anthropocene: Critique and the Rise of the Digital in International Governance’ at the workshop ‘Big Data and the Rise of the Digital in International Governance’, sponsored by the Millennium journal and the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, at the London School of Economics, London. The draft paper is available here.


Thursday 11 May 2017

I will be be examining a PhD at the Faculty of Social Science, University of Lapland, Finland.


25-26 April 2017

Convening, ‘Mapping, Mercator and Modernity: The Impact of the Digital’, international workshop, Gerhard-Mercator-Haus, University Campus Duisburg and Centre for Global Cooperation, University of Duisburg-Essen.


Tuesday 25 April 2017

I will moderate, ‘Mapping, Mercator and Modernity: The Impact of the Digital’, the 8th Kate Hamburger Dialogue,18:00–19:30 hr, Gerhard-Mercator-Haus, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.


Tuesday 18 April 2017

Presentation, ‘Why we Heart the Anthropocene’, discussant Julian Reid (University of Lapland), research colloquium, Centre for Global Cooperation, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.


5-9 April 2017

Association of American Geographers, Annual Meeting, The Hynes Convention Center, Marriott Copley Place and the Sheraton, Boston, MA.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Exeter, Marriott, Third Floor

Panel Session 1183: Rethinking the Digital and Analogue: Epistemologies of the Anthropocene

Chair(s): Nathaniel O’grady – Durham University; Introduction: Nathaniel O’grady – Durham University; Panelist(s): Charlotte Heath-Kelly – University of Warwick; David Chandler – University of Westminster; Tobias Matzner; Athina Karatogianni, University of Leicester.

Session Description: Agreement exists concerning how the Anthropocene calls into question modernist epistemologies and exhausts reductionist ontologies and linear causal reasoning. Key to literature on the Anthropocene has been that human’s perceived status and effect upon and amidst the world needs to be reconceptualised. Binary conceptualisations, for instance, relating to inside/outside, mind/matter, subject/object and nature/culture have been said to collapse into one another. In this panel, we will engage with these issues through critical explorations of the relationship between both digital and analogue forms of knowledge and their relationship to the material world and events which occur therein to characterise it. 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, 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, 2010; Hayles, 1999; Halpern, 2014)?

Note to self: 18:00 – 20:00 Visualizing for Justice – Creative, Critical and Contestational Mapping, The Bordy Theater at Emerson College, 216 Tremont Street, Boston.

Thursday 6 April 2017

8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Salon I, Marriott, Fourth Floor

Paper Session 2186 : Design, Biopolitics, and Resilience in a Complex World I

Chair(s): Sara Holiday Nelson – University of Minnesota; Abstract(s): 8:00 AM Author(s): Lauren Amy Rickards – RMIT University, Abstract Title: Intersections of design thinking and resilience thinking in the Anthropocene; 8:20 AM Author(s): Kevin Grove – Florida International University, Abstract Title: Putting Hayek in his place: towards a counter-genealogy of resilience; 8:40 AM Author(s): Victoria Marshall – NUS, Abstract Title: Re-drawing Urban Ecologies: Critical Design Practice; 9:00 AM Author(s): Stephanie Wakefield – CUNY Graduate Center, Abstract Title: Urban Experimentation is the way to inhabit the Anthropocene; 9:20 AM Discussant: David Chandler – University of Westminster

Session Description: The past few years have seen a growing body of critical scholarship focused on the paradigm of ‘resilience’ as it has come to inflect environmental management, finance, business planning, urban design, and security. Resilience prescribes a particular way of living with complexity, advocating an adaptive approach that enables persistence and growth in the face of turbulent change. But while critical scholars have traced the way that resilience is taken up in a variety of fields, the central position of design as a style of thought and mode of problem-solving within resilience discourse and policy has received less attention. From the environmental sciences to logistics and urban planning, becoming-resilient is understood to involve a shift from planning to design, from preparing for anticipated future states to cultivating the conditions of possibility for emergent adaptation to the unforeseen (e.g. Curtin 2014; Fiksel 2015; Washburn 2013). This shift suggests an expanded function of design as an ongoing adaptive practice, and an elevated role for the designer as a general manager of social-ecological emergence. The convergence of resilience and design would seem to represent the epitome of anti-political technopolitics, in which the conditions of possibility for social change become the object of expert tinkering. Proponents of “resilience design” advocate a deliberative mode of social engagement that closely resembles what Eric Swyngedouw (2014:175) has called the “politics of consensual urban design in its post-politicising guise,” which “colonises and contributes to the further hollowing out of… the very horizon of the political as radically heterogeneous and conflicted.” Similarly, scholars such as David Chandler, Jeremy Walker and Melinda Cooper have argued that the rise of resilience thinking and its alignment with neoliberal economic thought erodes the possibility for critique by enrolling alterity as an innovative catalyst for growth. But while Latour (2008) notes that design promises pragmatic reform rather than revolution, the politics of design as a distinct way of engaging with complexity have yet to be unpacked. As Nigel Cross (1982) and other design studies scholars argue, design involves a different style of thought to both the applied and critical analysis of physical and social sciences, and the hermeneutics of the arts – a synthetic style of reasoning that seeks to integrate distinct forms of knowledge in order to create innovative, pragmatic solutions to problems of complexity. And Brian Massumi (2000:51) has written of design as a process of “in-folding” external constraints, a reorientation of outside intrusions in an affirmative critique that is “pliant” without being “compliant.” The convergence of resilience with design practice points to an ongoing reconfiguration of the relation between power, knowledge, and critique in an interconnected world. This session seeks to open up the convergence of resilience and design to critical geographic analysis. We aim to explore how design engages complexity, and the wider biopolitical implications of this engagement: how is design is reconfiguring the forms of biopower that have emerged to govern complexity, and how is design transforming the practice of critique?

Friday 7 April 2017

1:20 PM – 3.00 PM in Simmons, Marriott, Third Floor

Panel Session 3474: The controversial limits of DRR R&A (1): How to better manage disasters

Chair(s): Sebastien Nobert; Discussant: Julien Rebotier; Panellists: Patrick Pigeon, Université de Savoie-Mont-Blanc; Sebastien Nobert; David Chandler; Mickey Glantz; Laurence Créton-Cazenave; Jesse Ribot

3:20 PM – 5:00 PM in Simmons, Marriott, Third Floor

Paper Session 3574: The controversial limits of DRR R&A (2): Exploring the temporal dimensions of disasters and DRR

Chair(s): Julien Rebotier – CNRS; Abstract(s): 3:20 PM Author(s): Jonathan Fayeton –
LATTS, Abstract Title: Setting the clock: time-related dilemmas in crisis management exercises; 3:40 PM Author(s): David Chandler – University of Westminster, Abstract Title: After Temporality? Real Time Responsivities, Renaturalisation and Digital Hacktivism: A Case Study of Jakarta; 4:00 PM Author(s): Sebastien Nobert – Abstract Title: “Heat doesn’t make me ill, it makes me sweat”: Reflecting on durations and temporal disjunctures through the elderly’s experience of the 2013 London heat wave; 4:20 PM Author(s): Ihnji Jon – University of Washington, Abstract Title: “Technicity” of Disasters: the status of virtual geography in U.S. hazard mitigation planning; 4:40 PM Discussant: Kevin Grove – Florida International University

Session Description: The last decade has been plagued with reports of environmental disasters impacting the lives of billions of people around the world (e.g. UNISDR 2015). Already this year, 2016, a myriad of disasters has been reported, ranging from earthquakes and floods to heat waves and wildfires. This has catapulted environmental hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) to the forefront of 24-hour news. Some have described this prominence of disasters as symptomatic of an era in which catastrophes have become regimes of governance (e.g. Dupuy 2002, Aradau and van Munster 2011). This Foucauldian take on catastrophes has influenced the development of a critical geography of risk and hazards, which has mixed Roberto Esposito’s process of immunization (2011), Ulrich Beck’s notion of reflexive modernity (1992) and indeed Michel Foucault’s biopolitics (2004) together to explain the immuno-politics of DRR (e.g. Anderson 2010, Adey and Anderson 2011, Gove 2014).

This immuno-politics proposes the total protection of valued (neo-liberal) life through a series of practices (e.g. structural and semi-structural measures) and ways of thinking such as applying the precautionary principle, resilience or mitigation (Neyrat 2008). Thus far, critical geographers have been interested in identifying the ways in which this kind of politics operates and transforms relations to life (e.g. Grove 2014), while DRR scholars have instead argued in favour of promoting its development in a world increasingly defined as being in permanent crisis (White et al. 2001). If these two different streams of the geography of risk and disasters have made this immuno-politics their centre of attention, they have also participated in overshadowing other dimensions of disaster politics in the wider realm of disaster studies more generally (Guggenheim 2014).

One of those dimensions remains the temporalities produced by and embedded in DRR practices and in disasters themselves. While temporalities seem to have made a comeback as a subject for geographical inquiries, what kind of time constitutes the disruptions unfolded by disasters and DRR practices requires some investigation (Nobert et al. forthcoming). This question opens up temporal dimensions involved in and produced by disaster politics, but perhaps more importantly, it leads to an examination of a facet of disaster management that has too often been left unquestioned by both DRR critiques and proponents, despite the fact that time is a major concept in disaster management.


Tuesday 4 April 2017

The 30th Annual PGSG (Political Geography Speciality Group) Preconference to the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting,  CGIS South Building, Harvard University, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge.

2:15-3:45 Session IX CGIS South S250: CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Chair: Afton Clark-Sather, Geography, University of Delaware; Adaptive Digital Governmentalities of the Anthropocene: Mapping, Sensing and Hacking – David Chandler, International Relations, Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster; The politics of ‘just transition’ away from fossil fuels: Uneven resource geographies and supply destruction strategies in the Anthropocene – Philippe Le Billon, Geography, University of British Columbia; Jump-starting the Blue Economy: Understanding the Logic behind Capital’s new Spatial Fix – Felix Mallin, Geography, National University of Singapore & King’s College London & Mads Barbesgaard, Human Geography, Lund University; Enflamed Livelihoods: The Environmental Geopolitics of Tourism and the Haze Crisis in Northern Thailand – Mary Mostafanezhad, Geography, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; The production of self-resistance through unequal access to urban green areas in Santiago, Chile – Felipe Muñoz, Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University

My abstract: Adaptive Digital Governmentalities of the Anthropocene: Mapping, Sensing and Hacking – In this presentation I explore three ways of rethinking governance in the Anthropocene. The first is reactive; here, the use of ubiquitous data is seen to enable new methods of mapping/tracing relations in time and space. In this paradigm, problems are seen more clearly through an ontology of depth, ‘drilling down’ to context where processes/path dependencies come to light which can be intervened in. The second is responsive, the paradigm of sensing and datafication: seeing relations in real-time, to enable increasingly automated processes of governing emergence. Here, the Internet of Things and cyborg more-than-human assemblages are imagined to govern with rather than over or against potential problems or threats of climate change, disease or socio-economic crises. The goal is that of resilience: the maintenance of the status-quo or homeostatic governance. The third form of digital adaptation is autopoietic, less goal-directed and therefore more future-orientated, for example, hacking as a project of exploration of the possibilities of relations and processes, detaching and repurposing assemblages creating new possibilities. In all three, the ‘what-is-ness’ of the world is given its due; there are no assumptions of linear, abstract or universal frames of knowledge or governmental capacity. They could also be seen as stages through which ‘the digital’, in enabling adaptive possibilities, has facilitated the building of a home in the post human age of the Anthropocene.


Monday 3 April 2017

Seminar presentation, with Daisy Tam and Tom Holderness, ‘Putting the crowd to work’, 12.00-13.30, room 10-401, Urban Risk Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA.

With the limitations of top-down approaches to disaster prevention and urban development, new technological and computational advances afford a more distributed response to crises and facilitate more creative approaches to city-scale problems. The widespread adoption of smartphones equipped with geo-location capabilities and linked via social media apps form the basis for an information collection, communication and coordination network capable of responding to events in real- time. As yet, the possibilities of putting the crowd to work have been largely focused on crowd-sourcing campaigns or the high profile mobilisation of digital humanitarians in the wake of disaster. Critically, these instances have been focused on the digital domain, through the collection and communication of electronic media.

This seminar considers the potential of the crowd to both disrupt and compliment physical urban processes, and addresses how to further generalise the geo-social intelligence enabled by new technologies and open source software. We will consider the political and ethical implications of this potential shift both in terms of the potential transformation of citizenship and participatory constitutive possibilities and also with regard to the implications of more process-based, relational or real-time framings of problems themselves.


Monday 20 March 2017

Presentation on Ray Brassier’s book Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction for Speculative Realism Reading Group, Centre for Global Cooperation, Duisburg.


Monday 20 March 2017

Colloquium discussant for Cornelia Ulbert, ‘In Search of Equity: Practices of Differentiation and the Evolution of a Geography of Responsibility’, Institute for Development and Peace , University of Duisburg-Essen.


2-4 March 2017

‘Resistance in the Anthropocene: A Study of Hacking as a Practice, Radicalizing Aims and Means’, presentation for the ‘Radicalizing Resistance’ panel, International Conference ‘International Dissidence: Rule and Resistance in a Globalized World’ , Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.

Abstract: Hacking is analysed in this paper as an expression of radical resistance which overcomes the gap between aims and means. The failure of modernist forms of critique and resistance, which counterpose a radically different world to that which exists, forms a starting point for the analysis (the Anthropocene is thus seen to signify the growing acceptance of a non-modern ontology of complex interaction and non-linearity) (Bonneuil and Fressoz, 2016). In a world which is perceived as fluid and inter-related and full of unexpected problems and opportunities, responses of radical resistance seek to make the most of these openings, which may be fleeting and unclear, particularly through creative processes of repurposing or re-envisioning existing technologies and capacities and bringing these together in new and novel ways, as expressed in a range of community building projects, ad-hoc ‘jams’ or ‘hackathons’. A hack is a form of intervention, which seeks to reveal new relations and interconnections: it does not seek to construct new forms (structured or technologicial solutions addressing causes and solutions – Wark, Hacker Manifesto, 2004) but neither does it passively accept the world as it is. Means and ends are mutually intertwined when hacking is seen as ‘the act of polities making-worlds by repurposing and reengineering infrastructure not as a heroic or redemptive activity, but as a strategic force of selection, affirmation, and affinity’ (Turpin, 2015). As the Invisible Committee (2014) state: ‘The hacker pulls techniques out of the technological system in order to free them.’ Whereas modernist resistance and critique seeks to engineer an alternative future, hacking brings this alternative into being as an ongoing, immanent, process of changing and repurposing: hacking radicalises aims and means, folding them together in a process of transformation and, in so doing, overcomes the binaries of modernist forms of resistance.


Thursday 9 February 2017

Invited lecture, “Resilience: Bouncing Back, Bouncing Forward and Beyond” for the Resilienz research programme, University of Trier, Germany.

Abstract: This lecture seeks to explore ‘resilience’ less as a fixed understanding of the world and more as a fast-evolving field through which long established ways of conceiving of problems and solutions have been challenged and rethought. It particularly seeks to chart three phases of resilience-thinking which increasingly recognise the complex, embedded and relational nature of problems. I start with the ‘bouncing back’ approach – possibly the most familiar one – which is often termed ‘engineering’ or ‘psychological’ resilience, where the focus is upon the rapid return to a pre-existing equilibrium; this could be seen as based upon linear causality. This approach has increasingly been challenged by approaches which see problems/threats/risks as internal or endogenous to cultural/socio-political existence, suggesting that resilience entails a more radical questioning of ways of being (and of governing) – in this way resilience approaches can be seen as emancipatory; this approach is often based upon a non-linear approach to causality. Thirdly, I will make some exploratory suggestions regarding the limits of the ’emancipatory’ approach to resilience and indicate ways in which resilient communities can be constructed or imagined as responsive through real time feedback mechanisms (often involving the use of Big Data) which do not depend on causal assumptions.

Suggested reading: Chandler, ‘Framings of Resilience – How to Think and Act in a Complex World’. MUNPLanet 2016 https://www.munplanet.com/articles/international-relations/framings-of-resilience-how-to-think-and-act-in-a-complex-world; Chandler, Resilience: The Governance of Complexity (Routledge, 2014); Tierney, The Social Roots of Risk (Stanford UP, 2014); Beck, ‘Emanciptory Catastrophism’, Current Sociology, 2015; Latour, ‘Love your Monsters’, Breakthrough, 2011.


Thursday 12 January 2017

Presentation on ‘Organized Anarchies and Non-Linear Statebuilding’ for the writers workshop, ‘Policy Making in Kosovo’s Organized Anarchy’, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Pristina, Kosovo. Draft agenda.


9-10 January 2017

Presentation on ‘Securing the Anthropocene? International policy experiments in digital hacktivism: A case study of Jakarta’ for the panel session ‘Understanding the limits of anticipatory governance in thinking and acting on futures: New intellectual challenges to DRR research’ at the first UK Alliance for Disaster Research annual conference, Department of Geography, Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience, King’s College London.



15-16 December 2016

‘Elusive Responsibility: Moral Agency in a Non-Linear World’ presentation at the Routledge authors’ workshop ‘Moral Agency and the Politics of Responsibility: Challenging Complexity’, Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg, Germany.

Abstract: In a complex or non-linear world, the most important impacts of our choices and decisions are held to be their unintentional consequences — their ‘side effects’ (Beck 1997) evidencing our materially networked ‘entanglements’ (Latour 2003) — which mean that ‘externalities’, previously excluded from the calculations of politics and the market, are now considered as central. In this way, global interdependence and interconnectivity are held to pose substantial problems with regard to judging where political responsibility lies for events and situations which concern us. This has major implications, enabling the rearticulation of international framings of both individual and state responsibility. The field of ethical and political responsibility is therefore defined less by the formal public sphere of representation — democracy, rights, and sovereignty — and more by our embeddedness in emergent chains of causality. This chapter seeks to stake out two central claims with regard to the rise of elusive responsibility. Firstly, it is concerned with drawing out how understandings of relational responsibility have become increasingly central to mainstream policy and academic thinking, highlighting the conceptual links with the ontological or ‘new materialist’ turn in social theory. Secondly, it highlights how the ethics of global relational embeddedness redistribute ethical and political responsibility in ways which, rather than challenging power inequalities, rearticulate ‘Western responsibility’ for global outcomes on the basis of indirect chains of causal interaction, rather than superior liberal values or institutions.


Wednesday 7 December 2016

‘After the Digital? Risk, Hidden Vulnerability and the Rise of Problem-Oriented Ontology’, seminar presentation, Media and Communication Research Seminar, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

Abstract: Information is increasingly seen to be key to international policy-making and the digital revolution is touted by policy-makers as the solution to a wide range of problems interconnected in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This presentation analyses the dynamic of this discussion towards real-time information and contextual drilling-down, suggesting that ‘digital solutionism’ expresses the fullest development of the modernist approach to ‘problem-solving’ and the epistemology of the digital. The limits to this approach will be analysed, suggesting that the problem of ‘access’ to the marginal and vulnerable is presented as a problem of epistemology: the mechanisms and instruments are always never quite fine-grained enough to see entities in their rich complexity, with the assumption being that this could, in theory, be possible. However, the more policy-makers seek to drill-down and to develop real-time responsivities, the complexity of the problem (the dense inter-relationships of contingency and causation) becomes manifest. It will be argued that technological advances only shift the focus of the problem downwards, constituting a problem of ontological depth. The digital revolution thus catalyses rather than resolves the epistemological crisis of modernity and it is this crisis that materially underpins the ‘ontological turn’. The presentation concludes with an analysis of the ontological turn in policy-making, working out from the problem itself rather than drilling down through the extension of digital technologies. Taken to its logical conclusion, the ontological turn potentially provides a critical alternative to modernist problem-solving, enabling problems to become once again (as Marx argued) calls for reworlding (changing the world).


Tuesday 6 December 2016

‘The political economy of global digital platformisation: The Twitter/UN partnership for the sustainable development goals’, panel presentation at ‘The Political Economy of Platformisation’, International Colloquium at the School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester. Sponsored by the Digital Networks and Communication Research cluster.

Abstract: On 23 September 2016 Twitter and the UN’s Global Pulse announced a partnership that will provide the United Nations with access to Twitter’s data tools to support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. According to the press release, the UN argues that Twitter feeds “can help us truly take a real-time pulse on priorities and concerns” to strengthen decision-making. What does it mean to “leverage” “real time” “live” public information to better inform policies and decisions? And how does this information contribute to Development? This paper considers the political economy of a Twitter platform partnership project on Flood Mapping in Jakarta, supported by US AID funding and the Indonesian government. It argues that the problems of government funding of infrastructure and of land evictions are marginalised as flooding becomes seen as an inevitable and natural feature of the Anthropocene and the emphasis shifts to the “geo-social networked intelligence” of the community itself in the provision of real time information as a strategy of an ongoing process of coping. The implications being that the platformisation of development imagines the achievement of the SDGs without any change in the structural conditions reproducing poverty and vulnerability.


17-18 November 2016

‘Sensing: Because Context is the New Content’, panel presentation at ‘Law and the Senses II: Human, Posthuman, Inhuman Sensings’, Westminster Law School, University of Westminster. Full programme information here.

Abstract: Sensing is the new knowing and thus its epistemological and ontological stakes have moved to centre stage. Why this is, is captured in the avant-garde poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s aphorism that forms the subtitle of this presentation. In a complex, fluid, inter-relational world, knowing is no longer about fixed essences and causal linearities. Knowledge can no longer be abstracted from reality, preserved and pickled and taken away for use in other times and places. The liberal episteme is necessarily reductionist, seeking to divide and homogenise a calculable world of laws and regularities. Sensing, human or non-human, seeks to measure qualities not quantities: it is analogical not digital. Sensing works between the zero and the one rather than dividing the world into binaries. Qualities need to be sensed, qualities are fluid and relational, qualities enable things to be grasped in their emergence, their relational coming-into-being. The question of the subjective intentions or technical methods of sensing – human, post human or inhuman – is actually a secondary question: the genealogy of sensing as the new knowing, of context as the new content, tells us that these divisions have always mattered little. Rather than narrowly focus on the methods of sensing – with or without machinic assemblages – this paper seeks to draw out the epistemological and ontological closures which are the conditions of possibility for the rise of sensing.


Thursday 17 November 2016

‘Big Data as a Driver for Change: From Information Utopias to Utopias In-Formation’, Keynote Lecture, Central St. Martins, Kings Cross.

Monday 24 October 2016

Speaking at  the book launch of The Architecture of Neoliberalism: How Architecture Became an Instrument of Control and Compliance, by Douglas Spencer. “A devastating portrait of contemporary architecture as the phantasmagoria of neoliberal capitalism.” Ben Noys. “An absolutely timely, lucid, important critique.” Joan Ockman. A lecture by Dr Douglas Spencer, of University of Westminster’s Faculty of Architecture, followed by a panel discussion featuring Professor David Chandler (University of Westminster), Dr Jon Goodbun (University of Westminster/RCA) and Professor Peg Rawes (The Bartlett, UCL). Chaired and introduced by Professor Lindsay Bremner (University of Westminster). Drinks reception to follow. 6-8 pm Room M416, University of Westminster, Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, London. NW1 5LS.


22-23 October 2016

‘Racialised Realities in World Politics’, 2016 Millennium Conference, London School of Economics.

‘Indigenous Knowledge and the Digital: Datafication, Algorithmic Insight and the Analogical Turn’ presentation for ‘Algorithms, Racializing Assemblages and the Digital Human’ panel.

Abstract: This paper analyses the shared methodological approach between datafication (the use of algorithmic learning to datafy relations previously unseen) and the epistemological framing of Indigenous knowledge (based upon correlations and relations rather than reductionist and linear framings). It suggests that Indigenous knowledge is constructed as a practical, performative non-modern epistemology. The paper focuses on the ways of knowing itself: the generation of preventive or anticipatory knowledge, through seeing more-than-human forces in ways occluded by a modernist ontology. The paper suggests that indigenous ways of seeing are feted for the specific attributes of grasping emergent natural or environmental problems, which are seen to evade the grasp of modern science and technology. When nature was seen as a passive object open to modernist understanding and appropriation, indigenous ways of being were seen to lack history and agency. Today, the tables are turned. As Latour has noted, it seems that nature has more power and agency than humanity, and better ways of knowing and calculating. The collapse of the nature/culture divide and the focus on the previously ignored liveliness, power and agency of natural forces, previously thought to be passive, innate and lacking in agency, has transformed the understanding of indigneity and disrupted modernist constructions of the rational Western/human subject. The paper concludes that the analogical turn to seeing processes of emergence rather than focusing on causality and entities helps us to understand how data generation and processes of datafication can share much with non-modern ways of seeing the world. This process ‘racializes reality’ in new and possibly unexpected more-than-human ways.


Tuesday 4 October 2016

‘After the Digital? Risk, Hidden Vulnerability and the Rise of Problem-Oriented Ontology’. Research in Progress seminar, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

Abstract: Information is increasingly seen to be key to international policy-making and the digital revolution is touted by policy-makers as the solution to a wide range of problems interconnected in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.This presentation analyses the dynamic of this discussion towards real-time information and contextual drilling-down, suggesting that ‘digital solutionism’ expresses the fullest development of the modernist approach to ‘problem-solving’ and the epistemology of the digital. The limits to this approach will be analysed, suggesting that the problem of ‘access’ to the marginal and vulnerable is presented as a problem of epistemology: the mechanisms and instruments are always never quite fine-grained enough to see entities in their rich complexity, with the assumption being that this is, in theory, possible. However, the more policy-makers seek to drill-down and to develop real-time responsivities, the complexity of the problem (the dense inter-relationships of contingency and causation) becomes manifest. It will be argued that technological advances only shift the focus of the problem downwards, constituting a problem of ontological depth. Technologies increasingly reveal the nature of the problem to be different to how it was previously imagined: they reveal communities to be much more differentiated and reveal that causal chains are often much more mediated and less linear than previously understood. The digital revolution thus catalyses rather than resolves the epistemological crisis of modernity and it is this crisis that materially underpins the ‘ontological turn’. The presentation concludes with an analysis of the ontological turn in policy-making, working out from the problem itself rather than drilling down through the extension of digital technologies. Taken to its logical conclusion, the ontological turn potentially provides a critical alternative to modernist problem-solving, enabling problems to become once again (as Marx argued) calls for ‘reworlding’ (changing the world).


7-10 September 2016

European Consortium for Political Research, 2016 General Conference, Charles University, Prague

(with Julian Reid) ‘Becoming Indigenous: Contesting the Ontopolitics of “Being in Being”’, presentation at the panel ‘Indigeneity in Waiting: Critical Reflections of Power and Progress’.

Abstract: Throughout the history of colonialism competing representations of the indigenous have been deployed by colonial powers to their own advantages and ends. Historically the indigenous have been represented as belonging to a past temporality in ways that legitimized colonial rule in the present and future. Today such representations of the indigenous as primitive and of the past are less prevalent or powerful. Anthropologists are more likely to be read berating the failure of their discipline to have challenged the teleological narratives underpinning the West’s historical sense of superiority. The concurrent assumption that indigenous peoples should open themselves to the world is also challenged increasingly by the converse idea that the West has much to learn from the indigenous. It is the West, today, it is argued widely, which must open itself to the Indigenous in ways that not only recognize the rights of the indigenous to life but the superior value of their ways of life. We argue that the challenge of ontopolitical arguments for the superiority of indigenous ways of being should not be seen as radical or emancipatory resistances to modernist or colonial epistemological and ontological legacies but instead as a new form of neoliberal governmentality, cynically and instrumentally manipulating critical, postcolonial and ecological sensibilities for its own ends. Rather than ‘provincialising’ dominant Western hegemonic practices, discourses of ‘indigeneity’ are functioning to extend them, instituting new forms of governing through calls for adaptation and resilience.


31 August – 3 September 2016

‘Is Science the new Politics of the Anthropocene?’ paper for Track TO23: Science Is Politics by Other Means Revisited convened by Eve Seguin (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Dominique Vinck (Lausanne University) at the 4S/EASST Conference ‘Science and Technology by Other Means: Exploring Collectives, Spaces and Futures’, Barcelona.

Abstract: This paper suggests that the late Latour has an understanding of science and of politics which merges both the Houses of the Modern Constitution and flattens their meaning. The science of calling to account for the unintended consequences of our actions, through the tracing and sensing of loops of feedback effects, is the science of datafication, making the unseen seeable. Latour suggests that new technological advances enable a new empirical sociology to emerge without the need for abstraction and generalisation; that the ‘what is’ of the world can be finally given its due. This paper will question whether Latour achieves his aim of moving beyond the modern episteme and, if so, the consequences of so doing.


Tuesday 26 July 2016

‘Securing the Anthropocene: Community Hackers against the Digital – A Case Study of Jakarta’, panel presentation ‘Panel 5: Ideology and Algorithmic Governance’ at the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Preconference ‘Surveillance and Security in the Age of Algorithmic Communication’, Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre Room 2, Main Campus, University of LeicesterAbstracts available here.

Abstract: This paper analyses security discourses that are beginning to self-consciously take on board the shift towards the Anthropocene. Firstly, it sets out the developing episteme of the Anthropocene, suggesting that this new epoch highlights the limits of instrumentalist cause-and-effect approaches to security, and suggests that knowledge is increasingly generated through new forms of mediation and correlation, capable of grasping or seeing non-causal relationships and interconnections. Key to this approach is the deployment of analogical thinking rather than digital forms of reductionism. It then goes on to draw out these approaches in the practices and imaginaries of securing the Anthropocene, using as a case study the field of digital humanitarianism and disaster risk reduction, with the focus on social-technical assemblages able to enhance the power of geo-social networked forms of collective intelligence, being developed and applied in ‘the City of the Anthropocene’: Jakarta, Indonesia. The paper concludes that policy interventions today cannot readily be grasped in modernist frameworks of ‘problem solving’ but should be seen more in terms of evolving and adaptive ‘life hacks’.


7-8 July 2016

Attending a dialogue and workshop on New Materialism and Decolonialism, Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg, Germany.


30 June – 1 July 2016

‘Complexity and the Anthropocene: Governing and Securing Emergence, A Case Study of Jakarta’, paper for the 9th Workshops on International Relations (WIRE) workshop, ‘Complex systems for global governance’, Université Saint-Louis, Brussels. Programme available here.


24-25 June 2016

‘Digital Sensing vs “Big Data”: A Case Study of Digital Activism in Jakarta’, paper presentation for the stream ‘Data as Things: Dis/assembling the Stuff of Data and Data’s Coming to Matter’, London Conference of Critical Thought, Birkbeck, University of London. Programme available here.

Abstract: Aradau and Blanke (2015) set up the problems of Big Data security assemblages and establish a research agenda where the production of data itself is the object of social, political and philosophical enquiry. This paper seeks to contribute to this project and is concerned with how international digital humanitarian projects articulate their understanding of the production of data in distinction to ‘Big Data’ approaches. The area of concern is security in the Anthropocene – rather than approaches to terrorism, the organisations engaged with work in the environmental-urban poverty-resilience nexus and include the UN’s Global Pulse Lab, Humanitarian Open Street Mappers and digital flood warning NGO PetaJakarta. All these organisations seek to distinguish their approaches from ‘Big Data’ and thereby construct a set of interesting understandings of the emancipatory role of data-based approaches which are seen as socially and politically transformative through seeking to revision communities and their relations rather than to reproduce them digitally. As one digital activist put it to me: ‘Big Data merely traces the existence of the Anthropocene it does nothing to enhance its unfolding.’ These community-centred digital activists, seeking to develop open source software, articulate a different way of accessing the world and its relations, understood as real time empiricism, without the limitations and constraints of Big Data’s possibilistic and predictive modelling.


Friday 29 April 2016

Public forum on Problems of Peace Interventions, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.

28-29 April 2016

‘The Pragmatic Turn: Intervention’s #SorryNotSorry?’, paper for workshop, ‘Beyond Liberal Peace? Exploring the Rise of Pragmatic Approaches to Peace’, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.


Thursday 21 April 2016

Book launch for The Neoliberal Subject: Resilience, Adaptation and Vulnerability, with Julian Reid and commentaries from Marjo Lindroth and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, University of Lapland, Finland.

20-21 April 2016

‘Indigeneous Knowledge and the Anthropocene: Thinking against the Digital’, presentation for public launch and closed workshop for ‘Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope’ (3 year international collaborative project funded by the Kone Foundation), University of Lapland, Finland.


3rd European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), Tübingen, 6-8 April 2016 

International Politics in the Anthropocene workshop (draft programme)

My paper, ‘Learning how to Live in the Anthropocene: The End of the Nature/Culture Divide’

Abstract: This paper seeks to explore how the anthropocene meme enables us to imagine the end of the nature/culture or subject/object divide. It seeks to analyse how ‘nature’ or ‘objects’ acquire a socio-political power of governance. Disasters are generically used as a simple example as (in their diverse forms) they are becoming increasingly central to the political imagination of the anthropocene. Thus, Bruno Latour argues that we should ‘love’ or include our ‘monsters’ and from the late Ulrich Beck’s views of ’emancipatory catastrophism’ to the UN Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, disasters are becoming a subject of ethico- political reflexivity. Disasters are no longer excluded from politics and seen as external or natural events but are instead seen as enabling our self-understanding of our material embeddedness within the world. The United Nations, for example, is forwarding a new paradigm suggesting that disaster risk should be embedded within everyday governance and development processes and managed through taking responsibility for social and environmental outcomes. In this way, disasters – as outcomes of socio-material processes – enable self-learning, reflection and potentially emancipatory outcomes. This paper seeks to discuss how disasters have overcome the nature/culture divide and what is at stake in learning how to live in the anthropocene by ‘loving’ them and learning with them.


22-23 March 2016

‘The new ethics of security management: or how we grew to love (and to live with) security threats’, conference presentation for ‘Security Ethics: Theory, trends and developments’, Leeds University, Liberty Building, Leeds, LS2 9JT. Draft programme.


International Studies Association, 57th Annual Convention, ‘Exploring Peace’, Atlanta, Georgia, 16th – 19th March 2016

Wednesday 16 March 2016

8:15 AM – 10:00 AM, Salon B, Hilton Atlanta, WA12: The Politics of Digital Technology

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Mika P. Aaltola (The Finnish Institute of International Affairs – Tallinn University); Discussant: Delf Rothe (University of Hamburg). Papers:
Algorithms, Political Agency and the Reification of ‘Technology’, Author: David Chandler (University of Westminster); The Politicization of Technology: How to Understand the Political Character of Technology in the Digital Era, Author: Linda Monsees (Universität Bremen); The Politics of Technology: Emergence, constitution and intervention, Author: Katja Lindskov Jacobsen (Metropolitan University College ); Our Climate is Nuclear: Technology and the Emergence of Climate Change, Author: Scott Hamilton (London School of Economics)

Abstract: The importance of technology for world politics has increasingly caught IR scholars’ interest. The so-called digital revolution asks us to rethink the role of technology and to consider how its specific characteristics might challenge traditional political ontologies. 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, digital humanitarianism, the Internet of Things, and Big Data) and also in a growing theoretical interest in science and technology studies (STS) and the ‘material-turn’. Contributing to this debate, this panel rethinks 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.

My paper: “Algorithms, Political Agency and the Reification of ‘Technology'”. Abstract: Technology is political – this is now a mantra of critical thought. For example, In the popular and academic press its easy to find books which assert that algorithms (step-by-step computer instructions) increasingly rule the world: through building behavioural norms into the technology of everyday life; and predicting everything from crime and disaster to commercial success and failure; to black boxing ways in which consumer and search recommendations are selected. In the critique that algorithms are political, a particular binary construction of politics/technology is at play. It seems that politics has shifted its location – the only thing that is always ‘political’ is, in fact, ‘technology’. How? ‘Technology’ is here a stand-in for something else – modernist epistemological and ontological assumptions. In an age where states no longer socially engineer according to Scott’s memetic ‘Seeing Like a State’, ‘technology’ (in fact, all forms of scientific knowledge) is held to be the main ‘political’ actor, hubristically attempting to construct the world in linear, reductionist and problematic ways. The paper concludes that the critical politics/technology binary fails to reflect upon the dissolution of the modernist mindset and relies on ignoring other discussions of technological innovations, especially in the realm of Big Data.

4:00 PM – 5:45 PM, Grand Ballroom B, Hilton Atlanta, WD05: Building a Constructively Critical Theory of Peace through Empirical Investigations

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Naomi Levy (Santa Clara University); Discussant: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Discussant: Roger Mac Ginty (University of Manchester). Papers: The Surprising Peace: Understanding International Contributions to Successful Peacebuilding, Author: Sèverine Autesserre (Barnard College, Columbia University); It’s the (Political) Economy, Stupid!: Why Non-intentional Effects Matter in Peacebuilding Interventions, Author: Tobias Debiel; Emerging Powers’ Challenge to Liberal Peacebuilding, Author: Charles T. Call (American University); Building Peace by Delivering Public Services: How Does External Engagement Condition the Relationship Between Peacebuilding and Statebuilding?, Author: Naazneen Barma (Naval Postgraduate School), Author: Naomi Levy (Santa Clara University), Author: Jessica R. Piombo (Naval Postgraduate School); Measuring Peace: Complementarity, Comparability and Trends using Locally Sourced, Bottom-Up Indicators of Peace, Author: Pamina M. Firchow (George Mason University & US Institute of Peace), Author: Roger Mac Ginty (University of Manchester)

Abstract: International peacebuilding interventions in post-conflict countries have been far from universally successful, and scholars have sought to understand the successes and failures of these efforts. Normative scholars have trained a particularly critical eye on peacebuilding operations, and have illuminated important contradictions inherent in the liberal peacebuilding paradigm. They have also expressed skepticism with the “problem solving” nature of empirical investigations of peacebuilding by questioning whether research that aims to help practitioners of peacebuilding adjust their practices for better results can properly interrogate the assumptions of the international peacebuilding enterprise. As a result, there is a growing divide between normative and empirical approaches to peacebuilding scholarship. This panel attempts to bridge this divide by highlighting the work of scholars who are undertaking empirical inquiries that are informed by and grounded in the normative critiques of liberal peacebuilding. It provides an important contribution to Paul Diehl’s overall conference theme of exploring peace, as well as to his recent call for empirical work that helps build middle-range theories of peace. The work presented here varies widely in methodological approach, levels of analysis, and regions of the world studied, yet each addresses the normative critiques of peacebuilding through a firmly empirical approach.

6.00 PM note to self Southern Elements Lounge

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Grand Ballroom C, Hilton Atlanta, Routledge Books and Journals Reception (come along to find out more about the Resilience journal)


Thursday 17 March 2016

8.30 AM – 9.00PM Conference Workshop, Georgia State University, Bridging the Conceptual and Theoretical Divides on Peace and Peacebuilding Troy Moore Library, 25 Park Place, 23rd Floor, [ten minutes walk from Conference hotels (go downhill/south on Peachtree Street. Tall building on left, below/east of the middle of Woodruff Park]

NB: Unlike typical ISA panels, this workshop is meant for active discussion. The goal, therefore is that half (37 minutes) of each panel is meant for Papers and Discussants and half for audience commentary. We request that comments be respectful and collegial, in the spirit of peacemaking. To encourage a positive peace among us, please try to attend one or both of the following events: Wednesday, March 16, 8-10PM, Gordon Vernick Jaz QUARTET at Red Light Café in Mid-town, off of Amsterdam and Monroe Ave (no cover charge!) http://redlightcafe.com/ A taxi or Uber/Lyft car will get you there for about $8, or $2.00 per person each way if you travel with a total of four people. (Gordon is head of the Georgia State School of Fine Arts’ Jazz program and went to elementary and high school with Chip). and on: Friday March 18, from 9PM onward for Salsa, Bachata and Merengue at Fernbank Museum, two miles east of hotel of Ponce de Leon Avenue. (dinner and drinks can be purchased there). Hour-long Lesson at 8:15PM included in the $8 cover charge. A taxi or Uber/Lyft car will get you there for about $12, or $3.00 per person each way if you travel with a total of four people: http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/visit-fernbank/events-activities/

8:30 – 9:00 AM – Introduction and Welcome: Susanne Schmeidl, University of New South Wales; Chip Carey, Georgia State University

9:00 -10:15 AM – Session 1: Cosmopolitanism: Chair: Necla Tschirgi, Kroc School, University of San Diego; Papers: Richard Falk, University of California, Santa Barbara; Úrsula Oswald Spring, (feminism) National Autonomous University of Mexico; Discussants: Oliver Richmond, University of Manchester; David Chandler, Westminster University 10:15-10:30 – Coffee Break

10:30-11:45 AM – Session 2: Liberalism: Chair: Charlotte Ku, School of Law, Texas A&M University; Papers: William Zartman (Preventive Diplomacy), John Hopkins University; Alex Berg (Domestic Politics), Georgia State University; Discussants: Michael Lund, Management Systems International, Inc; Roger Mac Ginty, University of Manchester 12Noon – 1 pm – Lunch: Welcome, William Long, GSU Dean of Arts and Sciences; Lecture: Professor Sarah F. Brosnan, “Peacebuilding among Primates”

1:30PM note to self – Palgrave stall

2:30-3:45PM Session 4: Critical Peacebuilding approaches; Chair: Jennifer McCoy, Director of the Global Studies Institute and Distinguished University Professor, Georgia State University; Papers: Jacob Mundy, Colgate University; Farid Mirbagheri, University of Nicosia (Muslim Views); Discussants: Thania Paffenholz, Graduate Institute; Jennifer Sterling-Folker, University of Connecticut 4:00-6:00 PM LONG BREAK to attend ISA afternoon panels (4:00-5:45); Dinner and Receptions


4:00 PM – 5:45 PM, 309, Hilton Atlanta, TD75: The Turn to the Local: A Critical Assessment

Participants: Chair: Jenny H. Peterson (University of British Columbia); Participant: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Participant: Oliver Richmond (University of Manchester); Participant: Thania Paffenholz (Graduate Institute, Geneva); Participant: Ole Jacob Sending (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)

Abstract: This panel seeks to critically discuss the discursive turn to the local in peacebuilding approaches to examine the ways in which the ‘local’ has been constructed and revisit the conditions of possibility that led to its emergence. In response to – or as a reflection of – the crisis of liberal peacebuilding ‘the local’ became an increasingly key domain for understanding interventions over the last two decades. It was argued that there was a major disconnect between liberal peacebuilding and local forms of legitimacy and therefore that the role of external peacebuilders should be limited to supporting internal and locally driven peace processes. An emphasis on the local was argued to serve the dual purposes of overcoming the liberal-local divide and as a means for empowerment, contributing to more sustainable peace processes. The idea that peacebuilding should start from the local sounded compelling – yet most accounts provided very little analysis about who, what or where the ‘local’ was. We wish to investigate whether the ‘local’ was – or still is – able to provide non-‘liberal’ grounds upon which intervention can be legitimised, and if so, what form these interventions might take.

6.00 PM – 8.00 PM note to self,  Mai Tai Bar, Hilton Atlanta,  Friends of Millennium gathering.

Friday 18 March 2016

1:45 PM – 3:30 PM, Crystal F, Hilton Atlanta, FC60: Debating the future of international engagement: Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 10 years on

Participants: Chair: Nicolas Lemay-Hebert (University of Birmingham); Discussant: Florian P. Kuehn (Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg); Participant: Meera Sabaratnam (SOAS, University of London); Participant: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Participant: Anne Orford (Melbourne University); Participant: Rita Abrahamsen (University of Ottawa); Participant: Aidan Hehir (University of Westminster)

Abstract: After an era of full-range statebuilding and military interventions in so-called ‘fragile states’, today the motivation to invest capital, people and political energy in statebuilding projects seems to have diminished. However, other, more subtile forms of intervention seem to have taken the front stage in global politics. Have open forms of intervention made way for less visible but more intrusive ways to influence societies in specific parts of the world? Or are we observing, rather, the dawn of an age of atomised, disinterested international politics where states cannot be bothered to get themselves into statebuilding and other support situations? Have great power politics taken over, and smaller state interventions will become a new proxy theatre to pursue geopolitical aims? Which norms are and will be guiding decisions to become involved in crisis situations? What are the purposes of interventionist policies in the next decade? A high-ranking panel discusses the challenges, trends, obligations and falacies of contemporary statebuilding and intervention. This roundtable will be the opportunity to discuss the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding’s future direction in the next decade.

4:00 PM – 5:45 PM, Georgia 13, Sheraton Atlanta, FD16: Power and the Anthropocene

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Lene Hansen (University of Copenhagen); Discussant: Simon Dalby (Balsillie School of International Affairs). Papers: Global Governmentality in the Anthropocene: Objects, Climate and the Structure of World Politics, Author: Olaf Corry (University of Copenhagen); The Measure of All Things? Our Global Biopolitics of Carbon, Author: Scott Hamilton (London School of Economics); Why IR Can’t Think the Anthropocene, Author: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Power to the (Non)People: Nonhumans and the Anthropocene, Author: Stefanie R. Fishel (University of Alabama); What does the Anthropocene mean for International Relations? Some Critical Reflections, Author: Cameron Harrington (University of Cape Town)

Abstract: “The Anthropocene” is considered to be our human-induced geological epoch, in which an insatiable consumption of fossil fuels, and an explosion of population growth, has delivered an indelible anthropogenic scar upon the Earth. IR, however, has not yet engaged the concept of the Anthropocene in depth. This panel therefore aims to expand the range and scope of IR theory by providing a new and critical interrogation of the relationship between power, the state, and the Anthropocene. It challenges IR to ask: what becomes of power in the Anthropocene? Is the Anthropocene a call for concerted political action, or is it a hubristic labelling of power politics by other means? What does it imply for the state, for political subjectivity, and for IR as a discipline, to conceptualize ourselves and our international relations through the lens of the global Anthropocene? Violence, ontology, sociologies of IR as a discipline, the metaphysical history of IR’s conceptual binaries, carbon, technology, and economic and global governmentalities comprising the Anthropocene, are all explored here. Bringing IR into dialogue with emerging discourses of the Anthropocene, this panel aims to open new avenues and spaces for debate and discussion within and beyond IR theory.

My paper: “Why IR Can’t Think the Anthropocene”. Abstract: IR has a problem dealing with power and the Anthropocene. A search of the 6,000 individual presentations at ISA 2015 reveals just one mention of the Anthropocene, for a panel on ‘Environment, Development, Security’. Despite its erudite deconstructions of the sovereignty-anarchy problematic, critical IR theory never went beyond the epistemic problems of modernist constructions of power and agency. In the 1990s, it was left to sociologists to introduce IR to globalisation – the Anthropocene’s conceptual heir. IR took the last refuge – denied to political theory – and turned the concept into a question of liberal political theory without a sovereign – global governance. Even critics could not see beyond this modernist worldview, confusing the social and the political into a category error. IR could not see the Anthropocene coming; it cannot see it now. This paper suggests that, similarly (and logically), the Anthropocene will neither revive conceptual thought in IR nor ring its death knell. What the Anthropocene does is put IR in perspective, the discipline that bloated itself in the 1990s and 2000s will find itself humbled by its increasing inability to contribute to either the policy practices or and conceptual framings of the posthuman age.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM, 207, Hilton Atlanta (By Invitation Only) Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding Board Meeting

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM, 206, Hilton Atlanta, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding Reception


Thursday 10 March 2016

Inter-Faculty Panel Discussion – Media, Arts and Design (MAD) and Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), 5 – 7pm, Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster + drinks reception

New Materialism is currently having a profound effect across disciplines. Rooted in post-marxist thinking, but spreading out on the flat ontology of networks, objects and bodies, New Materialsm is an interdisciplinary discussion on the properties of maKer in terms of agency, ethical responsibility and immanence. Along with post-humanism, the Anthropocene, non- representa0onal theories and post-Deleuzian thought, New Materialism asks us to reconsider the nature of the human and the non-human, the difference between actual and virtual, the emergence of poli0cs and law in the face of ubiquitous materiality, and above all, the new responsibili0es that come with it all. This event brings together experts from MAD and SSH in order to initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue on our understanding of New Materialism’s relevance to current issues.

PANEL SPEAKERS: MAD: Mercedes Bunz, Senior Lecturer; Christian Fuchs, Professor of Social Media Cultural Materialism Today; Mirko Nikolic, Doctoral Candidate; SSH: Elisabetta Brighi, Lecturer; David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, From Humanising the World to “Worlding” the Human: A New Totalising Project?; Ben Pitcher, Senior Lecturer Isis iconoclasm and rocks and stones in material culture; Chair: Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Professor of Law & Theory, SSH


Friday 4 March 2016

What is new in new materialism?: Marxisms, new materialisms and the nature/culture divide

Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW

12 – 2 Plenary panel: David Chandler, Felicity Colman, Nicholas Kiersey, Phoebe Moore.

2.30 – 5.30 Speakers: Helen Palmer, Paul Rekret, Daniela Tepe–Belfrage, Michiel van Ingen. Discussant: Christian Fuchs

In response to a perceived prioritization of ‘mind over matter or culture over nature’ in the humanities and cultural studies, contemporary philosophers Braidotti and DeLanda separately named a shift in research that brings attention to the body or corporeal and explores immanence over transcendence in ontology as new materialism (or neo-materialism) in the 1990s. Since then, feminist, poststructuralist, historical materialist, science and technology, geography and critical realist researchers have begun to explore what it means to move away from the confines of discourse analysis and research that is limited to analysis of the cognitive, introducing research on human subjectivity as embodied, denying quantification of the affective field, rethinking categories of agency and causality and taking seriously questions around what it means to be human. New materialism is a critical ontological position that transcends thought traditions and advances studies that transgress mind-body dualism from the side of the mind and rejects research that eliminates possibilities for lived experiences except as efficient, rational, managed subjects.

The workshop ‘What is new in new materialism?: Marxisms, new materialisms and the nature/culture divide’ serves partly as an introduction to new materialism and partly as a space to critique and develop nascent work in this emerging area. We will ask, what is the difference between immanent, transcendental approaches and materialist ontology? Where do historical materialists stand on questions of nature and culture? What new questions of the human can we pose and what is the promise of the posthuman? Is this arena one where Marxist and poststructuralist agendas harmonise? What is the difference between mechanical materialism, historical materialism and new materialism? And, what is at stake in the connection between the human and materialism?

Co-organised with the Materialisms Reading Group run by David Chandler and & the CSE South Group run by Phoebe Moore and Martin Upchurch. (Capital & Class is the CSE journal.)


Tuesday 1 March 2016

Digital Imaginaries of Rule: Big Data, Posthumanism and Algorithmic Regulation

12.00-3.00 Westminster Forum, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW

This is an informal workshop to explore the nature of digital imaginaries of rule. We essentially want to explore and refine the questions to ask of the fast moving discussions of technology and politics. We are interested in questions such as: If Big Data is the answer, what is the question? Are Big Data and the Internet of Things just technical fads, an empty ‘solutionism’ driven by tech corporate capitalists? What is the importance of datafication and why does it claim to reveal the previously unseen? Is Deleuze the theorist of the digital imaginary and if so how? What’s at stake in the claim that correlations between data are more important than causal relations? Does the rise of sensors, machine learning and algorithmic regulation herald a posthuman world? What is the power of algorithms? Does Big Data indicate the emergence of new approaches to epistemology and ontology?

Confirmed presentations: Mark Duffield (University of Bristol) ‘Algorithmic Governmentality and the Closure of the Commons’; Philip Hammond (London South Bank University) ”Smart citizenship” and the elusive subject of algorithmic governmentally’; Vanessa Pupavac (University of Nottingham) ‘”There is no mathematic but only mathematics” Spengler’s Decline of the West and Faustian Work’; David Chandler (University of Westminster) ‘The Core, the Curated and the Cloned’; Mareile Kaufmann (PRIO, Oslo) ‘Politics and the Digital’


Friday 12 February 2016

Indigeneity and the Promise of Inclusion (co-sponsored by the University of Lapland and the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster)

Convenors; Marjo Lindroth and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen (University of Lapland), David Chandler (University of Westminster)
1.00-5.00pm, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW (5 mins from Oxford Circus tube)

It seems that political power is being redistributed and exercised in new ways. There is probably no better example than the recent transformation in the international standing of indigenous peoples. Both national and international politics boast of significant legal and institutional advances in the inclusion of marginalised groups and in the recognition of their rights. This workshop seeks to explore what underlies the alleged progress in indigenous issues and whether this has marked a significant change in the ways in which indigenous subjectivity is perceived. What drives this newfound concern for the enduring indigenous subject? How do conceptions of indigeniety link to discourses of resilience, adaptation and vulnerability, especially in relation to ecological threats and possibilities? What are the links between claims to push forward the status and rights of indigenous peoples, and the interpellation of indigeneity in terms of adaptation, endurance and persistence? What are the implications of these discourses for the subjectivities, understandings and practices of indigeneity?

Workshop programme:

1.00 welcome

1.15 – 2.45 paper presentation and discussion
Marjo Lindroth and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen (University of Lapland) – ‘Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope’

3.15 – 5.00 roundtable discussion on Indigeneity and the Promise of Inclusion
Mark Jackson, School of Geographical Sciences (University of Bristol) – ‘Indigeneity and Commitment Beyond Postcolonial Critique’
David Chandler (University of Westminster) – ‘From “Indigenous Culture” to “Indigenous ‘Knowledge”’
Shela Sheikh (Goldsmiths, University of London) – ‘Biocolonialism and the Paradoxes of Access to Knowledge’
Adam Barker and Emma Battell Lowman (University of Leicester) – ‘Always in Relationship: Working with Indigenous communities and against settler colonialism’.

5.00-6.00 wine reception

Further details here.


Friday 5 February 2016

‘Algorithmic governance: the government of things rather than people?’ presentation for ‘Algorithmic Governance’ panel, ‘DESIGN AFTER PLANNING: Examining the Shift from Epistemology to Topology’, interdisciplinary conference, University of Westminster.

Abstract: Often the cart is put before the horse in discussions of smart cities and the domination of technocratic rule. For critical theorists, it seems that power is manipulating new computer assisted technologies in order to depoliticise governance, taking questions out of the public realm and reducing citizens to dividuated subjects in a Deleuzian ‘society of control’. The battle is then over the control of algorithms and the democratising of data. This perspective stakes out the battle ground as technology while assuming that political struggle between the people and power is unproblematic. I wish to question the view that new technologies are essentially governing people and pose the possibility that the focus on the Internet of Things and Big Data is merely a simulation of politics in an age when governments have little political relationship to societies. Firstly, the technological focus manufactures solutions and simulates policy making, in the focus on garbage collection or traffic congestion, recycling etc or merely in the public provision of data itself. Secondly, data collection simulates the public (through digital “communication” and ‘participation”) in an age when traditional collective expressions of the public are lacking. The people in this sense form the Deleuzian ‘virtual’, the hidden background, their absence of presence driving the processes of representation/simulation: the playing out of politics as technical solutions to newly discovered technical problems. It is not a drive to control or to exclude the public and politics but their absence that explains the hollow nature of algorithmic rule. The people are no longer the subject or object of governance – but the world coded and simulated. The driverless car is emblematic of a hollowed-out world governed without being peopled. Politics is where the people are, as Lenin once said. Algorithmic governance is not anti-politics but its simulation through the governance of things.


Friday 29 January 2016

I will be examining a PhD at the Centre for Humanitarian Action, University College, Dublin.


Thursday 28 January 2016

‘Resilience: From ‘Bouncing Back’ to ‘Transformation’…and Beyond’


UCD’s Centre for Humanitarian Action is delighted to welcome Prof David Chandler to deliver a lecture on RESILIENCE – a concept at the fore for academics, organisations and agencies supporting vulnerable communities globally. The details are as follows:

Title: ‘Resilience: From ‘Bouncing Back’ to ‘Transformation’…and Beyond’
Day and date: Thursday 28th January 2016
Venue: Lecture theatre G15 in Agriculture and Food Science Centre
Time: 18:00 to 19:30


Wednesday 27 January 2016

‘Big Data Epistemologies’ workshop session for ‘Big Data in the City: Exploring Notions of Design and Agency’ Royal College of Art, LondonProgramme for the event.


13-14 January 2016

I will be in Helsinki as a member of the evaluation panel for the ‘Global Security in a Finnish Context’ programme of the Strategic Research Council (SRC) of the Academy of Finland.



Tuesday 10 November 2015

I will be speaking on a panel event on ‘Interdisciplinary Publishing and Research’, organised by Rowman & Littlefield International as part of Academic Book. 6pm at the Maughan Library, King’s College, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LR.

Traditionally, academic publishers have struggled to engage with or do justice to interdisciplinary work. How do academics and publishers reach a diverse, multidisciplinary audience?

Speakers: Sarah Campbell, Editorial Director, Rowman & Littlefield International; David Chandler, Professor of International Relations at the University of Westminster; Gary Hall, Professor of Media and Performing Arts at Coventry University; Laurence Hemming, Professor, Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University; Danielle Sands, Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Culture at Royal Holloway

The panel will be followed by a Q&A session, and there will be a drinks reception afterwards. Each Attendee will receive a free booklet with tips on interdisciplinary research and publishing. Admission to the event is by registration only so please register through Eventbrite if you’d like to attend.


Saturday 7 November 2015

Convening and Chairing the panel ‘Resilience and the Future of Democracy in the Smart City’ at the Centre for the Study of Democracy 25th Anniversary Conference ‘Doing and Thinking Democracy Differently’, University of Westminster, London.


Friday 23 October 2015

‘Conflict Knowledge and Peacebuilding’, public seminar presentation, Consilium student association, University of Copenhagen.


22-23 October 2015

Attending author workshop on ’Conflict Expertise’, held by the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC), University of Copenhagen.


17-18 October 2015 Failure and Denial in World Politics, Millennium Annual Conference, London School of Economics

Sunday 18 October 2015

10:00 – 11:30 – OPENING ROUNDTABLE – Hong Kong Theatre (CLM) -­‐ ‘Infra/politics of Failure’ Chair: Claudia Aradau (King’s College); David Chandler (University of Westminster); Cynthia Weber (University of Sussex); Andrew Barry (University College London); William Walters (Carleton University)

14:30 – 16:00: PANEL SECTION 4 Contesting Representations of the Subject in IR Discussant: Laura Sjoberg (University of Florida); Megan Daigle (Independent Researcher) Conduct Unbecoming: Failure, Resistance, and Sexuality in Cuba; David Chandler (University of Westminster) The Subject in Denial: or, How Critical Theorists Learned to See Disasters as ‘Emancipatory’; Maria Fotou (LSE) Bouches Inutiles: Denial of hospitality, Failure of Ethics?; Felix Roesch (Coventry University) Approaching the Unsynthesizable: Rethinking Subjectivity in International Relations or How to Speak to the Other?


17-18 October 2015 Battle of Ideas Annual Festival, Barbican Theatre, London

Saturday 17 October 2015

12.00-13.00 Can Big Data save the world? Frobisher Auditorium 1, Barbican Speakers: David Chandler, professor of international relations, University of Westminster; author, Resilience: the Governance of Complexity; Timandra Harkness, journalist, writer & broadcaster; presenter, The Singularity & other BBC Radio 4 programmes; writer & performer, science-based comedy shows, including BrainSex; Paul Jasper, consultant, Oxford Policy Management – a leading international development consultancy; Dr Marie McIntyre, research associate, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, Institute of Infection & Global Health, University of Liverpool.


Thursday 1 October 2015

Attending the inaugural workshop of the Ethics and World Politics BISA working group, City University, London.


European International Studies Association, 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: Worlds of Violence, Giardini Naxos, Sicily, 23-26 September 2015

Thursday 24 September 2015

11:15am – 1:00pm TB02: Assembling Expertise: Cross Cutting Reflections

Chair: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Discussant: Jonathan Austin (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva); Complexity, hybridity and knowledge production at the international arena – Anna Danielsson (Södertörn University, Sweden); Humanitarian Violence, Academic Expertise and the Moral Economy of Targeted Sanctions – Gavin Sullivan (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands); The Agonistic Relationship between Power, Epistemology, Intervention, and Peace – Oliver Richmond (University of Manchester, United Kingdom); Feminist Peace Economics and the Security-Industrial Complex: An Ethical View? – Rosalie Daphne Clarke (Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom); What’s In a Name? Rhetorical Action Reconsidered – Alexander Astrov/ Viacheslav Morozov/ Anatoly Reshetnikov (Central European University, Hungary/ University of Tartu, Estonia)

4:45pm – 6:30pm TD32: Roundtable: Posthuman Security

Chair: David Chandler (University of Westminster) Presenters: Elke Schwarz (Anglia Ruskin University), Carolin Kaltofen (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Matt McDonald (University of Queensland), Audra Mitchell (University of York)

Friday 25 September 2015

9:00am – 10:45am FA56: Securing Complexity: Uncertainty, anticipation and science

Chair/Discussant: Marieke de Goede (University of Amsterdam); Computational Security Studies: adjudicating Dingpolitik, Complexity, and International Security Studies – William Anthony Rivera (Duke University, United States of America); Preventing Radicalisation – The Precautionary Logic of the UK’s Channel Project – Thomas Christopher Martin (University of Sussex, United Kingdom); Coping with wicked problems: Tunnel vision and blind spots in contemporary security policy – Georgios Kolliarakis (University of Frankfurt, Germany); From Policy-making to Dingpolitik: The Rise of Big Data – David Chandler (University of Westminster, United Kingdom)

11:15am – 1:00pm FB02: Assembling Expertise Based on Varied Forms of Knowledge (A)

Chair: Anna Leander (Copenhagen Business School); Discussant: Can E. Mutlu (Bilkent University); Towards a Sociology of Visual Knowledge in IR – Frank Möller (University of Tampere, Finland); The Visual Inscription and Circulation of the Standing-Reserve of Violence – Jonathan Austin (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland); Visual economy of the Arab uprisings and contemporary Middle Eastern conflicts: a critical perspective – Donatella della Ratta (University of Copenhagen, Denmark); Conflict knowledge: Big Data and the ‘root causes’ of conflict – David Chandler (University of Westminster, United Kingdom); Counting Casualties, Naming Conflicts: the Politics and Analytics of Death: Data in International Relations – Keith Krause (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland)

4:45pm – 6:30pm FD56: Peacebuilding, complexity and the local turn

Chair/Discussant: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Luhmann goes to Juba: a systems theoretical perspective on the postliberal condition – Kristoffer Liden (PRIO, Norway); From Political Wars to Ethnic Conflicts to Complex Violence: Peacebuilding in a Dead-end? – Pol Bargués-Pedreny (University of Westminster, United Kingdom); Peacebuilding is Essentially Local: Implications of Complexity for Peacebuilding Policies and Practices – Cedric de Coning (NUPI, Norway); Business in complex environments: Unpacking complexity for a corporate world – Achim Wennmann (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland)

Saturday 26 September 2015

11:15am – 1:00pm SB56: Environmental terror: Complex climate change, disasters and resilience

Chair/Discussant: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Open hegemony : In anticipation of forgetting architecture – Harshavardhan Bhat (Independent Researcher); Reducing the complexity of climate change? A comparison of diverging co-productions of planetary order – Maximilian Mayer (University of Bonn, Germany); Seeing like a satellite: Of plants, carbon and other securitizing actors – Delf Rothe (University of Hamburg, Germany); Science and emotions as a response to complexity: First evidence from anti-fracking protests in Northern Germany – Stefanie Wodrig (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany)


14-16 September

Chair and discussant for plenary session ‘The Missing Link: Is Resilience the Solution for the Shortcomings of Humanitarian Action’, ‘A Quest for Humanitarian Effectiveness?’, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester


Royal Geographical Society, Annual International Conference, Exeter University, 1-4 September 2015

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Session 61 14:40 – 16:20, Forum – Seminar Room 5: Risk and Complexity in Finance and Beyond (1): Geographies of Risk

Convenors: Philip Garnett (The University of York, UK); John H. Morris (Durham University, UK); Chair: Philip Garnett (The University of York, UK); Papers: Risk and Complexity – Louise Amoore (Durham University, UK); Beyond Risk Society? Big Data, Complexity and the New Imaginary of Resilience – David Chandler (University of Westminster, UK); A Politics of Redeployment: Risk Vectors and Fluid Apparatuses – Nat O’Grady (University of Southampton, UK); Complexity as Risk in Credit Derivatives –
John H. Morris (Durham University, UK)

‘Beyond Risk Society? Big Data, Complexity and the New Imaginary of Resilience’, David Chandler (University of Westminster, UK)
Abstract: This paper suggests that we are increasingly moving beyond discourses of risk, which, as the organisers state, could be seen as ‘a set of different ways of rendering reality into calculable form’ – the assumptions of risk analysis of statistical generation of patterns and regularities works on the basis of (what are increasingly seen as) anthropocentric understandings of knowledge generation, where risks are external events which can be prepared for, insured against or responded to in various ways. Risk analysis, developed as a set of specialist technical expertise, works for deterministic approaches to complexity which presuppose a subject/object divide in which hidden patterns and regularities can be constructed as a basis for policy-making. However, risk approaches fail to provide the tools required once risks are understood as emergent products of human and non-human assemblages and fail to capture real-time responses to emergent threats. This paper highlights how non-determinstic views of complexity apply data-led approaches of Big Data to construct an imaginary beyond risk analysis, based upon real-time responses to emergent phenomena. The ‘datafication’ of embedded relations is held to provide a snap-shot of processes in their real-time emergence rather than working on patterns and regularities once they have already emerged (see Latour et al, 2012; Venturini & Latour, 2010). Disaster risk reduction thus becomes a way of making communities more self-aware so that risk – the ‘underlying’ processes which appear as the unintended consequences of social interaction – takes on a different ontology as a process that is knowable through a different form of ‘quantification’, one not ‘knowable’ in the language of ‘calculable’ risk. [Latour, Bruno, Pablo Jensen, Tommaso Venturini, Sébastian Grauwin and Dominique Boullier (2012) ‘“The whole is always smaller than its parts” – a digital test of Gabriel Tardes’ monads’, British Journal of Sociology 63(4) : 590-615; Venturini and Latour (2010) ‘The Social Fabric: Digital Traces and Quali-quantitative Methods’, in Proceedings of Future En Seine 2009: The Digital Future of the City (Paris: Cap Digital), 87-101.]

Friday 4 September 2015

Session 225 9:00 – 10:40, Peter Chalk – Room 2.1: Islands, Archipelagos and the Anthropocene (1) – contemporary debates in island studies

Convenors: Jonathan Pugh (Newcastle University, UK); David Chandler (University of Westminster, UK); Elaine Stratford (University of Tasmania, Australia); Chair: Jonathan Pugh (Newcastle University, UK); Papers: Small Islands, Catastrophic Risks: Feelings, Emotions, and Affects as Policy Resources – Jonathan Pugh (Newcastle University, UK)/
Elaine Stratford (University of Tasmania, Australia)/ David Chandler (University of Westminster, UK)/ Carol Farbotko (University of Tasmania, Australia); Island Urbanism in the Anthropocene: Do Island Cities Undermine Island Studies? – Ilan Kelman (University College London, UK)/ Adam Adam Grydehøj (Island Dynamics)/ Charlotte Barrow (University College London, UK); Getting playful: ludic Island Studies? – Chris Perkins (The University of Manchester, UK)/ Sybille Lammes (The University of Warwick, UK)/ Jana Wendler (The University of Manchester, UK); King Canute’s gated communities: Living dreams and nightmares in tourist destinations in the Indian and Pacific oceans – Roy Smith (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

‘Small Islands, Catastrophic Risks: Feelings, Emotions, and Affects as Policy Resources’,
Jonathan Pugh (Newcastle University, UK), Elaine Stratford (University of Tasmania, Australia), David Chandler (University of Westminster, UK),Carol Farbotko (University of Tasmania, Australia)
Abstract: Building resilience to catastrophic risks such as natural disaster, climate change, economic shocks, and cultural dislocation is essential for populations worldwide, and particularly so for those living in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).Governmental and scholarly activities responding to such challenges draw upon many frameworks and forms of reasoning that implicate feelings, emotions, and affects—but in ways only poorly understood. Proposing to employ case studies from sites of international policy production, and from Tuvalu and Kiribati, this paper outlines ideas for a project that will critically analyse how feelings, emotions, and affects that arise from catastrophic risk are framed through SIDS resilience policy and practice.

Session 247 11:10 – 12:50, Peter Chalk – Room 2.1: Islands, Archipelagos and the Anthropocene (2) – contemporary debates in island studies

Convenors: Jonathan Pugh (Newcastle University, UK); David Chandler (University of Westminster, UK); Elaine Stratford (University of Tasmania, Australia); Chair: Elaine Stratford (University of Tasmania, Australia); Papers: Islands, enclaves and violence: sociospatial perspectives on resource conflict in Island Melanesia – Matthew Allen (The Australian National University, Australia); Panarchy in multiple stressors – Bahamian environmental knowledge and adaptivity of a socio-ecological system – Beate Ratter (University of Hamburg, Germany)/ Arnd Holdschlag (University of Hamburg, Germany); Social capital in context – adaptation to climate change on small islands – Jan Petzold (University of Hamburg, Germany); The pace of humanity throughout the world archipelago: the case of the Formosan ‘island hoping’ process – Christian Depraetere (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France); Writing Islands in the Anthropocene: Literature, Cultural Geography, and the De(con)struction of Islands – Daniel Graziadei (University of Munich, Germany)/ Johannes Riquet (University of Zurich, Switzerland)


25-29 August 2015

‘Big Data: Governing Between the Virtual and the Actual’, invited presentation for ‘Crazy Future III: Data Crazy: Foresight, Horizon Scanning and Promise and Limits of Natural Language Processing’, workshop with foresights and futures experts Adrian Curaj, Ziauddin Sardar, Octavian Popescu and others, organised by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding, Romania (UEFISCDI)Green Village, Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania.

24-25 August 2015

Attending ‘Creative Futures’, workshop with foresights and futures experts John Sweeney, Ziauddin Sardar, Jordi Serra, Wendy Schultz and others, organised by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding, Romania (UEFISCDI)Green Village, Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania.


12-15 July 2015

‘Resilience as Governance’, presentation for the workshop ‘Critical Perspectives on Post-Crisis Resilience’, Virginia Tech’s Steger Center for International Scholarship, Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Programme available here.


1-3 July 2015

‘Processes, Publics and Decisions: Rethinking “Global Democracy” after the Crisis of Representation’ presentation, for panel ‘Is Global Democracy Desirable? Shifting Democratic Legitimacy in a World in Crisis’, ‘Global Cooperation: Can we Count on it? – Findings and Perspectives’, Midterm Conference, Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg, Germany.


26-27 June 2015

‘After Causation: Big Data and the Promise of Post-Humanism’, paper for the ‘Questioning the Digital: Critical Approaches to Digital Worlds’ stream, London Conference of Critical Thought, University College London.

Abstract: Advocates of Big Data assert that we are in the midst of an epistemological revolution, promising the displacement of the modernist methodological hegemony of causal analysis and theory generation. It is alleged that the growing ‘deluge’ of digitally generated data, and the development of computational algorithms to analyse them, has enabled new inductive ways of accessing everyday relational interactions through their ‘datafication’. This paper critically engages with these discourses of Big Data and complexity, particularly as they operate in the discipline of International Relations, where it is alleged that Big Data approaches have the potential for developing self-governing societal capacities for resilience and adaptation through the real-time reflexive awareness and management of risks and problems as they arise. The epistemological and ontological assumptions underpinning Big Data are then analysed to suggest that critical and posthumanist approaches have come of age through these discourses, enabling process-based and relational understandings to be translated into policy and governance practices. The paper thus raises some questions for the development of critical approaches to new posthuman forms of governance and knowledge production.


Friday 5 June 2015

Critical Approaches to Big Data, London South Bank University.

The rise of Big Data is changing how we think about the world, or so it is claimed. The advent of ‘algorithmic regulation’ spells the death of politics, but might also allow us to ‘stop wars before they happen’. Datafication enables the rise of new paradigms in the sciences and humanities, but may also entail the ‘end of theory’. Does the rise of data-driven knowledge underscore the need for human interpretation and judgement, or does it confirm the post-humanist rejection of modernist assumptions about how we understand and act to transform the world? Big Data is still an emerging concept and its future uses and implications remain unclear, but this makes the development of critical perspectives more, rather than less, important.

With: Prof David Chandler, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster; Dr Mark Coté (TBC), Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries, King’s College London; Dr Athina Karatzogianni, Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester; Dr Nathaniel Tkacz, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick

This event is free and open to all but places are limited. Click here to book a free ticket.


Thursday 28 May 2015

Attending United Nations Development Program senior experts technical workshop ‘Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: The Critical Role of Risk and Resilience’, UNDP building, 304 East 45th Street, New York.


Wednesday 13 May 2015

Speaking at panel on Human Rights and Conflict at the Subversive Festival, Zagreb. Further details to follow.


Monday 11 May 2015

‘The Politics of Behaviour Change’, presentation for ‘Silver Bullets Need a Careful Aim: Dilemmas in Applying Behavioural Insights’, ESRC Seminar Series on Behaviour Change and Psychological Governance at the Royal Society for the Arts, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ

Abstract: This presentation discusses the assumptions behind the politics of behaviour change and seeks to locate behavioural change on a continuum from classical liberal assumptions of the autonomous rational subject – which have difficulties with ‘libertarian paternalism’ or the environmental choice-shaping of behavioural change – to posthumanist attempts to enhance the capacity to see reality in real time (the quantified self movement, Big Data analytics, for example) – which seek to improve decision-making through the subject’s own (digitally-enhanced) agency. In this way, it is hoped that the underlying framing assumptions (and limits) of top-down approaches to behavioural change become clearer. While behavioural approaches often claim to appreciate the socio-historical context and contingent or non-linear emergence of behavioural choices, their attempts to materially ‘enhance reality’ – through various ‘nudges’ at different levels of social depth – 1) engage reality indirectly, artificially and instrumentally to improve choice-making, keeping linear understandings and subject/object divisions intact; 2) necessarily maintain an elitist divide between those who know better and those who do not; 3) necessitate working back through socio-historical ‘path-dependencies’ on the contradictory assumption that they remain fixed, thereby reifying or naturalising these contingent relations. The inner contradictions in the logic of behaviour change becomes clearer when compared to more pragmatic and real-time approaches to enhance human perception of reality which do not make reductionist and linear assumptions nor problematise choice-making or set up hierarchies of knowing subjects.

Further details: Realizing the true potential of behavioural science approaches to policy and practice will depend on a sober, critical appraisal of its application and potential unintended consequences. This seminar will explore ethical tensions implicit in many behaviour change approaches and compares insights from Behavioural Economics with the many alternative forms of evidence and insight currently in use in marketing, communications, advertising and co-design practices. Confirmed Speakers: Professor David Chandler (Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster); Steve Johnson (Director, Collaborative Change); Patrick Ladbury (Director of Training, National Social Marketing Centre); Dr Adam Oliver (Department of Social Policy, LSE); Dr Jessica Pykett (Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham); Rory Sutherland (Co-founder, Ogilvy Change); Dr Dimitrios Trivrikos (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, UCL, and Prime Decision).


Monday 4 May 2015

‘Resilience: From ‘Bouncing Back’ to ‘Transformation’…and Beyond’, presentation at the international workshop, ‘Resilience: Beyond and Behind the Catchwords’, Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Ostbanegade 117, Copenhagen. 13:00-16:00.


Friday 24 April 2015

‘Bringing in the Local: New Critiques of Global Interventions’, ‘Rethinking Global Interventions’ Public Lecture Series, Ghent Centre for Global Studies and Conflict Research Group, University of Ghent.

This talk reflects upon understandings of the limits of global intervention which have emerged to prominence over the last ten years, particularly critiques which focus on the epistemological claims of causal knowledge, and the interaction between the global (universal) and the local (particular). In this shift, the means and mechanisms of international intervention have been transformed, no longer focused on the universal application of Western causal knowledge through policy interventions but rather on the effects of specific and unique local and organic processes at work in societies themselves. Moving beyond the dichotomous understanding of the global versus the local, this focus recasts problems in increasingly organicised ways, suggesting that artificial or hubristic attempts at socio-political intervention should be excluded or minimised.

12.30-14.00 Location: Facultaire Raadzaal Rechten, Emile Braunschool, Volderstraat 3, 9000 Gent. Admission is free, but registration is required via Event Manager.


29 March – 2 April European Consortium for Political Research Joint Sessions of Workshops, University of Warsaw

I will be co-chairing (with Louise Wiuff Moe, Danish Institute For International Studies) the workshop ‘Pragmatic Approaches to Peacebuilding’. Further details here.

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.


25-27 March 2015

I will be on the teaching staff for the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster student field trip in Brussels.


Friday 20 March 2015

‘Resilience and Complexity’, public lecture, École Normale Supérieure, Rue d’Ulm, Paris.

CONFÉRENCE EXCEPTIONNELLE : Le séminaire résilience urbaine a l’honneur d’accueillir le vendredi 20 mars 2015, de 14h à 17h, en salle W, David Chandler, professeur de relations internationales et directeur du Centre for the Study of Democracy de l’Université de Westminster. Il interviendra sur le thème « résilience et complexité » et présentera son ouvrage Resilience : the governance of complexity. Critical Issues in Global Politics paru en 2014 chez Routledge.


Friday 13 March 2015 

I will be hosting a film screening and discussion of ‘Bitter Lake’ (Adam Curtis), Department of Politics, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Room BAC 204 at 6 pm.

Thursday 12 March 2015

‘Resilience: From ‘Bouncing Back’ to ‘Transformation’…and Beyond’, public lecture, Department of Politics, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Room BAC 244 at 6:30 pm.

Abstract: This lecture seeks to explore ‘resilience’ less as a fixed understanding of the world and more as a fast-evolving field through which long established ways of conceiving of problems and solutions have been challenged and rethought. It particularly seeks to chart three phases of resilience-thinking which increasingly recognise the complex, embedded and relational nature of problems. I start with the ‘bouncing back’ approach – possibly the most familiar one – which is often termed ‘engineering’ or ‘psychological’ resilience, where the focus is upon the rapid return to a pre-existing equilibrium; this could be seen as based upon linear causality. This approach has increasingly been challenged by approaches which see problems/threats/risks as internal or endogenous to cultural/socio-political existence, suggesting that resilience entails a more radical questioning of ways of being (and of governing) – in this way resilience approaches can be seen as emancipatory; this approach is often based upon a non-linear approach to causality. Thirdly, I will make some exploratory suggestions regarding the limits of the ’emancipatory’ approach to resilience and indicate ways in which resilient communities can be constructed or imagined as responsive through real time feedback mechanisms (often involving the use of Big Data) which do not depend on causal assumptions.

Suggested reading: Chandler, Resilience: The Governance of Complexity (Routledge, 2014); Tierney, The Social Roots of Risk (Stanford UP, 2014); Beck, ‘Emanciptory Catastrophism’, Current Sociology, 2015; Latour, ‘Love your Monsters’, Breakthrough, 2011.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

‘Living Resilience’, taking the seminar class for ‘The Politics of New Global Technologies’, Department of Politics, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. 6.00pm.


International Studies Association 56th Annual Convention, Global IR and Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for International Studies, 18-21 February, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tuesday 17 February 2015

8:30 AM – 5:30 PMPWK11 – Conflict Expertise: Competing Knowledges / Heterogenous Experts (Elmwood, Hilton New Orleans Riverside)

Abstract: What is a conflict? How do we know about particular conflicts? Who gets to define conflict knowledge/expertise? And how are conflicts therefore dealt with/neglected? In the contemporary world, conflict knowledge and conflict expertise continues to be produced by traditional institutions such as ministries, intelligence services, and academics. However, a growing array of other actors is engaged in producing knowledge about international conflicts and lay claims to providing conflict expertise. International Institutions, think tanks, civil society organizations and protest movements, interest group organizations and companies produce their own research and disseminate it. Moreover, the multiple knowledges are increasingly intertwined. Research has to be “relevant” and is therefore increasingly co-produced with the practitioners “using” it. The move to the world of big data and digital communication further increases the links between different heterogeneous knowledge forms as research findings can more readily be interlinked and searched. Competing knowledges of heterogeneous experts coexist and compete. Paradoxically, at the same time in any given conflict situation, very often particular ‘facts’, ‘causes’ and ‘necessary remedies’ emerge as ‘known’ as the basis on which action has to rest. This is the theme of the proposed workshop: How heterogeneous actors are involved in producing conflict knowledge as a complex and unstable field that is nevertheless brought to bear on important and vulnerable situations with far-reaching implications for large populations.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

1:45 PM – 3:30 PM: WC39 – Concept Analysis In International Relations (Steering, Hilton New Orleans Riverside)

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Janice Bially Mattern (National University of Singapore);
Discussant: Jens Bartelson (Lund University). Papers: Conceptual Analysis, Theory, And “New Master Concepts” Of International Relations Author: Hans-Martin Jaeger (Carleton University); The Limits Of Concept Analysis: Rethinking The Concept Of Intervention Author: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Three Approaches To Concept Analysis Author: Felix Berenskoetter (SOAS, University of London); Security! What Did They Mean? A Critical Conceptual ‘Begriffsgeschichte’ Author: Holger Stritzel (University of St Andrews); Three Conceptual Analyses Of Power In International Relations Author: Stefano Guzzini (Danish Institute for International Studies, Uppsala University & PUC-Rio de Janeiro)

Abstract: This panel seeks to bring concept analysis to the forefront of IR and probe its potential as a systematic area of inquiry. It takes as a starting point that the study of international relations is full of concepts that provide a baseline for how we understand and explain the world of politics, and enable us to communicate, share and advance knowledge. That said, the ‘same’ concept often accommodates multiple meanings stemming from (i) its particular use in different schools of thought (compare the use of ‘power’ in realism and feminism), (ii) the attempt to cluster and compare different empirical phenomena (no ‘revolution’ is ever quite the same), and (iii) the instrumental appropriation in political discourse and practice (‘human rights’ are what you make of it). While IR scholars tend to recognize this complexity, they rarely address and consider the implications for research; and scholarship that addresses the historical, theoretical and political facets of core concepts does so in very different ways. Against this backdrop, the aim of this panel is to reflect on how we might best approach this task and to discuss the ways in which concept analysis contributes to an analysis of international politics.

6:30 PM Routledge Books and Journals Reception – Oak Alley room, Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

Thursday 19 February 2015

10:30 AM -12:15 PM: TB59 – Who Needs Minorities And The Non-West? Sovereignty And Self-Determination In Contemporary IR (Cambridge, Hilton New Orleans Riverside)

Chair: Robbie G. Shilliam (Queen Mary, University of London); Participants: Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa (University of Portsmouth); David Chandler (University of Westminster); Siba Grovogui (Cornell University); John Hobson (The University of Sheffield); Shampa Biswas (Whitman College)

Abstract: More than a decade after the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) put the meaning of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to paper, there is a consensus that we are done discussing the principle as such and only need to ponder its implementation. This roundtable seeks to explore the merits of a decolonial critique of sovereignty, autonomy and self-determination in contemporary IR beyond its understanding as military short term intervention. Has IR’s Eurocentric bias really resulted in a limited understanding of what autonomy means or can mean for countries and people? Has the systematic exclusion of non-western or minority (in Western societies) knowledge production contributed to the consolidation of its dismissal, not just in practice but also in the discipline? Or is there, conversely, a danger of essentialism in expecting that this has been the case? Understood as a multidimensional research strategy that seeks to, amongst others, de-mythologise, de-silence and de-colonise (as in, explicitly anti-colonial) knowledge production, the aim is to explore to what extent and under which conditions decolonial research can produce fundamentally different knowledge, i.c. on sovereignty, self-determination and autonomy for states and peoples in a world of R2P.

4:00 PM – 5:45 PM: TD35 – Pragmatism And Critique In International Relations (Grand Salon 22, Hilton New Orleans Riverside)

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Felix Berenskoetter (SOAS, University of London); Discussant: Elisabetta Brighi (University of Cambridge). Papers: Pragmatism and Critiques of the Liberal Peace Author: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Pragmatism, Poststructuralism and the genesis of Critical IR Author: Nicholas Michelsen (King’s College London); No time like the present or no time at all? Pragmatist and critical temporalities in IR Author: Andrew R. Hom (University of Glasgow); Beyond the Practice Turn in International Relations: the Promise of Radical Interpretivism Author: Mervyn Frost (King’s College London); Author: Silviya Lechner (King’s College London); Historicising Agency: Bounded Rationality, the Practice Turn, and Forms of Knowledge Author: Quentin P. Bruneau (University of Oxford)

Abstract: Pragmatist International Relations scholars claim to have an answer to disciplinary fragmentation. In line with Pierce’s Maxim that thought must always keep in mind its purpose and the purpose of the ideas it analyses, Pragmatism is centred on the location of all thought in its problematic situation. This turn to practice is claimed to allow the discipline of IR to transcend the positivist/post-positivist debate, returning IR to its ethical or normative vocation without embracing an antirealist ontology. The challenge of pragmatist IR is thus directed at both the ‘scientific’ and ‘critical’ wings of the discipline. Where a number of scholarly works have sought to illustrate the benefits of a pragmatic approach vis-à-vis positivism, further work is called for illuminating its relationship to the problem of critique in IR. This discussion is not an entirely new one, having been raised, for example, in Deconstruction and Pragmatism (1996), but an IR scholarship increasingly enamoured of the pragmatic turn has largely sidestepped close examination of key points of synergy and tension. This panel sets out to interrogate how pragmatism is linked to and distinguishes itself from critical, interpretivist, feminist, postcolonial and poststructuralist approaches, all of which make claim to a reflexive theoretical practice.

Friday 20 February 2015

4:00 PM – 5:45 PM: FD76 – Governing Dangerous Futures: Rethinking The Generation Of Security Knowledges (Suite 743, Hilton New Orleans Riverside)

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Lawrence Cline (Center for Civil Military Relations); Discussant: Charlotte V. Heath-Kelly (University of Warwick). Papers: Future Dangers and the Prophetic Governance of the Present Author: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Nuclear Realism, the Nuclear Revolution and the Political Imagination of the Future Author: Rens van Munster (Danish Institute for International Studies); Fantasy, Unknowing and the Epistemological Crisis of Terrorism Author: Richard Jackson (University of Otago, New Zealand); Collective Security Communities: A New Global Order Among Chaos And Coherence. Author: maurizio geri (old dominion university); Securing an Unknowable Future: The Radical Epistemology of Britain’s Prevent Policy Author: Thomas Martin (University of Sussex)

Abstract: Recent years have seen a developing interest in the relationship between processes, acts and discourses of security and how they conceptualise the future threat they seek to act upon. Such contributions have sought to go beyond a risk paradigm, highlighting the importance of security mediations operating through imagination, affect and embodiment. This has led to the (re)analysis of how epistemologies of security, both past and present, make visible, knowable and actionable potential future dangers. Importantly, contemporary security policy has been shown to have made significant innovations in how it conceptualises future danger. These renegotiations are concretely visible in both the shift towards pre-emptive governance, particularly in relation to the war on terror, and in narratives of resilience and preparedness, informing how we might secure communities, health and the environment. This panel will bring together leading scholars in this emerging field to rigorously explore how security knowledges have worked to make governable future dangers. It thus asks a series of critical political and ethical questions. Upon what techniques of knowledge are security actions being taken? Who is allowed to inhabit, imagine and mediate these futures? What subjectivities do these knowledges demand? And what are the consequences of these transformations?


Wednesday 21 January 2015

‘Resilience, Disaster Risk Reduction and Reflexive Governance’ JEFCAS seminar, Faculty of Social and International Studies, University of Bradford (16.00-18.00, Pemberton P2.02).

Abstract: Disasters, which were once seen as external events or shocks, and which necessitated recovery and ‘bouncing back’ are increasingly understood rather differently. This change is not so much that we can do nothing to prevent disasters and need to accept catastrophe as inevitable or that we are all interpellated as vulnerable and incapable in the face of overwhelming threat but rather that disasters are part of a learning/ developmental/governmental process in ways in which they were not before. Disasters have become understood as lessons to be learnt from. Disasters are re-inscribed as the final point of processes which were previously hidden to us, or which we lacked awareness of; processes (or assemblages, in current parlance) in which we were all the time and already embedded within as actors with agency (for example, Lavell and Maskrey 2013). Thus, in resilience-thinking, disasters do not require ‘bouncing back’ to the status quo ante, but rather require self-reflexivity, in the awareness of how to bounce back differently: how to learn from the bad forms of governance that the disaster reveals and thus to prevent or limit such events in the future. This way of governing through learning the lessons of ‘life’ could thereby be understood as reflexive or adaptive governance. This form of governance starts from life or from the appearance of the world, rather than starting with abstract goals or political projects.


Thursday 18 December 2014

‘Rethinking International Intervention’, seminar presentation, Institute of Political Science, University of Tübingen, Germany.

Friday 12 December 2014

‘Decentring Security: Self-Reflexive Governance and the Rise of Resilience’, paper presenation for international conference ‘Decentering Security: Building and Policing Communities at Home and Abroad’, Center for British Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Abstract: Modernist frameworks articulated communities as pre-existing subjects amenable to universal, linear and reductionist forms of governance. Since the late 1970s these assumptions have been increasingly challenged by new institutionalist/neoliberal approaches, which have highlighted the social, historical and relational aspects of communities: shifting policy attention from the policy-frameworks of top-down approaches to the appreciation of the historical and sociological processes both material and ideational, which, in fact, determine policy outcomes in plural and non-linear ways. This paper argues that this process of decentring security governance, through the focus on how communities produce their own security/insecurity, is increasingly becoming transformed through the rise of discourses of resilience. Resilience approaches exhibit strong continuities and discontinuities with new institutionalist approaches, developing the decentring aspects to fundamentally challenge the modernist legacies inherent in the view that governance still implies top-down or external knowledge/power relations and external/universalist benchmarks of progress towards a liberal telos of peace/security/development. This has major implications for both the governance of security at home and abroad. Governing security abroad seems much less amenable to either liberal universalist or new institutionalist policy understandings, which both assume knowledge/power asymmetries and the ability to supply policy knowledge and practices and to direct outcomes: over the last 20 years these assumptions have been increasingly discredited and the unintended consequences of intervention highlighted. The governance of security at home has also been transformed through an understanding that domestic security cannot be separated from global practices and processes, which we are intimately involved in the production/reproduction of – such as anthropomorphic global warming/economic crisis/terrorism etc. Resilience approaches which challenge subject/object or governance/governed divides can be seen to complete the process of decentring, enabling resilience frameworks of self-reflexive governance through an appreciation of our embeddedness and interconnectivity with security threats – which are no longer conceived of as external and no longer amenable to external policy-interventions.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

‘Resilience across Epistemic Communities’, presentation, public seminar, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) Copenhagen. EVENT POSTPONED

4-5 December 2014

‘The specificity of the legal subject of international law’, panel presentation at conference ‘Towards a Material History of International Law’, London School of Economics and Political ScienceProgramme here.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

‘The Anthropocene and the Post-Human Condition’, panel presentation, ‘The Anthropocene’, joint seminar, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Westminster. Also on the panel, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos and Lucy Bond with Lindsay Bremner chairing. 5-7pm – Fyvie Hall, 309 Regent Street. Event is free. Booking information here

Monday 17 November 2014

‘Resilience: The Governance of Complexity’ presentation followed by discussion on my latest book. Millennium Room, Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds 6:45pm – 8:30pm. Organised by the Leeds Salon.

Resilience has become increasingly central to international and domestic policy-making over the last decade. Over the last few years, resilience appears to have become the policy ‘buzzword’ of choice, so much so that it is not unusual to find commentators querying whether resilience can really be the solution to such a diverse range of governance questions and, if so, how this might work. David Chandler is concerned with precisely these questions of resilience as a governance agenda and the investigation into how resilience-thinking impacts on how politics – both domestically and internationally – is understood to work and how problems are perceived and addressed. He will analyse a range of issues and questions in terms of resilience frameworks, from educational training in schools to global ethics, and from responses to shock events and natural disasters to how resilience has been discussed in the context of international policies to promote peace and development. Further details here.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

‘Do we Live in the Anthropocene?’, presentation, discussion group, Institute of Education, London.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Participant in +SocialGood twitter chat on Global Resilience #GRPChallenge

Friday 31 October 2014

Attending concluding workshop, Crisis, Continuity and Change Project, International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (part of Erasmus University Rotterdam).

Wednesday 29 October 2014

‘Publish or Perish’, workshop presentation for Graduate School, University of Westminster.

Friday 24 October 2014

In Berlin to be part of PhD examination committee at the Lateinamerika-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin.

17-19 October 2014

‘A World without Causation: Big Data and the Coming of Age of Posthumanism’, paper presentation, Millennium annual conference, ‘Quo Vadis IR: Method, Methodology and Innovation’, London School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract: Advocates of Big Data assert that we are in the midst of an epistemological revolution, promising the displacement of the modernist methodological hegemony of causal analysis and theory generation. It is alleged that the growing ‘deluge’ of digitally generated data, and the development of computational algorithms to analyse them, has enabled new inductive ways of accessing everyday relational interactions through their ‘datafication’. This paper critically engages with these discourses of Big Data and complexity, particularly as they operate in the discipline of International Relations, where it is alleged that Big Data approaches have the potential for developing self-governing societal capacities for resilience and adaptation through the real-time reflexive awareness and management of risks and problems as they arise. The epistemological and ontological assumptions underpinning Big Data are then analysed to suggest that critical and posthumanist approaches have come of age through these discourses, enabling process-based and relational understandings to be translated into policy and governance practices. The paper thus raises some questions for the development of critical approaches to new posthuman forms of governance and knowledge production.

Friday 17 October 2014

“Educating for Compulsory Participation: The New Qualities of Citizenship’, presentation for the workshop ‘The role of conflicts and power structures in citizenship education’, part of the Networking European Citizenship Education (NECE) Conference ‘1914-2014: Lessons from History? Citizenship Education and Conflict Management’, Vienna, Austria.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

‘The Imaginary of Big Data’, seminar presentation, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Discussant for ‘Global Governance and Technology’ panel at ‘Global Governance and the Theoretical Interregnum’ workshop, Institute of Global Governance, University College London.

18-19 September 2014

‘Perspectives on Resilience in Situations of Fragility and Conflict’, presentation at Expert Group Roundtable on ‘Fostering Resilience in Fragile and Conflict-affected Contexts’, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Rockefeller Foundation, New York.

Thursday 4 September 2014

‘Statebuilding and Peacebuilding: The Shift towards Resilience’, policy seminar, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Colombo, Sri Lanka.

1-3 September 2014

‘Rethinking the Conflict-Poverty Nexus: From Securitising Intervention to Resilience’, opening panel presentation ‘Development & Conflict: Reconsidering Dominant Approaches’, 13th Annual Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) Symposium ‘Postwar Development in Asia and Africa’, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Abstract: This paper focuses on how the conflict/poverty nexus has been reconceptualised away from an emphasis on the asymmetrical and potentially oppressive discourse of securitisation and militarisation. Instead there has been an increasing emphasis on the problem of the linear and reductive understandings of policy-intervention itself (and the unintended consequences of such mechanistic approaches in the international sphere). We are witnessing nothing less than a revolution in international policy-thinking, with a shift from imagining that international policy-makers can solve development/security problems through the export or transfer of policy practices or their imposition through conditionality, to understanding that problems should be grasped as emergent consequences of complex social processes which need to be worked with rather than against.

Fourth Global International Studies Conference, Goethe University, Frankfurt, 6-9 August 2014

Thursday 7 August 2014

8:30am-10:15am A05: The Politics of Responsibility and Intervention Location: IG 457

Chair: Holger Niemann (University of Duisburg-Essen) Discussant: Cornelia Ulbert (University of Duisburg-Essen) Presentations: International Intervention and the Transformation of the Ethics of Responsibility David Chandler (University of Westminster) Imperfect Obligations and the ‘Contract of Mutual Indifference’ Mark Evans (Swansea University) From Moral Arguments to Emotional Beliefs: Tracing Responsibility inside the United Nation Security Council Bastian Loges (Braunschweig University) The Eclipse of Contemplating Responsibility: Peacebuilding, Hybrid Orders and the Plea for Unprincipled Pragmatism Jessica Schmidt (Centre for Global Cooperation Research)

2:00pm – 3:45pm T3-16: Who wants to be a subject of rights? Uses and implications of rights language in global politics

Chair: Judith Renner (Technical University Munich) Discussant: David Chandler (University of Westminster) Presentations: Negotiating by own standards? The evolution, standing and validity of human rights language in UN climate negotiations Linda Wallbott (University of Münster), Andrea Schapper (Technische Universität Darmstadt) To be or not to be. Inclusion in and exclusion from the community of rights-bearing subjects Judith Renner (Technische Universität München) Bombs or trials? “Human rights violations” in civil wars and arguments about judicial and military interventions Caroline Fehl (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) Indigeneity in global rights language Janne Mende (Universität Kassel)

Friday 8 August 2014

8:30am-10:15am FA16: Resilience: Critical Perspectives on Resilience – The politics of an emerging concept (II) Location: PEG 2.G 121

Chair(s): Delf Rothe (Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg), Chris Methmann (University of Hamburg) Discussant: David Chandler (University of Westminster) Presentations: The digitalization of resilience Mareile Kaufmann (Peace Research Institute Oslo) Climate-induced migration and the dialectics of resilience: Government, empowerment and resistance Chris Methmann (University of Hamburg), Angela Oels (Hagen University) The Ambiguities of Resilience: Building a New Utøya; Debating the Government Quarter Charlotte Heath-Kelly (University of Warwick) Resilience as a tool of global governance: Defining the new development agenda Jonathan Joseph (University of Sheffield)

2:00pm-3:45pm FC05: Critical Perspectives on Resilience – The politics of an emerging concept (I) Location: PEG 3.G 170

Chair(s): Chris Methmann (University of Hamburg), Delf Rothe (Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg) Discussant: Georgios Kolliarakis (Goethe-University Frankfurt) Presentations: Governing through Unknowability: Resilience, Neoliberalism and Critique David Chandler (University of Westminste) From governmentality to YOLO-mentality (or how to nail the resilience-jelly to a wall) Delf Rothe (Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg) If There Was Politics, Resilience Would Not Have Emerged Jessica Schmidt (Centre for Global Cooperation Research Duisburg) Making resilience strange Stephanie Simon (University of Amsterdam), Samuel Randalls (University College London)

Saturday 19 July 2014

‘Intervention’, presentation for the workshop ‘Concepts and Concept Analysis in IR’, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

25-27 June 2014

Presenting on the concluding Plenary Panel ‘Outreach on the Common Understanding of Human Security and the Way Forward’, conference ‘Human Security @ 20: Past Experiences and Future Prospects’, Oxford Brookes University.

24-25 June 2014

‘Resilience and Democracy’, panel presentation with Dr Rupali Jeswal (Xiphos-ISS and CVE), Nick Pickles (Big Brother Watch) and John Parkinson (CENTRIC), ‘Surveillance and Democracy’, Increasing Resilience in Surveilance Societies (IRISS) European Commission Project Workshop, Sheffield Hilton Hotel.

5-7 June 2014

‘Concluding Remarks’ for the conference ‘Humanitarianism and Changing Cultures of Cooperation’, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), Essen.

Thursday 5 June 2014

Discussant for Thomas G. Weiss (CUNY Graduate Center) ‘Contested Humanitarian Culture, Käte Hamburger Lecture, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), Essen.

21-24 May European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), Izmir

‘Rethinking the ‘Unfortunate Schism’: Dialectical Materialism, the Elephant in the Room?’, paper for session 1 ‘Beyond IR Theory: Social Struggle and Systemic Blind Spots’, workshop ‘Theory, Inquiry, Critique: Reinvigorating the ‘Sociological Imagination’ in International Relations’.

Abstract: The workshop thematic suggests that the crisis of theory in the social sciences (including IR, and in the natural sciences, come to that) lies in the problem of Cartesian dualism. This paper sets out an historical materialist analysis to argue: firstly, that the crisis of theory does not lie in the theoretical realm itself but is merely reflected there (as Althusser states, philosophy is political, it represents the class struggle in the realm of theory); secondly, that the problem of Cartesian dualism was already overcome through the discovery of dialectical materialism by Marx and Engels in the nineteenth century (overturning ‘mechanical materialism’ the ‘straw man’ of subjectivist idealism and, of course, of today’s radical critics); and third, that the radical (can you still say petit-bougeoise?) critique of Marxism has always taken the form of positivist metaphysics – today in its pragmatist/new materialist guise – asserting that there is nothing beyond individual experience and therefore no real contradictions in the world – space, time, value, capital are just fetishised (fixed) forms of collective consciousness (social constructs) – and freeing ourselves from these fetishes (of reductionist, linear, representational thinking) will enable a technical and pragmatic (already existing) solution to problems. Today’s ‘critical’ struggle to ‘problematise causality’, ‘destabilise meaning’ and to go beyond ‘representation’ reflects on the plane of philosophy the historical defeat of revolutionary Marxism in practice. This defeat is the ‘unfortunate’ event which shapes today’s disciplinary crisis and is the ‘elephant in the room’ in today’s counterposition of pragmatism/new materialism to mechanical materialism.

15-16 May 2014

Co-convening two day conference, ‘New Perspectives on the Problem of the Public’, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, Board Room, 309 Regent Street, 15-16 May 2014.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

‘Resilience: The Governance of Complexity’ – booklaunch and roundtable with Julian Reid and Phillip Hammond, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

Thursday 8 May 2014

‘Critique: From Power to Resistance’, paper for workshop ‘After Modernity into Complexity? Possibilities for Critique in an Age of Global Cooperation’, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany, 7-8 May.

Abstract: Critique after modernity can only be a critique of the ontological assumptions of modernity itself (the only alternative would be traditional modernist forms of critique). In fact the secular cycle of critique is always to critique the previous critiques for their modernist legacies in terms of the power of power (mimicking policy-makers’ lessons learned of the hubristic assumptions of their own claims to power). Thus critique and policy lessons coalesce in the study and appreciation of a new type of power, the power of resistance. As Foucault is alleged to have taught us, wherever there is the claim of power we realise the claim of the new power of resistance. Initially resistance took a human form, the resistance of cultures, values, communities or modes of life, seemingly immune to liberal power, even if, following Scott or de Certeau this resistance was ‘hidden’ or ‘everyday’. Now we know that resistance is ontological, the immunity of life to the power of liberal universalism, mechanistic understandings and reductionist policy-making. Power exists only as life, as resistance and critique feed parasitically off the remnants of liberal aspirations to assert the artifice of constituted power over the reality of constitutive, creative, complex life.

Saturday 3 May 2014

1.00-2.30pm speaking at the plenary session roundtable, ‘Between Realism and Critical Security Studies: What is the Continued Relevance of Peace Studies?’ with Jean Paul Lederach, Oliver Richmond, Heidi Hudson and Tom Woodhouse, Bradford University Peace Studies 40th anniversary conference ‘Why War? Peace Studies in the 21st Century’.

10-11 April 2014

‘The Rise of Resilience: Learning to Govern Complexity’, Development Research Seminar presentation and follow up workshop for the Seminar Series on Crises, Continuity and Change, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Hague, Netherlands.

Abstract: Learning the lessons from crises – from financial crashes to natural disasters – has been central to rethinking how we govern through the construction of problems and solutions. This paper considers how this process of learning from crisis contains elements of both continuity and change. Through an explanation of the resilience paradigm, this paper considers how complex life increasingly appears to be governable through new mechanisms of process-thinking and public engagement. Elements of continuity and change will be drawn out specifically through considering how neoliberal framings are both expanded upon and undergo transformation in the resilience framework.

26-29 March 2014 International Studies Association Annual Convention, ‘Spaces and Places: Geopolitics in an Era of Globalization,’ Toronto, Canada

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Concept Analysis in International Relations, pre-Conference workshop

9.00am – 6.00pm Kenora, Sheraton Centre Toronto

The proposed workshop will discuss the genealogy and use of key concepts in the study of world politics. It will address methods of concept analysis and review how International Relations (IR) benefits from exploring processes of concept formation. While IR scholars sometimes acknowledge that the concepts they use are ‘essentially contested’ (Gallie), and while the discipline has seen valuable explorations of key concepts such as security, power, or sovereignty, what impact this has on research and knowledge production is less clear. Broader questions regarding the method applied in tracing and exposing multiple meanings and the benefits and limits in doing so–how to you ‘use’ a multifaceted concept–are rarely at the forefront. All the while, most IR scholars continue to proceed with a single, simple and sufficiently vague definition of their core concepts, bypassing their multifaceted nature. Noting the attention paid to concepts and concept analysis in Comparative Politics, Political Theory and History, the workshop seeks to bring concept analysis to the forefront of IR and probe (if not promote) its potential as an area of inquiry. It will pay particular attention to the Begriffsgeschichte approach, advanced most notably by Reinhart Koselleck, which deals with how concepts come into existence in, and are transformed by, their socio-political contexts, and also pays attention to their performance and contestedness. Following a general discussion of this approach/method, the workshop will engage its applicability by looking at popular IR concepts ranging from ‘power’ to ‘globalization’. In assessing and advancing the value of Begriffsgeschichte for IR, the workshop aims to improve awareness of the historical evolution(s) and plural meaning(s) of key concepts and discuss how this affects our analyses and arguments. The hope is that this will highlight concept analysis not only as a tool to refine our conceptual language and better understand IR as a communicative field, but also highlight its value for the analysis of world politics.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

WA61: The Power of the Social in International Politics: Displacing the Spaces of Governing?

8.15-10.00am Simcoe East, Hilton Toronto
Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Nick Kiersey (Ohio); Discussant: Nicholas Michelsen (King’s College London)
Slogan or History? On the ‘Rise of the Social’ in International Thought
Author: Patricia Owens (University of Sussex)
Conceptualising International Social Governance: Culture as Resource?
Author: Morgan Brigg
The Displacement of Global Politics in Niklas Luhmann’s Observations on World Society
Author: Florian Edelmann (Aberystwyth University)
The New Ethics of Global Responsibility and the Rise of the Social
Author: David Chandler (University of Westminster)
Reality behind the Artifice: Sociological Institutionalism and the Global Constituency of Embedded Learning
Author: Jessica Schmidt (Centre for Global Cooperation Research)

Abstract: While neither societies nor states appear as imagined but fixed spaces in which concrete interest-driven interactions take place, agency-centred approaches to central international policy concerns, such as security, development and statebuilding have become paramount. This focus is underpinned by a trend towards sociological understandings in terms of self-generating networks, interrelationships, effects and processes rather than political understandings of constituted structures, subjects and objectives. It appears that the rise of sociologically-infused framings in today’s globalized world has provoked a rethinking of individual subjects, society and political institutions that are no longer approached and problematized from the vantage point of autonomy but instead from a perspective of embeddedness in mutually imbricating processes. This panel’s aim is to contribute to new critical understandings of these profound political and epistemological changes in the discourses and practices of international politics. The papers discuss the conditions, forms and implications of emerging rationalities of global governance and Western intervention that are borne by the turn towards sociological framings. The papers cohere together around their shared focus upon the challenges posed by the ‘rise of the social’ to (neo)liberal forms with regard to the spaces and subjects of governance, and rethink traditional understandings of international power relations.

WC73: Assessing Resilience

1:45-3:3pm Suite 2929, Sheraton Centre Toronto

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: David Chandler (University of Westminster); Discussant: Erin L. McCandless (New School University); Discussant: Samuel Gbaydee Doe (United Nations Development Programme)
The value of resilience
Author: Christopher R. Zebrowski (Loughborough University)
Resilience to Communal Violence: Indicators and Implications for Prevention and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
Author: Ami Carpenter (University of San Diego)
Assessing insecurity: The politics of resilience in humanitarian action
Author: S Robbins (University of California, San Diego)
Resilience, security and civil-military practices in Afghanistan
Author: Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv (University of Tromsø)
Assessing Soldier Resilience: War, Technology and the Management of Minds
Author: Alison Howell (Rutgers University, Newark)

Abstract: Resilience as a concept and set of practices is increasingly advocated across the policy world. This panel will examine conceptually and empirically driven analysis on emerging trends, lessons and problems around how it is assessed. We will explore the thematic of resilience as capacity to withstand, bounce-back or act transformatively. Questions guiding discussion will include: How does resilience understood not as a fixed property of a person, thing, group or assemblage, but a relational capacity, impact methods of assessment? Where do the constitutive relations of ‘community’, ‘public’ or ‘problem’ begin and end? How does special and temporal context factor into assessment design and results? Can assessment approaches and findings be generalised, considering the focus on fluidity and specificity of context and relational causality? What are the current theories, methodologies and findings about how resilience is measured and more widely assessed? What do varied disciplines and practices bring, uniquely, to the discussion and what do they share? What is being revealed about how power hierarchies of knowledge and practice might be avoided? How have ‘bottom-up’ and transformational approaches, that seek to respond to the needs and interests of people, communities and societies, evolved and been fostered?

Thursday 27 March 2014

TA69: Peace “Building”, Peace “Formation,” and Fragmented Power 1

8.15-10.00am Suite 2429, Sheraton Centre Toronto

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Thania Paffenholz (Graduate Institute, Geneva)
Discussant: David Chandler (University of Westminster)
Relational Power: Implications for Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution
Author: Morgan Brigg
Peace and Power
Author: Oliver Richmond (University of Manchester)
The Power of Fragmentation and Fragmented Power in the Middle East
Author: Sandra Pogodda (University of Manchester)
“The United Nations Peacekeeping Practice in Southern Lebanon: The “International Community” and Local Autonomy.
Author: Susann Kassem (The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)
What can the experience of statebuilding in Timor Leste tell us about political community, peace and state formation and our models of the state?
Author: M. Anne Brown (University of Queensland)

Abstract: Power remains largely ignored in peace and conflict studies. It can be conceptualised as situated within the international or state apparatus, working through governmentality, or exercised by local agency and resistance through mass mobilisation, everyday diplomacy, or hidden activity. Rather than resting permanently in one of these locations, power circulates between them through the complex interaction of political mobilization, top-down intervention and different formulations of legitimacy. Recent developments in state formation and peace processes in the Middle East suggest that power is leaking out of formal decision-making structures and manifests itself in resistance and social movements, the informal economy and grassroots initiatives of political participation. These recent developments and phenomena raise critical questions such as: Is there a fragmentation of structural and governmental power in conflict contexts and if so, how and what are its implications for peacebuilding, statebuilding, or development? Does this change our understandings of peace (hybrid, post-liberal, emancipatory, etc)? Are peacebuilders well equipped to engage with the fragmentation of power? What does this mean for liberal/neoliberal peace and statebuilding strategies for ‘legitimate’ intervention, conditionality, and the production of an emancipatory order, or alternatively for the pacification of ‘unruly subjects’?

Saturday 29 March 2014

SA01: Contesting Biopolitics: Politics and Critique

8.15-10.00am Toronto I, Hilton Toronto

Chairs and Discussants: Chair: Tina J. Managhan (Oxford Brookes University)
The Security of Biopolitics
Author: Doerthe Rosenow (Oxford Brookes University)
Author: Lara Coleman (University of Sussex)
Resisting the Spectrality of the Biopolitical
Author: Barry J. Ryan (Keele University)
On Confronting Biopolitical Global Governance
Author: Tahseen Kazi (Ohio State University)
Biopolitics after Neoliberalism
Author: David Chandler (University of Westminster)

Abstract: The relevance of Foucault’s concept of biopolitics is nowadays widely accepted in the critical study of International Relations, as well as other related disciplines, such as sociology and anthropology. In IR, this acknowledgement goes so far that some scholars, both advocates and critics, place ‘biopolitical theory’ at an equal level with more mainstream IR theories, as well as long-established IR concepts, such as ‘geopolitics’. For some, biopolitics has the potential of providing an explanatory schema for world politics as such. This panel aims to critically reflect on these developments and elaborate on its political and ethical stakes. It does so by engaging with and unravelling some of the prevailing tendencies in IR and other disciplines, but also by exploring alternative readings of biopolitics, the implications that particular readings of biopolitics have for political struggle, and more generally how the concept impacts, enables, but also constrains our understanding of alternative politics and alternative worlds.

12-13 March 2014

Presentation for the workshop ‘After Human Rights? Development between Resistance, Resignation and Resilience,’ organized by Development Studies, Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki.

The workshop addresses the dual role human rights play in both challenging and conserving power structures by critically investigating the uneasy relation of human rights with recent discourses of resistance and resilience. We invite papers on a broad range of topical issues and from a rich variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds. The aim of the workshop is to facilitate in-depth and constructive discussion between participants, as well as to provide a platform for potential collective publication of workshop contributions. Confirmed speakers: David Chandler, International Relations, University of Westminster; Barry Gills, Development Studies, University of Helsinki. Further information here.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

‘Resilience: The Governance of Complexity’ research seminar presentation, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University.

Thursday 27 February 2014

‘Resilience and International Governance’, seminar presentation, Centre for the Study of International Governance (CSIG) seminar series ‘Crisis, Crisis Management and International Governance’, Loughborough University.

Friday 21 February 2014

‘Beyond the Paradox of Exporting the Rule of Law: Resilience and the War on Drugs in the Americas’, conference paper, ‘Centaur Jurisprudence: The Legalization of Culture and the Enculturation of Law’, McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract: Over the last decade there has been a shift towards critical understandings of universalist liberal approaches to exporting the rule of law, which argue that local culture holds the key to the effectiveness of rule of law interventions. In this ‘bottom-up’ approach, peace, reconciliation and a ‘culture of law’ then become secondary effects of socio-cultural norms and values. However, these legal pluralist approaches have remained trapped in the paradox of liberal frames of law: the inability to go beyond the binaries of liberal univeralism and cultural relativism. This understanding will be contrasted with the rise of ‘resilience’ approaches to rule of law problems – which build on this attention to the particular context of application but move beyond this paradox through philosophical pragmatism and the focus on concrete social practices. This paper clarifies the nature of this shift through the focus on the shifting understanding of international rule of law approaches to address the failings of the ‘war on drugs’ in the Americas.

13-14 Februrary 2014

Co-convening Democracy, Rights and Reason(s), workshop sponsored by the EU COST Action IS1003 and the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

‘The Rise of Resilience: The Governance of Complexity’, Research Seminar presentation, Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), University of Portsmouth.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Chairing the Academy of Finland Research Council for Culture and Society evaluation panel for research proposals of World politics, Helsinki, Finland.

Friday 31 January 2014

Attending the Politics [POL] Modes test workshop for the Modes of Existence project of Bruno Latour, Goldsmiths, University of London.

23-25 January 2014

‘The Future of Peacebuilding’, closing keynote for ‘Peacebuilding in Crisis? Experience and New Perspectives’, International Symposium, hosted by the German Foundation for Peace Research and the Centre for Democracy and Peace Research, University of Osnabrueck, Germany.

Abstract: This closing keynote considers whether peacebuilding as a strategic policy framework can survive growing policy-maker and academic concern with the problems of unintended consequences (understood to stem from the underestimation of alterity and complexity). It will be argued that the last 10 years have seen a major shift in how alterity and complexity are understood. A good starting point is Roland Paris’ 2004 monograph – At War’s End – which argued that universal liberal assumptions – that peace, elections and markets could produce sustainable peace – underestimated alterity and complexity. In 2004 the solution was seen to be that of providing greater support to institutional strengthening: a top-down approach to peacebuilding. Since then we have seen the further rise of alterity and complexity – in the view that institutional strengthening is inadequate, producing hybrid and problematic outcomes, and that bottom-up approaches are necessary: building civil society, engaging and empowering local agency. Five years ago, even bottom-up peacebuilding was problematised for its lack of attention to alterity and complexity – Paris and Sisk famously argued that every intervention policy practice necessarily produced unintended outcomes, dilemmas and contradictions and that ‘dilemma analysis training’ and ‘muddling through’ were the only answer. More recently, Charles Call at the US State Department has suggested that external policy actors should reject acting on the basis of instrumental goals, merely ‘finding the organic processes and plussing them up’, effectively reducing peacebuilding to generic capacity-building and posing the question of the future of peacebuilding itself as a policy area.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

ESRC Centres and Large Grants panel, full proposal stage, meeting, London.

Friday 6 December 2013

‘Resilience and the Governance of Complexity’ seminar presentation, Institute for Latin American Studies, Freie Univerity, Berlin.

Abstract: Is complexity a barrier to governance or can it be a new means of governing? If we can govern complexity what are the new challenges that this poses for policy-makers? What is the connection between complexity and resilience? The rise of resilience seems to be ubiquitous across government policy-making. However, how resilience works as a governing rationality rather than as a policy prescription or goal is only now becoming a subject of debate in political theory and international relations. This presentation looks at the assumptions made about the nature of our world as complex, non-linear, interdependent and globalised and what this means in terms of how complex life can be governed. Of particular emphasis will be placed upon the differences between neoliberal assumptions about complexity and those of resilience-thinking, and on how resilience challenges and builds upon neoliberal understandings.

Followed by a Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) 700: “Governance in Räumen begrenzter Staatlichkeit” PhD student research colloquium.

Thursday 5 December 2013

‘International Intervention: From Statebuilding to Resilience’ seminar presentation, 18.00-20.00, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften (Universitätsstraße 3b, Room 004), Humboldt University, Berlin. Poster and further information available.

Abstract: This presentation considers the conceptual evolution of statebuilding approaches in the international sphere. It starts with some of the problems of statebuilding discourses, which tended to emphasise the knowledge and power of external interveners and have increasingly been problematised for having a universalist, linear and reductionist understanding of policy intervention. It now seems clear that statebuildng interventions, seeking to put liberal ethics into practice, are not straightforward, merely dependent on the international will to intervene, implement changes and then exit, with little thought about the possible unintended consequences. Since the experiences of the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, these linear understandings have become much less tenable and, as we have seen with international hesitancy to intervene in Syria, the ‘law of unintended consequences’ is seen to pose a major barrier to such assumptions and approaches. The presentation then considers the emerging approaches of resilience which attempt to reenable the interventionist agenda through a focus on the knowledge and capacity of local agency. Resilience approaches have a relational, process-dynamic which assumes the need to take into account unintended and nonlinear outcomes and starts from the tactics of the poor and vulnerable rather than the capabilities of power.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

‘Its Social Science Jim, But Not As We Know It’, presentation for ‘The State of the Discipline(s): The Future of the Social Sciences and Humanities in the UK’ Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities launch event, University of Westminster.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Head of Department of Politics and International Relations, interview panel, University of Westminster.

Friday 15 November 2013

‘Financial Markets, Resilience and the Governance of Complexity’, presentation at the ‘Financial Resilience in the Wake of the Crisis’, BISA International Political Economy Group workshop, University of Warwick. Further details here. Programme here.

Abstract: For neoliberal thought, market rationality was the key to governing a complex world beyond the capacity of centralised sovereign power. However, financial markets have been increasingly decried as no more rational or capable of governing complexity than the Keynesian interventionist state. The social sciences are awash with different perspectives explaining the problem of financial market rationality, mostly constructivist problematisations of norms and values and economic theorising, but now joined by actor-network and new materialist approaches which suggest a range of constraints from performative practices to measuring and accounting instruments, which explain the problems of constructing understandings of financial market rationality. This paper suggests that resilience approaches to financial markets come fully into play once market rationalities are brought down to earth as embedded relations of real living people involved in everyday acts of choice-making. Once there is no outside of financial markets and no external rationality to ‘adapt to’ or ‘govern for’ we all become implicated in financial market outcomes and thereby responsible for enabling financial markets as a tool for governing complexity. The bold claim is that under resilience-thinking financial markets are no longer a barrier to efficient outcomes but a tool or a resource once we are reflexive enough in our understandings of these processes. This has major implications for how we understand markets and the subject position of critique.

24-27 October 2013 ‘Human Security: Humanitarian Perspectives and Responses Conference (World Conference on Humanitarian Studies and Third Istanbul Human Security Conference), Istanbul

Thursday 24 October 2013

Opening keynote presentation ‘Human Security and the “Law of Unintended Consequences”: From Humanitarianism to Resilience’

Abstract: This keynote presentation considers the conceptual evolution of human security approaches in the international sphere. It starts with some of the problems of human security discourses, which tended to emphasise the knowledge and power of external interveners and have increasingly been problematised for having a universalist, linear and reductionist understanding of policy intervention. It now seems clear that human security interventions, seeking to put liberal ethics into practice, are not straightforward, merely dependent on the international will to intervene, implement changes and then exit, with little thought about the possible unintended consequences. Since the experiences of the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, these linear understandings have become much less tenable and, as we have seen with international hesitancy to intervene in Syria, the ‘law of unintended consequences’ is seen to pose a major barrier to such assumptions and approaches. The presentation then considers the emerging approaches of resilience which attempt to reenable the human security agenda through a focus on the knowledge and capacity of local agency. Resilience approaches have a relational, process-dynamic which assumes the need to take into account unintended and nonlinear outcomes and starts from the tactics of the poor and vulnerable rather than the capabilities of power.

Saturday 26 October 2013

I am co-convening two panels on ‘Human Security and the Lessons of Humanitarian Intervention’ (with Tobias Debiel, and Lothar Brock).

Human Security Reconsidered: Is there a Shift to the Local? Panel (panel 31, 11.30-13.00 Cibali)

Confirmed Papers: 1. Morgan Brigg: Human Security and the Economy of Responsibility: Empowering or governing difference? 2. David Chandler: Human Security and the Local: Towards a Post-Interventionist Paradigm 3. Thania Paffenholz: Human Security, Peacebuilding and Local International Encounters: Who holds the Power? 4. Conrad Schetter: From Human Security to Ungoverned Spaces: The Local as “Wild Zone of Power”

Human Security and Humanitarian Practices (panel 55, 16.00-17.30 D100)

Confirmed Papers: 1. Claudia Breitung: Humanitarian Norms and Practises: Interactions between Humanitarian Actors and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) 2. Lothar Brock: Human Security and the Politics of Protection. Evading or enhancing responsibility? 3. Tobias Debiel/Sascha Werthes: Human Security: Pitfalls of a Surprisingly Influential Concept 4. Dennis Dijkzeul/ Katharina Behmer/Zeynep Sezgin: Global Norms and Local Perceptions: Humanitarian Practices in the DRC, Nepal and Pakistan 5. Olivia U. Rutazibwa: Autonomous recovery, ownership and self-determination in the human security agenda. Somaliland, Somalia and the EU Horn of Africa Strategy

Full conference agenda available here.

Friday 18 October 2013

In Paris to be part of a PhD examination committee at Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Attending the International Studies Association ISSS-ISAC Joint Annual Conference ‘Bridging the Academic-Policy Divide’, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

4-5 October 2013

‘The New International Paternalism: International Regimes’ presentation for the ‘International Paternalism’ workshop, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Participants: Severine Autesserre, Barnard University; Michael Barnett, GWU; Charles Call, US State Department; Michael Doyle, Columbia University; Didier Fassin, Princeton; Ilana Feldman, GWU; James Foster, GWU; John Hobson, University of Sheffield; Stephen Krasner, Stanford; Jens Meierhenrich, London School of Economics; Vijayendra Rao, World Bank; Henry Richardson, Georgetown University; Kathryn Sikkink, University of Minnesota.

Abstract: Paternalist international policy-making has traditionally been based upon hierarchical assumptions of capacities or competences. What I term the ‘new paternalism’, refers not to the direct international interventions – humanitarian and otherwise – of the 1990s but the desire to reform the international institutional context. This paternalism does not take the form of Western superiority or the form of imposing knowing guidelines or rules in order to transform the subjects of other societies but seeks instead to enable them to govern themselves. This paternalism blames the Western international regimes of regulation for indirectly institutionalising inequalities and a lack of rights and seeks to overcome these international institutional barriers to development, democracy and peace. In the absence of international reforms, it is held that power relations – the needs of Western big business elites – reinforce inequalities institutionally. Examples of the new international paternalism can be seen in the field of international law, such as Robert Jackson’s critique of the sovereignty regime and in the high profile work of new economic institutionalists such as Paul Collier or liberal philosophers such as Thomas Pogge who both argue for reforms of international financial and trade regulations and contracts or compacts reinforcing peaceful regime change. In these approaches, traditional paternalist understandings that the problems are domestically generated are seemingly rejected however liberation or moral improvement is still the task of Western agents and consumers.

18-21 September 2013 – 8th Pan-European Conference on International Relations (ECPR Standing Group on International Relations), Warsaw

I am Co-Chairing Section 28: Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses with Liza Griffin, University College London. For those who wish to follow this section, the panel codes and titles are: TA28-1: Resilience: Governmentality of Resilience; TC28-2: Resilience: Genealogies of Resilience; TD28-3: Resilience: The Complexity Conundrum; FD28-4: Resilience: The Chrono-Politics of Resilience; SA28-5: Resilience: Critique and the New Spirit of Capitalism; SB28-6: Resilience: Resilience and Resistance

Friday 20 September 2013

9.00-10.45 Discussant for panel FA08-5: Democracy, Sovereignty and Intervention – Western vs Non-Western Views

Chair: Tobias Debiel, Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research. Papers: Circumventing the Sovereign State? Intervention from Chinese Perspectives Hung-jen Wang Centre for Global Cooperation, Germany; Second Thoughts in Beijing? The Evolution of China’s Attitude towards International Humanitarian Norms Mischa Hansel and Marcel Will University of Cologne, Germany; The demise of “humanitarian intervention”: A growing normative power of the Global South? Lothar Joachim Brock Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Germany; The Transformation of Sovereignty in Emerging Democracies and Fact-Sensitive Cosmopolitanism Johannes Plagemann GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies; Germany Democratic Peace Theory And Africa’s International Relations Seifudein Adem Binghamton University, United States of America.

11.15-13.00 Chair for panel FB18-4: Contesting Biopolitics: Politics and Critique

Discussant: Tina Managhan, Oxford Brookes University. Papers: Biopolitical Experience: Foucault, Power, and Positive Critique Claire Blencowe University of Warwick, UK; On Confronting Biopolitical Global Governance Tahseen Kazi Ohio State University, United States of America; Resisting the Spectrality of the Biopolitical Barry J. Ryan Keele University, UK; The Security of Biopolitics (and the Discomfort of Politics) Doerthe Rosenow and Lara Montesinos Coleman Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom and University of Sussex, UK.

16.30 – 18.15 Chair for panel FD28-4: Resilience: The Chrono-Politics of Resilience

Discussant: Jonathan Mark Joseph, University of Sheffield. Papers: The emergence of resilience: a genealogy of ‘creative destruction’ Claudia Aradau King’s College London, United Kingdom; Securing through the Failure to Secure: Imagining the Resilient Nation through the Resignification of Tragic Sites Charlotte Heath-Kelly University of Warwick, United Kingdom; Resilience, Recalcitrance, Empowerment: Governing the Human without Politics Jessica Schmidt University of Westminster, United Kingdom.

Saturday 21 September 2013

9.00 – 10.45 Discussant for panel SA19-5: Security and the Nation-State in Historical Perspective

Chair: Simone Tholens, European University Institute. Papers: Historicising the Depth of Democracy in the Peripheries: Turkey and the Philippines in Comparison Cemal Burak Tansel and Salvador Santino F. Regilme University of Nottingham, United Kingdom and Freie Universität Berlin, Germany; History in the Balance Morten Skumsrud Andersen NUPI, Norway; Creation of Social and Political background of the Nation-state in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq: Interwar and postwar period Maciej Pe?kala Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland; Empire and Balance of Power: The Constitutive Effects of Spatial Structures on International Order(s) Alena Drieschova University of Toronto, Canada.

11.15 – 13.00 Paper giver for panel SB28-6: Resilience: Resilience and Resistance

Chair: Liza Griffin, UCL; Discussant: Jessica Schmidt, University of Westminster. Papers: Coming true of the postmodern dream? Agency, identity and resilience in postconflict societies Pol Bargues Pedreny University of Westminster, United Kingdom; Resilience, Resistance and Revolution Nicholas Michelsen King’s College London, United Kingdom, Democracy and Redistributive Agency: Politics in the Complexity Age David Chandler University of Westminster, United Kingdom.

12-13 September 2013

‘Peacebuilding after the End of Power’, opening keynote, Second Annual Conference of the International Association for Peace and Conflict Studies and the ECPR standing group on Critical Peace and Conflict Studies, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester. Programme and further information available here.

Abstract: There is no mistaking a trend in critical social theory, which argues that power is no longer where it used to be. In fact, power seems to have migrated ‘far, far away’: to the land of the ‘local’, ‘the other’, the subaltern, the marginal and the excluded. It seems that wherever international peace builders go they find not a ‘vacuum’ or a ‘blank slate’ but a world filled with power. This world is so full of power that the international peace builders are humbled in its presence and recognise their own hubris, their powerlessness and the need to rethink their own understandings by opening up themselves to ‘unscripted conversations’ and ‘mutual exchanges’ so that perhaps some of this power can rub off on them to enable them to cope with their own problems and purposes. This presentation seeks to engage with these understandings of the ‘migration’, ‘fragmentation’, ‘redistribution’ or ‘diversification’ of power to suggest that although the discursive framing of the relocation of power takes on a spatial ontology, in terms of a North-to-South or West-to-Non-West or International-to-Local shift, it can perhaps be more usefully approached in epistemological terms of the construction of knowledge and meaning and the lack of purchase of modernist frameworks of liberal representation. The presentation also seeks to draw out some of the paradoxes of the approach that posits power as the external barrier to peace building approaches and some of the normative consequences of this discursive framing for critical approaches to peace building and intervention.

9-10 September 2013

‘Resistance is Everywhere! The New Ontology of Resistance’, opening panel presentation at the ‘Discipline(s), Dissent and Dispossession’ workshop, University of Sussex. Draft programme available here.

Abstract: This paper examines how the ontology of resistance has shifted from the focus on the exceptional, contingent and unpredictable outbursts or eruptions of hidden forces in the manner of Ranciere or James C Scott to a post-representational politics of constitutive power and agency where resistance no longer has to appear in a realm which is considered separate from that of the everyday. In this manner, resistance has been ‘liberated’ from its previous constraints, becoming not the exception but the norm. Everyday life as the sphere of resistance enables critical academic approaches to move away from the structuralist ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’ and towards a recognition of the power and agency and struggles of those formally excluded from or marginal to the sphere of politics. The new ontology of resistance can be seen in the erosion of structural limits to resistance, whether in the form of culture, ideology or economics – de Certeau’s ‘Practices of Everyday Life’, Boltanski’s ‘sociology of critique’, Hardt and Negri and post-Operaismo’s biopower of the social, Holloway’s ‘scream’, Noortje Marres’ ‘material participation’ and other ‘new materialist’ and actor-network approaches all point to the ways in which resistance has been rethought and given ontological primacy. This paper seeks to reflect upon what is at stake in this shift and what has enabled the rise of the new ontology of resistance.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

‘From Humanitarianism to Resilience: What are the Fundamental Principles at Stake?’ invited public lecture, organised by The Humanitarian Action in Situations Other than War (HASOW) project, Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University (PUC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Poster available here.

Abstract: Humanitarian intervention in ‘Situations Other Than War’ such as urban violence are on the increase, but filled with doubt and uncertainty as humanitarian principles appear to be displaced by new understandings and practices of resilience. The Executive Director of the Humanitarian Coalition, Nicolas Moyer, has argued that urban interventions have sparked, and will continue to spark, debate over fundamental principles. “A pure humanitarian mandate is in-and-out lifesaving, while responding to urban violence requires more integrated approaches, longer-term approaches… I don’t think there’s resistance to it; I think there’s curiosity about what’s involved and what the possible outcomes might be.” (IRIN – Urban violence – new territory for aid workers). This lecture considers the principles, practices and outcomes of this shift. Resilience ontologies have a relational, process-dynamic rather than humanitarianism which works as a set of discrete post-hoc interventions in response to trauma or violence and the return to the equilibrium/status quo. Resilience assumes the need to take into account unintended and nonlinear outcomes. Humanitarianism assumes intervention to be one-off, discrete with no unintended consequences as the power to intervene, adjust or correct and to exit. We seem to be increasingly aware that governance interventions cannot be conceived in the top-down ‘reductionist’ framing of humanitarianism. While humanitarian approaches often use the law and its enforcement to remove/punish criminals, resilience approaches suggest that the causes of crime and violence at the level of micro-practices and the everyday need to be addressed and the micro-tactics of the poor enabled in other directions. Again the failure of legal reforms seem to highlight this, a good case-study is a recent debate about overhauling ‘The War on Drugs’ policies in the Americas as populations are criminalised and the state apparatus becomes more oppressive. Resilience starts from the tactics of the poor and vulnerable not the strategies of power. This is an inversion of liberal internationalist humanitarianism of the 1990s – which assumed that real power lay with Western democracies who laid claims to global governance – and also of 2000’s neoliberal understandings – which problematised the excluded and vulnerable rather than seeing them as agents of transformation.

Monday 15 July 2013

Attending the Commissioning Panel shortlisting meeting for the 2013-14 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centres and Large Grants competition, London.

4-5 July 2013

‘Resilience and the Culture of Lawfulness’, presentation at the workshop ‘Resilience, Security and Law After Liberalism’, organised as part of the COST Action IS1003 ‘International Law between Constitutionalization and Fragmentation: The Role of Law in the Post-National Constellations’, King’s College, London. Draft programme available here.

Abstract: In a complex and flatter world, it is increasingly argued that law can no longer be understood to work to shape or direct social processes in a top-down or hierarchical manner. Instead we see a shift from neoliberal conceptions of law as shaping the free interplay of subjects – both from non-interventionist views of law as akin to ‘the banks of a river’ or interventionist understandings that law can indirectly influence the choice-making environment – towards what may be called resilience understandings that law should stem from social interaction itself. The understanding of the need to inculcate a ‘culture of lawfulness’ works very differently from law as a mechanism of management; here cultural, local or contextual understandings are the precondition for law to be effective. In this ‘bottom-up’ approach, law then becomes the secondary effect of social interaction rather than framing or shaping this interaction. In order to enable social stability, the interventionary focus no longer revolves around legal mechanisms themselves but on cultural interventions. This presentation will explore the stakes involved in this shift from neoliberal to resilience understandings.

Monday 1 July 2013

‘The Role of the Missing in Post-conflict contexts’, roundtable presentation, Workshop on Missing Persons and the Work of International Commission on Missing Persons, University of Sussex.

27-28 June 2013

‘From Regulation to Resilience? New Perspectives on Governing Complexity’, presentation at the workshop ‘Rethinking Governance in a World of Complexity’, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany. Draft programme available here.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

‘Life Struggles, Complexity and Resilience’, lecture at the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS), University of Bremen, Germany.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

PhD external examiner, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS), University of Bremen, Germany.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Introduing John Dewey’s book, ‘The Public & its Problems’, Materialisms Old and New reading group, 6.30-8.00pm, Westminster Forum, Department of Politics and International Relations, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells Street, London.

Thursday 6 June 2013

‘Prescriptions for EU Governance for Conflict Resolution: Lessons from Bosnia-Hercegovina’, panel discussant, CORE seminar to discuss preliminary project results, Hotel Europe, Sarajevo.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

As advisory board member, attending the European Union project ‘The Role of Governance in the Resolution of Socioeconomic and Political Conflict in India and Europe’ (CORE), stakeholder’s meeting, Sarajevo.

22-23 May 2013

‘Problematizing the Ambiguous Concepts of Democracy/Democratisation/Peacebuilding’, introductory presentation for the session ‘Interdisciplinary Perspectives’, at the international workshop, ‘Democratic Interventionism and Local Legitimacy’, organised by the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (University of Duisburg-Essen) and the School of Political Science and International Studies (University of Queensland), Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany. Full details available here.

Thursday 16 May 2013

‘Resilience: Beyond the Vulnerable Subject’, keynote presentation for the biennial Raumwissenschaftliches Kolloquium on ‘Vulnerability and Resilience’, organized by the five institutes of spatial research within the Leibniz Association, Dusseldorf. Full details available here. Please note: apart from the keynote the conference language will be German.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

PhD external examiner, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex.

Friday 3 May 2013

PhD examination committee member, Department of Political Science, Ghent University, Belgium.

Friday 3 May 2013

‘The Rise and Rise of the Local: From Humanitarian Intervention (via Statebuilding) to Resilience’, combined European Union Development Policy and Conflict Research Group lecture, Department of Political Science, Ghent University, Belgium.

Thursday 2 May 2013

PhD pre-examination committee member, Department of Political Science, Ghent University, Belgium.

25-26 April 2013

I will be attending the conference ‘Globality in the Space of Reflection of the Käte Hamburger Centres’, Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study ‘Law as Culture’, University of Bonn. Full details available here.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Co-organising workshop on ‘Culture, Life and Critique’ with Frank Gadinger, Morgan Brigg and Christian Meyer, two sessions: 1) ‘Explaining the Turn from Culture as Limit to Culture as Resource’; 2) ‘If Life is Critique what are the Normative Consequences for Academic Research and Policy Advice?’ A few places still available. Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany. Full details of programme and readings available here.

3-6 April 2013 – International Studies Association, Annual Convention, San Francisco

Wednesday 3 April 2013

6.30pm – 7:30pm Routledge (Taylor and Francis) Reception Yosemite A, Hilton Union Square

Launch of the new journal, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses, with copies of the first issue and free drinks.

Thursday 4 April 2013

1.45pm Union Square 19 – Panel discussant – The Illusion of Power in Peacebuilding: Part 1

Participants Peterson, Jenny (Chair) Peterson, Jenny (Discussant) Chandler, David (Discussant) Papers Mannergren Selimovic: Power, gender and peacebuilding Paffenholz: Power to the People? Reasons and Mechanisms Behind Power Ignorance of Outside Peacebuilders Turner: Building Peace through Depoliticisation in the occupied Palestinian territories Behr: Peace, the Power of Difference, and the Ontological Question Aggestam: Power asymmetry, hydropolitics and peacebuilding

This panel addresses the role of power in the practice of peacebuilding and the general ignorance of outside peacebuilders towards the various power dimensions. Power deeply permeates peacebuilding undertakings: from international norm and value diffusions through regional hegemonies and national elite power dominance to very localized forms of power within communities. Yet, looking into the practice of outside peacebuilding, power does not seem to play a great role. While claiming that the context of interventions is the starting point for programme and project planning, this does not seem to hold in reality. Instead, international programs and projects designed in a context full of power relations operate as if in a world free of power where the ‘good’ outsiders support the ‘good’ locals. From different theoretical, disciplinary, and regional perspectives, this panel aims to challenge the current peacebuilding practice by analyzing the absence of power and the effects it has on peacebuilding, suggesting a more reality based approach. The panel thereby seeks to broaden the current debate on ‘international’ versus ‘local’ that has gained prominence among critical peacebuilding scholars to include a greater variety of theoretical, disciplinary and case study perspectives.

4pm Davidson – Roundtable participant – Assemblages and IR Theory: Linking the Spaces of IR

Participants Acuto, Michele (Chair) Sassen, Saskia (Roundtable Participant) Srnicek, Nick (Roundtable Participant) Ong, Aihwa (Roundtable Participant) Dunne, Tim (Roundtable Participant) Lisle, Debbie (Roundtable Participant) Salter, Mark (Roundtable Participant) Chandler, David (Roundtable Participant) Wight, Colin (Roundtable Participant)

How can ‘assemblage’ thinking help us making sense of the intricate material and political structures that underpin the dominant dynamics of world politics? Social theory has now witnessed a few multidisciplinary efforts pinpointed on this concept as a possible analytical tactic to make sense of today’s geopolitical complexity. Assemblage analyses have been mobilized to describe neoliberalism and its transnational ramifications, the socio-political construction of cities, or the processes of de- and re-territorialization that are reshaping the connections between authority, rights and sovereignty. Can IR theorists mobilize assemblages in similar ways? This second ‘assemblages’ roundtable debates the analytical potential of this concept in linking the spaces of IR. The panel looks into how assemblage approaches can assist in developing critical roadmaps across different political context discussed in IR, from the body to the state, the international and the cosmopolitan, to reconnect the variety of scales the discipline currently deals with. Building on the methodological considerations of the previous panel, the roundtable represents a testing ground where to discuss the validity, limitations and critical potential of this thinking for the study of international relations in an era where diffusion, dispersal and disaggregation seem to dominate the international scene.

Friday 5 April 2013

10.30am Powell 2 – Panel discussant – Protecting Civilians in War

Participants Autesserre, Severine (Chair) Chandler, David (Discussant) Papers McDougall: Responsibility While Protecting: A Useful Complement to Responsibility to Protect? Seybolt: Studying the Protection of Civilians: Methodology Problems Medie: Rethinking Civilian Protection in Conflict Settings Uzonyi: Protecting civilians abroad: Why states participate in the Post-Cold War collective security system Crawford: Defying Strategy: Non-strategic Recognition of Wartime Sexual Violence

Saturday 6 April 2013

1.45pm Powell A – Panel chair – Evil and International Politics

Participants Chandler, David (Chair) Amoureux, Jack (Discussant) Papers Ish-Shalom: Conceptual Relics, Mutual Assured Evilness, and the Struggle over Israeli Public Commonsense Moses: Choosing good, eliminating evil: Libya and the politics of the Responsibility to Protect Sheikh: How the devil operates in International Relations Hobson: ‘The “Evil” of Drugs’ Geis and Wunderlich: Bad guys and worst guys of international society: comparing ‘rogues’ and ‘evil’

‘Evil’ is a notion that once again has become common currency in international politics. Following the Rwandan genocide and other cases of mass atrocities in the 1990s, then the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2011, ‘evil’ has increasingly been used to describe and understand such horrendous acts. The upsurge in the use of this term has potentially serious ramifications, however, given its tendency to promote a dichotomous, absolute worldview. In separating the ‘good’ from the ‘evil’, ‘us’ from ‘them’, it threatens to prevent dialogue and compromise, and in some cases, foster the likelihood of violence. While the use of this term is most closely associated with George W. Bush, ‘evil’ has become more commonly employed by a wide range of actors in international politics, notably including UN officials. This panel seeks to understand how ‘evil’ is used in contemporary international politics, and the consequences that flow from the way it is employed. It aims to consider how actors, actions and institutions can be labeled as ‘evil’ and what the significance of doing so can be.

7-8 March 2013

‘Biopolitics: Neoliberalism, Market Rationalities and Life as Resistance’ paper presentation for Panel 3 ‘Biopolitics’, Finnish Political Science annual convention ‘Ruptures and Reveries’, University of Lapland, Finland. More details here.

5-6 March 2013

I will be in Helsinki to Chair the Academy of Finland, Research Council for Culture and Society Political Science panel.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

‘Justice, Peace and the New Subject’ workshop presentation, ‘Governance and Peacebuilding’, Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati, India.

26-27 February 2013

As advisory board member, attending the European Union project ‘The Role of Governance in the Resolution of Socioeconomic and Political Conflict in India and Europe’ (CORE), stakeholder’s meeting, organised by Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group in collaboration with Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati, Assam, India.

Thursday 7 February 2013

‘Global Governance and the New Paternalism’, paper presentation at the workshop ‘Rethinking the Westphalian frame: the changing nature of claims to legitimacy and justice in transnational politics’, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

Global governance confronts us with a puzzle. The rising need for enlarged and deepened cross-border cooperation has led to a proliferation of international institutions of a new kind. Beyond international cooperation, transnational sites of governance combine both state and societal actors in dealing with complex problems across borders. Their norms and regulations often have a direct impact on societal relations. However, although transnational regulations obviously bypass national mechanisms of democratic control and cause increasing societal protest, empirical studies show that citizens do not generally view them as illegitimate. There seems to be a ‘democratic paradox’: an almost world-wide belief in the idea of democracy goes hand in hand with a significant societal acceptance of transnational institutions that fail known democratic standards of electoral accountability. Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the normative order of politics beyond the nation-state? The workshop discusses conditions of legitimacy and justice in transnational politics.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

‘Democracy, Visibility and Resistance’, 3rd Käte Hamburger Lecture, Gerhard-Mercator Haus, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

Discussants: Volker Heins (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen) and Kai Koddenbrock (Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin), Chair: Frank Gadinger (Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research)

Abstract: Democracy, Visibility and Resistance – This presentation will be of interest both to those in academia and to members of the general public. It concerns the erosion of the public sphere as the centre of political life – of democracy and of the resistance to power. Where, once, issues of politics, power and resistance were publicly on view, through the contestation of mass parties, unions and associations, today, the public sphere seems much less central. For many commentators, what goes on in parliament or at the state level is much less important than the ‘everyday’ politics which takes place out of the glare of publicity, in our private choices and decisions. Are they right, that power has shifted from the state to society? Do we make ‘more of a difference’ as private citizens than as public ones? Is this shift to society a sign of the spread and diffusion of democratic power? Is resistance increasingly a private act rather than a public one?

Monday 4 February 2013

Paper presentation at the workshop ‘Responsibility and Judgement in a World of Complexity’, Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

Friday 1 February 2013

‘Non-linearity, complexity and the implications for methodological choice’ PhD workshop, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

Thursday 31 January 2013

‘Peacebuilding: Conceptualising the Challenges of Resistance’, guest lecture, Universität Erfurt, Germany.

Abstract: This lecture will reflect upon the shift away from 1990s ‘linear’ understandings of peacebuilding, which assumed that Western ‘blueprints’ could be imposed upon non-compliant elites. Today, it is increasingly suggested, in both policy and academic literatures, that there should be a shift towards ‘non-linear’ approaches. Rather than focusing upon Western policy prescriptions intra-elite bargaining and formal institutional structures, these understandings stress non-linearity, hybridity, local societal processes and practices and the importance of ‘hidden’ agency and resistance. These understandings will be discussed in relationship to Foucault’s understanding of the relationship between power and resistance, Paul Lederach’s work on non-linearity, James Scott’s ideas of ‘hidden agency’, Oliver Richmond and Oliver Mac Ginty’s work on the ‘local’, ‘hybrid peace’ and ‘post-liberal’ approaches, and Bruno Latour’s actor network theory. Both the similarities and the differences between ‘linear’ and ‘non-linear’ approaches will be drawn out.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

‘The Hollow Hegemony of Global Politics’, guest lecture for the ‘Theories and Approaches of Global Governance’ course, Masters programme ‘International Relations and Development Policy’, Fakultät für Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

17-18 January 2013

I will be attending the international conference, ‘Constructing Resilience’, Berlin, Germany. Further details and programme here.

Thursday 13 December 2012

I will be presenting a paper at the workshop, ‘Practices of Resilience and the Changing Logics of Security and Protection’, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

External examination, PhD thesis, Department of Politics, Birkbeck, University of London.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

‘Global Cooperation and Negotiation: Case Studies in Cultural Difference’, workshop, I will be discussant for papers by Elizabeth Keating (UT Austin) and Nik Schareika (Goettingen), Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

‘Democracy and the Shift to the Social’, presentation for research colloquium, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

Thursday 6 December 2012

‘Thomas Pogge and the New Paternalism’, presentation for ‘Notions of Justice in Global Cooperation: A Workshop with Thomas Pogge’, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Research Forum with post-graduate researchers, German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn, Germany.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

I will be in Paris to be part of a PhD examination committee at Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre.

Monday 26 November 2012

‘Peacebuilding and the Politics of Non-Linearity: Rethinking “Hidden” Agency and “Resistance”‘, seminar presentation, for the series ‘Protest, Resistance, Insurgence: Struggles Over Political Orders’, hosted by the ‘Normative Orders’ (Cluster of Excellence) at Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main. Draft paper available here. Further information here.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Running discussion of video debate ‘Alex Callinicos and Slavoj Zizek: What does it mean to be a revolutionary today?’, ‘The Politics of Crisis’ residential weekend for students, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, Caer Llan, Wales.

Saturday 3 November 2012

‘Democracy as Distributive Agency: Politics in the Complexity Age’, panel presentation, ‘The Promise of Democracy’ conference, keynote Fred Dallmayr, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, London.

Friday 26 October 2012

‘From Peacebuilding to Statebuilding’, guest lecture for MA course on International Security, Institute of European Studies and International Relations, Comenius University, Bratislava.

Thursday 25 October 2012

‘The Rise of Non-Linear Politics’, doctoral seminar, Institute of European Studies and International Relations, Comenius University, Bratislava.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Habilitation committee member, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava.

Monday 22 October 2012

I will be attending the special Theory Talks/Millennium workshop, focused on integrating actor-network theory (ANT) and science and technology studies (STS) into the IR discipline, London School of Economics.

20-21 October 2012

‘From Freedom to Necessity: The Governmental Rationality of Post-Humanism’, paper presentation, ‘Materialism and World Politics’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 2012 Conference, London School of Economics. Further information here. Provisional programme here.

Abstract: In the ‘human’ world we believed that we could transform necessity into freedom, through understanding the laws of the external world and mastering them through the development of culture, science, and technology. In the post-human world we believe that human freedom, based on Newtonian teleologies, is mistaken hubris. In the globalized, complex, world – without external natural laws of regularity held to operate independently of human existence – there can be no teleology of human progress. ‘Time’s arrow’ dictates that the world is in flux and fundamentally unknowable. Instead, our teleologies of the world work backwards rather than forwards, starting from the appearance of the world and process-tracing back to the causal actions or behaviour of the human subject. Arendt argued that without constructed external laws there was no ‘world’ for humans: no space for human freedom. This paper concurs. Foucauldian governmentality theorists argued that liberal rationalities operated on the basis of governing through freedom – presupposing the rational autonomous subject. What is the governmental rationality (if indeed there can be one) once we are interpellated in terms of the ‘attached’ subject of post-humanism? I suggest, as a working hypothesis, that we are no longer governed through freedom but through necessity: the imperatives of the world of appearances dictate that human choice-making freedoms form the basis of governance interventions rather than a domain of limits.

18-19 October 2012

As advisory board member, attending the European Union project ‘The Role of Governance in the Resolution of Socioeconomic and Political Conflict in India and Europe’ (CORE), mid-term conference and CORE Steering Committe meeting, Rome.

10-13 October 2012

‘International Statebuilding: ‘Root Causes’ and the Problem of Agency in the Balkans’, invited presentation, 2nd International Balkan Conference, ‘The Balkans at a Crossroads: Evaluating the Past, Reading the Present, Imagining the Future’, organized by Istanbul University with the collaboration of University of Tirana and Epoka University, Tirana, Albania. Further information here.

Abstract: This presentation considers the problematic of international statebuilding in the Balkan region and how it creates a negative understanding of Balkan actors. Relating directly to the conference themes, it demonstrates that dominant discourses of international relations problematise agency in the region, seeing agency as a root cause rather than the social and economic structures. The mantra of globalization, democratization and integration is rarely questioned today. The problematic at the heart of all three concepts is the classical liberal understanding of the state as freely constituted by its citizens – statebuilding problematizes the agency involved in the construction of state-society relations. In seeking to address problems at the level of both states and citizens, it operates at the level of the ‘root causes’ of the institutional frameworks at both formal and informal levels, held to result in problematic barriers to the smooth operation of social and economic forces – peace, development and democracy. Globalization theorists assert that states are no longer capable of playing a directing and controlling role and that government in the region is more likely to be a barrier to social progress. Democratization theorists assert that formal institutional frameworks of liberal rule, elections etc, are no longer capable of delivering good governance and that civil society and social empowerment are necessary to provide the right capacities and capabilities to citizens. Integration theorists assert that the boundaries between external and domestic actors are increasingly blurred. International practices of exporting good governance and democratization to the Balkans thereby assume that states and their citizens can and should be transformed or ‘cured’ through integrative mechanisms of capacity- and capability-building – transforming Balkan citizens and their states from autonomous self-governing subjects into objects of external engineering mechanisms.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

‘Rethinking Sovereignty’, guest lecture, MA class ‘International Statebuilding: Exporting Democracy’, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

Monday 8 October 2012

‘Globalization, Non-linearity and the Rise of the Local’, research seminar presentation, Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.

17-18 September 2012

‘Temporality and Epistemes of Internatonal Security’, (with Nik Hynek) workshop presentation for ‘Uncertain Futures’, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) network on ‘International Law Between Constitutionalisation and Fragmentation: the role of law in the post-national constellation’, University of Malaga. Abstracts available here.

Abstract: In this paper we chart the shifting epistemes of international security, from Cold War realism to post-Cold War liberal internationalism and current understandings of complexity and resilience. In doing so, we draw out how each episteme has a distinct relationship to temporality: timeless equilibrium, a liberal telos and backwards process-tracing. In terms of chronology and epistemes, this paper highlights three points: firstly, the discursive framing of security problematics as constitutive of the limits of liberalism; secondly, the centrality of liberal epistemic framings as the preconditions for both the lack of telos of the international and the backwards approach of process-based thinking or resilience thinking; third, the importance of universal rational assumptions of the human subject which drove the liberal telos. This is vital for understanding how the privileging of difference – the pluralist world without a sovereign – was constitutive of the external problematic of security of timeless Realism and how the return of difference – as internalized rather than externalized enabled more societal and psychologised understandings – enabling the process-tracing inversion of the liberal telos today.

13-14 September 2012

‘Resistance without Politics: Rethinking Agency from Below, presentation for closing panel ‘Epistemology of Peacebuilding, ‘New Frontiers of Peacebuilding’ conference, University of Manchester. Full programme here. Draft paper available here.

5-7 September 2012

‘The Return of Politics: Elites, Resistance and the Limits of Liberal Peace’, invited paper for the international academic conference ‘Domestic Elites and Opinion – The Neglected Dimension of Externally Induced Democratization’, University of Konstanz. Full details here.

Joint International British International Studies Association (BISA) – International Studies Association (ISA) Conference, Edinburgh, 20-22 June 2012.

Wednesday 20 June 2012 – Meet the Editors panel – 4.00-5.30pm, 6th Floor  Staff  Room,  School  of  Social  and  Political  Science, University  of Edinburgh. I will be briefly presenting the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding and explaining how we deal with submissions, as well as taking questions from the audience.

Thursday 21 June 2012 – Session 5 – panel 12 – 9.30-11.00am. Discussant for panel ‘Rejuvenating democracy promotion in the Contemporary World’.

Thursday 21 June 2012 – Meet the Editors closed workshop session – 4.00-5.30pm,  Boardroom  2, Puma  (formerly   Barcelo)  Carlton  Hotel, 19 North Bridge,  Old  Town, Edinburgh, EH1 1SD. (Dana Depo: “Europeanisation of Ukraine through the Eastern Partnership – Pre accession or the buffer zone?”; Karen Siegel: “Regional environmental cooperation in the Southern Cone of South America: Who or what drives it?”; Alex Grainger: “The past resonates in robes: ‘glory’ and ‘rationality’ in the government of East Timor”; Benjamin Kienzle: “Normative by default: The EU Non-Proliferation Policies in the Southern Mediterranean”)

Friday 22 June 2012 – Session 11 – panel 5 – 2.00-3.30pm. Discussant for panel, ‘Conceptual and ‘Critical’ Approaches to Democracy Support: Controversies, Significance and Impact’.

13-15 June 2012

‘International Statebuilding and Agency: The Shift to the Social, the Local and the Invisible’, keynote presentation for the 11th Middle East Technical University (METU) conference on International Relations, ‘The World in Crisis’, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Full programme available here.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Discussant for paper workshop, 10am-12.00, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Public seminar on Humanitarian Intervention and Statebuilding, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo.

Humanitarian Exchange: Reframing Humanitarianism? The Challenges of State-Building

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs takes pleasure in inviting you to a seminar: Humanitarian Exchange: Reframing Humanitarianism? The Challenges of State-Building

The Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS) organizes its second Humanitarian Exchange on the relationship between humanitarianism and state building, discussing the challenges facing humanitarian engagement when faced with the dilemmas and requirements of long-term developmental, political and state-building involvements.

Tid: Tirsdag 05.06.12, kl.13:00

Sted: NUPI , C.J. Hambros plass 2 D


Program 13:00-15:00

Welcome Benjamin de Carvalho (Senior Researcher, NUPI)

Introduction David Chandler (Professor at the University of Westminster)

Comments and discussion Stein Sundstøl Eriksen (Senior Researcher, NUPI), Torunn Wimpelmann (Researcher, CMI), and Ingrid Macdonald (Head of Advocacy Section at the Norwegian Refugee Council)

Q&A chaired by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (Senior Researcher, PRIO)

Further information here.

Friday 25 May 2012

‘Statebuilding, the Rise of the Social and the End(s) of Freedom’, public lecture organised by the Asia Research Centre, Senate Room, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.

Abstract: In discourses of international statebuilding, we seem disillusioned with institutionalist or ‘top-down’ approaches which focus on the formal, superficial, visible sphere of political institutions. It seems that the transformational desires of both statebuilding international actors and of radical critics focus ever more upon the informal sphere of the social. Increasingly, we have moved from the visible, formal, surface level – understanding domestic elites as key actors in terms of sustainable peace, democracy and development – to the deeper level of focusing on the non-representational (non-elected) actors of civil society (Lederach’s , second level) to the grassroots, the local-local (Richmond) and the need to have knowledge of the ‘hidden transcripts’ of the excluded, marginalized and invisible. ‘Politics’ has returned as has the focus on democracy and upon ‘autonomy’ and ‘freedom’, but these concepts increasingly refer to the need for deeper understandings of the workings of the complex informal, cultural, ideational and cognitive social frameworks shaping individual and societal behavioural choices. In this framing, democracy no longer refers to the freedoms of citizens engaged in the public sphere of debate and contestation over policy goals and development no longer refers to material growth and transformation. Both development and the spreading of democracy are orientated around inner, less directly visible, social capacities and capabilities. International actors want to give fragile or conflict prone states development and democracy, by which they mean equalizing social power: equalizing subject capacities to behave and act as ‘active’ or ‘responsible’ citizens. When the political is subsumed within the social, democracy and development increasingly lose their formal, visible, externally measurable qualities and become about the policy transformations of empowerment. The shift to the social reverses the relations between states and citizens. Under discourses of good governance states govern through society not over it. Under the rule of the social, the state should not order or direct citizen choices but educate, empower, include; inculcating the values of citizenship as adaptive resilience, as social capability.

1.30-3.00pm. Poster and further information available here.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Postgraduate publishing research seminar, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. In EH4.078, from 2-4pm. Please RSVP your attendance by Monday 21 May to Shahar Hameiri, S.Hameiri@murdoch.edu.au. Participants should come to the workshop with an abstract of a paper based on their work, a list of three possible journals in which they hope to publish the paper, as well as a written assessment of why these journals were chosen.

Friday 18 May 2012

I will be attending the Bateman Feast, Trinty Hall, Cambridge University.

Friday 18 May 2012

”Human-centred’ development? Rethinking ‘freedom’ and ‘agency’ in international development’, presentation to Centre for Governance and Human Rights, Department of POLIS, Cambridge University, 2.00-4.00pm. Paper available in advance. Details here and poster here.

Friday 18 May 2012

‘Justice is Political: Intra-State Conflict and the Limits of International Law’, panel presentation at ‘Building Restorative International Justice: the ICC of the Future’, forum organized by New African magazine, Royal Commonwealth Society. Programme and further details here. March 2012 issue of New African ‘ICC vs Africa: The Scales of Injustice’ available here. Press item here.

11-12 May 2012

‘The Democratization of Evil’, presentation for research workshop ‘Evil in International Relations’, hosted by the United Nations University and Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. Programme details here.

Abstract: This paper, seeks to analyze the ‘democratization’ of evil as a product of the inversion of Enlightenment understandings of the relationship between freedom and necessity. Evil, as the exception grounding the norm, presupposed the moral and political autonomy of the choice-making subject. I wish to argue that moral autonomy is no longer the grounding assumption of our post-political world, with the implication being a diminished understanding of the human subject. In our globalized, complex and interconnected world it is held that there is no meaningful process connecting our actions to their final consequences. The world increasingly appears to directly reflect societally-shaped human behavioural choices – such as anthropogenic carbon emissions – through complex processes that are contingent yet deterministic. In a globalized world, the compression of time and space is held to make every action or choice final and irreparable. In which case, rather than necessity becoming the precondition for freedom, our rejection of what is now seen as a hubristic belief in moral autonomy is leading us to the appreciation of the rule of necessity. Making necessity the norm, increasingly removes good and evil from the world as moral constructs.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Discussant for Sidney Leclercq (doctorant, ULB) ‘From a Reconciliation Discourse to International Statebuilding: the Syncretic Impact of Transitional Justice in a Post-liberal Perspective’, 12h – 14h, salle Kant, L’Institut d’Etudes Européennes (IEE), l’Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels. In partnership with the Écoles doctorales thématiques en Science politique et en Études européennes de la Communauté française (F.R.S.-FNRS) and GRAPAX. Scientific coordination: Elena AOUN, Amandine BLED, Barbara DELCOURT, Jean-Frédéric MORIN, Christian OLSSON, Christophe WASINSKI Registration required: please contact Constance de Lannoy (cdelanno@ulb.ac.be).

Tuesday 8 May 2012

‘R2P or not R2P? More Statebuilding and Less Responsibility’, keynote presentation for workshop ‘The Development of the Responsibility to Protect: The Implications for Ongoing and Future Military Interventions’, Münster-Carré, Bonn, Germany. Flyer for event here. Questions for workgroup on R2P here.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Universal Human Rights: A Trojan Horse for Western Dominance?

University of Manchester Student Union Amnesty International and Challenging Orthodoxies Society present a panel discussion in Sam Alex LG12, 5.30 – 7.00pm:

Since the enlightenment there has been rising support given to the notion of a universal set of human rights that must be protected. Yet, alongside this has also emerged a critique of human rights as a model that does not respect cultural and territorial boundaries. Is the doctrine of human rights a Trojan horse for western dominance? Alternatively, is the argument for cultural relativism used by elites who hold power in cultures that abuse the human rights of the powerless? On the one hand, there are surely certain fundamental human liberties that must be protected. And do we, with the freedom and opportunities to speak, not have an obligation to do so on behalf of those who can’t? On the other hand, it may not necessarily be acceptable to impose a doctrine of universalism, arguably western based, upon different cultures. To what extent can the west use human rights as a justification for intervention and, if so, are they truly acting with the aim to protect the interests of the oppressed? If not a tool of western oppression, perhaps a universal, moral code of rights and laws are simply not pragmatic or respectful enough of cultural differences and unique situations. We look forward to hearing our panel experts explore these issues in more depth.

Speakers: – David Chandler (University of Westminster, author of ‘Hollow Hegemony’) – Julia Pettengill (Henry Jackson Society) – Garret Brown (University of Sheffield, author of ‘Cosmopolitanism’). Further information here.

Friday 27 April 2012

‘Rethinking the Shift to the Social’, presentation for the Post-Graduate Conference, ‘The Social and the Political in Discourses of State-building’, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster. Further details here. Programme agenda here.

International Studies Association (ISA) annual convention, San Diego, 1-4 April 2012

Sunday 1 April 2012 – Roundtable – SC29 – 1:45 PM

Humanitarian Intervention Redux? Causes and Consequences of the Libya Intervention – Chair

Sunday 1 April 2012 – Roundtable – SD68 – 4:00 PM

Critical, Normative and Emancipatory? Re-Thinking the Future of Peace and Conflict Studies – Panellist

Monday 2 April 2012 – Panel – MA48 – 8:15 AM

From Defeating the Enemy to Creating Order? Perspectives on the Military-Police Nexus – Discussant

Monday 2 April 2012 – Panel – MC41 – 1:45 PM

‘The Fantasy Fulfilled? Libya and the R2P’, paper for panel ‘The Responsibility to Protect II: From the Balkans to Bengazi’

Monday 2 April 2012 – Working Group – MX10 – 6:30 PM

The Afterlives of Neoliberalism: Development, Postdevelopment and International Relations – Session 2 – Working Group Participant

Tuesday 3 April 2012 – Panel – TB44 – 10:30 AM

Perspectives on Intervention: Rationalities and Translation, Resistance and Effects – Discussant

Wednesday 4 April 2012 – Working Group – WXA69 – 7:30 AM

The Afterlives of Neoliberalism: Development, Postdevelopment and International Relations — Session 3 – Working Group Participant

Saturday 31 March 2012

I will be participating in the all day pre-conference Global Development Working Group ‘The Afterlives of Neoliberalism: Development, Postdevelopment and International Relations’, 2012 International Studies Association (ISA) annual convention, San Diego.

Presentation abstract: Creating Capabilities? Human Development and the Return of the Civilizing Mission When Amartya Sen or human development programmes talk of ‘capability building’, agency and community resilience, this has little to do with modernist conceptions of human agency or of human freedom, which focused upon the barriers to human self-realization which could be overcome through the development of culture and scientific understanding, enabling us to know and to transform our external world. Sen, in describing ‘development as freedom’, in fact, permanently defers human freedom through asserting that our ‘freedom’ is inevitably differentially constrained through the inter-subjectively limited construction of our behavioural choices. In this framing, the barriers to human freedom are inter-subjectively constructed products created by humanity itself. This paper develops a critique of human development on the grounds of a loss of development’s external focus on the materiality of the world and is informed by Foucault’s attention to the metaphysical understanding of ‘development’, as external agency capable of enabling the ‘Enlightenment’ of the subject. Once development is understood as a process of transforming the inner world of the subject, human agency and capacity for choice-making become a ‘grid of intelligibility’ for explaining differences and inequalities and for the institution of practices of governance intervention. The (post-colonial) subject may be at the centre of development discourse, but it is the subject’s lack of capabilities that are highlighted, rather than the external structures of power relations. This ‘human-centred’ approach replicates that of Kant’s voluntaristic understanding of the internal and subjective nature of barriers to Enlightenment. In this framework, external development programmes work on empowering and giving ‘agency’ to the individual to enable them to make better behavioural choices – to govern themselves through reason – rather than upon the external world of social and economic relations. The socially contingent constraints of the external world, as mediated by our social relations, become essentialized in terms of the inter-subjective barriers of human cognition. Capitalism is naturalized and normalized at the same time as human rationality is degraded and denied. The problem is thereby constructed as the human rather than the social relations in which the human is embedded. Further details here.

Monday 26 March 2012

Participant in roundtable ‘The US/Iran Conflict: Imperialism, Hegemony and Intervention’, with Dr Farhang Morady and Dr Sahar Taghdisi Rad, International Development Forum and International Development Society, hosted by the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster. Further details available here.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

‘Can we stop the Killing?’, roundtable event for public, staff and students on international intervention. I will be debating Professor Sir Mike Aaronson, Co-Director of the Centre for International Intervention. University of Surrey. Further details here.

18-19 March 2012

As advisory board member, attending an international workshop for the European Union project ‘The Role of Governance in the Resolution of Socioeconomic and Political Conflict in India and Europe’, organised by the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research & UNESCO Chair for Peace and Intercultural Understanding, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

Monday 12 March 2012

‘Rethinking the Securitisation of Development’, panel presentation ‘Exploring the Development-Seurity Nexus’, hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, at Goodenough College, London, WC1.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Meeting with the European Commission Heads of Unit for Bosnia and Kosovo with delegation of University of Westminster Department of Politics and International Relations MA students, European Commission, Brussels.

Friday 17 February 2012

I will be in Helsinki to chair the Political Science and Law Panel for the Research Council for Culture and Society of the Academy of Finland.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

I will be speaking along with co-editor Meera Sabaratnam at the Westminster book launch for A Liberal Peace?: The Problems and Practices of Peacebuilding. There will be a panel discussion and reception and 25% off the cover price. Time: 5.30-7.00pm. Venue: Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells Street, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, London W1 (nearest tube Oxford Circus). Download the flyer here.

Thursday 2 February 2012

I will be respondent, with Liza Griffin, to Frank Furedi’s talk ‘On Tolerance’, promoting his new book, On Tolerance: A Defence of Moral Independence. 6.00pm, Westminster Forum, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster. Read my review of the book in Radical Philosophy.

Monday 30 January 2012

I will be supporting the motion ‘The UN does more harm than good for global security and development’. Opposing the motion is Keith Hindell, former BBC UN correspondent. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. 5.00pm start. Further details here.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

I will be chairing the Research Council of Norway, Research on Humanitarian Policy (HUMPOL) panel meeting in London

Thursday 19 January 2012

‘Old wine in a new bottle? Democratisation lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq in the Arab Spring’s Libya’

The panel seeking to explore this topic will be chaired by Iwan Morgan (Professor of United States Studies, ISA) and includes David Chandler (Professor of International Relations, Westminster University), Adam Quinn (Lecturer in International Studies, Department of Political Science and International Studies, Birmingham University) and Matthew Alan Hill (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ISA).

The aim of the panel is to explore how the conclusions reached in Matthew Hill’s recently published Routledge monograph can be applied to the international community’s recent involvement in Libya. The monograph, ‘Democracy Promotion and Conflict-Based Reconstruction: The United States & Democratic Consolidation in Bosnia, Afghanistan & Iraq’, examines contemporary US democracy promotion and advances three central conclusions that will be discussed by the panel.

This event is free and open to all. To reserve a place, please contact Chloe Pieters. Venue: The Senate Room (Senate House, First Floor), Institute for the Study of the Americas, School of Advanced Study, University of London. 17.30-19.00. Further details here.

Monday 16 January 2012

External assessor for the title of European Doctorate of a PhD in the School of International Studies, University of Trento.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

I will be discussing ‘Human Rights and International Law Ten Years after Guantanamo’, with Rob Freer, Amnesty International, Anthony Dworkin, European Council on Foreign Relations and Alexander Ngorny in Moscow, Voice of Russia radio. Now available on YouTube: part 1 and part 2.

12-14 December 2011

‘The Rise of Post-Intervention: Shifting Discourses of Global Political Community and the Construction of the Human’, presentation for conference, ‘Politics in the Global Age: Critical Reflections on Sovereignty, Citizenship, Territory and Nationalism’, funded by the EU Commission, Centre for Comparative European Studies, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. Draft paper available here.

8-9 December 2011

‘Our Morals and Theirs: Politics beyond the Biopolitical Subject’, symposium presentation, ‘Politics beyond the Biopolitical Subject’, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Draft paper is available here.

1-2 December 2011

As advisory board member, attending the Second Steering Committee of the Cultures of Governance and Conflict Resolution in Europe and India (CORE) project, Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), Delhi, India.

Sunday 20 November 2011

‘Governance Interventions, Security and Statebuilding’, presentation for workshop/conference ‘Transnational Security Governance: Organised Crime and Governance Interventions in Mexico and Central America’, sponsored by Free Univeristy Berlin, Cátedra Humboldt-COLMEX and German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Holiday Plaza Universidad/El Colegio de México, Mexico City. Programme available here.

Saturday 5 November 2011

‘The Citizen and Social Equality: New Trends in Democratic Theory’, roundtable presentation, University of Westminster, Department of Politics and International Relations Away Weekend, Caer Llan, Monmouthshire. Programme available here.

Thursday 27 October 2011

‘Securitizing Development’ Guest Lecture, supported by for the Masters Programme in Development and International Cooperation, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

What is it about development which enables it to be interconnected with discourses of security? What do we mean by development in current discourses of international security? Why are failed states seen to be more of a security threat than industrially developed states? What sort of development is being promoted when we talk of state failure or fragility? What is seen as the obstacle to development today (or the cause of structures of global inequality) – is it the world market? Is it the state? Is it the society? How deep do development/securitizing interventions need to go? What is the difference between agent-centred approaches to development and structural approaches? If you wish to prepare for this lecture – 5 key books referred to will be: Amartya Sen – Development as Freedom; Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart – Fixing Failed States; Douglass C. North – Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance; David Chandler – International Statebuilding; Michel Foucault – The Birth of Biopolitics.

Saturday 22 October 2011

‘International Statebuilding and the Post-liberal Discourse of Resilience’, panel presentation, ‘Questioning Resilience: What is at Stake in Policy and Academic Framings of the Governance of the Self?’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 2011 Annual Conference, ‘Out Of The Ivory Tower: Weaving the Theories and Practice of International Relations’, Clement House, London School of Economics & Political Science, Houghton Street. Draft programme available here.

Thursday 13 October 2011

‘The Contested Idea of Development’ roundtable presentation, Inaugural Development Forum seminar, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

Thursday 6 October 2011

‘Assessing the Impact of 9/11 Ten Years On’, roundtable presentation, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster. Westminster’s International Relations blog piece ‘9/11 and the Reconstitution of Order and Meaning’.

Friday 23 September 2011

‘Rethinking the Human Subject’, opening lecture for the PhD programme, International Relations Unit (DRI), University of Coimbra, Portugal. Further information here.

Thursday 22 September 2011

‘The Responsibility to Protect after Libya’, PhD student research seminar, International Relations Unit (DRI), University of Coimbra, Portugal.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

‘International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance’, keynote lecture presentation for Development Research Day ‘Development, Peace and Statebuilding’, Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden. Programme details here.

25-27 August 2011 – 6th European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) General Conference, University of Iceland

‘Reconstituting the West and its Others: The Strange Death of Liberal Universalism’ (Panel: Critical Theorisations of Western Commonality; Section: Democracy, History, Universality: Beyond the Decline of the West)

Abstract: The problems encountered in the projections of Western foreign policy internationally – in the forms of conflict-prevention, statebuilding, development assistance and in the spread of liberal rights norms and market economies – have been increasingly discursively analysed in terms of the limits of liberalism. It seems that liberal universalism has become increasingly discredited with the ‘lessons learned’ from the last two decades of Western interventionism: that markets and democracy cannot simply be ‘exported’ from the liberal West to the non-liberal Other. This paper argues that the spatial or externalised understanding of the limits of liberalism plays the ideological role of apologia. The crisis of liberal modernity is, in effect, played out in discourses of the international. This paper explores the reasons for this, in the end of Cold War rivalry sharply posing the gap between the promise of liberal universalism and the reality of hierarchy and institutionalised inequality, and draws out a genealogy of the decline of the West – through the critique of liberal universalism and the privileging of difference – focusing, in particular, on new institutionalist framings highly influential in the policy-making of international institutions and through drawing an analogy with Foucault’s powerful and prescient work on the birth of biopolitics.

17-20 August 2011 – 3rd Global International Studies Conference (WISC) ‘World Crisis: Revolution or Evolution in the International Community’, University of Porto, Portugal

Thursday 18 August 2011

Discussant for ‘International Organizations and the Problem of Knowledge’ (panel TA07) – Chair: Christian Bueger, Institute for Development and Peace; Papers: ‘Facilitator or advocator: The OECD-DAC and the aid effectiveness agenda’, Sebastian Gerhart, University of Warwick; ‘Patterns of Dependency and of Autonomy of International Organizations: The Politicization of the United Nations Peace Operations Bureaucracy’, Julian Junk, University of Frankfurt Frederik Trettin University of Konstanz; ‘The “knowledge brokers”: Insight into the United Nations’ reaction to the changing nature of conflicts, through the study of the mediations of the Special Representatives of the Secretary General’, Elodie B. Convergne, Sciences Po Paris – Center for International Studies and Research; ‘Translating Piracy at the United Nations – An Actor-Network Theory Perspective’, Christian Bueger, Institute for Development and Peace.

Friday 19 August 2011

‘Neoliberal Subjects: Vulnerability, Adaption and Resilience’, paper for panel ‘Reading Neoliberalism Biopolitically’ (panel FA02). Chair: Julian Reid, University of Lapland; Papers: ‘Neoliberal Subjectivity and the Post-Political: Some Comments on Social Control in the Context of the European Financial Crisis’, Nicholas Kiersey, Ohio University; ‘Singularity and the Neoliberal Subject, Mustapha Kamal Pasha, University of Aberdeen; ‘The Ironic Paradox of Sovereign Power: From Biopower to Biocapital’, Wanda Vrasti, McMaster University; Discussant: Julian Reid, University of Lapland.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

‘Responses to the England Riots’, interview for ‘People in the Know’, China Radio International. The program invites both Chinese and foreign experts to discuss news in the areas of domestic and international politics, economy, diplomacy, science, culture and sports. ‘People in the Know’ is broadcast at 1pm on FM91.5 in Beijing and a dozen of major cities in China. It can also be heard in Asia Pacific, North America, Europe and Africa. The webliink is available here.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

‘Debating Democracy’, Iconoclasts, BBC Radio 4, 8.00pm (repeated Saturday 13 August 10.15pm)

Gordon Graham, Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary, argues that democracy is overrated. “There is a relentlessness about the democratic process that eliminates all possibility of dissent despite the myth to the contrary.” Professor Graham’s views will be challenged by Edward Lucas (European Editor of The Economist), Professor Robert Hazell (Director of the Constitution Unit at University College London) and Professor David Chandler (of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster).

The live studio discussion is chaired by Edward Stourton. You can join in by e-mailing: iconoclasts@bbc.co.uk or text 84844. Further details here.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

‘Beyond the Politics of Victimhood? The Vulnerable Subjects of Post-Interventionism’, Keynote presentation for ESRC seminar series ‘The Politics of Victimhood’, seminar 1. ‘War and conflict after the Cold War – from politics by other means to crime?’, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester.

Abstract: In the 1990s there was a fundamental shift in the way that war in the developing world was understood. In the post-Cold War imaginary, of the shift to a global world of cosmopolitan norms, international intervention into conflict zones was legitimized in the moral language of humanitarian intervention, human security and the responsibility to protect. The conflict parties were seen either as human rights abusers and war criminals or as innocent victims of atrocities. The politics of victimhood constituted international interveners as immanent global sovereigns claiming the rights of securing and protecting putative global subjects. The protection of the global rights of victim/individuals went along with the understanding that state sovereignty stood in the way of the politics of victimhood. I want to suggest that we no longer divide the world into victims and abusers in this way. I want to engage with two questions concerning the why and the how of this post-1990s shift. Descriptively, it is clear that the discourse of victims along with that of humanitarian intervention and the global duties of protecting and securing has lost the framework of meaning of the 1990s. Rather than victims which need protecting and securing we have vulnerable subjects which require capacity- and capability-building. In today’s world we do not wait for victims and intervene post-hoc, we seek to prevent vulnerable subjects from becoming victims (and aver the language of victimhood for its passivity) through preventive intervention. Why we don’t is the first question I wish to engage with. Rather than intervention undermining state sovereignty we increasingly understand intervention as building sovereign capacities. This framing, where active or agential vulnerable subjects displace the passive victim/subject/object, is a post-interventionist one. How we might understand post-interventionist frameworks of policy-making is the second question engaged with.

This seminar considers a fundamental shift in the way that war in the developing world has been understood. Key to this shift is an argument that wars in the developing world can no longer be understood politically, but as criminal acts in which the main consideration for the international community is how to protect the victims of the conflict. What is lost when war is reinterpreted as a criminal activity and only some are designated as worthy? Who has the power to designate those that are worthy of victimhood? Keynote speakers: Professor David Chandler (Westminster) Dr Zoe Marriage (SOAS).

Please note: Seminar 2. ‘The Politics of protection’ is on the following day, 29 June 2011, also at the University of Leicester. This seminar considers the difficulties of providing for effective protection when the protections of citizenship break down, as a result of conflict, persecution or the failure of state institutions. It asks what it is to protect those outside of the normalised protections of citizenship. The challenges run parallel to those associated with the identification of victims, and the seminar will provide a space for discussing the extent to which ‘protection’ is an asymmetrical power relationship that can undermine agency. Keynote speakers: Professor Brad Blitz (Kingston University) Dr Maureen Lynch (Refugees International, USA); Dr Matthew Gibney (Oxford).

Further details of the seminar series available here.

Monday 27 June 2011

‘International Statebuilding and the Inculcation of Resilience’, presentation at the ‘Resilient Futures: The Politics of Preventive Security’ workshop, funded by the ESRC, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

Abstract: Dominant discourses of international relations construe the international sphere in terms of the global extension of liberal discourses of universality, statehood, democracy and markets. Counterintuitively, this paper suggests that discursively the liberal sphere of understanding is, in fact, diminishing and that international statebuilding approaches increasingly construct the limits of liberalism as external – embodied in the allegedly non-liberal states and societies which constitute the sphere of international statebuilding policy-intervention. It suggests that the critique of liberal universals and Cartesian linearities is not the only the preserve of critical sociology but has been central to neoliberal, new institutionalist and biopolitical discourses which have been increasingly sharply articulated in the statebuilding literature, casting light on discussions of Third Way post-political approaches which construe the international in terms which discredit ideas of non-Western autonomy as well as of Western capacity and responsibility. In the light of the ‘lessons learned’ of the limits of liberal framings, a post-liberal world is emerging where the inculcation of resilience is held to be central to overcoming the liberal/non-liberal divide. This paper draws on my recently published monograph International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance and on material for a forthcoming book on Resilience, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

Further details: Resilience has become a mantra of policy responses to a range of security threats including flooding, cyber attacks, and terrorism. In the UK the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act, the establishment of a Civil Contingencies Secretariat and successive National Security Strategies have been oriented around a resilient, multi-agency, all-hazards approach to preparing for, and responding to extreme events. This approach is designed to both enhance measures in the aftermath of a crisis, and, enable new methods of intervention before threats emerge – as reflected in the ongoing review of the ‘Prevent’ strand of the UK government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST.
Preventive security raises a number of political and ethical concerns. Despite advances in interdisciplinary resilience studies, little research has so far been conducted into the relationship between resilience planning, preventive security and civil liberties. Furthermore, work has yet to address questions of citizen involvement, and/or public opinion in relation to resilience planning. Indeed, one of the effects of recent ‘groupthink’ may be an uncritical acceptance that ‘resilience’ is an innately ‘good’, ‘desirable’, and/or ‘effective’ value, without sufficient consideration of the political and ethical implications of ‘resilient policies’. Finally, academic and policy debates have thus far been ambiguous about the precise relationship between different elements of resilience discourse – i.e. ‘preparing for’, ‘bouncing back’, ‘adapting to’, and ‘living with’ – often assuming that such elements un-problematically complement, rather than potentially conflict with, each other.
The aim of this international interdisciplinary workshop is to address the politics of resilience and preventive security primarily, though not exclusively, in the UK context. We welcome interventions from academics and policy practitioners that engage with the overall themes of the event and questions such as, but not limited to, the following:
• What is the range of problems to which resilience is seen as a solution? And how does resilience enable and constrain the spectrum of possible responses?
• In what ways is resilience ‘designed-in’ to physical critical infrastructure and built environments?
• How does preventive security include and exclude certain individuals, organizations, and communities?
• To what extent are resilient systems more fragile and less stable than they are otherwise purported to be? Are there any unintended consequences of preventive security?
• How does resilience affect existing approaches to humanitarian emergencies?
The workshop is co-organised by James Brassett, Karina Pawlowska, and Nick Vaughan- Williams, and hosted by the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick. For further information contact N.Vaughan-Williams@Warwick.ac.uk

Thursday 9 June 2011

‘Beyond Intervention?: Post-Interventionist Framings of International Relations’ opening presentation at the international conference, ‘Interventionism in International Relations Today: Between Banalisation and Transgression’ at l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels. Draft programme available here.

Abstract: This paper argues that the problematic of the international and the global has been a barrier to understanding the transformation of interventionist security discourses over the last decade. Academic treatments of security within the discipline of international relations have been structured by the traditional liberal binaries, which conceive of political communities capable of constituting securing subjects at either the level of the state or the global. Today’s dominant framing of the intervention problematic seems to evade easy articulation within this structure and in some readings is seen to presage a transitory stage from the international (where intervention undermines the framework of law) to the global (where intervention constitutes an international framework of law). An alternative reading is sketched out here, that of the post-liberal – or of post-intervention – which suggests that the apparent shift towards the global cannot be captured from within the liberal problematic and highlights that rather than traditional disagreements over the nature of the subject of security – the constitution of the securing actor – we are witnessing the disappearance of securing agency itself. The disappearance of securing agency at the level of the international or the global constitutes the post-interventionist paradigm of statebuilding – where the state is problematised as unable to provide security but international intervention is problematised as unable to directly substitute for the state in the provision of security. The post-interventionist paradigm is thereby one of prevention or the inculcation of resilience – rather than one of post-hoc intervention. We no longer wait for passive victims but constitute a pro-active regime of work with/upon the vulnerable. This framework operates beyond the liberal intervention/non-intervention binary as external intervention is no longer seen either as undermining or as constituting the international framing of law and rights.

27-28 May 2011

‘A Shift to Human Security?’, panel presentation at ‘The Future of Intelligence; Threats, Challenges, Opportunities’, Netherlands Intelligence Studies Association conference, Netherlands Defence Academy, Rijswijk. Full programme available here.

Abstract: In the 1990s debate, the advocates of human security posed a radical challenge to the state-based frameworks of traditional security approaches. In the following decade, the radicals appeared to be on the other side, critiquing human security as the ideological tool of biopolitical, neoliberal global governance. Both approaches counter-pose human security to state-based frameworks and both posit the discourse as the project of new global agency: for liberal advocates, this was global civil society; and for radical poststructuralist and critical realists, this was US hegemony or neoliberal empire. This paper argues that the paradox of human security is that there is an assumption of a new transformative globalising actor which has led the transformation of state-based approaches to security, yet this is established on the basis of the universal nature of the discourse rather than a study of the actors engaged in the practices of policy-making. There is little analysis of the dynamics leading Western states and state-based international institutions to call for human security approaches to be mainstreamed. These two competing paradigms through which ‘human security’ is increasingly understood, appear to be shaped less by academic commentators’ understanding of the practices of human security on the ground than by their normative perspective towards the abstract framework of liberal cosmopolitan policy approaches.

16-21 May 2011

‘Rethinking the Human Subject’, workshop presentation for ‘Contemporary Debates in Political Studies’, part of the ‘Workshops on Contemporary Debates’ series, Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Makere University, Uganda. Full information here. Media pack here.

Abstract: In International Relations as in every other social science, we are busy dismantling our past frameworks of understanding. In IR we call it the critique of Realism, elsewhere the same dismantling goes on under the war on the 50s and 60s – on rational choice/behaviouralism etc and is seen as the ‘return of the state’, ‘neo-institutionalism’, the ‘cultural’/’linguist’/’sociological’ turn etc. The object of our ire is ‘liberalism’ with its universalist, individualist, rationalist assumptions of human agency. Instead we want to socialise and historicise the human, revealing the social, ideological, institutional, discursive embeddedness of the human. Rather than structure and agency we realise that structures are social constructs – that materiality is ideational, that the world is human ‘all the way down’ and that there is no ‘outside’ to our social constructions. The liberal language of autonomy and rationality – the basis of the binaries of liberal framings of politics and law, inside/outside, public/private, state/citizen – dissolves under our sociological deconstructions. I would like to open a discussion of the discursive framings of our critique of rationalist assumptions in social/political/economic theorising – the critique of ‘liberalism’ – and consider the consequences for current discourses of security, development and governance in the international sphere. There are three areas in which I would like to problematise this sociological and epistemological critique: firstly, in relationship to ideational and material factors in understanding development – using Sen’s ‘Development as Freedom’ problematic I suggest that the dematerialisation of development reduces development from the action of the transformative subject upon the external world to the actions of governance in the development of the internal capacities of the subject; secondly, I would like to suggest that the disappearance or dissolving of structure into agency actually removes autonomy or freedom, responsibilising the choice-making human subject as the problem rather than the solution; thirdly, just as the external world becomes displaced by the internal world and structure becomes dissolved into agency, government becomes dissolved into society, the problems of development or security become matters of choice-shaping, capabilty-building and empowerment, reducing politics to administrative and technical measures designed to enable the subject to govern itself through reason – to be reflexive, autotelic, adaptive and resilient. Perhaps, in conclusion, we could discuss the internal problematic of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment theorising of the subject and its self-production or self-realization and think about how and whether the human subject can again be constituted as the subject of policy rather than its object. Crudely put, I guess, I would like to consider the ways in which we can think about how critical social theorising – from Nietzsche and Marx, through Heidegger, Arendt, Foucault and Althusser might enable us to challenge the sociologisation of the human subject as articulated in the work of Husserl, Hayek, Giddens, Beck, North, Sen etc. This is a project I am currently working on so really I am just flagging up some ideas rather than presenting a finished or polished thesis.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

‘International Statebuilding and the Post-Liberal Discourse of Resilience’, seminar presentation, Department of International Relations and European Studies, Central European University, Budapest. 11.00am, Gellner Room, Nador u. 9, Monument Building. Further details here.

Abstract: Dominant discourses of international relations construe the international sphere in terms of the global extension of liberal discourses of universality, statehood, democracy and markets. Counterintuitively, this paper suggests that discursively the liberal sphere of understanding is, in fact, diminishing and that international statebuilding approaches increasingly construct the limits of liberalism as external – embodied in the allegedly non-liberal states and societies which constitute the sphere of international statebuilding policy-intervention. It suggests that the critique of liberal universals and Cartesian linearities is not the only the preserve of critical sociology but has been central to neoliberal, new institutionalist and biopolitical discourses which have been increasingly sharply articulated in the statebuilding literature, casting light on discussions of Third Way post-political approaches which construe the international in terms which discredit ideas of non-Western autonomy as well as of Western capacity and responsibility. In the light of the ‘lessons learned’ of the limits of liberal framings, a post-liberal world is emerging where the inculcation of resilience is held to be central to overcoming the liberal/non-liberal divide. This paper draws on the author’s recently published monograph International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance and on material for a forthcoming book on Resilience, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

5-7 May 2011

‘The Future of the Statebuilding Paradigm’, paper for the international conference on statebuilding, held at the Department of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. Speakers include: Friedrich Kratochwil, Nicholas Onuf, Iver Neumann, Michael Merlingen, Jan Wouters, Raymond Taras, Rodney Hall and Albena Azmanova. Programme available here.

Abstract: Rather than start with the practices of statebuilding, this paper considers the assumptions underpinning the statebuilding paradigm. Building on the insights of Foucault and Arendt, among others, it suggests that statebuilding is only conceptually possible on the basis of the submersion of the political within the social. Statebuilding interventions in order to build sovereignty, export the rule of law, build institutional capacity and to empower civil society, presuppose that the ‘artificial’ constructs of liberal modernist political and legal framings – which constitute the binaries of the domestic/international; state/society; public/private; citizen/non-citizen; political theory/IR – no longer inform our understandings of what it might mean to do ‘international statebuilding’. The secondary problem is that the submersion of the political within the social has to be understood within the particular context of today’s diminished and internalised understanding of the social – where the human sciences of the social tend to presuppose the internal differentiations of psychology rather than the external differentiations of economic and social relations. In this framework, difference is idealised as a problem of behaviour and understanding and choice-making and international statebuilding therefore attempts to modify behaviour, to empower and to capacity-build in a framework where the exercise of power takes on therapeutic rather than political attributes. Because this understanding of the world is a dominant one, international statebuilding has a future regardless of any failures on the ground.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

‘The Autotelic Subject: A Biopolitical Analysis of The ‘Real Third Way’ and the Politics of the Brain’, presentation on the ‘Vulnerability’ panel, ‘The Politics of the Brain Workshop’, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London. Registration and full details

Abstract: In the age of liberal modernity, citizens were interpellated as rational interest-bearing subjects enabling the liberal conceptual binaries which were the staple framework for political and economic theorising: the binaries of the public and the private; the citizen and the non-citizen; the formal sphere of law and politics and the informal sphere of economic and social activity. These divisions were predicated on the recognition of the citizen’s private sphere of autonomy; that the citizen could be understood as a morally autonomous, self-governing agent, providing the basis for substantial equality at the ballot box or under the law, and the basis for the freedoms of the market-place, as the rational pursuit of individual interests was seen to coincide and to constitute the public, collective, good. Today, it seems that the liberal subject is no longer interpellated in these terms and that the binaries of liberal political and economic theorising are losing their purchase on how we understand the forms of governing and problem-solving necessary in our more complex, globalised or ‘post-political world’. This article seeks to genealogically trace the reworking of the human subject at stake in this shift away from the Enlightenment subject, highlighting how the limits to liberalism have been recast from external limits of socio-economic progress, to the internal limits of the human brain. In doing so, it focuses on the revival of interest in the work of Anthony Giddens in articulating a Third Way approach of empowering or producing the ‘autotelic’ subject – the rational and responsible citizen – which has been allegedly given powerful support from newly generated knowledge of the human brain and human behaviour.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

‘The Rise of Resilience: Rethinking Agency and Governance Interventions’, seminar presentation, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews. 4.30pm, School of International Relations, Lecture Theatre, Arts Faculty Building, The Scores.

Abstract: Resilience has increasingly become central to discourses of international security and international development. This paper seeks to examine the rise of resilience and explore how we reinterpret problems of security and development within this policy discourse. For many critical commentators it appears that resilience seeks to responsibilise subjects under global neo-liberal frameworks, for others it is possible for resilience discourses to empower and give agency to local, marginalised or subaltern actors. I will seek to draw out an alternative framework in which the rise of resilience can be understood, drawing both on critical constructivist and neo-institutionalist approaches to explain the shift away from 1990s idealist understandings of the global and also to highlight the problematic nature of the rise of understandings which pay much more attention to difference, the non- or a-liberal, the local, and the relevance of embedded subjectivities.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Public lecture, ‘European Union Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance’, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) in collaboration with the Department of Political Science and International Relations of the University of Geneva, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Time: 18.30. Location: Bungener Room, 22 Rothschild, Site Rothschild. No registration required. Full details and directions.

Monday 11 April 2011

‘From the External World to the Inner World: Rethinking ‘Human-Centred’ or ‘Agent-Centred’ Understandings of Development and Conflict’. Workshop with faculty members of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Geneva. 12h15-14h00, Salle M4276. Full details.

Abstract: In liberal frameworks of modernity, humanity was conceptualised as engaged in the rationalist project of constructing and transforming the external world. It appeared that the world had value and meaning – laws and regularities that we could understand and master – the external world was there for human progress. For Nietzsche this approach devalued the human subject which gave value to a world with no innate meaning or laws, for Marx the products of human labour were alienated through capitalist production, leading social relations to be fetishised as natural, equally devaluing the human. Both Nietzsche and Marx, in very different ways, argued that we lived in a human-centred world but these conceptions of human-centredness were very different to today’s. For both, human-centredness was a call to challenge the status-quo and to fulfil the potential of the human subject. Today, the dominant discourses of understanding see the world as non-amenable to human mastery, as globalised, complex, interdependent, networked, chaotic, even catastrophic – the developments of science and technology appear to confirm that the world cannot be shaped according to the values and needs of the human. In this context, what does ‘human-centred’ mean? Humanity is understood to have remade the world on the basis of the irrationality and unintended consequences of its actions – the unknowable, irregular world is the product of our own ‘manufactured uncertainty’, of man-made global warming, of the institutionalist path-dependencies of poor and contingent human choice-making. A human-centred world is one from which we seem to be entirely alienated. The chaos of this humanised world – no longer external to us – is increasingly sought to be understood through the internal life of the human, the irrationality of the human brain, the inability to make rational choices, the embeddedness of the subject. Today’s ‘human-centredness’ no longer clearly distinguishes the human from the external world and in emphasising our enbeddedness in the world, suggests that external transformation is no longer possible, merely an ongoing process of internal transformation in the form of resilience or adaptive efficiency. Drawing on Althusser’s conception of ‘a process without a subject’ and Arendt’s similar view of the human condition, this paper suggests that bringing in social theorising – understanding social relations and the subjectivities which reflect these – is essential to go beyond the nihilism of ‘world-centred’ frameworks of modernity and today’s ‘human-centred’ response to them.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Participant in the ‘Afghanistan Transition’ workshop, hosted by the Land Intelligence Fusion Centre (Afghanistan) LIFC(A), Bulford Camp, Salisbury. The aim of the workshop is to bring together Defence, other Whitehall departments and key academics to discuss current academic thinking and emerging UK policy on transition, in order to develop a common understanding of possible implications.

16-19 March 2011 – ISA Annual Convention ‘Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition’, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Tuesday 15 March 2011

Participant in the pre-convention workshop ‘Interrogating the Use of Norms in International Relations’ organised by the International Political Sociology Working Group.

‘The Rise and Rise of Norms demonstrates the Internalisation or the Shrinking of the Late-Liberal World’
Abstract: The rise of norms is one of the most marked features of international relations since the end of the Cold War. Norms have replaced discourses of realism – strategic or national interests – because norms refer to how we make decisions rather than what we do. Ethical foreign policy perspectives are a good example – these refer to the inner world of the state as a subject – the emphasis has shifted from a strategic, interest-based, engagement with the external world to our inner processes/values/ethics. The rise of norms tells us that the external world is less important for us. Norms ironically develop the less is at stake/the less meaning is derived from our external engagement. We are all constructivists now – ie we focus on our inner understandings of our choices and decisions rather than the consequences (a globalised world of manufactured risk, complexity and indeterminacy means that value/meaning can only have an internalized measure). The relationship between the external world and the inner world is transformed under late-liberalism – the humanizing of the world – the human manufacture of risk (eg. global warming) means that we are responsible (not in a liberal way – in legal or political terms – there is no rational autonomous subject, no conscious action, no mens rea) for unintended/unknowable consequences of our actions, therefore only norms can guide us. The Socratic question of ‘How one should live’ or, for Foucault, ‘the governance of the self’ has displaced the liberal modernist teleology of rational, instrumental external engagement in the cause of progress and development. The more the world shrinks for us, the more the understanding of the human subject as a transforming subject diminishes, the more we are reduced to norms – work on the self.

I begin to trace this internalization of the world in a draft paper on Foucault, Hayek, North, Sen etc in discourses of resilience and ‘development as freedom’ available here.


Wednesday 16 March 2011

10.30am Panel: The Security-Development Nexus: Open To Criticism?

Participants: Campbell, Bonnie (Chair) Chandler, David (Discussant)

Papers: Saliba-Couture: The Security-Development Nexus: From Obviousness to Ambiguity…; Stern and Ojendal: Tracing Security-Development Nexus(es): Discourse, Policy, Effect?; Thede: The Impact of Security Concerns in the Development Policies of Development Assistance Community (DAC) Member Countries Post-2001; Klein Goldewijk: Framing Violent Conflict and the Nexus Security-Development: Global Policies in Transition

Abstract: The security-development nexus is often described by policymakers and by certain researchers as the “new” watchword. However, the connections between security and development are largely debated between scholars; indeed, the nexus covers a wide range of subjects including: poverty reduction, “war on terrorism”, “fragile” and “failed” states, human security and human development, development aid, global governance, etc. Some academics question the existence of such links and are critical of the lack of empirical evidence upon which the rhetoric and the policies are founded. However, the purpose of this panel is not to “find” the would-be links between security and development or to generate “empirical evidence”, but rather to criticize the security-development nexus discourse, to question its use by policymakers and researchers, to highlight the lack of conceptualization and theorization of the nexus and to analyze its evolution and construction. In other words, the panelists will try to deconstruct the links and the discourse that have been constructed, to conceptualize and theorize what is still under-theorized and to question what is portrayed as unquestionable or, in other words, to criticize what is not open to criticism: the security-development nexus.


6.15-7.15pm Reception

Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding (5th Birthday Party). Salon 6, Sheraton.

Invitation postcard available for downloading here. Full list of ISA receptions and meeings here.


Thursday March 17 2011

4.30pm Panel: The Future of Statebuilding

Participants: Hehir, Aidan (Chair); Chesterman, Simon (Discussant)

Papers: Keranen: Negotiating the State: Contesting Statebuilding in Post-Conflict Bosnia; Paris: From Kublai Khan to David Petraeus: Relearning the Lessons of Externally Driven Statebuilding; Hameiri: The Future of State-Building and the Future of Statehood; Chandler: The International Statebuilding Paradigm

Abstract: In the wake of the problematic post-conflict management of statebuilding in Afghanistan and Iraq many commentators consider that international statebuilding has become discredited as a policy goal, while others argue that the international community has little choice but to participate in these exercises regardless of the limited possibilities of achieving the successes hoped for. This panel attempts to go beyond these limited and largely negative policy perspectives, both reflecting on the experience of international statebuilding and seeking to explain how our understandings of these policy practices have developed and cohered through discussions of the shifting nature and role of the state within emerging frameworks of global governance. We gather leading academics in the area – Simon Chesterman (Just War, Just Peace; You the People); Roland Paris (At War’s End; Dilemmas of Statebuilding); David Chandler (International Statebuilding; Empire in Denial) and Shahar Hameiri (Regulating Statehood) – to discuss the future of statebuilding. This is a tightly focused panel which it is hoped will generate academic insights and substantial audience interest.


Friday 18 March 2011

10.30am Panel: Critical Reflections on the Liberal Peace: Agency, Coercion, and Resistance

Participants: Chandler, David (Chair); Chandler, David (Discussant)

Papers: Rossdale: Deconstructing Humanitarian Intervention: The Case of East Timor; Graef: (In)capacitating, (Dis)empowering: Peacebuilding as Capacity Building in Liberia; Johnson: Unilateral Victory and the Sri Lankan Developmental State: Peace Without Politics?; O’Reilly: Muscular Interventionism: Gender, Power and Liberal Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina; LaRoche: Why Liberal Peace Theorists Should Stop Reading Kant (And Start Reading Hegel)

Abstract: After the Cold War, international peacebuilding interventions have focused on (re)building a ‘liberal peace’ through the (re)construction of liberal polities, economies and societies. The goal of transforming ‘war-shattered states’ into liberal-market economies has provoked substantial debates regarding the efficacy, legitimacy, and desirability of promoting/imposing democratisation and marketisation as catalysts for peace. Following critiques of liberal peacebuilding as a neo-colonial enterprise and biopolitical technology of security, scholars have redirected their focus onto the ability of host states/communities to resist, disregard or modify the discourse and practices of liberal interventionists. This panel extends and develops these critiques, highlighting under-examined theoretical and empirical aspects of the liberal peace project. Drawing on insights from liberal, feminist, post-structural and post-colonial theorists, the papers problematise liberal conceptualisations of ‘crisis’, ‘deviance’, ‘authority’, ‘responsibility’, ‘capacity’, ’empowerment’, ‘order’, ‘peace’, etc. used to rationalise and justify liberal peacebuilding in a variety of conflict-affected and post-conflict contexts. Key questions are raised regarding: the (in)capacitating, (dis)empowering and (de)politicising effects produced by liberal interventionism; and the agential power of local actors in their diverse efforts to comply with, or resist against, this dominant form of post-conflict reconstruction.


Saturday 19 March 2011

1.45pm Panel: Populations at Risk and the Political and Conceptual Challenges in Applying the Responsibility to Protect

Participants: Engstrom, Par (Chair); Serrano, Monica (Discussant)

Papers: Chandler: Understanding the Gap between the Promise and the Reality of ‘The Responsibility to Protect’; Berger: Burma and the Responsibility to Protect; Badescu and Bergholm: Darfur: Key Implemention Challenges; Pawnday: Responsibility to Protect and Iraq, Principle or Pragmatism; Kikoler: Applying Responsibility to Protect to the Big Guy, Nigeria

Abstract: Since 2005 the responsibility to protect (R2P) has been applied to only a select few cases, but what are the challenges to going beyond them? This panel seeks to explore the conceptual and political obstacles to do it through the study of four country situations: Nigeria, Burma, Iraq, and Darfur. All of them pose difficult questions to the operationalization of R2P and the intention of this panel is to address them. For instance, Nigeria is a regional leader resistant to external interference, thus in order for R2P to be effective with regard to the Plateau State, it must invoke Nigeria’s responsibility rather than the international community’s. In Iraq, applying R2P could be detrimental to the norm – yet atrocities are occurring and not using the language could be interpreted as a double standard. Atrocities in Burma are well known, however ASEAN and regional leaders invoke a respect for state sovereignty as justification for failing to put sincere pressure on the junta or taking action to halt atrocities in Burma in accordance with R2P. Finally, applying R2P to Darfur has led to few real tangible results risk raising questions about the utility of applying the norm at all.

Saturday 12 March 2011

‘The Problematic of Control in a ‘Global’ World’, panel paper for ‘Taking Control’ conference, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Programme and further information will be available here.

Abstract: The problematic of what it means to strive for or to seize control under late/biopolitical/neoliberal/globalized capitalism is central to rethinking the politics of resistance today. This paper argues that the construction of the problem already highlights how the problem of control has been essentialized or naturalized by indicating that the problematic is driven by external changes – by the coming into being of a ‘global’ world. It will be suggested that the construction of the ‘global’ is an ideological one which inverses cause and effect and rearticulates a hegemonic consensus on the radical separation of power from institutionalized political contestation. Ironically, this separation was first articulated by elitist liberal/ cosmopolitan theorists seeking to shortcut the problems of representative politics in the 1990s: reflected in discussions of “international society”, “emerging global norms”, “cosmopolitan law”, “global civil society”, etc. In the 2000s, many radical or critical theorists sought to critique this idealist view: asserting that instead of a world of politics without power relations we had the emergence of global power beyond the reach of politics. Power unleashed from politics became a free-standing, globally-networked and multi-noded “empire” with no fixed centre, making the seizure of control an impossible guide to resistance. This paper argues that it is precisely this shift to the “global” that needs to be challenged, rather than taken for granted as a “truth” of which we only became aware with the discovery of “globalization” or the shift to “biopolitical production”. This paper argues that the problematic of control is not located at the level of objective, external, changes in the nature of globalised capitalism but rather in changes at the level of subjectivity. Drawing on my recent Pluto book Hollow Hegemony (2009) I suggest that it is possible to articulate a Marxist understanding of the ‘loss’ of control which reinstates the necessity of control as the organizing basis of political resistance.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

‘International State-Building: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance’ seminar presentation, Centre for Global Security and Development, Queen Mary, University of London. Further details here.

Monday 7 March 2011

‘International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance’, Research in Progress, seminar presentation, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex. 4.00 – 5.30pm. Further details here.

3-4 March 2011

‘Where is the Human in Human-Centered approaches to Development?: A Foucauldian Critique of Amartya Sen’s ‘Development as Freedom’, paper for ‘Reading Michel Foucault in the Postcolonial Present: A Symposium ‘. University of Bologna, Italy, March 3-4, 2011.

Abstract: This paper engages with Foucault’s critique of neoliberal frameworks of governmental rationality to develop a genealogical approach to the understanding of the subject within development discourses. In today’s dominant conceptualization of human-centered approaches to development, individual autonomy or freedom is the central motif for understanding the problematic of development. Human agency has been placed at the centre and is increasingly seen to be the measure of development, in terms of individual capabilities. The individualized understanding of development takes a rational choice perspective of the individual or ‘the agent-orientated view’ (Sen 1999: 11). This paper seeks to critically engage with the view of the human and of human agency articulated within this approach. In this discourse, development is taken out of an economic context of GNP growth or industrialization, or a social and political context in which development policies are shaped by social and political pressures or state-led policies. The discursive framing of development, in terms of empowerment and capacity-building centers on the individual responsibility of the post-colonial or post-conflict subject, and has rightly been critiqued for its emphasis on ‘non-material development’, which has tended to reinforce global inequalities of wealth (Duffield 2007), and as marking ‘the demise of the developing state’ (Pupavac 2007), as the poor are increasingly seen to be the agents of change and poverty reduction, bearing policy responsibility rather than external actors. This paper genealogically draws out the changing nature of western discourses of development and the understanding of policy practices as promoting the empowerment of the post-colonial other in order to examine how development and autonomy have been radically differently articulated in discourses of Western power and how today’s discursive framing feeds on and transforms colonial and early post-colonial approaches.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Round table panellist: ‘Resilience: Friend or Foe?’: A Round Table featuring leading scholars in the field debating the pitfalls and opportunities of resilience as a governance strategy today.

With: Prof Frank Furedi, Canterbury; Prof David Chandler, Westminster; Prof Katrina Brown, UEA; Dr Mike Raco, King’s College London; Prof Phil O’Keefe, Northumberland.

Resilience has fast become a key discourse in political and environmental circles and has posed a challenge to previously hegemonic concepts like sustainability. A once technical term used in relation to ecological systems, resilience is now used to describe the ability of social and political communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from moments of so-called crisis. Today it is not only being used by radical activists as a potentially empowering concept but is also deployed by governments as a new technique for governing.

Time: 5.00 – 8.00pm
Venue: Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW. Location details here.

Please register here.
The event will include a wine Reception.

21-22 February 2011

‘The Ontology of Danger: Recasting the Human Subject in Discourses of Vulnerability and Resilience’, conference paper for the panel ‘Ontologisations of Danger’ at the ‘Problematising Danger’ workshop, organised by the Emerging Securities Unit at Keele University and the Centre for International Relations at King’s College London. The workshop will take place at The River Room, King’s College London, Strand Campus. Programme available here.

Abstract: This paper explores how danger has acquired an ontological status taken as a starting assumption in discourses of global insecurity, particularly at the interventionist nexus of policy-making in relation to state failure, conflict and underdevelopment. The key point it makes is that framings of human rationality are held to make us dangerous subjects – permanently subjected to danger – with the solution to vulnerability being the universalising of preventive intervention with the goal of the empowerment and capacity- or capability-building of the subject to enable resilience to, in and through danger. Modern liberal rationality is constructed as making us vulnerable through the hubris of universalizing, linear, teleological views of progress – and the policy interventions reflective of this. Equally, pre-modern frameworks of rationality, reproduced through the path-dependencies of social orders, are held to make us vulnerable through their role in the reproduction of power relations in states making the transition to liberal modernity. In both cases the rationalities of power and knowledge are held to perpetuate danger reproducing both the frailties and vulnerabilities of peoples and ecosystems. The dominant policy-solution of the empowerment, voice and capability-building of those marginalised from power is held to enable social resilience and the management of vulnerabilities. This perspective which accords danger with grounding ontological status is critically engaged with here, through the work of Amartya Sen, new-institutionalist economics and Foucault’s birth of biopolitics, suggesting that the discourse of vulnerability, empowerment and resilience can easily rationalise the status quo and reinterpret social, economic and political problems in therapeutic frameworks, problematically suggesting that work on the self can resolve problems in the absence of any transformation of social relations.

Friday 11 February 2011

Attending the kick-off meeting for the advisory group of the EU 7th Framework Cultures of Governance and Conflict Resolution in Europe and India (CORE) project, European Office of the Norwegian Research Council, Brussels.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

‘International Statebuilding and the Post-Liberal Subject’ seminar presentation at the Centre for International Relations, Department of War Studies, King’s College London. 5.30pm War Studies Meeting Room k6.07 Chair Professor Vivienne Jabri. Further information here.

Abstract: Dominant discourses of international relations construe the international sphere in terms of liberal discourses of universality, statehood, democracy and markets. Counterintuitively, this paper suggests that discursively the liberal sphere of understanding is diminishing and that international statebuilding approaches increasingly construct the limits of liberalism as external – embodied in the allegedly non-liberal states and societies which constitute the sphere of international statebuilding policy-intervention. It suggests that the critique of liberal universals and Cartesian linearities is not the preserve of critical sociology but has been central to neoliberal, new institutionalist and biopolitical discourses which have been increasingly sharply articulated in the statebuilding literature, casting light on discussions of Third Way post-political approaches which construe the international in terms which discredit ideas of non-Western autonomy as well as of Western capacity and responsibility. This paper draws on the author’s recently published monograph International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance and on material for a forthcoming book on Resilience, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

Monday 31 January 2011

‘The Liberal West and Non-Liberal Other? Rethinking the Core Problematic of International Relations’, research lecture presentation, Helmut-Schmidt-Universitaet, Universitaet der Bundeswehr, Hamburg, Hauptbiblitothek, 19.00 Uhr.

Abstract: It seems that no discussion or critique of statebuilding interventions can take place today without engaging with the limits of liberal frameworks and assumptions, particularly in so far as these involve certain assumptions about the ways in which knowledge is gained, reproduced and applied. This presentation will reflect upon the shifting articulation of knowledge, critique and policy practices through the paradigm of statebuilding. In doing so, Chandler will draw upon his recent monograph International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberalism (Routledge 2010).

Vortrag von Prof. David Chandler “Liberal West and Non-Liberal Other?…” Auf Einladung von Prof. Dr. Annette Jünemann, Lehrstuhl für Politikwissenschaft, insbesondere Internationale Politik, spricht Prof. David Chandler, Univ. of Westminster, am 31.01.2011, um 19:00 Uhr, zum Thema “Liberal West and Non-Liberal Other? Rethinking the Core Problematic of International Relations?”
Alle interessierten Studierenden und Angehörigen der HSU sind hierzu herzlich eingeladen.
Die Veranstaltung findet in der Hauptbibliothek statt. Further information here.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

‘International Statebuilding’, Politics and International Studies departmental seminar presentation at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Event takes place at Russell Square: College Buildings, 4418, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Further information here.

Friday 17 December 2010

David Chandler will be giving the opening keynote presentation ‘The Post-Liberal Governance of Transnational Insecurity’ and chairing an afternoon panel at the Postgraduate Conference ‘Questioning Transnationalism: Culture, Politics and Media’, hosted by the Departments of Media, Arts and Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway College, University of London.

This interdisciplinary postgraduate conference focuses on transnationalism and securitisation, issues of increasing relevance in both Politics and International Relations, and Media and Film Studies. In both disciplines, there is currently a prevailing tendency to conceive of borders as ever increasingly permeable elements in a globalising world. Within this framework, the major aims of this international conference are threefold: to question the extent and limitations of transnationalism; to analyse the cultural and political functions of transnational actors and the impact of new communication technologies such as the internet in the contemporary world; and finally to encourage interdisciplinary approaches and critical perspectives in the studies of transnationalism.

Registration and further details here.

Monday 13 December 2010

David Chandler will be a panellist on the closing roundtable ‘Intervention in the Post-Cold War World’, the 4th of the ESRC Seminar Series: Intervention in the Modern World, Col.B212, Columbia House, London School of Economics. For more information on the seminar series click here.

Monday 6 December 2010

David Chandler will be an external examiner for a PhD thesis at the Department of Politics, Birkbeck University of London.

3-4 December 2010

David Chandler will be presenting a paper ‘Born Posthumously: Rethinking the Shared Characterstics of the R2P and the ICC’, for the panel ‘The Politics of the International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect’ at the international conference ‘The International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect: Synergies and Tensions’, held at the Erik Castren Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. Poster for event here. Tentative programme here.

26-28 November 2010

David Chandler will be presenting a paper ‘Insecure Subjects: Vulnerability, Empowerment and Resilience’, at ‘Vulnerability: A Symposium’, hosted by the Postcolonial Studies Research Network’, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. For programme click here.

Monday 8 November 2010

David Chandler will be speaking on smoking and therapeutic governance at the Rochester Film Salon event ‘Smoke gets in Your Eyes: An Exploration of Celluloid and Cigarettes’. A screening of vintage anti-smoking public information films. Come to a relaxed and informal evening open to all. 7.30pm for 8.00pm. Free of charge. Room G3-04, Gillingham Bulding, University of Kent, Chatham Maritime, Chatham. Click here for flyer.

Friday 5 November 2010

David Chandler will be giving the opening keynote address on ‘The Limits of Liberal Peacebuilding’ at the international conference ‘NATO’s Provincial Reconstruction in Afghanistan in a Comparative Perspective’, hosted by the Centre for Security Studies, Metropolitan University, Prague, Czech Republic. Programme available here.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘Law and Governance: Intervention, Regulation and the “Rule of Law”‘ for the Law School Research Seminar, University of Westminster, London.

Saturday 30 October 2010

David Chandler will be the external examiner for a PhD thesis at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland, Finland.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

David Chandler will be speaking on smoking and therapeutic governance at the Rochester Film Salon event ‘Smoke gets in Your Eyes: An Exploration of Celluloid and Cigarettes’. A screening of vintage anti-smoking public information films. Come to a relaxed and informal evening open to all. 7.30pm for 8.00pm. Free of charge – Wine will be served. Rochester Independent College, 254 St Margaret’s Bank, High Street, Rochester (Opposite Rochester Station, next to Medway Little Theatre).

21-22 October 2010

David Chandler will be giving a keynote presentation on ‘Empowering the Individual? The Limits of Solidarity and Citizenship beyond the State’ at the international conference ‘Strangeness and Familiarity: Global Unity and Diversity in Human Rights and Democracy’ at the Institute voor Multiculturele Vraagstukken, Groningen University, Netherlands. Further information here.

Saturday 17 October 2010

David Chandler will be chair and discussant for the panel ‘IR’s Disciplinary Dialogue’ at the Millennium Journal of International Studies annual conference ‘International Relations in Dialogue, 16-17 October 2010, Clement House, London School of Economics, London. Full programme available here.

30 September – 1 October 2010

David Chandler will be giving a paper on ‘The Dangers of Too Much Autonomy: The New Discourse of Democracy Promotion’ at the panel session ‘Exporting Democracy: Dangers and Pitfalls’ at the conference Can and Should All Countries become Democracies’, organised by the Globalization Programme and the Programme for Applied Ethics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. For further details click here.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

David Chandler will be speaking at a panel discussion on the ‘Forthcoming Elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina in October 2010’ with Maja Nenadovic (University of Amsterdam), Aleksandra Letic (Helsinki Assembly of Republika Srpska) and other speakers tbc. The event is organized by the Dutch Institute for Political Participation (IPP) and IKV/Pax-Christi, Utrecht, Netherlands.

24-25 September 2010

David Chandler will be giving a paper on ‘Statebuilding in Bosnia’ at the international conference ‘State Building in Divided Societies of the Post-Ottoman World’, organised by the Middle East Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Lebanese Association for Sociology, Institute of Political Sciences, University Saint Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon. Full programme available here.

20-21 September 2010

David Chandler will be giving the opening presentation ‘Questioning the Liberal Peace’ at the ‘Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Peace Building Seminar’, organised by the African Institute for Security Studies, Stellenbosch, South Africa. For programme click here.

9-11 September 2010

David Chandler will be presenting, chairing and a roundtable discussant at the 7th European Consortium for Political Research, Standing Group on International Relations conference, Stockholm University, Sweden. For more information click here.

Friday, 10 September, 4:15 PM – 6:00 PM World Community and World Order Chair: Yevgeni Roschin Discussant: Yevgeni Roschin Papers: Should States Have a Legal Right to Reputation? Applying the Rationales of Defamation Law to the International Arena Elad Peled; Transnational Business Actors – The Kingmakers of International Regimes? Andreas N Uhre; Beyond the International? Its the Same but Different: R2P, Human Rights and Sovereignty in a Post-Liberal World David Chandler; The New Nomos of the Earth: Towards a Critical Geo-politics of Global Terror and Counter-Terror Andreas Behnke

Saturday, 11 September, 9:00 AM – 10:45 AM Guardians of Peace: UN-Peacekeeping and Beyond Chair: David Chandler Discussant: Silke Weinlich Papers: Reinstating Order: How International Organizations Transfer the State Monopoly on Violence Ursula Schroeder; A New Focus on Known Security Actors: Spoiler Problems Within Peace Operations Frederik Trettin and Julian Junk; UN engagement of armed non-state actors: an argument for analytical eclecticism John E. Karlsrud

Saturday, 11 September, 11:15 AM – 1:00 PM What does it mean to be ‘critical’? Chair: Ian Bruff Roundtable Discussants: Susanne Soederberg, Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, David Chandler and Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

Friday 3 September 2010

David Chandler will be giving the closing keynote presentation ‘Neither International nor Global: Rethinking the Problematic Subject of Security’ at the 10th Annual Conference of the Global Studies Association, ‘Globalization and International Relations’, Merton College, University of Oxford.

Thursday 2 September 2010

David Chandler will be attending a workshop for policy-makers followed by joining a roundtable panel discussion on ‘Local Ownership, Sustainability of Development and Comprehensive Peace-building Efforts’, with Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuçi, Minister of Internal Affairs of Kosovo, Mr. Bajram Rexhepi and the Deputy Head of the EULEX Mission, Mr. Roy Reeve, organised by the Tampere Peace Research Institute and sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to held at the Seminar Hall, Faculty of Philology, University of Pristina, Kosovo. Flyer here.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

David Chandler will be speaking at a book launch for International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance, hosted by the Kosova Institute for Regional Development and Euro-Atlantic Studies (IDEAS) at the Auditorium, National Library, Pristina, Kosovo. Flyer here.

Thursday 17 June 2010

David Chandler will be attending the University of Aberdeen, School of Social Science, MA exam board as the external examiner for International Relations.

9 – 10 June 2010

David Chandler will be presenting at the ‘Intervention and Statebuilding’ and ‘Securities and their Subjects’ panels with Tony Lang, Julian Reid, Aidan Hehir, Tara McCormack and Tom Moore at the inauguration of the Westminster University Security and International Relations programme. The keynote is Professor James Der Derian, Watson Institute. Further information available here.

26 – 28 May 2010

David Chandler will be presenting a paper, ‘Empowering the Individual? The Limits of Solidarity and Citizenship beyond the State’ at the panel ‘Human Rights and European and Global Citizenship’ at the conference ‘The Dynamics of Citizenship in the Post-Political World’, held at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University. More information available here.

Thursday 20 May 2010

David Chandler will be attending the second seminar in the ESRC series ‘Rethinking Intervention, Intervention in the Modern World’ – ‘Intervention, Revolution and War in the Long Nineteenth Century’, Bristol University. More information on the seminar series (RES-451-26-0667) available here.

Monday 17 May 2010

David Chandler will be participating at the Oxfam ‘Words on Monday’ event ‘No Return to Realpolitik’.

Time: 19:00
Venue: Hall One, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
Price: £9.50

Curated by Oxfam

British foreign policy that protects civilians from armed conflict is good for them – and good for Britain

Whatever the outcome of the general election, Britain’s foreign policy over the next five years faces momentous challenges. This major debate could hardly be more topical, asking some of the toughest questions that, under any Government, the UK will face. Should Britain help distant countries find peace? Can we do it effectively, and do we benefit? Or, in a dangerous world, should we shed the illusion of shared interests and revert to an honest realpolitik based on national interest?

Introduction by Barbara Stocking, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB
Chaired by Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East Editor

Speakers to propose the motion:
Edward Davey MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary
Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph columnist

Speakers to oppose the motion:
Peter Oborne, Daily Mail Political columnist
David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster

To book and seat and for further information, click here.

‘The ‘liberal interventionists’ and ‘realists’ are both complacent Realpolitik is not the answer to the failures of the Iraq invasion – there’s no such thing as an ethically neutral foreign policy’, David Wearing, Comment Is Free, Guardian, 21 May 2010, available here.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

David Chandler will be chairing the second session of the conference ‘Killer Narratives: The Destructive Impact of Collective Nightmares’, University of Westminster, London. Keynote speakers include Professor Mahmood Mamdami, University of Columbia. Further information here.

22 – 24 April 2010

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘Normative Power, Member-Statebuilding and the Rise of Post-Liberal Governance’, at the GARNET conference, ‘The European Union in International Affairs II’, Vrije University, Brussels. More information available here.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘The Re-Centering of the Subject? Rethinking Autonomy, Agency and Resilience’ at the Department of Politics and International Relations, ‘Research in Progress’ seminar, 3.00pm, University of Westminster, Wells Street.

24 – 26 March 2010

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘The EU and Post-Liberal Governance’ at the Belgrade University conference, ‘Europe in the Emerging World Order: Searching for a New Paradigm’, taking place at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Kraljice Natalije, 45, Belgrade.

Monday 22 February 2010

David Chandler will be appearing on BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight programme with Robin Lustig, on a panel broadcast from the Chatham House conference, ‘Fragile States and the International Community’, organized in association with Radio 4. Radio programme available here (audio file here).

17-20 February 2010

International Studies Association, 51st Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA, USA.

FC03: Friday 1:45 PM – 3:30 PM
Beyond the Critique of the Liberal Peace I
Panel Sponsor(s): European Consortium for Political Research
Chair Susanna P. Campbell, Tufts University
Disc. David Chandler, University of Westminster
Governmentality Without Government: a Critical Examination of Post-conflict Disarmament Practices – Keith Raymond Krause: Graduate Institute, Geneva
The Hybrid Peace – Roger MacGinty: St. Andrew’s University
Beyond the Metropolis: Postconflict Peacebuilding and Everyday Lives – David Roberts: University of Ulster
Liberal Imperialism in Africa? A Post-colonial Approach to Decision-making, Agency and Power in Practice – Meera Sabaratnam: London School of Economics and Political Science
Peacebuilding as a Liberal Project: Pathways to Institutionalization in International Organizations – Ole Jacob Sending: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

FD03: Friday 3:45 PM – 5:30 PM
Beyond the Critique of the Liberal Peace II
Roundtable Sponsor(s): Peace Studies
Chair Meera Sabaratnam, London School of Economics and
Political Science
Participant David Chandler, University of Westminster
Participant Severine Autesserre, Barnard College, Columbia
Participant Oliver Richmond, Rethinking Peace and Conflict
Participant Bruce D. Jones, New York University
Participant Robert Rotberg, Harvard University
Participant Susanna P. Campbell, Tufts University
Participant Paul Jackson, University of Birmingham

SA43: Saturday 8:30 AM – 10:15 AM
Global Justice on Trial: Dissenting Opinions on International Criminal Tribunals
Panel Sponsor(s): International Law
Chair Dov Jacobs, European University Institute
Disc. David Chandler, University of Westminster
The Question of Justice: Radhabinod Pal’s Dissent at the Tokyo Trials – Latha Varadarajan: San Diego State University
The Political Distortions of the ICC in Africa: Administration, Security, and Uncertainty – Adam R. Branch: San Diego State University
No Power, No Justice? Justice at the Nuremberg and Hague Versus Justice at the Russell Tribunal and the World Tribunal on Iraq – Jonathan Graubart: San Diego State University
“I Don’t Think I Would Give my Story”: Global Justice for Women at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – Jonneke Koomen: Willamette University

4 – 5 February 2010

BISA British Foreign Policy Working Group / Foreign and Commonwealth Office Workshop: ‘British Foreign Policy for the 21st Century’, India Office Council Chamber, FCO, Whitehall.

Panel 3: Ethics I.
Chair: Prof Mervyn Frost (Kings)
Discussant: Prof David Chandler (Westminster)
Prof Tim Dunne (Exeter) ‘Britain’s role in international society”
Dr Jamie Gaskarth (Plymouth) ‘British “leadership” and the ethics of British foreign policy’
Dr Jason Ralph (Leeds) ‘Another doctrine of international community?: Multilateralism and human rights in the special relationship after Bush.

Further details available here.

Thursday 17 December 2009

David Chandler will be rapporteur and external examiner for a PhD viva at the École des Sciences Politiques / Sciences Po, Paris.

14-16 December 2009

British International Studies Association (BISA) Annual Conference, Leicester University.

David Chandler will be co-convening panel 2.4 ‘Reassessing Critiques of Liberal Peace’, papers will be: David Chandler (Westminster) – The Uncritical Critique of Liberal Peace; Susanna Campbell (Tufts) – Determining Peace: rules, routines, and risk in international peacebuilding; Meera Sabaratnam (LSE) – Decolonising critique: ‘subject’ responses to the liberal peace in Mozambique; Timor Sharan (Exeter) – The Liberal Peace in Afghanistan; Philip Cunliffe (Kent) – Liberal Peace and Political Autonomy

He will also be discussant for panel 5.11 ‘EU, Democracy Promotion and Normative Power: Neo-Colonialism in EU’s External Relations’, papers will be Milja Kurki (Aberystwyth) – Why concepts matter: ‘Democracy’ in EU Democracy Promotion; Giselle Bosse (Maastricht) – From Neo-Colonial Governance to Genuine Partnership?; Elena Korosteleva (Aberystwyth) – Ready, Steady, Go: Is the EaP a Suitable Framework for Dealing with Eastern Europe?; Tom Casier (Kent) – The EU and its Eastern Neighbours: a Hierarchy of Interests?; Michelle Pace (Birmingham) – Liminality in EU-Hamas Relations

More information here.

2-4 December 2009

David Chandler will be teaching an intensive 6 session course, ‘Debating Liberal Peace(building)’ at the Department of International Relations, Charles University, Prague. Draft session outline and readings available here.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Debate and book launch: What is Radical Politics Today? With presentations by David Chandler, Doreen Massey and Saskia Sassen.

1.30pm, 25th November 2009, Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1Y 5BJ

Those who are interested in attending should contact Catherine Fieschi (Director of Counterpoint, The Think Tank of the British Council). More information here.

What is Radical Politics Today? Published November 2009, by Palgrave Macmillan. Edited by Jonathan Pugh. Including original contributions from Zygmunt Bauman, Frank Furedi, Paul Kingsnorth, James Heartfield, Terrell Carver, Clare Short, Edward W. Soja, David Chandler, Hilary Wainwright, Dora Apel, Michael J. Watts, Jason Toynbee, James Martin, Jeremy Gilbert and Jo Littler, Doreen Massey, Gregor McLennan, Tariq Modood, Nick Cohen, Amir Saeed and David Bates, Alastair Bonnett, Ken Worpole, Sheila Jasanoff, Nigel Thrift, Will Hutton, Saul Newman, Chantal Mouffe, David Featherstone, Alejandro Colas and Jason Edwards, David Boyle, and Saskia Sassen.

The project is ongoing, through the Radical Politics Today magazine and events. See The Space of Democracy homepage.

Recommendations for What is Radical Politics Today?

‘This collection is a model for the kinds of discussion we need to move forward.’ — Michael Hardt, co-author of Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth.

‘We need this sort of sustained critical discussion of the kinds of alternative politics available to us.’ — James Tully (University of Victoria).

‘A major contribution to the ongoing debate on the problems of our times.’ — Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Saturday 21 November 2009

David Chandler will be joining Leeds Salon to debate the meaning of ‘global politics’ as part of the Together for Peace ‘Leeds Summat’, to be held at Leeds University Union. For more information go to the Leeds Salon website www.leedssalon.org.uk, also visit the Together for Peace website here.

Thursday 19 November 2009

David Chandler will be discussant for Vanessa Pupavac’s paper on ‘Emotional well-being in international politics’ at the seminar ‘Emotional well-being in education: implications for policy, pedagogy and purposes’, Nottingham University (part of the ESRC funded seminar series ‘Changing the Subject: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Emotional Well-Being and Social Justice’).

11-14 November 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘The EU and Southeastern Europe: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance’ at the 4th Annual Conference of the GARNET Network of Excellence (Global Governance, Regionalisation and Regulation: The Role of the EU)  convened by the Research Centre of International Economics (CIDEI), Sapienza University, Rome. More information here.

9-10 November 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘Culture and the Ethics of Peacebuilding’ at the workshop on ‘Liberal Peace and the Ethics of Peacebuilding’, organised at the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO), Oslo.

6-8 November 2009

David Chandler will be participating in the Inter-Disciplinary Net, 5th Global Conference on Pluralism, Inclusion and Citizenship, Salzburg, Austria.

Wednesday 28 October 2009 (repeated Saturday 31 October 2009)

David Chandler will be appearing as an expert witness on Radio 4’s Moral Maze.

The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has opened at the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He faces 11 counts of genocide, including complicity in the Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed. It was one of the worst acts of atrocity in Europe since the Second World War. But is what we are about to see justice or revenge – A show trial organised by the victors, with TV coverage broadcast throughout the world, and eagerly viewed, especially in the Balkans. Can there ever be any morally certain and globally acceptable definition of what constitutes a war crime or will pragmatism and real politique always get in the way?

John Laughland, author of Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice, and A History of Political Trials from Charles I to Saddam Hussein.
Geoffrey Nice, the British QC who led the prosecution of the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosovic.
Professor David Chandler, Professor of International Relations at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster and editor of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding.
Mark Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association.

Wed 28 Oct 2009 20:00 BBC Radio 4
Sat 31 Oct 2009 22:15 BBC Radio 4

Listen to the programme here.

17-18 October 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper, ‘What do we do when we Critique Liberalism?’ at the Millennium Annual Conference ‘After Liberalism’, London School of Economics. More information here. Draft paper available here.

Friday 9 October 2009

David Chandler will be co-respondent to Roland Paris’ keynote presentation ‘Statebuilding in Theory and Practice’ at the conference ‘The Future of Statebuilding: Ethics Power and Responsibility in International Relations’, University of Westminster. More information here.

Thursday 1 October 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a seminar paper on the ‘Uncritical Critique of Liberal Peace’ at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, School of International Relations, St Andrews University.

Monday 21 September 2009

David Chandler will be participating in the one day workshop, ‘Evaluating Peace Agreements’, at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University (part of the department’s ‘Peace Agreement Evaluation’ project, sponsored by the UN Mediation Support Unit and the Canadian government).

2-4 September 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘The EU and Bosnia: Normative Power and the Liberal Peace’ and chairing a roundtable session on ‘The Problems and Perspectives of Peacebuilding in Bosnia’, at the European Union Peacebuilding Framework (7) conference, ‘Delivering Just and Durable Peace? Evaluating EU Peacebuilding strategies in the Western Balkans’, Sarajevo.

early June – late August 2009, Japan

David Chandler will be taking up a Visiting Professorship at the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Japan.

Teaching at Kobe University

His 15 lecture course on International Statebuilding, Biopolitics and Post-Liberal Institutionalism will run from 8 June until 27 July. The outline is available here.

Other teaching

David Chandler will be giving an intensive series of lectures on International Statebuilding at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo, 16-20 June.


Friday 3 July 2009

Liberal War, Resilience and Subjectivity

Chair: Giorgio Shani (Ritsumeikan University)


Julian Reid (King’s College, London) ‘Resilience: Beyond the Security-Development Nexus’

David Chandler (Westminster University) ‘The Resilient Subject and Statebuilding’

Time: 1.30pm

Venue: College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto.

Tuesday 30 June 2009

Global Politics: A Critical Engagement

Chair: Professor Sorpong Peou (Sophia University)


David Chandler (Westminster University) ‘Why Japan Can’t Think the Global’

Gideon Baker (Griffith University) ‘Globality and Hospitality’

Julian Reid (King’s College, London) ‘Life, Globality, Politics’

17.00 – 19.00, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, Tokyo.

Further information available here.

Saturday 27 June 2009

The Uses and Limits of Critical Foucaultian Perspectives in IR

Hiroyuki Tosa (Kobe University)

David Chandler (Westminster University) ‘Forget Foucault, Forget Foucault, Forget Foucault… ’ paper available here.

Julian Reid (King’s College, London) ‘The Biopolitics of the War on Terror’

Giorgiandrea Shani (Ritsumeikan University)
Kosuke Shimizu (Ryukoku University)

Time: 14:00-17:00pm

Venue: Room 1002, 10th floor, Kwansei Gakuin University, Umeda Campus, Osaka. For map click here.
Up to end of May 2009

Thursday 14 May 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on  ‘Global Governance and the Practice of Statebuilding’ at the workshop ‘State-building, International Intervention and Legitimation’ at the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies, University of Exeter.

Abstract: The inability to articulate policy frameworks for the projection of power internationally has meant that the responsibility for policy-making is continually being deferred to other institutions in frameworks of global governance. This paper considers why this process increasingly tends to take the form of international statebuilding. It will be suggested that the non-Western state is being brought back into discussions of the international sphere in the attempt to evade the problems of cohering international policy processes. The failed or failing state is being constructed as the focal point for policy-making rather than Western states or international institutions. First, it will consider how the demand for joined-up policy-making and coherence has been displaced to the level of the object of intervention: the institutions of the target state. Secondly, it will briefly consider how this works in the specific examples of international statebuilding in the Balkans and in Afghanistan, where, in both cases, the problems of policy-coherence have led to increasingly ad hoc and unaccountable mechanisms of ‘global’ governance which operate on a local level.

8-9 May 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on EU Statebuilding in Bosnia at the international conference ‘The European Union and State-building: Lessons for and from the Balkans’, at the Institute of European Studies, University of Toronto.

1 – 5 May 2009

David Chandler will be giving a presentation at the October 7 University near Tripoli and visiting other insitutions in the Libyan capital as part of a University of Westminster delegation.

Wednesday 29 April 2009

David Chandler will be introducing Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985) at the Rochester Film Salon, Rochester, Kent.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

David Chandler will be giving a lunchtime presentation on Critical Approaches to International Statebuilding, Centre for Security Studies, Metropolitan University, Prague. Click here for further information.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

David Chandler will be an external examiner for a PhD viva at the School of International Studies, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.

Monday 16 March 2009

David Chandler will be giving a seminar, ‘The European Imperative: Rescuing the Balkans’ as part of the Institute for the Studies of European Transformations, Spring 2009 Seminar series, ‘New Europe: Security, Politics and Cultural Change’, London Metropolitan University.

Abstract: This paper will consider the framework of European identity and post-interest politics projected by the EU in the Balkans. The EU frames its projection of policy as a post-sovereign, post-national, post-political actor. This identity and framework of policy presentation has been shaped and sharpened through engagement with the Balkans and the rescue of the Balkans through the empowering/ capacity-building process of statebuilding. In this informal discussion of the core themes of the projection of the European project we will try and draw out why issues such as human rights, the rule of law, anti-corruption, civil society and social inclusion are at the centre of the EU’s approach. In this way a distinction will be made with traditional liberal or neoliberal discourses of power projection – which have much less focus on regulatory institutions: prioritising the market as sufficient to guide and shape development or emphasising democracy in terms of autonomy from external constraint.

5-7 March 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on R2P at the international symposium ‘Imperfect Duties? Humanitarian Intervention in Africa and the Responsibility to Protect in a Post-Iraq Era’, Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw Universty, Indiana. Invited experts include: Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Princeton; Bertrand Badie, Science Po-CERI; Anne Orford, Australian Professorial Fellow and Director of the Institute for International Law and Humanities at the Melbourne School of Law. Final programme available here.

Wednesday 25 February 2009

David Chandler will be giving a presentation, ‘What do we mean when we say that we live in a Global World or participate in Global Politics?’, at the Department of Political, International and Policy Studies, University of Surrey.

Abstract: Even before the credit crunch it was a commonplace to describe the world we live in as ‘global’ or to preface discussions with an acceptance that the world was rapidly ‘globalising’. This presentation seeks to question what it means politically to understand the world in global terms. Why is it that the world has become global? When did global consciousness develop and what does it express about ourselves and our social and political relationships? Why do we think of ourselves as global citizens, with global responsibilities? Can politics exist in a global world? Is global politics just nation-based politics writ large or does it express a very different normative content? Professor David Chandler discusses some themes from his forthcoming book Hollow Hegemony: Rethinking Global Politics, Power and Resistance.

15-18 February 2009

International Studies Association, 50th annual convention, New York Marriott Marquis, Broadway, New York. Further information.


Sunday 15 February 2009

2:15 PM

What Has Foucault Done for International Relations? Roundtable

Sponsors: International Political Sociology

Chair, David Chandler, University of Westminster

Roundtable Participant, R.B.J. Walker, University of Victoria
Roundtable Participant, Mustapha Kamal Pasha, University of Aberdeen
Roundtable Participant, Siba Grovogui, Johns Hopkins University
Roundtable Participant, Didier Bigo, Sciences-Po Paris
Roundtable Participant, Giorgio Shani, Ritsumeikan University
Roundtable Participant, Andrew Neal, University of Edinburgh
Roundtable Participant, Asli Calkivik, University of Minnesota

Abstract: The 25th anniversary of Foucault’s death affords us an opportunity to focus on his legacy for International Relations (IR). Foucault’s influence can be discerned in the development of poststructuralist approaches to IR from the 1980s onwards, particularly in the work of theorists such as Richard Ashley, David Campbell, James Der Derian, and Rob Walker. Furthermore, Foucault has – through the appropriation of his work by Edward Said – indirectly influenced the development of postcolonial IR theory. Specifically, Foucault has been deployed in three main ways in IR: to provide genealogies of the origins and practices of the modern, Westphalian state-system or “international society”; to critique conventional or “foundational” theories of international relations; and finally, to problematize the relationship between knowledge, ethics and power within the “discipline” of IR. Moreover, Foucault’s central claim that theory cannot be divorced from power relations has been used to reinforce the hegemony of realism within IR theory. Focusing on the central question of “what has Foucault done for IR?”, this roundtable will take stock of the achievements, transformations and limitations of the introduction of Foucault’s sociological insights and powerful epistemological critique to the discipline of IR.


Sunday 15 February 2009

4:15 PM

What Have Foucaultians Done for International Relations? Roundtable

Sponsors: International Political Sociology

Chair, Giorgio Shani, Ritsumeikan University

Roundtable Participant, David Chandler, University of Westminster Roundtable Participant, Jan Selby, University of Sussex
Roundtable Participant, Vivienne Jabri, King’s College London
Roundtable Participant, Francois Debrix, Florida International University
Roundtable Participant, Jonathan Joseph, University of Kent
Roundtable Participant, Oliver Richmond, University of St. Andrews

Abstract: The second of our two roundtables will focus on the impact of the second generation of Foucaultian theorists in IR. Although Foucault was primarily a theorist of the disciplinary practices of western, liberal, capitalist societies, his ideas of biopolitics and governmentality have been reworked and expanded upon over the last decade by Giorgio Agamben, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, and applied to IR by, for example, Mick Dillon, Costas Douzinas, Mark Duffield and Vivienne Jabri. In particular, we will be discussing Jan Selby’s claim (‘Engaging Foucault’, International Relations, 2007) that many of Foucault’s central insights have been conflated with those of other poststructuralists, most notably Jacques Derrida, and consequently misrepresented by Foucaultians. Furthermore, we will be critically examining Selby’s assertions that Foucault is of limited use for analyzing the core features of international politics and that unless situated within a Marxist, or realist, framework, there is a danger of reproducing the liberal ontology which is the ostensible subject of critique.


Wednesday 18 February 2009

8:00 AM

Understanding Post-Conflict Peacebulding Panel

Sponsors: Peace Studies

Chair, David Chandler, University of Westminster
Discussant, David Chandler, University of Westminster

Abstract: Over half of countries that emerge from war lapse back into violence after five years. Significant third party involvement is critical for peace implementation to be successful, but 70% of peace processes benefiting from significant international mediation still fail to build a durable peace. Understanding the reasons for the successes and failures of such interventions is the only way to better predict, and hopefully avoid, renewed humanitarian disasters. International intervention in post-conflict environments is the subject of an emerging body of research, but an aspect remains under-studied: how inter-subjective understandings shape peacebuilding strategies. The panel presenters consider this question from complementary angles. Autesserre details how, in the Congo, global cultural understandings shaped an international strategy doomed to failure. Boas and Jennings argue that the inability to understand underlying causes locks the foundation for a new conflict into the “solution” to the current one. Klimis examines how a consensual concept such as state building carries its own contradictions, thus undermining its chances of success. By contrast, Campbell analyzes how, in Burundi, specific organizational characteristics enabled peacebuilding organizations to engage with the local environment, thus boosting their chances of success. Finally, Ponzio examines the relationship between the UN’s understanding of peacebuilding and its implications for peace consolidation.


Severeine Autesserre, Barnard College, Columbia University – From Hobbes to Locke: International Intervention in the Congo
Susanna Campbell, Tufts University – Finding Their Way: How Peacebuilding Organizations Navigate Complexity
Emmanuel Klimis, Facultés universitaires St Louis, Brussels – State Building in Fragile States : A Fragile Concept
Morten Boas, FAFO and Kathleen Jennings, FAFO – A State Named Failed?
Richard Ponzio, United Nations – Life After Exit: UN Reform and the New Peacebuilding Architecture

Thursday 5 February 2009

David Chandler will be taking part in a panel debate on ‘The Foreign Policy of Barack Obama’. Millions around the world are hoping for a radical shift in Foreign Policy and an end to America’s image as a war monger. After 8 years of American unilateral action around the world, will Obama bring any real change? He has spoken about renewing American diplomacy globally; indeed he said he would reach out to the Muslim World in his inauguration speech. The question that millions must equally ask is, will Obama be more of a ‘makeover’ than a ‘remaking’ of the US?

This event promises to be lively, educating and useful to students and alike who want to be clear on what the next four years of an Obama Presidency has in store for the world.

Event Details: Time: 5pm – 7pm; Location: SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG (Nearest Tube: Russell Square).

Thursday 29 January 2009

David Chandler will be giving a presentation on ‘Models of State-building’ at the workshop ‘Intervention and peace-building: Models of state building and society building in different post-conflict contexts’ at the Clingendael Institute (Netherlands Institute of International Relations), The Hague, The Netherlands.

22-23 January 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper ‘Extending Control? Re-framing the Drive for Global Security through Aid Regimes’ at the Research Workshop ‘Aid, Intervention and Changing Conceptions of the State’, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm.

Abstract: Human security frameworks of aid governance and intervention are often understood critically as an extension of regulative control over the post-colonial world. While theorists might differ over how to explain the driving force for this extension of regulative control, it seems clear that the aspiration to control and shape the post-colonial world has liberal parallels of ‘civilising mission’ – of developing, democratising and securing. Clearly power relations – huge international inequalities, the post-colonial state’s external dependencies, the defeat of market alternatives etc – have facilitated frameworks which take a shared, therapeutic, biopolitical form, transforming the relations between international institutions and the post-colonial state. However, while critical approaches have been strong on description – governance states, post-conditionality, country ownership of poverty reduction strategies etc. – they have been less convincing at the analytical level. What drives the extension of control? The need to interpolate subservient market-ready citizens? The need to secure the uninsured? ‘Liddism’ on the inequalities of global capital etc? This paper suggests that the extension of global regimes of regulation can be seen in other terms than those of liberal aspirations for control, with their teleological, instrumentalist and strategic logics. It will suggest that it is precisely the lack of these logics of control which shapes the evasive dynamics of human security and global aid/security governance.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

David Chandler will present a lecture at the Uppsala Forum for Peace, Democracy and Justice, Uppsala University, ‘What is a Critical Approach to International Peacebuilding?’

Abstract: Today there seems to be a consensus that external peacebuilding approaches have had only a limited success and that they face many dilemmas and contradictions. Sometimes the most critical commentators advocate even more intense and prolonged intervention, other commentators who are critical of external intervention argue that liberal frameworks of democratising, developing and securing the ‘Other’ are inevitably oppressive. The critical perspective appears to range from arguing for more and better intervention to dismissing the possibility of any external engagement in peacebuilding. Is it possible to take a critical approach to this subject today? And, if so, what would this approach look like and what would it be trying to achieve?

16-18 January 2009

David Chandler will be presenting a paper, ‘The Global Ideology: Rethinking the Politics of the “Global Turn” in IR’ at the University of Westminster, Department of Politics and International Relations, Residential Weekend, ‘Democracy and the International’, Austwick, Yorkshire Dales, 16-18 January 2009. Paper available here.

15-17 December 2008

British International Studies Association (BISA) Annual Conference 2008, University of Exeter. David Chandler is co-convening two panels on Global Governmentality with Professor Hiroyuki Tosa, Kobe University:

Tuesday 16 December 2008

2 – 3.30pm

Convenors: David Chandler (Westminster ) Hiroyuki Tosa (Kobe)
Chair: David Chandler (Westminster )
Hiroyuki Tosa (Kobe , Japan ) Anarchical Governance: One Aspect of Global Governmentality
Nicholas Kiersey (Virginia) Both Scalable and Historical: In Defence of the Biopolitical Contribution to the ‘Debate About Empire’
William Vleck (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London) Power and the Practice of Security/Governmentality in Global Finance
Jana Honke (Free University, Berlin) and Jan Bachmann (Bristol) Governing Security Abroad: Local Practices and Effects of the Global Anti-Terror Discourse in an ‘ Anchor State ’
Tore Fougner (Bilkent, Turkey) Made to Compete? A Governmentality Perspective on Inter-State Competition

Wednesday 17th December 2008

9 – 10.30am

Convenors: David Chandler (Westminster) Hiroyuki Tosa (Kobe)
Chair: Hiroyuki Tosa (Kobe , Japan)
David Chandler (Westminster) The Strange Death of Liberal IR and the Biopolitical Critique
Francois Debrix (Florida International) Beyond Biopolitics: Rethinking the Linkage Between Governmentality and the State of Exception
Nadine Voelkner (Sussex) Practices of Global Governmentality: Unpicking Human Security Programmes
Tara McCormack (Westminster) The Separation of Security and Development and the End of Biopolitics? Re-thinking Security and Development After the Cold War
Christian Buger (EUI) Governmentality and its Cultural (Br)Others: Inquiring into the Peacebuilding Assembalge

Full programme and registration details here.

December 2008

David Chandler is one of the judges of the British International Studies Association Michael Nicholson Thesis Prize. The prize will be awarded at the BISA annual conference in Exeter. Further information.

4-5 December 2008

David Chandler will be contributing to the States and Security programme conference ‘Field Research and Ethics in Post-Conflict Environments’, the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Friday 21 November 2008

David Chandler will be giving a presentation at the Royal Irish Academy Committee for International Affairs annual high-level conference entitled ‘A Responsibility to Protect?’: Sovereignty vs. Intervention. This conference will be opened with an address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Michéal Martin T.D.

Confirmed speakers:

Colonel Colm Doyle, former head of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Sarajevo and former Chief of Staff at the UN Headquarters, New York
Mr Gareth Evans, President of International Crisis Group, Brussels and former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Professor David Chandler, Centre for the Study of Democracy at Westminster University
Professor Jennifer Welsh, Department of International Relations at Oxford and Editor `’Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations’ (2003)
Dr Jakkie Cilliers, Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies, South Africa, member of International Advisory Board of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
Dr Sara Pantuliano, Overseas Development Institute, UK, former leader of UNDP Sudan’s Peace Building Unit

Wednesday 19 November 2008

David Chandler will be a judge for the South London Qualifying Round of the Debating Matters Competition, Graveney High School, South London.

Thursday 13 November 2008

David Chandler will be external examiner for a PhD viva at the Department of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast.

Weekend 25-26 October 2008

David Chandler will be chair and discussant for the session on democracy and international statebuilding at the Millennium Annual Conference 2008, ‘Interrogating Democracy in International Relations’, at the London School of Economics. Keynote Speaker: David Held, London School of Economics, Opening Address: Ian Clark, Aberyswyth University, Closing Address: Chantal Mouffe, University of Westminster. Registration deadline Friday 17 October. Further information here.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

David Chandler will be giving a presentation at the seminar series on ‘“terrorist lists” proscription, designation and human rights’. A series of seminars at the College of Law in London, organised by the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Statewatch and the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities.

National security, proscription and foreign policy: ‘war on terror’, new world order?

Speakers: Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University and OpenDemocracy’s International Security Editor David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster

By labelling some struggles as ‘terrorist’ and others as legitimate, the major world powers have entrenched George W. Bush’s distinction between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. What are the ‘deep politics’ of the ‘war on terror’?

The seminar is free and will be held in Room SG01, College of Law, 14 Store Street WC1E 7DE, from 6.30-8.30pm. Further information available here.

Friday 10 October 2008

David Chandler will be speaking at the symposium on The Work of History in International Law and Empire hosted by the International Humanitarian Law Project at the London School of Economics (in collaboration with the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, and the International Criminal Justice Project, both at the University of Melbourne).

19-20 September 2008

David Chandler will be conducting a site visit at the Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario for a midterm major collaborative research project review for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

23-26 July 2008

Second Global International Studies Conference, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Thursday 24 July 2008

‘Global Governance: Rethinking the Relationship between Agency, Power and Morality’, presentation at the session ‘Morality and International Politics I: Towards a New Normativity’, 2.30-4.00pm.

Friday 25 July 2008

‘Institution-building: Rethinking the Governance State’, presentation at the session ‘From Peace-building to Institution-building’, 4.30-6.00pm.

Thursday 10 July 2008

David Chandler will be giving a lecture on ‘Regional Leaders and the Quest for Stability: Approaches to Peace- and State-building’ at the 12th Deutsche Gesellschaft für Aüswartige Politik e.V. (DGAP) International Summer School, ‘Regional Leaders, Global Challenges: Issues, Interests and Strategies’, Berlin, 6-19 July 2008 (draft programme).

Saturday 28 June 2008

David Chandler will be giving a paper, ‘Rethinking the Demand for Global Governance: The Demise of Representational Politics and the Outsourcing of Policy-making’, at the International Law and Ethics Conference on ‘World Governance’, University of Belgrade, 27-29 June 2008 (full information here).

Friday 27 June 2008

David Chandler will be giving a presentation on ‘The European Union and the Meaning of Statehood in the Western Balkans’ at the British Council, Terazije 8/I, Belgrade (7pm, for invitation click here / for flyer click here).

Thursday 26 June 2008

David Chandler will be moderating a discussion ‘From Internal Consolidation towards EU Integration’ with Judy Batt, Research Fellow, EU Institute for Security Studies, France, Milan Nič, Consultant to the HR/EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Denis Hadzovic, Secretary General, Centre for Security Studies (CSS), Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) seminar, ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Integration Challenge: From Internal Consolidation towards EU Integration’, Casa de Galicia, 8 Casado del Alisal, Madrid (full information here).

Wednesday 25 June 2008

David Chandler will be giving a paper ‘Too Much and Not Enough: The Limits of Critical Approaches to Post-Conflict Reconstruction’, at Panel I: Theoretical Perspectives, at the Workshop on Critical Approaches to Post-Conflict Policy: Post-Conflict Development or Development for Conflict, Department of International Development, University of Oxford, 25-26 June 2008 (for programme click here).

12-13 June 2008

David Chandler will be presenting a paper, ‘The Discourse and Practice of Statebuilding as “Crisis Management”: Questioning Traditional Frameworks of Power’ at the workshop ‘Inside practices of peace- and statebuilding’, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo, 12-13 June (for programme click here).

Friday 16 May 2008

David Chandler will be presenting a paper, ‘Why is Crisis Management the Central Mechanism of EU Regulation in the Balkans?’ at the session ‘Perspectives on EU Conflict Management: Insights from International Relations’, at the ESRC funded workshop, ‘The European Union as a Global Conflict Manager: Conceptual and Theoretical Perspectives’, Council Chamber, Wessex House, University of Bath (for programme click here) .

Thursday 8 May 2008

David Chandler will be discussing Empire in Denial with the London Book Club, 7pm, The Hansom Cab, 86 Earls Court Road, Kensington. For more details click here.

Thursday 24 April 2008

David Chandler will be giving a paper on ‘The Foundation of Peace, Democracy and Stability in the Balkans’, with the Bosnian, Serbian, Albanian and Macedonian ambassadors to Turkey at the International Balkan Congress, ‘Interaction among the Balkan Nations’, Namık Kemal University Congress Center, Tekirdağ, 24-26 April 2008 (for programme click here).

17-19 April 2008

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘The Rise and Limits of Biopolitical Critiques of Human Rights Regimes’ at an international conference, ‘The International Human Rights Regime Since 9/11: Transatlantic Perspectives’, University of Pittsburgh, 17-19 April 2008.

26-29 March 2008

49th International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Francisco

Wednesday 26 March 2008

8.30am chair and discussant for panel ‘Politics of Margin’, sponsored by International Political Sociology.

10.30am chair and discussant for panel ‘Hearts and Minds: Narratives of Human Rights and Humanitarianism in Iraq and Afghanistan’, sponsored by Human Rights.

4.00-5.30pm Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding reception, exhibition hall. Come along to discuss submissions, subscriptions, the first year of the journal, etc., and have a drink on us!

Thursday 27 March 2008

8.30am chair for panel ‘Critical Approaches to Security in Europe I: When the International becomes European: The Circulation of Practices between European and International Arenas’, sponsored by International Political Sociology.

10.30am chair for panel ‘Fresh Perspectives on Statebuilding I: Rethinking Institutionalism’, sponsored by Peace Studies.

Friday 28 March 2008

10.30am roundtable panelist for ‘Globalization, Statebuilding and the Occupation of Iraq II’, sponsored by Convention Theme.

Saturday 29 March 2008

8.30am roundtable panelist for ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about IR (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)’, sponsored by Innovative Panel.

3.45pm chair for panel ‘Why Organizations Matter for Peacebuilding’, sponsored by International Organization/Peace Studies.

12-14 March 2008

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘The Human Security Paradox: How Nation States Grew to Love Cosmopolitan Ethics’, at the international conference, ‘Globalization, Difference, and Human Securities’, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Japan, 12-14 March 2008. Conference programme.

Tuesday 26 February 2008

David Chandler will be responding to Professor Martin Shaw’s opening panel presentation on ‘International Relations and Peace Studies’, ESRC Research Seminar Series: Human Security – Concepts and Applications, London School of Economics, 26-27 February 2008.

Tuesday 19 February 2008

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘Security, Insecurity and the Limits of Biopolitical Analysis’ as part of the International Relations Distinguished Speaker series, Department of Social Studies, University of Lapland. 4.00 p.m, Lecture Hall 5 (LS 5). Chair: Julian Reid, Professor of International Relations, University of Lapland. All Welcome!

Thursday 31 January 2008

Westminster Roundtable: ‘The Future for Kosovo’. With the declaration of Kosovo’s independence expected in early February. A group of Westminster staff and students discuss the likely responses to the declaration and its implications for the region. Discussants: David Chandler, Aidan Hehir, Ferit Jashari, Gezim Selaci.

Part of the Westminster International Relations Forum, Spring Semester Seminar Series, ‘War and Peace’. All seminars will take place Thursday evenings, 6.00 – 7.30pm, Westminster Forum, 5th floor, Centre for the Study of Democracy, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW (nearest tube: Oxford Circus). The seminars are informal discussions open to all. Wine and nibbles will be provided. Further information available here.

Thursday 24 January 2008

Humanitarian Intervention: Who Does it Help?

Debate at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, 7.00pm, Nash Room, ICA, The Mall, London.

After the war in Iraq and with pressure growing on Western governments to take action in Darfur, a panel of experts from across the political spectrum debate whether armed humanitarian intervention has ever really helped the vulnerable, and what agendas lie behind the much-vaunted “responsibility to protect”.

Speakers: Clare Short MP, Geoffrey Robertson QC, founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, and author of Crimes Against Humanity; Jonathan Steele, senior foreign correspondent for The Guardian and author of Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq; David Chandler, professor of international relations at the University of Westminster and author of Empire in Denial: The Politics of State-Building. Chair: Anthony Dworkin, executive director, the Crimes of War project and editor of Crimes of War.

£10 / £9 Concessions / £8 ICA Members.

Further information available at the ICA website

Friday 30 November 2007

David Chandler will be giving a presentation, ‘Transitions from Peacebuilding to Statebuilding: The Impact of Conditionality on Post-conflict Reconstruction’, at the day workshop, ‘From Peacebuilding to Statebuilding: Assessing NATO and EU Conditionality in Bosnia-Herzegovina’. Other speakers include Jamie Shea, Director of Policy Planning Unit, NATO, and Professor Judy Batt, Institute for Security Studies, Paris. Chatham House, St James’ Square, London.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

David Chandler will be speaking at the Westminster Round Table:
‘What does it mean to Engage Critically with IR?’, with Dibyesh Anand, Aidan Hehir and Tom Moore. Venue, Westminster Forum, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster. Details, and details of further Westminister International Relations Forums, available here.

Wednesday 10 October 2007

David Chandler will be talking on ‘Post-Territorial Politics: Ethics and Activism in the International Sphere’ at the University of Aberdeen, Department of Politics and International Relations (PIR) research seminar series. The start will be 14.00 rather than 15.00 as advertised. For more details of the PIR seminar series click here.

Thursday 27 September 2007

David Chandler will be giving a keynote presentation to the Bosnian parliament. The venue is the Bosnia-Herzegovnia Parliamentary Assembly, the White Hall (House of Peoples)

The agenda is as follows:

09:30 – Welcome address: Boris Divjak, Transparency International (TI) BiH Chair of BoD

09:40 – Opening of the Open parliament: Matthew Rycroft, UK Ambassador to BiH

10:00 – Keynote address: Prof. David Chandler: Transparent and Accountable Government – The Road to State-building and to European perspectives (title TBC)

11:00 – Q&A and discussion – moderator Srdjan Blagovcanin, Executive Director TI BiH

12:30 – Lunch

13:30 – Panel discussion: State-building – governance and development under international administrations


Prof. David Chandler, Westminster University

Dr. Florian Bieber, University of Kent

Dr. Michael Schmunk, German Ambassador to BiH

Prof. Nerzuk Curak, Sarajevo Faculty of Political Science

Boris Divjak, Transparency International

Moderator: Michael Wiechert, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung BIH Director

15:00 – Q&A and discussion

16:30 – Closing of the Open Parliament: Beriz Belkic, BiH Parliamentary Assembly Speaker

16:45 – End

Further information available here.

Thursday 20 September 2007

David Chandler will be appearing as a studio guest on Worldview (18 Doughty Street TV)  this coming Thursday 20th September 2007. This week’s show is on “The Petraeus Report: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?”’.  View programme.

Alan Mendoza of The Henry Jackson Society is joined by Prof. David Chandler of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster, Paul Smyth, head of the Aerospace and Information Studies Programme at the RUSI, and James Denselow of the Council for Arab-British Understanding. Following the findings of the Petraeus Report, released last week, Alan and guests discuss whether this is just a case of “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” and ask what it will mean for the strategy in Iraq.

Thursday 30 August 2007

David Chandler will be speaking at the Royal Geographical Society annual conference at a debate on “Critical Territorial Politics”.  Bridgett Kendall will Chair the debate, other speakers are Sir Bernard Crick, Hilary Wainwright and Tony Benn.  11.00am, Institute of British Geographers/ Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR.

The panel debate will explore how the role of territorial nation-states is being challenged from a range of perspectives, changing the nature of political action and activism in the process.  The panel will examine how some radical activists are seeking to develop a post-territorial politics through developing new, post-territorial political movements.  They will explore the nature of such movements, how they connect to the general public and institutions of elected accountability.  Whether they represent a significant challenge to the dominant neo-liberal order, how these movements justify their actions and whether they could be made more effective.

Conference programme information available here.

Position paper available here.

Sunday 3 June 2007

David Chandler will be talking on ‘The Limits of Ethical Humanism and the Attraction of Post-Territorial Politics’, South Place Ethical Society, Conway Hall, London, 11.00am, 3 June 2007. Further details here.

Friday 11 May 2007

David Chandler will be presenting a paper on ‘The EU’s Promotion of Democracy in the Balkans: The Power of Simulation and the Simulation of Power’, at a conference on the ‘La fin du moment démocratique? Un défi pour l’Europe’, organised by CERI, Sciences-Po, Paris. Other speakers include, Zaki Laïdi, Olivier Roy, Jacques Rubnik and Anatol Lieven. For further details, please visit the conference website here.

Thursday 3 May 2007

David Chandler will be at Oxford University debating the value of war crimes tribunals with Sir Franklin Bernam QC former Legal Adviser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office British Delegation to the International Conference that drew up the Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Hive event is being held in the Bernard Sunely Room at St Catherine’s College and is scheduled to start 8.15.

Wednesday 2 May 2007

The Inaugural Lecture of Professor David Chandler, ‘The Attraction of Post-Territorial Politics: Ethics and Activism in the International Sphere’, The Old Cinema, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street

Today the site of politics appears to have shifted from the national sphere to the global. Global politics tops the domestic political agenda – from climate change and the war on terror to saving Africa and promoting democracy and human rights. Radical activism from Greenpeace to Al-Qaeda to the anti-globalisation movement directly works in the global sphere, by-passing state-based politics. What is the dynamic driving the globalisation of the political? Does it reflect the extension of moral identification and community or a retreat from political engagement?


Professor Chandler has written widely on ethics and power in the international sphere, particularly on ideas of global democracy, civil society and human rights. He is also the editor of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding.

6pm with a drinks reception to follow.Please RSVP to Janine Batcock, j.batcock@wmin.ac.uk, 020 7911 5789

Saturday 31 March 2007

Humanitarian Interventionism and International Law World Disarmament Campaign AGM & Spring Conference Speakers Prof. David Chandler (University of Westminster) ‘Humanitarian Intervention: Ideal and Reality’ Rt. Hon. Lord Archer of Sandwell Q.C. (President WDC) ‘ Responsibility to Protect’. 10.30am – 4.30pm. Wesley’s Chapel, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU Tube@ Old Street & Moorgate. Tea & Coffee available – bring own lunch. Registration and Admission free – Donations Welcomed! World Disarmament Campaign PO Box 28209 Edinburgh EH9 1ZR editor.worlddisarm@ntlworld.com

Friday 9 March 2007

David Chandler will be presenting a paper, ‘Rethinking Security: From State Security to Human Security’ at the ‘New Debates on International Security’ panel ‘Security in a Changing World’ conference sponsored by NATO and the Department of International Relations, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Thursday 1 March 2007

Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding – meet the editor Routledge cordially invites you to a drinks reception at the 8th Annual ISA Convention 4pm – 5pm Routledge journal booths 1511 & 1513 Chicago Hilton, Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday 28 February 2007

12 – 1pm, 401 Stevenson Hall Professor Chandler will be presenting a paper, ‘Empire in Denial: From Human Rights Intervention to State-Building’ International Studies Seminar Series Illinois State University, Click here for Seminar Series website.

Wednesday 21 February 2007

David Chandler will be presenting a research seminar on Empire in Denial Le Centre d’études et de recherches internationales (CERI), Sciences Po, Paris. Click here for details.

Thursday 1 February 2007

Centre for the Study of Global Governance Public Panel Debate ‘Do global and regional connections help or hinder democracy? Global civil society, communication and the media’ Date: Thursday 1 February 2007 Time: 6.30 – 8.00pm Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, London School of Economics. A diverse panel of speakers will discuss how global civil society is using different forms of communication to spread democracy and promote human rights around the world. New spaces for debate – on web-based forums, alternative media, satellite television and other channels of communication – have been created. But to what extent do these realms enable greater citizen engagement in decision-making? Speakers: Fowziyah Abu-Khalid, writer, poet and Assistant Professor at the Sociology Department of the King Saud University; Miguel Darcy de Oliveira, Director of the Institute for Cultural Action; David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster; Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty; Monroe Price, Director of the Project for Global Communications Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; chaired by Professor Mary Kaldor, Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance. This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For further information email Fiona Holland at F.C.Holland@lse.ac.uk. Click here for the LSE website.

Wednesday 24 January 2007

Time: 7.00pm, Venue: Post Graduate Common Room, 4th floor, Centre for the Study of Democracy, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW (nearest tube Oxford Circus) Westminster International Relations Forum, Spring Term 2007 Seminar Programme, ‘DEVELOPMENT AND INTERVENTION’. Discussion on Amartya Sen’s book Development as Freedom and more broadly on Sen’s views of empowerment, security and materialism. It is open to all and it will be a discussion in an informal working group environment. Refreshments will be provided. Speakers: Daniel Ben-Ami (author of Cowardly Capitalism) Douglas Bulloch (LSE) David Chandler (author of Empire in Denial) Dan Greenwood (CSD, Westminster) Further information on future seminars in the series available here.

Thursday 30 November 2006

Professor David Chandler and Professor Jennifer Welsh (Oxford) will be discussants at the SAID workshop, ‘Southern Responses to the New Interventionism’ at Nuffield College, Oxford University. A full timetable of all paper presenters is now available on the SAID website: If you are interested in attending this workshop, please contact the workshop convenor, Lee Jones (lee.jones@politics.ox.ac.uk). Further information here.

Thursday 16 November 2006

Goldsmiths College, University of London Politics Department Governance and Democracy Autumn 2006 Seminar Programme: 5pm in RHB309 Professor David Chandler (Westminster), The Empire of Denial. Click here.

Friday 10 November 2006

David Chandler will be speaking on Empowering Africa at Africa Prospects for Peace and Development Conference. On Thursday 9 and Friday 10 November 2006, a conference open to all students and external participants with an interest in Africa. Aims The conference will cover a range of countries and a range of topics such as democracy and conflict, ethnic identity, small-scale industry and rural development, public sector reform and natural resource management, with case-studies from Angola, Ghana, Tanzania and the Republic of South Africa. External speakers include: Raphael Kaplinsky (Open University) on the Impact of China and India on African Development Frederick Nixson (University of Manchester) on Industrialization in Africa John Toye (University of Oxford) on Current Prospects for Africa Alan Whiteside (University of KwaZulu-Natal) the Impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa Conference Details This conference is hosted by the Bradford Centre for International Development and the Department of Peace Studies. The conference is open to all students at the University of Bradford and external participants with an interest in Africa. There is no conference fee, but external participants will be responsible for all of their own costs. External participants wishing to attend should register with Jill Gulbrandsen (g.m.gulbrandsen@bradford.ac.uk), Departmental Secretary at the Bradford Centre for International Development. Click here.

Thursday 9 November 2006

David Chandler will be giving the opening address at the CRIPT Graduate Workshop on International Political Theory: Towards a Post-Human International Politics? Organised by CRIPT – A BISA working group and Goldsmith’s College, London. Place: The Cinema – Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmith’s College, London. Click here.

Monday 6 November 2006

University of Sussex International Relations Research in Progress Seminar Series Autumn 2006: Empire in Denial: The Politics of State Building 3:00pm until 5:00pm @ Arts C233 Speaker: David Chandler, University of Westminster Discussant: Kees Van Der Pijl

Wednesday 1 November 2006

University of Manchester Centre for International Politics Research Seminars O.2.2 Dover Street Building, 3:00-4:30 David Chandler (Westminster) Empire in Denial. Click here for details.

Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October 2006.

Battle of Ideas conference David Chandler will be speaking on a panel discussion: Empire of Regulation or Lawless World? at the Battle of Ideas 2006 conference, Royal College of Art, Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 October 2006. Click here for details.

Saturday 21 Sunday 22 October 2006

Millennium conference David Chandler will be speaking at the Millennium: Journal of International Relations 35th Anniversary conference; ‘Theory of the International Today’, Saturday 21 Sunday 22 October 2006. For programme click here. For registration form click here.

Wednesday 27 September 2006

Empire in Denial: Book Launch. For details click here.

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