Just a brief note to let you know the book I co-edited with Iver Neumann, Battlestar Galactica & International Relations, is now available. You can buy it on Amazon in hardback and Kindle formats here. A cheaper, paperback version of the book will be coming later this year. This project has been over two years in the making, and started with a random encounter at the bar at an ISA convention in New York. As the convention was taking place, the cast and crew of the show were addressing the United Nations, just up the road, on the plight of child soldiers! We were pretty blown away by the idea that such an encounter was even possible. And we got talking… well, what WAS “BSG’s” political message, anyway? At the following year’s ISA in New Orleans, we held a panel wherein we discussed some ideas about the show and noticed that, well, some IR folk were *serious* fans of the show:
3 – 6 April 2013
ISA San Francisco
It’s kicking off… everywhere? Diffusion, resistance and the post-political.
#Call for panel participants
With the global financial crisis now in its fourth year, a host of horizontally-organised antagonisms from the Indignad@s to #OccupyDataran have emerged to challenge the traditional institutions of world order. It is perhaps no wonder that scholars and commentators are debating the extent to which it is necessary or appropriate to identify lines of similarity and commonality among these struggles. Neither is it surprising that some may express reservations concerning these emerging analyses as risking the subsumption and universalization of that which might best be approached as singular. Yet these debates emerge simultaneous to events and uprisings, and the strategies and tactics of current struggles are still very much in development. In response to the ISA CfP, the panel will ask, indeed, how desirable is specificity and congruity in the diffusion of ideas? Who specifically are the agents involved in such movements, and what causal mechanisms carry out, as well as block diffusion? Furthermore, what are the predicted outcomes of the diffusion of ideas, energies, emotions, and desires emerging from the Occupy movement?
The ongoing rise of social struggle predicted by the Social Unrest Index in the International Labour Organisation’s 2012 World of Work Report means that governments have strong incentives to depoliticise issues of rapidly rising unemployment, austerity measures and cuts in public spending, pressures on immigration law, and the rise in punitive government sanctions and policing. How are specific strategies of depoliticisation emerging, and how can these be revealed as obstacles to diffusion amongst resistance movements? This panel, avoiding theoretical or disciplinary boundaries, will seek to examine recent movements in light of global pressures and the philosophical challenges arising from them. What exactly changed to bring forth new energies? To what degree can background conditions and experiences be claimed to be shared? To what extent have recent social movements sacrificed transformative potential, for inclusivity? Indeed, in a world where the sphere of political participation looks increasingly bulimic, to what extent does the strategic refusal of the movements (as yet) to pose themselves as a constituted or final subjectivity, represent a remedy or a hindrance in the increasingly formidable project of global democratic renewal?
The organizers of this panel wish to invite proposals for papers on any of the above questions or related themes.
Please submit a 200/250 word abstract to Nicholas Kiersey <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Phoebe Moore <P.Moore@salford.ac.uk> no later than Thursday, May 24. Should we receive a strong number of proposals, we will be happy to coordinate splitting the submissions over a number of panels.
Please note that this CfP is being issued in the context of recent events and critical discussions associated with the #occupyirtheory movement, and in anticipation of further such discussions at ISA-BISA in Edinburgh and the Millennium Conference in London later this year. As such, our goal would be to evolve this proposal into a book length volume entitled (provisionally) ‘Occupy World Politics’.
Just a reminder! Don’t forget to join us for the #occupyirtheory session at ISA 2012 in San Diego, Tuesday April 3 (Room 204 Hilton Bayfront Hotel). The event will feature a brief roundtable-style discussion followed by a ‘General Assembly’-style open forum to talk about what the IR and IPE communities want from Occupy Wall Street, and what Occupy can expect from us. Confirmed speakers at the roundtable event at this time include: Pablo K, Robbie Shilliam, Luke Ashworth, and Nicholas Kiersey. Wanda Vrasti will facilitate the GA and introduce the procedural format for those as yet unfamiliar with how it all works. Really looking forward to seeing you there!
Also, a very special thanks to Pablo K for putting together this absolutely brilliant poster for the event!
[Update: this event, and this blog, actually got a mention in the New York Times! See here].
Some great free stuff here, from the Institute for Anarchist Studies.
Announcing the publication of Issue 5 of the Journal of Critical Globalization Studies featuring, amongst other things, a large Occupy IR forum on the Occupy Wall Street movement and its relevance for International Relations and International Political Economy. The forum contains short comment pieces from Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Elizabeth Cobbett with Randall Germain, Ian Bruff, Elisabeth Chaves, Wanda Vrasti, Michael J. Shapiro, Nicole Sunday Hughes, Simon Tormey, David J. Bailey, Agnes Gagyi, Aida A. Hozic, Ivan Manokha with Mona Chalabi, Nicholas J. Kiersey, and Colin Wight. The issue also includes an extended contribution on the Occupy movement in Canada by Konstantin Kilibarda.
The meeting will be listed on the official online version of the schedule as #OCCUPYIRTHEORY? Lessons from OWS for the Study of World Politics. It will be held at at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel on Tuesday, April 3 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
The event will open with a brief roundtable with various speakers (TBA) addressing a diversity of themes related to IR, IPE, and OWS. It is hoped we will have some local Occupy San Diego activists present to offer their thoughts, too. This will be followed by a GA-style event where audience members will be welcome to engage in informal discussion on strategies and initiatives that the movement might chose to pursue.
There will also be an informal strategy meeting on Sunday night for anyone interested in helping out with running the event.
If you are interested in playing a role in organizing this, or you just have any questions or concerns, feel welcome to email us at occupyirtheory *AT* gmail *DOT* com, or contact one of the group members on Facebook.
In a survey of faculty at more than 1,400 colleges and universities worldwide, Alexander Wendt was named as having the most influence in the field of international relations over the past 20 years. Wendt is Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security.The survey was part of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy TRIP Project done by the Theory and Practice of International Relations at the College of William and Mary. This is the projects fourth survey since 2004.Wendt was also named for producing the best work in the field of international relations over the past 20 years, and third for producing the most interesting scholarship over the past five years.Wendt is author of Social Theory of International Politics Cambridge, 1999, widely cited for bringing social constructivist theory to the field of international relations. His book argues that international politics is determined not primarily by material concerns such as wealth and power, but by states perceptions of each other as rivals, enemies, and friends. Social Theory of International Politics was named Best Book of the Decade by the International Studies Association in 2006 and has been translated into 10 languages.Wendt is also co-editor, with Duncan Snidal, of International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law and Philosophy. His recent publications include New Systems Theories of World Politics Palgrave, 2009, edited with Mathias Albert and Lars-Erik Cederman. Based on a 2005 Mershon Center conference, the book uses a number of systems theoretical approaches to analyze the structure and dynamics of the international system. Wendt’s contribution, “Flatland: Quantum Mind and the International System,” compares the international system to a hologram.
via Mershon Memo.
And now a quote from this excellent Disorder of Things commentary:
The self-image of the discipline continues to shift within the American heartland, not least with respect to the Big Other of Realism. The 2009 TRIP Survey recorded the percentage of self-identified Realists among US respondents at 21%, with Liberals at 20% and Constructivists at 17%. Things have progressed some way since then, with only just over 16% now willing to call themselves Realist against a steady 20% of Liberals and a narrowly triumphant 20.4% of Constructivists (and given the rankings awarded to Wendt within the ‘top four scholars’ sections, the shorter TRIPS may be rendered more simply as: ALEXANDER WENDT MADE ME A CONSTRUCTIVIST). Agnostics and Refuseniks together continue to outnumber these main categories with 11.5% naming themselves ‘Other’ and a further 25.7% declining to name any paradigmatic preference (a slight increase, but essentially the same levels as in 2008).
Read more here…