CfP: Accounting for heterogeneities in the international: writing symmetry, engaging with criticality

A double panel and a seminar hosted by Theory Talks & Millennium

during the 2012 Annual Millennium Conference

October 20-22 2012, at the London School of Economics

Conveners: Rocco Bellanova, Julien Jeandesboz, Peer Schouten


Technical devices such as algorithms, databases, and robots mediate the production of (in)security and the conduct of war; ‘non-places’ such as financial markets remap and reshape the exercise of state sovereignty; previously established distributions such as between ‘private’ and ‘public’ entities are increasingly entangled in hybrid assemblages. These and other heterogeneities of the international are part of a renewed focus on materialities and material practices in international relations (IR).

World politics is thus increasingly recognized as involving the participation of multiplicities of heterogeneous elements, many of which were until now smoothened out in mainstream IR accounts. When IR researchers shift their analytical lenses, they bring into focus agencies and practices that actively contribute to the assembling of the international—in doing so, they intervene in, and reformulate some of, IR’s most classical concerns. Point of departure for this workshop is that dealing with such seemingly new world politics, and accounting for these constitutive heterogeneities, however remains a difficult challenge.

Aim of the event

The main goal of the event is to bring together researchers that, in different ways, depart from an understanding of IR premised on homogeneity and engage with entanglements and multiplicities that go beyond rational choice and inter-subjective social constructions. The ambition is to foster debates and exchanges on shared concerns with accounting for heterogeneities in the international. In particular, the aim of this event is to bring to the fore the potentialities and pitfalls of working with ‘thinking tools’ that hail from beyond the traditional disciplinary horizons of IR, such actor-network-theory (ANT), science, technology and society studies (STS), or performance theories.

Further information can be found here.

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