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ST01 Critical Military Studies

Section Chairs: Caroline Holmqvist & Jana Tabak

The Critical Military Studies (CMS) section provides an inclusive and interdisciplinary space for the interrogation of violence, war, warfare, war-making, militaries and militarisms, and their attendant structures, inequalities, legacies and pains. Indicative concerns include, but are not limited to: analysis of military lives, institutions and occupations; martial epistemes and constructions of enmity; the entanglement of martial desires and rationalities with domains from health and tourism to architecture and algorithms; the imbrication of military power and violence with regimes of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, age and anthropocentrism; the preparation, prosecution and aftermaths of war.

CMS thus engages with the myriad actors, discourses, materials, technologies, media, data, bodies, affects, practices, logistics and flows that constitute the broad capillaries of military power, as well as exploring how these become assembled and transformed in various crucibles of conflict. We welcome theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions that engage with war, military and ‘everyday’ spaces and settings, across a range of temporalities, and that deploy and develop analytics ranging from the intimate and emotional to the infrastructural and geopolitical.

ST02 Doing International Political Sociology

Section Chairs: Jef Huysmans & Renata Summa

This section aims at offering a space in EISA conferences for the engagement with agendas of research that gravitate around international political sociology as a site of critical explorations of the ‘problem of the international’. In the past fifteen years IPS sought to expand critical investigations at the intersection of different disciplinary fields in the social sciences in a move to expand and diversify scholarship in IR. The efforts to continuously push the limits of this intellectual movement, IPS has produced a variety of initiatives that have, for the most part, contributed to consolidate its transdisciplinary and transversal agenda, connecting scholars and researchers who share a disposition to transgress institutionalized repertoires of analysis and displace questions, methods and styles considered acceptable in the field. Following the exploration of the in-between, the contingent and the multiple in world politics that defines IPS, the section will stimulate debates that further its innovative research programme focusing on the importance of boundary traversing phenomena in world politics and on dynamics of fracturing social and political orders. Despite an intensified interest in the situated, the everyday, the event, and the local in IPS, gaining IR credentials still often requires that these little or momentary analyses have something to say about big orders, transformations and world histories. IPS is a site of exploring concepts and approaches that problematises these pulls towards the ‘big’. It does so by inviting conceptual and methodological inventing that challenges sociologies of order and explores sociologies of transversal connecting.

ST03 Global Health: One Health and Power Politics in Nature

Section Chairs: Nicholas Thomas & Catherine Lo

Health sits at the center of politics and international relations. Humanity’s impact on nature has seen nature impact on humanity. Novel diseases cross borders and populations with ease threatening relations between countries. The impact of there diseases represents an existential challenge to state and economic viability as well as social stability. As the impact of the Anthropocene becomes more evident, it is necessary to understand how the politics of this relationship functions if we are to manage the health challenges that will only become more prevalent in the future. EISA Global Health draws together participants across the natural and social sciences. These different disciplines bring their own methodological concerns and priorities, ranging from equality of access to mechanisms of governance to the epistemologies of health and disease underlying the politics and international relations of global health. Our global health panels encourage the cross-disciplinary fertilization of theories and approaches that helps to identify opportunities for the mitigation of the health crises facing all life. We encourage and welcome all participants with an interest in this topic to present their research and join in our discussions. 

ST04 Globalising IR

Section Chairs: Deepshikha Shahi & Nora Fisher Onar

The rationale for the section evolves from the call to broaden, diversify, and globalise the study of IR. The academic initiatives to globalise IR have been taken up by scholars from both the Global North and South. Although there are many labels used to describe the fragmented attempts to enrich Global IR, many recent studies go beyond the critique of the predominant Western-centrism while excavating insights from the hitherto underexplored indigenous knowledge traditions to enhance the understandings of contemporary global politics. This standing section on Globalising IR will offer an intellectual space to all scholars working on any aspects of IR who want to make the academic discipline more “Global” by making efforts to de-center IR knowledge and reconcile the West/non-West binaries. EISA offers a perfect multi-disciplinary platform to advance the “de-centering agenda” of Global IR across multiple strands of scholarship – established and burgeoning alike. To this effect, this section seeks to encourage all kinds of theoretical, applied, and pedagogical explorations which reveal the territorial fluidity of IR knowledge, and which challenge, while also attempting to transcend, the provincialized notions of the West and the non-West. As such, this section aims to sponsor a multicultural intellectual conversation which is concerned with not only where we (as learners of IR) hail, or whether we can learn relationally irrespective of our American, European, Asian, African, or Australian origins, but also with forging a fresh IR consciousness as inhabitants of a “Global world” constituted by long overlooked forms of connectivity for a field of study and practice that is far richer than traditional IR has imagined. 

ST05 Historical International Relations

Section Chairs: Zeynep Gulsah Capan & Jaakko Heiskanen

Historical International Relations has grown into a flourishing subfield of International Relations (IR) with strong interdisciplinary ties to neighboring fields including Global History, Imperial History, Global Historical Sociology, and the History of International Political Thought. The HIST section provides an inclusive platform for reflections on the value of historical knowledge in explaining and understanding international affairs. It seeks to foster a greater historical sensitivity in the study of international politics and to facilitate productive conversations around historical trajectories, transitions, connections, and periodisations. The section aims to engage a wide range of scholarship, spanning from more theoretical reflections on history and IR to more specific empirical discussions. It approaches Historical IR from a global perspective and welcomes studies on any region of the world and from any time period. The section is methodologically pluralist and welcomes all kinds of approaches to the study of history and IR, both quantitative and qualitative. The HIST section thus invites scholars interested in all types of historical inquiry: from micro-histories of the international to macro-historical accounts of world orders, and from historical studies of a specific event or phenomenon to historiographical explorations of the academic field of IR. 

ST06 International Migration, Nationalism and Interethnic Relations

Section Chairs: Valeria Bello & Sarah Leonard

International Migration, Nationalism and Interethnic Relations are increasingly debated in both the discipline and the practice of International Relations. Physical and non-physical borders, broadly intended, constitute crucial political spaces where ideas of survival and supremacy, innovation and tradition, vulnerabilities and powers, futures and pasts, are fought. The ways to limit human mobility and diversity become both externalized and internalized in the governance of control. Patrolling those who are in and out the national and its inclusion is widely based on dynamics of exclusions and inequalities. Prejudice is converted into an extensively used and justified mechanism, performing in the self-fulfilling of threats, and spiralling processes of insecurities and exceptionalities. A logic of dominance and supremacism propagate across space. Thence, discriminations also engender in spiralling ways. Irrational rationalities often manifest, and therefore we also encourage to examine such questions through means that do not seek to resolve puzzles but present analysis of paradoxes. Without excluding a diversity of approaches, theories and perspectives, this Standing Section invites scholars to reflect upon a variety of topics, such as: the ways prejudice and inequalities perform in a spiralling process of insecurity; the intersection of body, race, gender and origin, situated in the relational space of the encounter; cognitions, mentalities and ideas permeating politics of control and patrol, either through externalization or internalization; how dynamics of dominance and supremacy propagate across spaces, including in post-colonial dimensions; analysis of paradoxes in nationalism, migration or interethnic relations. We welcome both theory-building and empirical analysis related to these issues.

ST07 International Practices

Section Chairs: Ingvild Bode & Max Lesch

Over the past 15 years, international practice theories have developed into an innovative research programme in International Relations. Outlining and developing novel concepts and frameworks combined with a renewed interest in methodology, scholars focusing on international practices have included new kinds of empirical material on world political phenomena including but not limited to the debates about the normativity of international practices, the role of technology, and processes of knowledge production. This section invites scholars interested in international practices to take stock of how this theoretical programme develops, to review ongoing research projects, and to reflect on conceptual vocabularies, but also to discuss the current boundaries of international practice research and their potential expansion. The section focuses on three core themes: (1) to facilitate debates about broadening theoretical horizons by embracing and promoting a wide range of theoretical perspectives and fostering diversity in the understanding of international practices; (2) to work towards further empirical enrichment of the study of international practices in IR; and (3) to explore methodological innovations to ensure a more nuanced and in-depth study of international practices. Pursuing these core themes will likely continue the increasing and welcome diversification of international practice theories beyond the established “canon” by exploring the links to related frameworks and disciplines such as pragmatism, anthropology, science and technology studies, or narrative and visual approaches. As a section, we particularly welcome contributions that drive forward theoretical, conceptual, and methodological debates, and present empirical findings of practice-based research in IR.


ST08 International Society

Section Chairs: Charlotta Friedner Parrat & Jonathan Gilmore

This section brings together researchers who are interested in the analysis of the international realm as a society, bound together by shared institutions, norms and practices.  The section seeks to encourage debates about the historical development and contemporary character of international society and the international order, how its norms and institutions emerged, how they have evolved, and the challenges international society currently faces.

Whilst the international society concept is closely connected to the English School of international relations, the section conceives the study of international society as a bridge between many IR approaches and we encourage a pluralism of methodologies and theoretical standpoints.  The section is also likely to be of particular interest to those working on constructivism, global ethics, systems theory, institutionalism, foreign policy analysis, practice theory and the variety of critical approaches to world politics.

The section welcomes all paper and panel proposals that make a substantive engagement with international society in some way, empirically and/or theoretically.  However, we are particularly interested in contributions that might speak to broad themes of:


  • Fragmentation and transformation of international society in the face of contemporary threats and challenges.
  • The influence of power asymmetries on the development of international society and its intersections with gender, race, class and/or the legacies of colonialism.
  • The shared ethical understandings (or the lack of them) underpinning the norms, institutions and practices of international society.
  • Whether the current order provided by international society’s norms and institutions can accommodate diverse and competing demands for justice.
ST09 Political Economy Beyond Boundaries

Section Chairs: Melissa Johnston & Roberto Roccu

The section aims to develop a sustained research network of scholars working in and beyond International Studies to promote critical research on the global political economy. Grounded in recent calls to diversify the disciplinary focus of (International) Political Economy, the section will offer a home for scholars to study contemporary capitalism and its gendered and racialised operation at the global, local and household levels. The section aims to advance an explicitly “global” outlook for political economy research in contrast to the existing Eurocentric framework of IPE. To this end, we will prioritise and feature knowledge produced in and for the global South, and utilise the section as a means to design meaningful collaborations between scholars in the global South and North.

ST10 Popular Culture and World Politics

Section Chairs: Simon Philpott & Andréa Noël

Over the past decade there has been a growing community of scholars concerned with the ‘popular culture and world politics continuum’. Framing the research agenda as a continuum implies popular culture and world politics are mutually implicated. Some argue popular culture reflects world politics and so provides a novel entry point to research and teaching where, for example, Hollywood cinema is used to illustrate theoretical or conceptual arguments. Approaching popular culture as a continuum facilitates a far richer research agenda because it recognises popular culture constitutes world politics: popular culture is world politics. However, world politics also conditions and constrains popular culture. A surprisingly diverse community of scholars has built a foundational, transformative research programme that is complex, multifaceted, and which cuts across traditional divisions within International Studies. The Section would continue to focus on the emerging research programme of Popular Culture and World Politics, which continues to be one of the most innovative new research programmes in critical international studies. Many ECRs have invested in PCWP related sections and we will strive to continue to be an inclusive environment for ECRs, building on the diversity that characterizes the PCWP research community. In addition, it would invite panels with an explicitly pedagogical focus, as popular culture and world politics is entering the curriculum of universities across Europe and around the world, and so there is an appetite for a collective consideration of PCWP pedagogy.

ST11 Small States in World Politics

Section Chairs: Anders Wivel & Revecca Pedi

The aim of this section is to address the big questions in world politics from the perspective of small states. It seeks to gain in-depth knowledge about small states security in war and peace, their approaches in cooperation and conflict, their strategies of survival and influence, the interplay between the domestic and the external environment in the international relations of small states, their norms and practices in international politics. Its mission is to provide a forum for a growing but fragmented field of study in the International Relations discipline and stimulate a research agenda in a field that despite recent steps forward remains largely repetitive and parochial. We invite papers and panels on any topic concerning the international relations of small states in Europe and beyond. We consider of particular interest studies exploring the strategies small states employ to respond to the changing nature of world politics and examining the vulnerabilities and opportunities small states are facing due to rising uncertainty in the international system. We welcome scholarship investigating the particularities of the international relations of small states and the lessons that can be learnt from the efforts of small states to successfully navigate a competitive world despite their limited resources. We encourage contributions by both senior and emerging scholars providing innovative theoretical and/or empirical insights. The section advances academic pluralism in theories and methodologies but also in terms of gender and geographical representation.

ST12 Visual IR

Section Chairs: Rune Saugmann & Yoav Galai

Visual International Relations (IR) is a growing interdisciplinary field of academic research, political critique and aesthetic practice. It ranges from the analysis of visual representations of various kinds, which are approached as political acts, to the interrogation of practices of vision and surveillance. Increasingly, visual international relations scholars embrace visual methods and produce visual artefacts as research, engaging in new practices of “visual writing.” Over the past three years, the standing section on visual politics has established itself as the premier venue for visual politics in IR, and helped to push the boundaries of what formats of publication IR can take. Numerous papers first presented at the EISA standing section have been published in leading journals, new research partnerships have been formed, and early career scholars have made the section their intellectual home and developed their work in continuous dialogue with European colleagues. The Visual International Relations section continues this work and stresses two things: First, to expand the emphasis on “visual writing” and to encourage discussions over both practice and pedagogy, embracing new technologies and teaching practices, and welcoming work drawing on approaches in adjacent fields. Second, it explores the historic and contemporary implication of visual politics within the “global politics of difference” (Connell, 1997) whereby visual technologies and visual thinking are deployed for oppressive purposes in past, contemporary as well as emergent uses, aligning technological developments in surveillance, automatic recognition and other fields with existing oppressive visual discourses.

ST13 Agrarian Orders and Transformations: Struggles in Agraria

Section Chairs: Maarten Meijer & Inanna Hamati-Ataya

The twenty-first century was marked by a profound transition in our history, as the majority of humans now inhabit urban environments and rely for their subsistence on a minority of rural labourers operating in unsustainable conditions of life and production, under the economic and normative rules of an asymmetrical global food-regime. This section invites panels, roundtables, and papers that address major global threats, crises, and challenges facing systems of agricultural and food production, and their influence on the stability and sustainability of human society more generally. We are especially interested in struggles in and over agrarian orders and the spaces that constitute them: How can we theorise and empirically approach the multidimensional and multilayered spatiality of food production, including its cultural, political, and nonhuman dimensions? What do the relations between spaces or spatial institutions (private land ownership, plantations, commons, geobioregions) and particular modes and technologies of food-production (cash-cropping, agroforestry, pastoralism, cellular agriculture) reveal about the structures and dynamics of agrarian orders? What distinctive forms or patterns of inequality have been and are (re)produced by the political (colonial, neoliberal, etc.) geographies of the global food-regime and can agrarian struggles and solidarities create alternative and egalitarian spaces of production and exchange within the current global economy? How do international agendas shape ideas about the relationships between development and agrarian orders, and what does this make (im)possible? Given the central role of agriculture and food-production, in conjunction with such domains as forestry and mining, in the constitution of the environmental crisis at a planetary level, what play of scales is necessary to capture the interactions as well as the specificities of local, inter-regional, and global economic-ecological processes of socio-environmental degradation and renewal?

ST14 Blue Turn – The Politics of Oceans and Polar Regions

Section Chairs: Hannes Hansen-Magnusson & Anja Menzel

Covering around three quarters of the planet, oceans and polar regions are spaces of utmost international importance. As a key component of climate systems and provider of scarce resources such as oil, gas, or fish, their integrity matters globally. Meanwhile, the frequently invoked apocalyptic, but all too realistic scenarios of collapsing oceans and melting ice depict the fragility of oceans and polar regions and emphasize the uncertain future of theses spaces. Yet, until recently the politics of oceans and polar regions have received significantly less analytical attention than their land-based counterparts. Notwithstanding, the need to focus on these spaces is underlined by the variety of relevant policy fields which are affected by maritime and polar crises: Climate change threatens the ecological health of oceans and polar regions and subsequently the sustenance of coastal and indigenous people, while the fragility of maritime infrastructure became obvious not only when the Suez Canal was blocked but is also a key point of tension in the South China Sea and in relation to counter-piracy measures. Although some unique governance arrangements have been established in the realm of ocean and polar politics – such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Antarctic Treaty System or the Arctic Council – governing these spaces in a time of crises remains challenging. This section thus seeks to enhance the recent ‘blue turn’ in global politics by scrutinising social and political responses to the multitude of crises oceans and polar regions face in the 21st century.

ST15 Contestation in International Politics

Section Chairs: Cecilia Ducci & Francesco Giovanni Lizzi

The section aims to discuss and enhance innovative approaches to assessing contestation in International Relations (IR) in the transit towards a multipolar era. Despite the existence of a vast literature, surprisingly, important blind spots remain in IR theory when investigating contestation. There is indeed little consensus on the definition of contestation as well as on the identification of the actors who are currently disputing international institutions and practices. In this regard, this section encourages the debate over the existence of different types of contestation – discursive and behavioural contestation, but also justificatory or applicatory contestation –, and the role of the contesting actors. In addition to this, the literature is yet to share a consensus on the impact of contestation on the strength of norms, a potential source for international instability. Thus, this section focuses on how contestation affects the legitimacy of current norms and institutions and the consequences this has in terms of the stability of the liberal international order. More specifically, it aims to understand whether the contestation over the liberal international order is paving the way towards an increasingly multipolar order and, in particular, whether this may lead to greater instability. This section therefore contributes to the theme of the conference by providing an overview of the potential scenarios and “apocalyptic imaginaries” that derive from the contestation over the international liberal order. The section invites papers that push the boundaries of our knowledge on the topic from an original theoretical but also an empirical perspective, dealing with the contestation from both non-Western states – contestation from outside – and Western states – contestation from within. Empirically, promising angles for further research also include the effect of contestation carried out by non-state actors. The scope of the section is also that of developing a sustained network of researchers working on contestation in IR to collaborate on an ongoing basis.

ST16 Infrastructures and Global Order

Section Chairs: Jutta Bakonyi & Shrey Kapoor

Capitalism promotes and expands circulation, but also requires political regulation to keep disruptive mobilities in check. While investigations of movement and mobilities have gained traction in recent years, IR has often neglected the material structures and installations that make circulation possible. This section invites papers that investigate the material, spatial and technological underpinnings of the international and how they are imbricated in imaginaries of the global order and foster or challenge existing relations of power and violence. The section aims to stimulate discussion on the implications of a material approach for the discipline and invites papers that engage with:


  • The emergence of (new) spatio-technological arrangements that facilitate and regulate flows (such as cities, ports, extraction zones).
  • Relations of infrastructural spaces and state power
  • Practices and effects of interruptions to circulatory flows (lockdowns, border closures, technological failures, etc.)
  • Materials and the international governance of mobilities and flows
  • Violence and infrastructures and infrastructures of violence
  • Theoretical and methodological implications of the ‘infrastructural turn’
ST17 International Political Design and Multimodal Methods

Section Chair: Francesco Ragazzi & Rocco Bellanova

This section is orientated around growing interest within International Relations (IR) to bringing alternative forms of research approach and practice into the heart of the study of world politics. It asks what it would mean if non-textual and non-logocentric forms of design, craft, and making were deployed both as novel forms of research and as means of normatively and politically intervening into world politics. The ethos of the section is captured in the idea that ‘making is thinking’ and that – thus – expanding our modes of making has the potential to produce radically distinct forms of knowledge and insight into the international. Hence, the question: what multimodal methods can emerge when we bring into conversation international political sociology, science and technology studies, feminist theory, (critical and speculative) design, postcolonial theory, critical making or art practice? We encourage submissions from all those who have deployed or are interested in exploring the (methodological, conceptual, etc.) potential of different forms of design, craft, and making, whether material, digital, computational, artistic, visual, or beyond. 

ST18 Global Law and Politics

Section Chairs: Filipe Dos Reis & Maj Grasten

Law and legal bodies form a key part of the structure of international relations. Yet, legal norms, concepts, jurisdictional boundaries and legal bodies are increasingly contested by various public and private actors globally. This section invites contributions that explore the intersection of law and politics in international relations, including their impact on domestic law and practice. It draws together scholars from different disciplinary fields who share an interest in the role of law in global politics and governance. This includes studies concerned with the history of the relationship between law and politics and particular legal regimes, such as sovereignty and human rights, as well as ways in which transnational, international and global law is practiced and problematized today across diverse institutional fields.

ST19 Reimagining Peace Studies

Section Chairs: Joana Ricarte & Ana Isabel Rodríguez Iglesias

Peace Studies (PS) is an interdisciplinary field with a strong normative component headed towards understanding the root causes of conflict and the conditions for the promotion of peace. Notwithstanding recurrent warnings over the risks of co-optation, PS has expanded the thought and practice on peace to include bottom-up perspectives and everyday political claims into the international agenda, contributing to the incorporation of emancipatory views of peacemaking and the construction of localized policies.  
This research-action bias places PS at the center of debates under the current crises with long-lasting global impact, namely the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the Israeli war agains Hamas and the overall growing tensions in the Middle East, the rise of extremism and exclusionary politics, the escalation of war-like narratives, the hardship of democracies, among others, which disrupt our understandings of conflict, identities, interventionism and peace(building). This rapidly changing international environment poses a need to reimagine Peace Studies in pluralistic ways beyond local/international boundaries and the north/south divide, repositioning the discipline into the forefront of events and their consequences.  
This section aims to establish a network of scholars interested in developing critical research about peace, its meaning(s), forms of promotion and implications for a diverse range of actors. By taking stock of the advancements of the field and promoting agenda-setting debates within its most recent trends and beyond, the PS section will gather around 10 panels yearly to discuss peace-related dimensions including feminist agendas for peace, post/decolonial peace constructions, alternative and wider transitional justice mechanisms, the evolving international peace architecture and its consequences, as well as the ethnicization of peace. 

ST20 Justice & International Relations

Section Chairs: Corine Wood-Donnelly & Johanna Ohlsson

The purpose of the section is to elevate the conversation between theories of justice and International Relations. While issues of justice are of growing significance in the international discourse in relation to post-colonial experiences, climate governance and globalisation, for example, this has yet to significantly infiltrate the norms of the international system, analysis of international politics or influence the explanatory frameworks of the major International Relations paradigms. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the recent COP negotiations that show states still unwilling to accept responsibility for climate reparations and adaptation-- or in another example, the information war eroding the foundations of democracy and geopolitical stability. Yet, the absence of justice threatens the foundations of the international order through the neglect of the social contract, the undermining of sovereign legitimacy and the spillover effects of legacies of injustice that cannot be contained by national borders. With justice critically needed as an envisioned part of the new normal, this section proposes to bring a number of themes into focus through the lens of justice. This includes: international environmental governance, the Arctic as critical site of climate justice, the relationship between the global and local in questions of sustainability and community resilience, historical perspectives of injustice and, finally, to ask: What can justice theory bring to International Relations?

ST21 Knowledge in International Relations. Epistemic Struggles in a Complex World

Section Chairs: Mariam Salehi & Werner Distler

While the study of knowledge and its role in international politics has long been at the centre of IR research, we can observe a rise of interest in the topic over the last decade. The section “Knowledge in International Relations. Epistemic Struggles in a Complex World” reflects on the state-of-the-art of knowledge-focused studies for the discipline, and at a critical engagement with the possibilities and limitations of knowledge-focused frameworks for a future world. It therefore invites both theoretical and empirical contributions, those that deal with epistemic struggles as a subject of inquiry for the discipline, as well as the knowledge politics that shape the discipline itself. We invite papers, panels, and roundtables that cover a range of knowledge dimensions, e.g. 1) the role of experts and their expertise in decision-making of states, IOs, or in non-state contexts, 2) epistemic communities and the manifestations of knowledge in discourse, 3) concrete epistemic practices observable in international and transnational politics, 4) the role of knowledge in the constitution of objects of global governance, with a more material and technological focus, or 5) the knowledge politics of the discipline itself. We envision contributionsto be drawn from the following fields and topics, among others: 1) war, peace and conflict, 2) security studies, 3) political economy 3) post/decoloniality, 4) gender, and 5) norms, rules, and institutions. One key focus should thereby be on struggles over knowledge orders, the emergence of epistemic authority, and, ultimately, the relationship of knowledge and power in a future world.

ST22 Exploring World Politics Beyond the State System: Spaces, Relations and Struggles

Section Chairs: Aleksandra Spalińska & Jochen Kleinschmidt 

International Relations (IR) discipline is based on the presumption that world politics is constituted by the international/domestic binary in which the international system is anarchical and the domestic realm is hierarchical. This presumption is challenged by the literature on functional differentiation and contestation, and state crisis (Cerny, 2023). Simultaneously, there is a growing literature on non-state actors (Charountaki and Irrera, 2022) and non-state contributions to state sovereignty (Srivastava, 2022). However, statism and essentially conceived state power continue to dominate IR (Rosenberg, 2023), contributing to the limits of IR ontology and marginalisation of non-state and societal dimensions of world politics in the study of IR. Standing section invites scholars to explore and discuss world politics beyond the state system through the lens of spaces, relations and struggles, addressing the questions of ‘where,’ ‘how’ and ‘what.’ Spaces (‘where?’) refer to the outside(s), frontiers, boundaries, liminal spaces, and ‘uncharted’ terrains beyond state power. Relations (‘how?’) embrace dynamics, developments, strategies and patterns of interactions and coexistence among state, non-state, and societal actors. Struggles (‘what?’) encompass conflict, collaboration, persistence, survival and securitisation. We welcome papers that study world politics beyond the state system through these questions, and their implications for IR. In particular, we are interested in mechanisms and practices that contest the anarchy of state system or the hierarchy of domestic realm. Moreover, we invite papers that advance approaches used to tackle statism in IR, such as heterarchy (Cerny, 2023) or societal multiplicity (Rosenberg, 2016). We welcome both theoretically and empirically oriented contributions.

ST23 Realist thought, theory, and analysis in IR

Section Chairs: Gustav Meibauer & Alex Reichwein

Realism is often still considered one of IR’s mainstream approaches. However, it also faces a dual challenge: firstly, realism is criticized as out-of-date, incapable of a positive vision that transcends the recurrence realists assume characterize the international. This is especially relevant in times of change, and as (seemingly) new challenges permeate policy and scholarly agendas, whether global warming, pandemics, populism, or terrorism. Secondly, realism has been argued to be tightly interwoven with Western-centric, elitist modes of knowledge production. Its critics suggest that realism’s disciplinary dominance has silenced alternative voices and eradicated historically divergent or marginal experiences. In this depiction, realism’s disciplinary role is not only undeserved, but downright detrimental. 

And yet, the reemergence of great power rivalry, advances in military technology, and continued interstate competition have triggered renewed interest in realist analyses and prescriptions. Realist variants are increasingly employed and developed across the globe to better understand a wide range of historical and contemporary phenomena. 

Against this background of theoretical, conceptual and disciplinary contestation, we invite submissions from all scholars who engage with the realist tradition, be they realists themselves, scholars of realist thought, or its critics. Papers, panels or roundtables could investigate, for example: 

  1. the genesis and roots of the realist tradition; 
  2. different realist approaches (e.g. classical realism, neorealism, realist constructivism, neoclassical realism, subaltern realism, etc.) and realist theorization (e.g. ontology, epistemology, methodology, causation, paradigmatic boundaries, concepts); including in terms of distinction/comparison to or complementarity with other theoretical approaches to IR/foreign policy; 
  3. realist theorizing of international politics and/or foreign policy, especially throwing new light at “traditionally realist” questions, specific actors’ policies (including beyond great powers and/or the Global North), or otherwise pushing realist approaches beyond their usual empirical scope; 
  4. the place of realist thought and analysis in the discipline, as well as its knowledge production and pedagogy; 
  5. realist visions and analyses of IR, and whether/how realism advances our understanding of contemporary/future challenges. 

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S01 Psychoanalytical Approaches to Security

Section Chairs: Marco Vieira & Ali Bilgic

Ontological Security Studies (OSS) has been flourishing in the discipline of International Relations (IR). From different ontological, epistemological, and methodological perspectives, OSS scholars have been exploring and re-defining key concepts of IR such as security, identity, anxiety, self-other relations in areas from foreign policy analysis, the impact of migration and nationalism to the rise of authoritarian populism. However, OSS has also been criticised for fixing identities, closing down political possibilities, and prioritising security/stability over contingency of subjectivities and identities as well as on the account of suitability of using ontological security for collective actors such as states. Recently psychoanalytical approaches, mainly using Lacan’s theory of subject and subjectivity, but also drawing on the work of others, such as, for example, Melanie Klein and Julia Kristeva, have addressed many of these criticisms by embracing un-fixability and contingency of identities and instability of subjects. These perspectives offer insights on emotional dimensions of ontological (in)security, how individual and collective subjectivities conflate, multiplicities of selves and others, and politically contested nature of subjectivity. This section invites panels and individual papers that advance the existing psychoanalytical studies in areas including, yet not exclusive to, emotions/affects, the self-other constitution of postcolonial and decolonial subjectivities, politics of gender and sexuality, historical memories and memorialisation in ontological (in)security in addition to new methodological interventions.

S02 Protection in IR and Beyond

Section Chairs: Luise Bendfeldt & Louise Ridden

Protection is arguably the central concept within International Relations (IR), as the state system is legitimised by the promise of protection. Ideas of protection litter both the academic literature and the daily practice of IR, yet protection itself – what is means, what it does, what it is, eludes specific and rigorous interrogation. The field of IR rests instead upon the central tenets of state, power and security, while protection remains only implicit within these concepts. So, what is protection? Who can name, promise, and give it? How is protection instrumentalised, lived, and experienced? We invite empirically varied work on the protection of civilians, space / place, the environment, health, culture, states and more, aiming for 10 panels organised around these overarching foci: protection throughout history, narratives of protection, promises of protection, practices of protection, temporality and futures of protection. In so doing, this section explicitly engages the three themes of this year’s conference. Space is addressed conceptually as we seek to name and engage the conceptual space between key IR concepts, in which protection lies. Style, in that we seek to assess the myriad of ways through which protection is instrumentalised; academically, aesthetically, through film, curation, popular culture, and more. Finally, the struggle over narratives, practices, and promises of protection are not only under-theorised, but also uphold unjust hierarchies by placing value only on particular kinds of life in particular kinds of ways.

S03 Politics of Asia and the Indo-Pacific

Section Chairs: Anna Grzywacz & Guangyu Qiao-Franco

Asia, now increasingly referred to as the Indo-Pacific, has emerged as a central hub of global economic growth, political dynamism, and cultural diversity. The geostrategic importance of the region has grown exponentially in recent years, exemplified by the US’s policy of ‘pivot to Asia’ since 2011 and the European leadership’s announcement to play a ‘more active role’ in and around Asia in 2022. The increasing interconnectivity between regions implies that the major geopolitical shifts, economic realignments, and security challenges currently unfolding in Asia and the Indo-Pacific will have significant implications beyond the region. The “Politics of Asia and the Indo-Pacific section” section is dedicated to research on this critical region with growing importance. It aims to provide an opportunity for the European academic community to extend discussions beyond China’s politics and actively contribute to the scholarly dialogue on other important state and non-state actors in the region.  
We particularly welcome contributions that engage with the following themes and questions:  
1) The Rise of Indo-Pacific: How has the emergence of a new region reshaped regional and transregional politics? How does the international community respond to the concept of Indo-Pacific?  
2) China and beyond: What strategies do countries employ to address geopolitical challenges and opportunities beyond the predominant focus on China? How do middle and minor powers engage with other regions and regional organisations? 
3) ASEAN and the evolving regional order: What are the key features of regionalisation and regionalism in Asia? How is the security community forming in Asia and the Indo-Pacific?  
4) Non-western theorisation of international relations: What are the Asian approaches to global and regional politics? How does the region understand important concepts in IR, such as sovereignty or liberal international order? 

S04 Pedagogies for Teaching International Relations in the Twenty-First Century

Section Chairs: Anahita Arian & Stephan Engelkamp

This section aims to explore various aspects of pedagogy for teaching International Relations (IR) in the Twenty-First Century. It encourages discussions of the challenges that students face when learning about International Relations (IR) theories, concepts, (intellectual) histories, and day-to-day experiences of international relations in IR classrooms and the challenges lecturers encounter teaching these subjects in and across different geographies in an age of polycrisis. How do, for example, racialized, neo-colonial, imperial, classist, gendered and/or patriarchal discourses and practices in global politics, shifts in global power, the curtailing of academic freedom next to the vicissitudes of neoliberal capitalism, global climate change, ecological and environmental crises, technological changes (e.g., rise of artificial intelligence), and students’ ever-growing needs for intellectual integrity and safe spaces affect teaching and learning about IR and global politics? How and with what critical, reflexive, inclusive, resilient, relational, reciprocal and/or student-centered pedagogies can we effectively address these challenges for teaching and learning about International Relations in a world that is characterized by pluriversality? We welcome papers, panels and roundtable submissions that address these and other related topics such as different modalities of active learning, questions pertaining to equality diversity and inclusion in teaching International Relations, teaching about controversial topics and the question of freedom of academic speech, next to decolonial methodologies of (un)learning IR, and more.

S05 Art, Literature, and Activism in International Politics

Section Chairs: Eric Sangar & Sabine Dini

This section is interested in the critical and sociological analysis of the growing role of artistic knowledge production in IR, a category we define as actors with the primary mission of creating aesthetic and radically subjective interpretations of the social world. Despite the traditional independence of artists, artistic knowledge production has been increasingly solicited by funding agencies, international organisations, political institutions, and universities. Integrating artists and aesthetic experiences is often portrayed as enabling more inclusive and less vertical knowledge creation and dissemination processes (see Ramel, 2018). 
Despite these empirical evolutions, only some studies analyse the dynamics of integrating artists and their output in contemporary international politics. This section thus solicits panel and paper contributions that examine these dynamics from a conceptual point of view and/or through empirical analysis. This section aims to provide an open space for various approaches; contributors can draw inspiration from any of the following research questions:
- Field theory, securitisation, epistemic communities: Which conceptual tools are best suited to analyse the role and impact of artistic knowledge in international politics?  
- Why and how do “traditional” institutions seek to integrate artists and artistic knowledge? 
- What are the side effects of responding to such solicitations for artists and their social status? Are they still viewed as “legitimate” in the artistic fields? 
- How can the aesthetic production of artists who conceive themselves as activists produce resistance to hegemonic practices and discourses? How does the changing media environment, including the arrival of social networks and the growing polarisation of political discourse in many societies, impact the possibility of artistic resistance in IR?
- Can we trace the impact of the solicitation of artistic knowledge on hegemonic discourses and practices in international politics? To what extent does their implication challenge or stabilise existing material and/or epistemic hierarchies? 
S06 Emotions, affective politics and the making and unmaking of the International

Section Chairs: Catarina Kinnvall & Erica Resende

Emotions have long been viewed in IR as self-evident and irrational by-products of cognitive processes and have, until recently, remained largely implicit and undertheorized. However, in the past 20 years, the discipline has witnessed the steady growth of research on emotions, to the extent of authors recognizing the emergence of an Emotional Turn in IR; based on the notion that emotions matter for international and global politics. As a result, a large literature has now explored both how emotions can shape political perceptions and behavior, and how international actors may seek to manipulate, harness, or deploy emotions and emotional displays for political ends. In a conversation with the conference theme, this section will welcome proposals that look into how emotions construct, inform, shape, and constrain the spaces, styles, and struggles that make the ‘stuff’ of global politics today. More specifically, how do emotions, affect, and feelings direct our gaze from certain sites and places to others; what are the political, ethical, and epistemological consequences of prioritizing certain actors, geographies, and dynamics and not others? How could a better understanding of the role of emotions help us break away from long-held appropriate styles of knowledge-making in our discipline, and thus liberating us to new modes of doing, presenting, and criticizing science? Finally, how do emotions fuel the recognition and contestation of injustices, inequalities, precarisation, and ruinations in global politics?

S07 Aesthetics of International Law and Politics

Section Chairs: Tasniem Anwar & Keri van Douwen

All materials, photos, buildings and other objects of international law and politics form an aesthetic of thoughts and practices. Studying aesthetics in world politics has led to new insights related to questions of representation, the location of politics, and methodology. The so-called ‘aesthetic turn’ (Bleiker, 2001) promised not only to decentralize International Relations’ Western gaze but also opened new research avenues. International legal scholars have responded and contributed to this aesthetic turn by studying, for example, the design of international courts and the presentation of legal texts. A shared focus on aesthetic matters and critical sensibilities has aided scholars to move beyond the limits of -and deadlocks in- mainstream interdisciplinary International Law/International Relations debates and contributed towards critical interdisciplinary research and methodologies (Kratochwil 2014, Aalberts 2018). This section follows the aesthetic turn by focusing on the interaction of law and politics through material artefacts and design politics. We aim to advance an interdisciplinary conversation by connecting to socio-legal literature, science-and-technology studies, and post-colonial and feminist theory. In line with the themes of Spaces, Styles and Struggles, we are specifically interested in submissions that relate to questions of law and security, temporality, expertise and authority, secrecy and invisibility, as well as those exploring novel aesthetic methodologies such as (not) seeing, listening, writing, and hearing.

All materials, photos, buildings and other objects of international law and politics form an aesthetic of thoughts and practices. Studying aesthetics in world politics has led to new insights related to questions of representation, the location of politics, and methodology. The so-called ‘aesthetic turn’ (Bleiker, 2001) promised not only to decentralize International Relations’ Western gaze but also opened new research avenues. International legal scholars have responded and contributed to this aesthetic turn by studying, for example, the design of international courts and the presentation of legal texts. A shared focus on aesthetic matters and critical sensibilities has aided scholars to move beyond the limits of -and deadlocks in- mainstream interdisciplinary International Law/International Relations debates and contributed towards critical interdisciplinary research and methodologies (Kratochwil 2014, Aalberts 2018). This section follows the aesthetic turn by focusing on the interaction of law and politics through material artefacts and design politics. We aim to advance an interdisciplinary conversation by connecting to socio-legal literature, science-and-technology studies, and post-colonial and feminist theory. In line with the themes of Spaces, Styles and Struggles, we are specifically interested in submissions that relate to questions of law and security, temporality, expertise and authority, secrecy and invisibility, as well as those exploring novel aesthetic methodologies such as (not) seeing, listening, writing, and hearing.

S08 Critical and area studies perspectives on European foreign policy: examining Europe from the outside

Section Chairs: Léonard Colomba-Petteng & Katherine Pye

The ‘decentering agenda’ in International Relations has called on scholars of European foreign policy to stop ‘navel gazing’ and explore its external implementation, local perception, and effects in third countries. While there have been repeated calls to ‘provincialize Europe’ and interrogate Eurocentrism within the discipline of International Relations, the debate has still not advanced far enough beyond a (much-needed) normative and epistemological discussion. How does the ‘decentering agenda’ translate into empirical research? What are the methodological implications of a ‘decentered’ framework? This section seeks to push the ‘decentering agenda’ one step further by stressing its empirical contribution and heuristic value. The section chairs will therefore highly value empirically rich analyses from researchers doing fieldwork in different areas of the world (Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eurasia). We welcome contributions that cover five topics, broadly defined, covering trade and development; security and defence; geopolitics and diplomacy; migration and border control; norm diffusion and European identity. The purpose of this section is to bring together various scholars that examine Europe’s engagement with the Global South from an ‘outside-in’ perspective. By doing so, panelists will show the importance of re-assessing the agency of non-European actors in International Relations.

S09 Queer Internationals

Section Chairs: Aine Bennett & Laura Sjoberg

Queer work in global politics and international relations is on the upswing, as more scholars analyze queer spaces, deploy queer concepts and methodologies, study queer struggles, and queer struggles. With this upswing, though, is a critical lens on queer scholarship: it is necessary to think beyond promoting queer work to examining, evaluating, and engaging its spaces and styles. This section, then, will have the goals of presenting and discussing work on queer internationals and analyzing what it means to research those queer internationals. When we say that the section will solicit work on queer internationals, we mean spaces where various forms of queer lives and living intersect with the global: from migration practices to security assemblages, from pinkwashing to hate crimes, from homonationalisms to homocolonialisms. When we say that the section will analyze what it means to research queer internationals, we refer to recent debates and discussions about whether ‘queerness’ can or should be instrumentalized in studying global politics, what appropriate methods are for doing critical queer global scholarship, how to deal with ethical questions that come from othering the queer for study and/or forcing classification from ‘outside’ various queer communities, and how work on queer internationals fits in to disciplinary inquiries in International Relations or international social sciences. Across these discussions and debates, we look for our panels to explore questions of where ‘queer’ global politics, ‘queering’ global politics, and ‘queer’ global politics research is right now, is going, or could go.

S10 Technology, Expertise, and Global Governance

Section Chairs: Annabelle Littoz-Monnet & Juanita Uribe

In recent years, substantial political and economic transformations have reshaped processes of knowledge production in global governance. Sites of knowledge generation have increasingly shifted towards private sites, or embraced business logics,- sustaining the commodification of knowledge. Additionally, the materiality of knowledge production has transformed, towards greater digitalization and datafication of the tools and technologies used to know, measure, and govern objects. Contemporary forms of knowledge-making thus take place within and through concrete kinds of political orderings, whether conceived as ‘dispositifs’, technologies, infrastructures, or yet structures of economic production, which are embedded in and sustain novel power dynamics and asymmetries. Expertise, in turn, produces its own political effects, regarding the way objects are known, apprehended, and resources allocated. These transformations raise important questions for IR scholarship, which has mainly focused on immediate processes and practices of knowledge-making and assembling. This section contends that this new landscape of knowledge production calls for inquiries into the political economy dimensions of expertise. How is the political-economic shaping the contours of expertise and its socio-material inscriptions? What are the implications of the increasing privatization and digitalization of expertise, where scientific studies, technoscientific instruments, data, or policy advice of sort are increasingly produced in private sites? What knowledges and epistemologies do these political-economic processes silence? 

We welcome all contributions that focus on the politics of technology and expertise, and cover dimensions such as, for instance: 1) the increasing financialization and commodification of knowledge and technologies  2) the ubiquity of private actors and sites in global governance, including philanthropies, consultancies and corporations, and their involvement in the production of data-generation methods 3) the emergence of hybrid spaces of knowledge production 4) the spreading out of market logics and their associated infrastructures, knowledge instruments and artifacts, including in governmental spheres 5) the politics of evidence valuation and assembling 6) knowledge asymmetries between North and South and centre-periphery.  

S11 Text as data

Section Chairs: Andrew Neal & Anselm Vogler

Texts and documents have long served as foundational elements in social scientific research, and recent advancements in methods, approaches, and the accessibility of diverse textual materials offer new research horizons. This section calls for the exploration of text and documents produced by states, government departments, and non-state actors within the spaces, styles, and struggles of international politics. It aims to foster dialogue between IR sub-fields, encouraging researchers to explore innovative avenues for understanding international politics through advanced text and document analysis, including computational text analysis. By integrating diverse perspectives and methodologies, we strive to contribute to the evolving landscape of knowledge in this dynamic field.
The section invites innovative contributions on:

  • Understanding how texts and documents are produced and function within and between the spaces of international politics.
  • Leveraging computational text analysis, AI, and machine learning, including natural language processing, in the analysis and production of textual materials related to international politics.
  • Investigating policy documents - such as national strategies, white papers, risk registers, cyber strategies, treaties, and diplomatic communiqués – in isolation, in context, as practices, and as political phenomena.
  • Exploring the impact and significance of text and documents in shaping international policies.
  • Scrutinizing the role of document classification, declassification, and archival practices, encompassing state and non-state actors.
S12 Rethinking the nexus between legality and violence in international politics

Section Chairs: Sara Dezalay & Shoshana Fine

Legality is hailed as the cornerstone of democracies, late capitalism and the liberal international order. In International Relations law is often considered as a resource to pacify an anarchical international environment – a means to ending war, eliminating migrant deaths, fighting ‘bad’ governance, or preventing global warming. In this section, we inverse the supposed relation between legality and injustices in asking to what extent law enables violence: from migrant deaths and the lives lost at the expense of “freeing” populations in the name of a “global” rule of law, to the less visible albeit pernicious violence of the market for disenfranchised or climate-change affected societies of the Global South and the Global North. While critical scholars have emphasized how law can produce violence, they seem mostly concerned with discriminatory practices or the instrumentalization of law without conceptualizing how these practices are often sustained through reference to the formal structure of law and how this produces legitimacy. We welcome papers exploring how legality – both in terms of its structure and practice - is used to justify and enable violence in international politics. Original empirical and/or theoretical contributions are encouraged, drawing on critical perspectives on law, postcolonialism, international political sociology, history and international political economy. 

S13 Islam in International Affairs: Theories and Practices of Diplomacy

Section Chairs: Raffaele Mauriello & Deina Abdelkader

The section presents Islamic contributions to international affairs and the field of International Relations. It seeks to explore theoretical approaches and empirical experiences of the Islamic civilisation by referring to classical and modern sources, the worldview of prominent thinkers, statecraft experiences, current transnational movements, and case studies on the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) phenomenon concerning Diplomacy. The section analyses both theoretical approaches of Islam in International Relations and concrete historical experience of diplomacy in Islam: theories, empirical cases in different periods, and early Islam and the practice of diplomacy, among others. It considers a picture of current and historical Islamic contributions to IR fashioned under the following themes: Theoretical Approaches of Diplomacy in Islam; Worldviews of Muslim Thinkers and Practitioners vis-á-vis Diplomacy; Diplomacy and Islamic Polity/Governance; Diplomacy of Transnational and Political Islamist Movements; The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) Phenomenon and Diplomacy. The objective is to develop and sustain a body of knowledge that addresses the theories and practices of the Islamic civilisation and Muslim societies concerning international affairs and the discipline of International Relations. This section aims to set a model for the inclusion of Muslim contributions to the field of IR to enrich, diversify, and strengthen it. To this end, the section aims to publish the papers in an edited volume with a major international publisher.

S14 Rebel Governance and Legitimacy

Section Chairs: Adrian Florea & Sukanya Podder

Over the past decade, a burgeoning body of multidisciplinary research has examined the dynamics of rebel governance, the set of actions undertaken by rebel groups to regulate the social, political, and economic life of civilians during civil war. Studies written from diverse theoretical, methodological, and empirical perspectives have explored the conditions under which rebels engage in extensive or limited governance activities in the areas where they operate, civilians’ reactions to rebel rule, and the effect of rebels’ governance activities on their legitimacy and, more broadly, conflict outcomes such as duration, termination, or post-conflict in/stability. However, despite these theoretical, methodological, and empirical advancements, rebel governance research has still yet to more comprehensively explore the temporal dimensions of rebel governance (the variation in rebel governance practices at various stages during an insurgency), the intricate relationship between rebel non/territorial control and legitimacy (how rebels’ non/territorial presence affects their legitimacy with domestic and international audiences), and non-Western approaches to the study of rebel rule. 
We invite theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions to these and other aspects related to rebel governance and legitimacy. We particularly welcome contributions that advance new, inter-disciplinary, avenues for exploring rebel governance and legitimacy. 

S15 New Intelligence Studies

Section Chairs: Hager Ben Jaffel & Sebastian Larsson

Intelligence has moved far beyond the conventional spaces and operations of intelligence services, beyond espionage and national security. It has become a heterogeneous practice, overlapping more and more with the broader field of security, and involving a multiplicity of professionals such as data analysts, counterterrorism agents, law enforcement, and border guards. It also involves a range of actors who interface with intelligence when they come to define or contest it such as politicians, lawyers, and whistle-blowers. Traditional intelligence services remain important, but their priorities have expanded from protecting state secrets to sharing information through transnational relations and conducting digital surveillance on citizens across the globe using advanced technologies. Intelligence gathering has as such become an inescapable dimension of everyday life, whether it is about monitoring peoples’ online communications, being tasked to report ‘suspicious’ behaviour, or capturing and sharing acts of violence in warzones. An increasing number of people are entangled with intelligence, either as agents or targets.

The established field of Intelligence Studies (IS) have largely failed to keep track of these current transformations of intelligence work, in part due to the dominance of narrow state-centric and functionalist ontologies in the discipline. Hence, this section calls for new, interdisciplinary, and critical approaches to the study of intelligence. We invite contributions from across IR that challenge orthodox understandings, bring into view the new actors, objects, targets, and sites of contemporary intelligence, or take a fresh look at intelligence services through perspectives centring on their professionals, practices, and violent effects.

S16 What is ‘critical’ in IR today? Exploring new directions for hope, emancipation, and utopia in IR

Section Chairs: Shannon Brincat & Haud Gueguen-Porcher

A range of critical approaches have enriched IR theory over the last couple of decades. One of the most prominent was that influenced by The Frankfurt School, notably via the Aberystwyth School in IR, that emphasised human security and the Habermasian problematisation of communicative reason in IR. Despite the many inroads of the first generation of these ‘critical’ scholars (Cox, Linlater, Booth and others), current research in IR has tended to neglect the more radical aspects of various critical approaches, including that of The Frankfurt School, that emphasise the incompatibility of capitalism, positivism, colonialism, patriarchy, and legal rationality with human emancipation through the reification of social relations and nature via the neutralization of critique. One of the main problems facing all critical approaches remains as poignant as ever: why do oppressed social groups often act against their interests? The spirit of malaise and apathy, rather than hope and constructive development, that pervades global politics today is rooted in the limited critique of the inequalities produced by neoliberal capitalism and neo-imperialism. The five panels gathered in this stream aim to recover some of the radical insights into this tension from authors across all ‘critical’ approaches in IR, not just those working in ‘Critical International Theory’, to offer alternative analytical tools for the critique of contemporary world politics and the construction of a politics of hope.

S17 Security and (Non)knowledge

Section Chairs: Sarah Perret & Damien Simonneau

International studies have largely explored the making of ‘security’ knowledge in international politics, especially in its role in shaping power relations. From discourse analysis to security practices and careers, to use of technologies and the cyberspace, to legislation and criminalization, to the resort to armed force and weaponry, the underlying forms of violence have been understood in multiple ways. Violence is indeed a controversial notion, its qualification and knowledge about it, is always contested, trapped in-between its physical, symbolical, political, and social, or visible/hidden manifestations. More recently, critical research works on border, migration and STS have mobilised studies on agnotology and raised different kinds of entanglements of knowledge and non-knowledge with violence, demonstrating unexplored dimensions to investigate such as the privatisation of security, risk management, the exponential use of datafication technologies, postcolonialism or the blurring of military and security practices leading to new interrogations about the expression of violence in current defence and security policies.

S18 Spaces of Sustainabilities, Struggles of Transitions in the (European) Arctic and Beyond

Section Chairs: Monica Tennberg & Özlem Terzi

The (European) Arctic is perceived as an empty space, a wilderness area, a home of indigenous peoples, and a place to be developed. Amid rising geopolitical tensions, the region serves the implementation of EU’s Green Deal policies through the intensification of renewable energy and mineral production in the region. With the impacts of such policies on environmental and social sustainability, its peoples and environments, the European Arctic may, at the same time, be seen as an example of (EU’s) green colonialism in practice. In this section we aim to discuss policies and practices for sustainability transitions in the Arctic and beyond.  

This section will explore the politically complex, ethically controversial, contingent processes of sustainable development, green transition, and geopolitical rivalry as well as investigate the multiple dimensions in these processes in the (European) Arctic and beyond. The planned section foresees ten panels that correspond to (but are not limited to) the following topics: Governance of oceans and lands; the law, responsibility and ethics of green transition; rights of indigenous and local peoples; race for resources, securitisation and militarisation of the environment; onto-epistemological, normative, and methodological questions about post-human IR; emotional politics regarding land use, resources, green transition, contemporary colonialism. This section is organized by the UArctic Thematic Network on Critical Arctic Studies and aims to enable cross-issue and cross-regional comparative analyses. The panel foresees papers by established scholars and early career researchers as well as by PhD candidates. 


S19 Paradiplomacy and Foreign Policy in International Relations


S20 Narrative and ‘the international

Section Chair: Andrew Palmer

The ‘narrative turn’ in International Relations has emphasised the constructed nature of narratives, whereby individuals and communities select, arrange and frame events to create political meanings that serve their current needs. In relation to the conference theme of ‘spaces’, we may consider the ways that such narratives create the quotidian spaces in which international relations are constituted. In relation to the theme of ‘styles’, we may ask how narratives challenge the primacy of science as the style by which knowledge is formed and shared. In relation to the theme of ‘struggles’, we may ask how shared narratives give effective expression to political struggle and conjure possible futures. 
Further questions to consider: how do shared narratives generate, justify and prolong international conflict? How can they be contested or reshaped? How is collective trauma, injustice or victimhood effectively narrated? How do narratives express or constitute knowledge about the international? How do influential narratives gain currency? What is the source of their power?  
This section, then, invites consideration of narrative in its broadest sense. We seek paper and panel proposals that engage with narrative in published works (novels, memoirs, journalism), broadcast material (speeches, documentaries, motion pictures) and the multitude of everyday exchanges in which collective narratives are implicit (conversations, letters, texts, jokes). We encourage contributions from a broad range of disciplines, including IR, history, economics, literary studies, film and television studies, and theatre studies. We also invite nonstandard proposals that may involve storytelling, performance, recital and dialogue. 

S21 Multilateralism(s) in Question

Section Chairs: Frédéric Ramel & Delphine Placidi-Frot

Covid-19 pandemic. War between Russia and Ukraine. Intensification of violence in the Middle-East. These events are associated to the “return” of a Geopolitical Great Game that has a strong impact on the Doomsday Clock: it ticks down to 90 seconds to midnight. In such context, the multilateral ways of live seem deeply affected. From intergovernmental organizations to informal forums, multilateral cooperation was going through a crisis unparalleled in post-Cold War history according to many IR scholars. Heterogeneity of values, opposition between democratic and authoritarian regimes, budgetary restrictions: the multilateral arena and the various styles that flourish within it were the scene of a fierce struggle between actors. The aim of this section is to examine and evaluate such weakening of multilateralism by observing it on different scales (regional or global), through the plurality of state and societal actors, but also from plural perspectives that do not exclude normative theory. Panels proposing articulation between multilateralism and current controversies concerning post-colonial critiques, relationality, planetary politics will be welcome. Some dimensions that could be dealt with: Multilateralism between traditional and non-traditional threats, Multilateralism and Peace, Emerging powers and multilateralism, Multilateralism and the War between Russia and Ukraine, Multilateralism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 10/7/2023, the Ethics of Multilateralism.

S22 War, Insurgency, and Intervention

Section Chairs: Janis Grzybowski & Christian Olsson

War, insurgency, and military intervention are major forms of political violence intimately related to the political, legal, and infrastructural constellations and hierarchies of the ‘modern’ state, international system, and their colonial legacies, in ways that often appear paradoxical. They establish and uphold political orders, and yet they also disrupt and undermine them. They oppress and liberate, voice and silence, preserve and transform. As such, their meanings are contextual, positional, and open to (re-)interpretation. For instance, armed conflicts within states can be variably represented as ‘resistance’, ‘revolution’, or ‘rebellion’; the suspension of state sovereignty by other states might be justified as legitimate ‘intervention’ or condemned as ‘aggression’; and even what is inside or outside of states is challenged when speaking of ‘transnational terrorism’, ‘contested states’, and ‘internationalized civil wars’. In other words, the classification of wars, insurgencies, and military interventions is subject to symbolic struggles, with important implications for the justification, limits, and spread of political violence. The recent or ongoing armed conflicts in Gaza, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Mali, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and elsewhere illustrate both the available repertoires for organizing political violence and the struggles over their meaning. This section casts a wide net to attract panels and papers on all forms of war, insurgency, and military intervention and their material, relational, and discursive features and underpinnings. It is open to (cross-)disciplinary approaches, methodologies, and modes of engagement in and beyond International Relations (IR). 

S23 Predicting Future Crises, Governing the Present: The Autocratic and Democratic Politics of the Critical Zone

Section Chairs: Emma Cluskey & Didier Bigo

Departing from the imperative to rethink the categories under which the international is an interesting 'problem' rather than a level of analysis or specific object, this section will explore three interrelated problems that characterise politics and politicisation today. First, the relationship to temporality and the will to scientifically predict the future in order to avoid catastrophic risks in the "remaining time" has led to the orienting of current actions through knowledge of the future. This temporality of the project is at odds with the everyday understanding of the present and has generated transformations of democratic politics and tendencies towards techno-solutionism and populist prophecies. Secondly, executive power games which use the arguments of sovereignty, national security, and defence secrecy are able to create a circle of justifications that exonerate them from the decisions they have taken in the name of emergency and protecting people from these imagined future dangers. Lastly, it is crucial to diagnose how authoritarian, exceptionalist and reactionary populist practices work together to impact efforts to preserve the imperative to safeguard the material conditions of possibility for human life on planet Earth. Sponsored by the journal Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences, this section interrogates these interconnected problems through a transdisciplinary approach.

S24 Multilateralism beyond the Liberal Frame

Section Chairs: Marko Lehti & Anna Kronlund

Global multilateral peace and security systems designed to mitigate violent conflicts and to build and maintain peace are in decline. This is evidenced by the failure to mediate and solve conflicts in Syria, Myanmar, and Yemen and to build peace in Afghanistan. The Russian War in Ukraine has accelerated this trend and may prove to be a game changer for global peace governance. International organisations (IOs), such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), have been incapable of influencing the conflict and taking a constructive role in mediating it. There is a tangible threat that the war paralyses the remaining capacity of IOs to intervene, mediate, prevent, and sustain peace. To be sure, multilateral everyday diplomacy within these organisations continues. But as the polarisation between-especially-the liberal and authoritarian powers increase, and the legitimacy of liberal peace interventions and liberal multilateralism decrease, the question is: are the IOs becoming mere empty shells, unable to execute their founding objectives of peace, security, and stability? This section asks how multilateralism is transforming, and what kind of new complementary multilateral practices, norms, actors, and institutions are evolving. Because of disruptive and destructive authoritarian contestation, there is an even stronger need for understanding the requirements for non-hegemonic, pluralistic multilateralism that would be capable of supporting locally owned and inclusive solutions to global challenges, preventing antagonism between countries and within them, and engaging in dialogue across different value systems.

S25 Archiving the international: Cross-Border Archival Lives, Practices, and Materialities

Section Chairs: Nora El Qadim & Monique Beerli

Following the sections “Leaving (No) Traces” (Beerli and El Qadim 2022) and “The Documents of Security” (Neal 2023), this section seeks to question archives and archival practices. In recent years, social scientists have (re)kindled an interest in archives. The “archival turn” has highlighted the connection between archives and power and problematized archives and archival practices as objects of study in and of themselves, while equally allowing for an expansion of the definition of the archive to integrate alternative knowledges as sources for historical analysis. Hence, it is the potential stories told by the archives as much as their silences that have been a center of attention. In this section, we would like to investigate the material realities and daily lives of archives, especially those constituted across borders. Be they paper documents, objects or in digital form, archives are determined by practices of collection, selection, destruction, conservation, communication, (de)classification, and digitization. These steps and practices, as well as the infrastructural backbone of archives, are often left unexplored. What can archival / archiving stories tell us about the international and international relations? How are international endeavors archived? How do diplomatic connections and power imbalances between states impact archival practices – and consequently, history-telling? How do international organizations articulate archiving between field and headquarters? How do internationally mobile actors – people on the move, as well as experts / consultants, missionaries etc. – archive their activities? How are archives mobilized as modes of transnational political action? How do transnational funding / research dynamics affect archives and particularly alternative archives?

S26 Digital International Relations (IR)

Section Chairs: Marijn Hoijtink & Delf Rothe

Digital technologies are exerting a growing influence on global politics. Technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data, cloud and quantum computing, or sensors of various types, shape how global politics is done, by whom and where it is done, and with what effects. Following current academic debates, digital technology has the potential to produce new visions of ‘the international’ and rewrite our ways of accessing it due to the technology’s increasing ‘synthetic’ properties. At the same time, for ‘the digital’ to have any meaningful political effects, it will always need to be connected to the non-digital, the material, and the embodied. How, then, does ‘the digital’ challenge, rework, or reconfirm existing concepts or registers of power in IR? Which new concepts and methodologies can we deploy to better grasp the transformations or continuities in international relations afforded by digital technologies and synthetic media?

This section will bring together and push forward the debate on digital technology and global politics across the different subdisciplines of IR. We invite contributions that engage with the Digital IR research agenda along one or more of the following three pathways:

  1. Digitalizing the international: How do digital technologies enact the international and how do they remake international relations at the level of politics and policy?
  2. Connecting with the digital: How does ‘the digital’ connect with ‘the analog’ and the material roots and manifestations of the digital?
  3. Doing digital IR: How can we do IR through and with digital technologies? 
S27 Current and Future Global Economic Crises

Section Chairs: Karina Jędrzejowska & Anna Magdalena Wrobel

The Covid-19 pandemic and increased geopolitical tensions, together with several economic shocks of the last decades, do not cease to fuel the debate about the future of global economic order. According to the IMF study “Geoeconomic Fragmentation and the Future of Multilateralism” (2023), a significant shift in the global economy is happening. After several decades of economic integration, global economy appears on the verge of a reverse and costly process of geoeconomic fragmentation. Since the global financial crisis, cross-border flows of goods, services, and capital have slowed down. Simultaneously, global economy encountered major crisis-inducing events such as Brexit, U.S-China trade war, Covid-19 pandemic, and numerous military conflicts. As a result, the recent years have brought about an increase in trade protectionism, disruptions in global value chains, uncontrollable inflation or growing sovereign debt burdens. Therefore, it can be assumed that the global economy is currently heading for an unprecedented confluence of economic, financial and debt crises. As such, the section offers a multidisciplinary approach towards analysing current processes and challenges to global economic governance with special reference to the impact of geoeconomic fragmentation and new types of economic crises. In particular, the section attempts to address the following questions: 1) What are the costs of a policy-driven reversal of global economic integration; 2) What are the potential future scenarios for the global economic order; 3) Is multilateral governance of global economy possible; and 4) What types of economic crises could affect the global economy in the years to come. 

S28 Pursuing a geo-economic agenda amidst global turmoil: supply chains, sustainability and sanctions

Section Chairs: Thomas Conzelmann & Johan Adriaensen

In the framework of the US-led liberal international order, the global economy and the nation-states integrating into it experienced a period of unprecedented liberalization of trade in goods, services and capital. As economic ties deepened, interdependence increased. It necessitated cooperation, but also created both new vulnerabilities and tools of power. This became visible especially with the rise of China as an economic superpower since the 2010s. As the centers of power began to shift and disperse, strains in the fabric of the global order emerged. Dormant tensions escalated into (trade) wars and led to the re-discovery of the tools of economic statecraft. The shift also had a profound impact on the European Union (EU). Once a bulwark of open trade, regional integration and soft power diplomacy, the EU began to reassess its role and capabilities in the shifting global order. The adoption of a “geopolitical” agenda by the European Commission is only one symptom of this change. In this section, we aim to explore questions about the novelty, origins and nature of the geo-conomic shift of the EU and its institutional implications. Moreover, we propose to discuss how this shift altered discourses, policies and politics of international (economic) relations. Older debates on conditionality and securitization were complemented (or replaced) by terms like de-coupling and de-risking, reshoring and the weaponisation of the market. International deal-making through treaties was replaced by a unilateral focus on sanctions, or domestic policies that directly aim to affect third countries. Dialogue made way for assertive action.

S29 What is the Role of the IR theorist in public debate today?

Section Chairs: Nicholas Michelsen & Matti Spåra

The section aims to cultivate discussion surrounding the roles and responsibilities of IR theorists within society. IR scholars are acutely aware of the global chain of crises, including wars in Europe and the Middle East, accelerating climate change and natural disasters, entrenched global inequality, and various other political, economic, environmental, and social challenges. In response, IR scholars often frame their sense of vocation in relation to these crises. However, the discipline has become fragmented into niche subcultures, each with its own jargon and specialized vocabularies. 

It is widely acknowledged that much of IR theoretical scholarship is not crafted for wider audiences and tends to stay within the confines of small academic subcultures, raising questions about the causes and consequences of this insularity. This section aims to invigorate and advance longstanding debates about the public role of IR scholarship within and beyond the academy. By exploring the history and sociology of IR theorising and its connection to public engagement, the section delves into the political, cultural, sociological, and economic factors influencing different styles of academic writing, public outreach and academic roles. We will investigate how these factors may vary across time and space. Understanding the historical trajectory and geographical determinants of IR theory and its relationship with public engagement is crucial for shaping the future direction of the discipline, orienting IR's societal role in a world order that is increasingly fractured and approaching breakdown. 

We welcome papers on any aspect of the public role of IR theorists and scholars today. Some key question we hope to discuss are: How can we reconceptualize the purpose of IR scholarship, moving beyond the confines of ivory towers and protest marches? How can we reignite debates about the IR scholarly vocation, which are nearly as old as the discipline itself, to promote a more constructive global role for IR scholars? What elements would constitute an international theory of public intellectuals? 

S30 Intersectional Dialogues and Beyond: Speculative Fiction, Environmental Justice, and Urban Marginalization in IR

Section Chairs: Ali Riza Taskale & Kristine Samson

In the evolving landscape of International Relations (IR), characterized by increasing diversity, IR still predominantly adheres to the paradigms of liberal internationalism and political realism. This focus on command and order, rather than disruption and emancipation, leaves critical questions unanswered regarding the constraints on political action. Established IR categories such as “the state,” “order,” and “actor” prove inadequate in addressing the ontological and epistemological ruptures associated with today’s multiple crises of financial capitalism. Theoretical and practical approaches, once dependable, no longer guarantee a return to a secure space. Therefore, we advocate for “disruptive spaces”—environments fostering human and non-human entanglements. Responding to the theme “Searching for International Relations: Spaces, Styles, Struggles,” we turn to contemporary financial capitalism for radical suggestions to enrich IR theory and plurality. Embracing Speculative Fiction, Environmental Justice, and Urban Marginalization, we invite cross-disciplinary contributions, including performance lectures, dialogues, and discussions challenging academic norms. Specifically, we seek engagements with: (1) Speculative Fiction: Exploring its potential to challenge financial capitalism’s hegemony, rendering visible power structures, and uncovering suppressed contradictions and potentialities. (2) Decolonial Readings: Investigating how IR perpetuates a world order rooted in settler-colonial relations through art, activism, and research pursuing Environmental Justice. (3) New Urban Futures: Examining Urban Marginalization of Communities in global cities, envisioning postdevelopmentalist futures, and exploring resistance within marginalized communities through urban commoning, artistic activism, and food justice.

S31 Power Dynamics and Regulation of Emerging Technologies in Europe and Beyond

Section Chairs: Federica Bicchi & Michal Natorski

Emerging technologies are opening new sites of struggle and cooperation in Europe and across the globe. The aim of this section is to provide a discussion of the power dynamics that emerge in these new spaces, with the overall goal of analysing the transformation of international politics in the digital age. The new sites are occurring at multiple level and involve a multiplicity of actors/stakeholders. At the global level, the EU has taken upon itself the endeavour of setting regulations for the most relevant aspects of emerging technologies, but there are several other actors that jostle for influence over the same dossiers (from the United Nations to the G7 to voluntary code of conducts drafted by tech companies). The outcome of these power struggles also affects countries and actors that might not be included in their making, from local administrations to countries in the Global South, raising the issue of further complex dynamics in their implementation. Similarly, the regional European context continues to act as a powerful arena for negotiations, at the multilateral level as well as at the minilateral level, including both EU- and non-EU member states. At the level of organisations, diplomatic actors engage with emerging technologies to different levels and with different results, while all have to relate to a shifting environment. How do emerging technologies affect multilateralism in the digital age, and viceversa? Which actors have been propelled into the foreground and which instead might be on the wrong side of digital divides? Which sources of knowledge and expertise have come to matter in international politics at the time of big data and algorithms? This section aims to gather panels that will discuss these broad issues across the various levels of analysis, in order to better understand Europe’s politics in the digital age.

S32 International Political Economy in the Age of Geoeconomics

Section Chairs: Oliver Kessler & Lena Rethel

Protectionist policies are on the rise, supply chains re-evaluated and shortened, and infrastructures increasingly securitized. A politics of suspicion increasingly lays itself upon the world economy like dust over a coastline, making it difficult to infer the future of global economic linkages. The atmosphere it produces is grim - history tells us that these moments of intense de-coupling are also the times when wars become more likely and the boundaries between the economy, security and politics become increasingly blurred. The order that was created in the aftermath of 1989 is closing down on us, the future uncertain.

Over the last couple of years, the concept of geoeconomics gained traction in debates about the current predicament. It tries to make sense of the current decoupling, and at the same time signifies that the era of neo-liberal globalization and unfettered markets has come to an end. This section invites papers to explore the relevance of geoeconomics for the theoretical landscape of International Political Economy (IPE). To realise that the international is more than interactions between states, and that indeed politics and the economy are irremediably linked is not news to anyone in IPE. It is the very insight that gave rise to its revival in the 1970s. Moreover, it is a reality that has always mattered for countries in the Global South.

Yet, the end of globalization as we know it and the advent of geoeconomics does call for a reevaluation of theoretical debates in IPE that we invite contributors to undertake.