Section List



ST01 Critical Military Studies
Section Chairs

Anna Danielsson & Caroline Holmqvist

Critical Military Studies provides an inclusive and interdisciplinary space for the interrogation of violence, 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 algorithmics; the imbrication of military power and violence with regimes of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability 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 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.

We would particularly welcome contributions that foreground the ecological, that explore militarism and war-making as planetary forces, and that examine the very ‘natures of war’ (Gregory 2016) – the environments and atmospheres through and on which war is fought. How are forms of martial thinking and power entangled with the violences of extraction, contamination, fallout, toxicity and extinction, reshaping the very material possibilities and conditions of living and dying? How might resistance to militarism resonate with environmental and decolonial ontologies and practices?

ST02 Diplomacy - Past and Present
Section Chairs

Ann Towns & Katarzyna Jezierska

Diplomacy is constantly changing. Over the last decades, the diplomatic profession has opened up to new social groups and is no longer exclusively the reserve of men of aristocratic descent. What is more, diplomatic functions are being performed by new social actors (e.g., civil society, celebrities) and diplomacy is practiced in new ways (e.g., use of social media). Understanding these changes may require new theoretical and methodological approaches. Indeed, following these changes, diplomatic studies has become a vibrant and innovative area of research.

Our section taps into this innovative research by focusing on the changing practices of diplomacy in a historical perspective. We imagine our section to ask a range of different questions about continuity and change covering anything from short time frames to the long durée. How do new developments reconstitute diplomats and diplomacy? What dimensions of diplomacy have stayed the same over time, as reified practices, and how? With decolonization, as a growing number of new states were diplomatically recognized with resident embassies, how was diplomacy transformed? Has diplomacy adapted to the recent entry of large numbers of women, and if so, in what ways? In addition to the huge impact of the recent “practice turn” on diplomatic studies, what are other theoretically innovative strategies to analyze diplomacy? What might the centering of non-Western agency imply for the study of diplomacy?

We welcome papers and sections interested in exploring these transformations.

Theoretically, methodologically and empirically innovative contributions are all encouraged, including feminist, postcolonial/decolonial and critical race approaches.

ST03 Doing International Political Sociology
Section Chairs

Jef Huysmans & Joao Nogueira

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

ST04 Global Health: One Health and Power Politics in Nature
Section Chairs

Nicholas Thomas & Catherine Lo

Health sits at the centre of power politics in nature. Humanity’s impact on nature has seen nature impact on humanity. Novel diseases now cross borders and populations with ease. Diseases proliferate in animal species, threatening not just the animals but the humans whose fates are intertwined with those animals. 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.

Global health is an ideal lens from which to explore the threats facing humanity. It draws together participants from the natural as well as social sciences, from law and from economics. These different disciplines bring inter alia 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 of global health, or the political determinants of health Whilst this list is non-exhaustive, a consensus in all global health study is the prominent role that politics plays in decisions about the provision of health. The inclusion of a series of global health panels in the 2020 PEC will encourage the type of cross-disciplinary fertilization of theories and approaches that helps to identify opportunities for the mitigation of the crises facing all life. As such global health is the embodiment of Glissant’s idea of the écho-monde where all things resonate with the other, and where solutions spillover beyond their intended targets.

ST05 Globalising IR
Section Chair

Beatrix Futak-Campbell

The rationale for the section evolves from the call for broadening, diversifying, and globalising the study of IR. The need for globalising IR has been anticipated by Hoffmann 1977, Bull 1985, Cox 1981, Alker 1984, Holsti 1985, Ashley 1987 and has been taken up by scholars from both the Global North and South. Although there are many labels used to describe the fragmented attempts at globalising IR, most share the critique of the dominance of American IR, persistent Eurocentrism, and the existence of the discipline as a subfield of political science. Globalising IR will offer an intellectual space for all scholars working on any aspect of IR want to make the discipline more global even if their focus is one specific region.

EISA offers a perfect platform to advance the process of globalising IR. Even though there have been many attempts to globalise IR, they have remained within a specific disciplinary space. This EISA Section aims to build on these previous efforts but also go beyond, and to globalise IR also in the sense of bringing in its concerns (Eurocentrism etc.) into different sub-fields e.g. comparative regionalism and European Studies. Globalising the sub-field of European Studies alongside IR is to advance Chakrabarty’s (2000:3) claim that the “European age” in modern history began to yield place to other regions and global configurations”. In order for European Studies to remain relevant, it is a must to move away from provincialization to locating the study of ‘Europe’ in the study of globalised IR.



ST06 Historical International Relations
Section Chairs

Benjamin de Carvalho & Zeynep Gulsah Capan

Historical International Relations has gained traction over the past decades, as reflected in a growing presence of papers and panels at major conferences in the field of International Relations (IR). Strong in its experience in fostering such engagements beyond sub-disciplinary boundaries, the HIST section aims at engaging with works ranging from more theoretical reflections on history and international relations to more specific empirical discussions. The HIST section offers a timely platform for reflections on historical knowledge in IR, now that a longitudinal perspective on our present has become an ever more pressing matter to understand and explain current international affairs. A main aim of this section is thus to focus on specific historical trajectories and transitions and to question the idea that often dominates in IR that the making of the international rests on historical, clear-cut ruptures. The HIST section invites scholars interested in all types of historical inquiry: from micro-histories of the international to particular historical event or phenomenon, or in historiographic explorations of international relations and/or the academic field of IR.

ST07 International Migration, Nationalism and Interethnic Relations
Section Chairs

Valeria Bello & Christian Kaunert

International migration has several key implications for International Relations. Human mobility can actually affect bilateral and multilateral relations; is often connected with the upsurge of tensions between states and ethnic groups; influences the way the international system and the role of the nation within it are regarded; and is a central topic of discussion in the field of national, international and human security. Moreover, from the early 1990ies, further understandings of why international migration have increasingly been socially constructed as an issue that, from social, cultural and economic concerns, has entered the security domain have developed what is known as “the securitization of migration” literature.

Nonetheless, migration is also the focus of non-security studies in IR, such as the analysis of the governance and the management of human mobility, or the influence of phenomenon such as transnationalism and diasporas in IR. Furthermore, crucial are the consequences that international migration involves for regionalism and cosmopolitanism, or for interstate cooperation, sustainable development and inequalities. Newly studied is instead the nexus between migration and climate change. For all of the intersections that exist between migration, nationalism, inequalities and interethnic relations, human mobility has often entailed a relevant bulk of action by part of both state and non-state actors. The role of civil society, NGOs and social movements, along with the policies, practices, techniques, speech acts and performances of state actors, have often been at the core of innovative analysis that have contributed to further expanding the understanding and perspectives of international studies.

ST08 International Practices
Section Chairs

Ingvild Bode & Frank Gadinger

International Practice Theory (IPT) has proven to be one of the most innovative research programs in International Relations. Outlining and developing novel concepts and frameworks and a renewed interest in methodology, it has led to new kinds of empirical material on world political phenomena. This section invites scholars interested in international practices and IPT to take stock, to review ongoing research projects and reflect on conceptual vocabularies, but also to discuss the frontiers of international practice research. Several themes are in focus of the section. Firstly, how IPT enables productive cross-disciplinary discussions with other social sciences, the humanities and even the natural sciences. Secondly, how the attention of practice-oriented scholars to concrete and observable practices that shape everyday world politics allows for integrating into IR research methodologies, such as abduction, participant observation, or ethnography. Thirdly, how such research methodologies provide an empirical ground for new forms of theorizing world politics as spatially and temporally situated phenomenon. Fourthly, addressing ontological challenges such as the relation of practices to power, reflexivity, critique, visuality, technology, or normativity. We particularly welcome contributions that focus on methods or discuss the relationship between IPT and related frameworks and disciplines such as pragmatism, anthropology, assemblage theory, actor-network theory, science and technology studies, or narrative and visual approaches.


ST09 International Relations in the Anthropocene
Section Chairs

David Chandler & Delf Rothe

The Anthropocene has become a major concern for scholars of international politics and one that, for many authors, fundamentally destabilizes much of the traditional disciplinary concerns and assumptions. The crisis brought about by rising temperatures and sea levels goes well beyond the physical impacts of climate change and other anthropogenic environmental changes. The Anthropocene is a crisis of government – as established modes of governance seem increasingly inappropriate to deal with the complex and unbounded political problems we see emerging. Furthermore, the Anthropocene is a crisis of Western ethics and political theory – as established anthropocentric norms, institutions and values appear increasingly problematic and outdated. Finally, the Anthropocene is a crisis of imagination, as Amitav Gosh crucially reminds us, since it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine any alternative to the current path of fossil-fuels based consumption and destruction.

The proposed section is devoted to the multiple engagements of IR scholars with the notion of the Anthropocene. It provides a space to think through the new forms of political agency and governance that we see emerging in the Anthropocene. It fosters critical discussions of the concept – for example from decolonial, feminist, and/or poststructuralist perspectives – and invites proposals for thinking the Anthropocene differently. It reflects upon the technological dimension of the Anthropocene and engages with the implications of posthumanism beyond the realm of ecology (for example in the realm of AI and other emerging technologies). Finally, it includes methodological discussions and fosters new and creative approaches to studying international politics.

ST10 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.

We are interested in both analytical and normative approaches. For instance, empirical analyses of how different types of institutions relate to each other and how they affect the behaviour of states and other actors, as well as normative and critical engagement with the ethics of contemporary international society and its potential transformations.

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) that underpin the norms, institutions and practices of international society.
  • Whether one or many international societies exist and how they might relate to one another.
  • Whether the current order provided by international society’s norms and institutions can accommodate diverse and competing demands for justice.
ST11 Political Economy Beyond Boundaries
Section Chairs

Burak Tansel & Lisa Tilley

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.

ST12 Popular Culture and World Politics
Section Chairs

David Mutimer & Simon Philpott

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.

ST13 Science, Technology and Security
Section Chairs

Linda Monsees & Rocco Bellanova

Security policy and security practices can hardly be imagined without science and technology. Political programs foster the development of technoscientific security tools, and science and technology are often presented as drivers for behavioral and institutional change, as they enhance or curb actor capacities. Thinking about the science, technology, and security is however complicated by the political work and ambiguity of innovations. Science and technology can be conceived as threats just as well as means for security production – and sometimes even as both at the same time (think for instance of drones and how they can be used by different actors for physical attacks, reconnaissance, or rescue).

IR scholars have more recently explored novel ways to conceptualize and study science, technology and security within the international, including – but not limited to – approaches from STS, sociology, anthropology, assemblage theory, and new materialist philosophy. The aim of this section is to encourage conceptual, methodological and empirical work informed by critical thinking and creative theorizing along these lines. We thus invite contributions that explore the interplay of science, technology and security across different domains such as warfare and the military, counterterrorism and intelligence cooperation, the regulation of global mobility and borders, science diplomacy, dual-use research, and others.

ST14 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

ST15 Visual IR
Section Chairs

Rune Saugmann & Gabi Schlag

Visual International Relations (IR) is an internationally growing field of academic research, political critique and aesthetic practice. Past work in this field has shown how our understanding of international relations, security and world politics is enhanced by paying attention to vision, visuality and visuals. We invite scholars interested in deepening our engagement with how different international and global political phenomena such as migration, climate change, human rights, gender, and war are visually mediated and constituted, and in reflecting on how different visual technologies from oil paint to computer vision intervene in the political. We encourage contributors to engage as well as employ different media such as photography, computer-generated images, film, graphic novels, video and painting.

Theoretical and methodological contributions that critically reflect the merits and challenges of Visual IR are gaining terrain in journals and edited volumes. We invite contributions that deepens this engagement by addressing vision, visuality, visibility, and visuals in IR in unexpected, theoretically informed and methodologically reflected ways. Contributions that investigate the normativity of vision and (in)visibility are particularly welcome, as are contributions to enhance our teaching practices and to think about IR in terms of creativity.

ST16 Agrarian Orders and Transformations: Disruptions in Agraria
Section Chairs

Felix Anderl & Inanna Hamati-Ataya

The twenty-first century marked 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 expected to sustain the needs of a growing world population in unsustainable conditions of life and production, governed by the economic and normative rules of an asymmetrical global food regime. Future life chances will be determined by the political ability to capture ongoing transformations in our agrarian paradigm and rectify the course that appears to be leading to societal collapse. This section invites panel and paper proposals 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 interested in mapping out agrarian orders and transformations: historical, current, and future patterns and processes of asymmetrical societal and economic development in agrarian life-systems. We are especially interested in the theme of disruption: How have agrarian orders been disrupted, e.g. by imperial, colonial, and neoliberal policies deployed at regional and global scales? What are the consequences of the unequal distributions of natural and technological resources, unequal protections from physical, economic, and environmental harm, and long-standing structural inequalities? How do these violently established orders disrupt traditional forms of life and sustainable agrarian solutions? And how are the agrarian orders created by these disruptions disrupted yet again by strategies of resistance and solidarity that delineate hopeful futures with alternative, non-exploitative modes of agricultural production?

This section is sponsored by the Centre for Global Knowledge Studies (gloknos).

ST17 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.

ST18 Contestation in International Politics
Section Chairs

Flavia Lucenti & Cecilia Ducci

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 contestations – 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.

ST19 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’


ST20 International Political Design: Making World Politics Differently
Section Chairs

Jonathan Austin & Anna Leander

What do the majority of social scientists studying world politics do? They read. They write. Some run numbers. Some go to archives. Some head to the field. That’s what most scholars of world politics do. But what if we – instead – imagined a student of world politics standing in a factory, at the end of a production line? Or sitting at an architect’s desk, sketching? Or in a workshop, crafting objects? This is hard to imagine because, well, that’s just not what the vast majority of social scientists exploring world affairs do at the moment. This section is orientated around growing interest within International Relations (IR) to bringing these alternative forms of practice into the heart of the discipline. 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. Drawing broadly from across science and technology studies, international political sociology, feminist theory, (critical and speculative) design, postcolonial theory, pragmatist sociology, and beyond, 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. 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.

ST21 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.

ST22 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 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.

ST23 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?

ST24 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.



S01 Existentialism in and for IR
Section Chairs

Maja Greenwood & Nina Krickel-Choi

Interest in existentialism and its implications for politics has been growing in recent years, leading to the formation of an emerging research agenda in IR whose insights warrant deeper exploration. Specifically, IR scholars have paid increasing attention to how existentialist concepts such as anxiety, freedom, subjectivity, time, and mortality impact on the study of international politics.

In this section, we seek to host panels which can further the development of an existentialist framework and research agenda. Such contributions could, for example, investigate how insights from existentialism suggest ways of finding meaning in crises, how they help us to understand an age of anxiety, how to think about responsibility and care in a time of pandemics and environmental catastrophes, or how to act authentically in a post-truth society. Beyond providing diagnoses for our current situation, existentialism thus also offers guidance for resistance and using creativity as a form of authentic politics that is worth exploring.

We invite panel and paper proposals that engage with the question of how existentialism may be developed as a research agenda for IR specifically as well as political science more broadly. As the existentialist canon includes foundational feminist and post-colonial work such as that of Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon, we see great potential in existentialism as a resource for challenging and diversifying the field and would be particularly interested in contributions highlighting the work and influence of non-Western, feminist, and queer existentialist thinkers.

S02 Decentering debates on future global orders
Section Chairs

Dovilė Jakniūnaitė & Ieva Giedraitytė

Most discussions on changing structures of the global system and challenges to the modern global order come from disciplinary and political centers. Lately, despite being aware of many imperfections of the so-called 'international liberal order' (LIO), the authors at 'the center' worry about its potential break up and a threat of insecurity. Yet, the full-scale Russian aggression on Ukraine not only provided space for debates on the role of the West but also demonstrated the relative (non)importance of this war for the Global South. Differing approaches to the war reconfirm the relevance of grasping the multitude of perspectives emanating from non-dominant geopolitical spaces of the global structure, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, Southeast or Northeast Asia, or Africa. Multiple actors there take varied positions on the LIO and propose different ways to reform the international structures dominating the second part of the twentieth century. This section responds to the invitations to de-center the West and proposes taking stock of debates on the future of the LIO emanating from 'the periphery.' We invite panels and proposals analyzing the perspectives of non-centrally located regions and states and discussing:  the future of global/international order,  possible trajectories of change,  causes explaining the current situation,  causes of competition & discontent with the current global order. The section seeks to find patterns of thinking across geographical/geopolitical spaces. It also aims at reflecting on the impact of particular locations and self-perceptions on the conceptualizations of the globality and the construction of global orders

S03 Bordered spaces, bodies and actions: Old crises and new world orders?
Section Chair

Lisa Marie Borrelli

Borders are central to the production and reproduction of some of the major crises brought about by colonialism, racial capitalism, and the current nation-state system: if, as Ruth Wilson Gilmore (2020) has suggested, ‘capitalism requires inequality, and racism enshrines it’, borders are central mechanisms through which racism is enforced, sustained and normalized across states and regions. It follows that people who migrate for various reasons are key global actors whose conditions shed light on the racialised, classed and gendered inequalities produced through these global processes. This session invites panels and paper contributions that explore, empirically and theoretically, the role of bordering practices in producing racialised, classed, and gendered global inequalities and exploitation on a local and global scale. Yet even as border controls are reinforced, migration and social policies more restrictive, and solidarity with migrants criminalized, we see how migrant struggles, local grassroot movements, mutual aid groups, trade unions, and transnational solidarity networks continue forging alternative support structures. Accordingly, the session explores how the struggles and demands for the right to move and to stay pave way for a more participatory and emancipatory politics that challenges the migrant-citizen divide and articulates a vision for a new world order. Finally, we wish to make space for a critical conversation on the role of university in reproducing current crises, on the one hand; and of how - and which - ‘dissident knowledges’ (Spooner and McNinch 2018) can be used in the service of transformative change, on the other.

S04 Institutionalising the New Normal? International Organisations in Times of Crisis
Section Chairs

Matthias Kranke & Andrea Liese

We live in an age of intersecting crises and intensifying contestation. As highly influential global governors, international organisations (IOs) – understood here as intergovernmental organisations with states as members – are not immune to these dynamics. The proposed section takes stock of the current conjecture by addressing both the institutional undercurrents and specific manifestations of the global ‘polycrisis’ with which IOs are confronted today. To this end, five of the ten panels on this section focus specifically on IOs as actors and the environments in which they operate. The key themes here concern: representation and diversity (within IOs); mandate and authority overlap (between IOs); and stakeholder relations, institutional embeddedness, and expertise and trust vis-à-vis key audiences (all beyond IOs). The insights developed through engagement with these themes lay the foundation for discussing the various facets of what has been called ‘the new normal’ in contemporary global politics. Specifically, the final five panels examine what the new normal entails for the growing share of autocracies and populist governments among IO members, the rule of law, policies to foster economic growth, sustainability challenges, and advocacy and agenda-setting in global politics. The section’s panels complement each other to nurture fresh thinking about the important but contested role of IOs.

S05 Civilian agency in war and violent conflict: Exploring the power of self-protection
Section Chairs

Berit Bliesemann de Guevara & Sukanya Podder

According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are now an estimated record high of 103 million people forcibly displaced by violent conflict, and most deaths in conflicts are among civilians. This makes the protection of civilians a pressing issue of our time, which in both international politics and the discipline of IR is imagined predominantly as a task of armed actors (UN blue helmets, national police or militaries, armed self-defence groups, etc.). Yet, this focus obscures the myriad ways in which civilians act upon the violent situations they find themselves in. Communities experiencing armed conflict make choices between violence and peace depending on their perceptions of risks and returns. Whether creating weapons-free zones, setting up alternatives to state-led emergency responses, interrupting violent attacks through nonviolent strategies, or promoting norms and cultures of peace and nonviolence – communities living amidst violence demonstrate daily their capacity to influence conflict. Yet, while there is a growing body of scholarship on civilian interactions with formal and informal armed actors (state military, rebel groups, vigilantes, gangs etc.), little is known about how armed actors can be protective or at least support and coalesce to civilian-led self-protection initiatives. This 5-panel section zooms in on civilian agency and nonviolent strategies, and explores how they challenge IR theorising about conflict, security and protection. Specifically, we ask: (1) In how far can civilians influence the behaviour of armed actors through their own agency to self-protect? (2) How can civilians encourage armed actors to adopt more protective behaviours towards them?

S06 Emotions and the Dynamics of International Liberal Order
Section Chair

Magdalena Kozub-Karkut

The issue of emotions in international relations has been taken up in the literature for at least a dozen years (since we have been talking about the second wave of studies in this area or the 'emotional turn' in International Relations). Nevertheless, although researchers have addressed the topics of how to conceptualize emotions in IR or how to move from the individual to the collective level of analysis, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the meaning and significance of emotions. Following this idea, in this section, we would like to focus on the role and importance of emotions in world politics, especially in ways of (de)legitimising values-based international liberal order through the use of the emotional factor. Therefore, we would like to invite all scholars focusing on questions regarding: (1) contestation of multilateralism and liberal values (who, why, and how is questioning, what is the role of emotional factors, what are contesting strategies and roots); (2) emotionally based arguments and communication strategies in international relations; (3) intersections between emotions and populism; (4) utilizing emotions and political identities in strategies maintaining the liberal order. We invite researchers with diverse theoretical perspectives (including constructivist, critical and discursive approaches) addressing the importance of emotions in IR and using distinct research methods.

S07 Decolonising Development Practices
Section Chairs

Sarah Becklake & Lata Narayanaswamy

While some define development as a global project that aims to create a better world for all (Peet and Hartwick 2015, United Nations 2015), others argue that it is a political project that (re)produces inequalities (McMichael 2004, Escobar 1995, Ziai 2016). Following the latter, there have long been calls to break with dominant patterns of thinking and doing ‘development’, giving rise to searches and suggestions for alternatives (Escobar 2020). Contributing to these efforts, this section focuses on ‘Decolonising Development Practices’. Drawing upon de/coloniality and post-colonial scholars (e.g.: Krishnaswamy and Hawley 2008, Lewis and Mills 2003, Mignolo and Walsh 2018, Said 1995, Quijano 2007), it centres the relationship between intersecting geo- and body-political inequalities and development. In taking a practice approach (Bourdieu 1990), it understands development to be something that is routinely performed and performative of the socio-spatial world and the subjects that populate it. Following, there is no ‘one’ development practice, but a multiplicity of development practices undertaken by, and (re)productive of, different actors in and across diverse geopolitical spaces. The section invites papers that creatively (re)theorise the relationship between past/present coloniality and diverse development practices, highlighting not only continuities, but also how - or indeed if - development can be reimagined and transformed in ways that are actually conducive to creating a ‘better world for all’. Potential questions include: What does ‘decolonising development practices’ look like from different social and epistemic locations? What are some of the challenges to decolonising development practices? Are there existing examples of decolonised development practices? And can development practices ever be fully decolonised? In addressing these and similar questions, the five panels will help to envision new ways of thinking and doing ‘development’.

S08 International atrocity prevention and accountability
Section Chairs

Melinda Rankin & Charles Hunt

Despite significant progress since the London Charter and the establishment of the Nuremberg Tribunal in the aftermath of WWII, atrocity crimes continue to be a feature of contemporary global society. From Ukraine to Eritrea to Myanmar, civilians are subjected to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide (including ethnic cleansing). Notwithstanding the emergence of normative frames like the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), and the establishment of international criminal tribunals, efforts to prevent and hold those most responsible for humanity’s greatest crimes often appear hindered by a lack of political will. Moreover, the evolving international legal order seems ill equipped to effectively enforce international criminal and humanitarian law. This section is designed to challenge these views but also to identify opportunities to enhance atrocity prevention and accountability globally. Moreover, it attempts to bridge the gap between the normative concepts that allocate duties and expectations for responses to atrocity crimes and the complex legal frameworks that exist to identify and prosecute such crimes, including the Genocide Convention and the pursuit of justice in foreign courts excising universal jurisdiction, respectively. A key innovation of this section will be to bring together IR and legal scholars to deepen conversations around atrocity crimes and international law (including customary international law) and encourage productive collaboration to support a social and political order without atrocities – whereby prevention and accountability is increasingly the ‘new normal.’ Drawing on collaborations focusing on atrocity prevention between proposed panel chairs and participants (eg Hunt & Zimmerman, 2020; Bellamy & Hunt, 2021; Hale & Rankin, 2019), roundtable collaborations focusing on atrocity accountability (eg Han & Rankin, 2021; Rankin & Han, 2022), and the growing interest in international criminal accountability in IR more broadly (eg Rankin & Hale, 2019; Rankin, 2022; Han, 2022), this section aims to explore debates at the intersection of international atrocity prevention and accountability at both the conceptual and practical levels. In doing so, our preference is to organize a section of 5 panels on these themes.

The section proposal is sponsored by the quarterly journal, Global Responsibility to Protect whose editors-in-chief have agreed to publish a double special issue containing papers from this section.

S09 Populism as the New Normal in World Politics?
Section Chairs

Erica Simone Almeida Resende & Sandra Destradi

One characteristic of the New Normal seems to be the emergence of populism as a global phenomenon that erodes democracy everywhere, even in established Western democracies. Be it from the right or the left, populism is on rise, casting a long shadow over the ruins of familiar political, social, and economic orders destroyed or severely challenged by multiple crises. At the same time, populists have been voted out of power in several countries, but they continue to shape the political discourse, with all the consequences this has for international politics. In a way, the emergence of populism as the New Normal challenges the discipline of International Relations by forcing it to better acknowledge the short-and longer-term implications of populism. By disentangling the deep links between the domestic and the international in populism, IR has the potential to contribute to better ‘come to terms with the phenomenon of populism’. This 5-panel section is an attempt to respond to this call by posing the following questions: What are the characteristics of the populist new normal? How do international actors react to it? What are the consequences for international cooperation and international institutions? What is the role of emotions, affect and ideologies – including racism, nativism, colonialism, antisemitism, and misogyny – in constructing populism as the new normal? How has the pandemic impacted populist projects worldwide and more generally, how have populists capitalized on the multiple crises in world politics? What should academics and practitioners do to address populism as a new normal?

S10 The Ethics and Politics of 'Harm': International Relations, Global Political Economy and International Law
Section Chairs

Lara Montesinos Coleman & David Jason Karp

Rationalist approaches to global ethics (Hutchings, 2018) such as consequentialism and deontology treat harm as an objective foundation: as something that can be measured, or as the content of a moral imperative guiding global ethics. Yet, harm, as Linklater and others have insisted, is an ‘essentially contested concept’ (Gallie, 1956; see Linklater, 2006, Hoseason 2018, Karp 2020). Feminist, decolonial and historical materialist scholarship has also emphasized the extent to which dominant understandings of harm in global ethics and international law are shaped by structural power relations in ways that occlude the experiences of harm of historically marginalised peoples (e.g., Rojas-Paez, 2018, Coleman et al. 2019, Furtado 2021, Dolan 2022). These contested understandings of harm have enormous implications for making sense of responsibility, liability, redress and reparation at a juncture marked by ever-intensifying capitalist extraction, conflicting imperial ambitions, public health crises and the increased visibility of the climate emergency. The conceptualisation of harm likewise has high stakes for the crafting of social relations more enabling of human and non-human flourishing, or even of our collective survival. This five-panel section would build on a successful roundtable at the British International Studies Association 2022 conference. It would bring together leading and emerging voices on these themes from an array of countries and across diverse traditions of thought, connecting the critical interrogation of “harm” to substantive areas including climate crisis, business and human rights, migration policy, international criminal justice, racial/colonial capitalism, and hate speech.

S11 Heterarchy -- Envisioning World Politics Between Hierarchy and Anarchy
Section Chairs

Philip Cerny & Aleksandra Spalińska

The discipline of International Relations since its beginning has been dominated by the presumption that world politics is based on a state system, and that domestic realsm is hierarchical, whereas the state system is anarchical. However, the developing ‘new normal’ that we need to understand is heterarchy: the predominance of cross-cutting sectoral mini- and meso- hierarchies above, below, and across states. These structures are interconnected, autonomous, and often captured by special interests. Building upon the forth coming volume on Heterarchy (, this section explores these complexities and the world order emerging from them. In this 5-panels section, we welcome papers that explore the architecture and elements of current transformation. Therefore, we seek papers that study the dialectics of globalization and fragmentation, and their consequences in world order. In particular, it concerns mechanisms, practices and policies that undermine or transcend the anarchical logic of the state system or the hierarchical order in the domestic realm. We are thus interested in projects one.g. transnational tensions in political development, “extra-state” and imperial authorities in history and today, (post)colonial and structural entanglements, asymmetrical governance, local and domestic responses to global impacts, corporate power, private security and warfare, non-state actors, channels for foreign influence or transnational activism. Moreover, we invite papers that explore the contribution of Heterarchy or its critique in the current IR debates to enable the dialogue between Heterarchy and established approaches (like historical sociology or structural realism). We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions, including those focused on specific area issues. Three main themes for the section:

  1. Heterarchy in history and theory: political development of world order and the contribution of Heterarchy to IR.
  2. Heterachy in action: political power, transnational tensions, and their consequences. Mechanisms, practices and policies which undermine or transcend the anarchical logic of the state system or the hierarchical order in the domestic realm.
  3. Consequences of increasing heterarchy on societal level: social anxieties, local contexts and domestic responses to global impacts.
S12 Global China and the changing international order
Section Chairs

Jonna Nyman & Chenchen Zhang

This section takes as its starting point a recent call to analyze China as part of the world (Franceschini and Loubere, 2022). Existing debates have tended to see China as different from, and outside of, the rest of the international order. IR scholarship in particular has tended to favour grand narratives over nuanced empirically grounded research. Focus has been on how (the rise of) China will shape the global order, while the intensification of the US-China competition has prompted widespread speculations about the prospect of a “new cold war”. Debates on whether and how “China” is posing a challenge to the “liberal international order” tend to take both concepts as a political singularity rather than attending to their multiplicity, historical contingency, interconnections, and relationship of co-constitution. Inspired by recent calls to approach “global China as method” and to investigate global politics through area studies, this section invites critical and interdisciplinary scholarship on global China to gain contextualized, empirically fine-grained, and/or conceptually innovative analyses of the relationship between China and the international order. We hope in particular to bring critical security studies and critical IPE in dialogue to develop a deeper perspective on the entanglement/s of the geopolitical and the geoeconomic. The proposed section would include 5 panels.

S13 Critical Security Studies: Colonial Entanglements, Everyday (In)security, and The Politics of Threat
Section Chairs

Tom Pettinger & Amna Kaleem

This section opens space for discussion around the connectedness between colonial capitalism and the ‘exceptional’ threats identified in the conference theme, from democratic backsliding to climate change. Conversations about threat to the dominant world order are structured through racial, gendered, and classed exclusions, and often forget colonial (geo)politics surrounding these ‘crises’. Regimes labelled democratic and with highly advanced economies have been produced through the exploitation of land and labour, yet this violence becomes unknown in most research on security. This section is therefore interested in theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions that speak back to the identification of contemporary threats as detached from colonial/racial capitalism. Instead, it situates colonial capitalism as producing mass violence, and uncovers how most forms of mass suffering are located outside of discourses of threat and vulnerability. The section asks: what forms of violence, conflict, and suffering are overlooked in contemporary articulations of ((inter)national) security, and how, and with what implications? The section interrogates the conceptual and material continuities between dominant notions of threat – from the terrorist Other to naturalized environmental catastrophe – and colonialism/ capitalism. Moreover, discussions centre the role of the academy as systematically exclusionary and ask how complicity might be negotiated. Seeking contributions from fields including memory studies, queer studies, and anti-colonial studies, panels untangle relationships between (in)security and colonial capitalism. Themes of this section include temporality, space and borders, the politics of dangerousness and threat, vulnerability, complicity, resistance, everyday (in)security, memory, and imperialism. The section welcomes collaborations between activism and research.

S14 Altered Orders: Reimagining Movements and Activism in Global Politics
Section Chairs

Cerwyn Moore & Annamaria Kiss

In recent years, international politics has been marked by a sustained period of crisis, rupturing the traditional practices of politics, challenging the orthodoxy of the global, and issuing in uncertainty and altered orders in international relations. Against this backdrop of altered orders, this section will examine social movements and activism as challenges to, and manifestations of, militarism and militancy as a new normal in global politics. To this end, it will focus on different ways of knowing international politics, drawing on often neglected research areas such as studies of militancy and activism in repressive settings. It will include theoretical and empirical panels examining different movements and activism in various locations. How do transnational activists seek to challenge and co-produce new practices of IR? Do repressive systems of order produce new forms of militancy, new movements, and new patterns of transnational activism? What are the implications of assessing mobilisation and violent movements for the study of international politics? Are new visions of social and relational politics feasible, and how can we examine or co-produce novel research on global politics, given the uncertainties in international affairs? Are new methodological approaches needed to analyse altered orders?

S15 Making new from old? Realist thought, theory, and analysis in the search for a new normal
Section Chairs

Gustav Meibauer & Alex Reichwein

Realism is often considered one of IR’s mainstream approaches. And yet, frequently, realism is criticized as out-of-date, static, incapable of a positive vision that transcends the recurrence of great power struggle and rivalry that realists assume characterizes the international. This criticism is especially relevant in times of crises and change, and as (seemingly) new challenges permeate policy and scholarly agendas. Realist responses have often been viewed as either gloomy in their pessimism or cynical in their purported scientific neutrality. In either depiction, realism has long outlived its ability to shape the discipline and our thinking about better futures. And yet, the re-emergence of great power rivalry, advances in military technology, and the continued relevance of interstate competition have triggered renewed interest in realist analyses and prescriptions.

Against this background, we invite submissions that engage with the realist tradition, including by its critics, along five themes: 1) the genesis of the realist tradition in the face of multiple changes, crises and the new; 2) different realist approaches, including classical realism, neorealism, realist constructivism, neoclassical realism, and if/how they allow theoretical innovation regarding crisis, change, and normality; 3) realist theorizing of international politics and/or foreign policy, by throwing new light at “traditionally realist” questions/concepts or specific actors’ foreign policies (including beyond the Global North); 4) realist visions/analyses of (past, present, future) IR, and/or considering how realism advances our understanding of contemporary/future challenges, 5) the place of realist thought/analysis in the discipline, as well as at the intersections of academia and outside stakeholders/practitioners.

S16 Multilateral environmental negotiations and agreements : participants, processes, performance
Section Chairs

Lisanne Groen & Carola Klöck

Cross-border environmental problems abound – as do multilateral efforts to address them. We most often talk about the climate and biodiversity crises, but other equally pressing environmental problems exist, such as plastic pollution, air pollution, and chemical waste, to name but a few.

These problems are inherently transboundary and interdependent in nature, and hence require a multilateral approach. The number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) has grown enormously over the past decades and new internationally legally binding instruments continue to be negotiated. Nevertheless, ambitious and effective outcomes are often lacking, while the state of the environment continues to degrade. How can we better study MEAs and assess their performance, given the long-term and complex nature of multilateral environmental problems? Under what circumstances and why do environmental negotiations underperform? To what extent has their success rate changed over time? Given the slow (or no) progress of several MEAs, are multilateral environmental negotiations and agreements still worth pursuing and studying? If so, how should we do so? What is the role of, and links to, non-state participants in these negotiations?

This section aims to explore these questions. We argue that precisely because many MEAs and their negotiations fail to achieve the desired results in a timely manner, it is necessary to dive deeper into MEAs to explore their functioning, participants, and performance, including through new scientific methods.

S17 The documents of security
Section Chair

Andrew W. Neal

Documents as source materials have long been a mainstay of social scientific research, but now new methods, approaches, and available documents offer fresh research opportunities. AI and machine-learning based techniques such as natural language processing allow new possibilities for analysing large-scale corpora, searching not just for content but for meaning. The proliferation of public security documents outputted by multiple states and government departments, together with mass leaks of classified electronic files, present rich possibilities for researching the previously closed world of security politics and policy. Building on work done in the 2022 EISA-PEC section Leaving (No) Traces: The Practices and Politics of Archiving beyond the Western State chaired by Nora El Qadim and Monique Beerli, this pluralist section invites cutting-edge work that may include:

  • Practice-based approaches to how documents are produced and act within and beyond the security field.
  • Technological approaches to security document analysis and production, such as natural language processing and automated text analysis.
  • Research on security policy documents such as national security strategies, defence white papers, national risk registers, and cyber security strategies.
  • The role of leaked documents in security research and security politics.
  • The role of document classification, declassification, and archives in security research and security politics.
  • Reflections on the role and function of security documents drawing on theories of communication, discourse, actor-networks, symbolic power, symbolic interactionism, and so on.


S18 Discourse Analytical Approaches to Foreign Policy Analysis
Section Chairs

Kai Oppermann & Alexander Spencer

The goal of this section is to critically discuss and enhance novel discourse analytical research in Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA). FPA has long been criticized for leaning towards (soft) positivist approaches and methodologies (Kaarbo 2015), but the field has more recently started to embrace more post-positivist perspectives on foreign policy, including discourse analysis (Hansen 2016; Ostermann and Sjöstedt 2023). Thus, discourse analytical work has already shed new light on a range of topics in FPA, for example EU foreign policy (Larsen 2018), security policy (Hansen 2013), UK European (Bevir et al. 2015) and post-Brexit foreign policy (Daddow 2019) as well as Russian (Crilley and Chatterje-Doody 2021), Indian (Wojczewski 2019) and French (Ostermann 2018) foreign and security policy. However, discourse analytical approaches are still underused in the FPA subfield and far less established than in International Relations (IR) more broadly. Indeed, discourse analysis remains outside the FPA mainstream, limiting the extent to which the study of foreign policy can take full advantage of methodological and theoretical advances in this area. The relative neglect of discourse analytical approaches in FPA also makes it more difficult for FPA scholarship to speak to broader research agendas in IR and reinforces the existing de-connect between the two fields of study. Against this background, the section aims to showcase original and innovative discourse analytical research in FPA. It invites papers that use discourse analytical approaches to push the boundaries of our theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge in FPA.

S19 Islam as the New Normal in the Study of the ‘International’
Section Chairs

Raffaele Mauriello & Deina Abdelkader

The section addresses Islam as a key factor in global affairs and in the field of International Relations. It aims to offer a broad understanding of the role of Islam in world affairs by presenting case studies of the worldview of Muslim thinkers and practitioners, the Islamic polity and governance, transnational Islamist movements, Islamic approaches to International Relations Theory, global Islamic governance and institutions, the Islamic polity and governance (the Islamic State, the Umma, and the Nation-State), Islam and Foreign Policy Analysis, Islamic Diplomacy, Islam and Global Security, and Islam and geopolitics. Since its appearance on the world scene, Islam has played a major role in world affairs. However, as shown by the experience of the International Relations and Islamic Research Cohort (CoIRIS), as an intellectual and strategic phenomenon Islam has received limited sustained attention, and the role of Islamic Civilisation, Muslim-majority countries, and Muslim thinkers in the fields of IR, IRT, FPA, and Diplomacy has remained mostly unaddressed. This Section aims to fill this gap by exploring theoretical and empirical experiences of the Islamic civilization from the classical to modern and contemporary periods and by presenting the worldview of prominent Muslim thinkers, statecraft experiences, transnational movements, and Islamic states. The larger aim is to include Muslim intellectual contributions and experiences to the field of IR in order to enrich, diversify, and strengthen it by taking into account a wider possible picture of past and current case studies fashioned under the themes highlighted in the call.

S20 Re-Imagining the International: Norms, Ontological Security and the International Organization
Section Chairs

Cornelia Baciu & Brent Steele

The enforcement of international law is a prerequisite for normalization of relations, whether in the communal daily life or diplomatic level of states. Norms have been crucial in the stability of the international institutional, legal and organizational architecture that has been established after the Second World War, and in providing a sense of ontological security and normality. However, in the last decade, norms and international organizations have been increasingly contested. Changing state imaginaries, practices of (non-)recognition or new meanings can hinder the implementation of international norms and law, whether treaty law or customary law. The rationale of this section is as follows: Just like the end of the Second World War or the fall of the Berlin Wall, the war in Ukraine and the withdrawal from Afghanistan constitute tipping points in the international institutional architecture, inviting us to re-imagine the international and how ontological security as a stable mode of continuity can be established for all states. This section seeks to shed light on the intricate dynamics of norms change, ontological security and the implications for law enforcement and the international organization as a building block of order. To this end, this Section aims to discuss: 1) processes of making of legal and institutional orders, 2) the evolution of norms and norm change and 3) its reverberations on ontological security, law enforcement and new visions of order.

S21 Governing Global Economy in the Uncertain Times
Section Chairs

Karina Jędrzejowska & Anna Wróbel

The 2021-2022 Human Development Report indicates that “we live in the live of worry”. Two years after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to make a clear assessment of the global economic situation. In addition to the ongoing pandemic and disastrous social and economic effects of the war in Ukraine, the economic situation of many countries has deteriorated due to extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent and severe as sea and air temperatures rise. The severity of the current situation has been underlined in the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Financing for Sustainable Development Report that imply that we might have entered a lost decade for (sustainable) development with over 150 million people plunged back into extreme poverty. In this time of global uncertainty, international cooperation appears even more important than ever. Stopping the pandemic and returning to a path of sustainable development and inclusive growth are only possible with the cooperation and involvement of public and private institutions at every level: from local through national, regional, and global. Therefore, the section offers a multidisciplinary approach towards analyzing multidimensional uncertainty in global economic governance. In particular, the section intends to look at the challenges to global economic stability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate change. It also aims to provide respective policy recommendations for a more inclusive and resilient global economic institutionsin the time of growing debt distress and rising inflation.

S22 Youth in Global Politics: Governance, Representation, Transformations
Section Chairs

Anna Holzscheiter & Jonathan Josefsson

Few people would deny that recent waves of youth transnational activism –– from climate strikes to protests for stricter gun control to #MeToo to protest movements in Hongkong and Iran for democratic rights – have left their mark on international cooperation. And yet, youth as political agents inside and outside of international institutions are barely addressed in International Relations (IR) scholarship. Despite the lively history of labour, peace and environmental movements driven by young people all throughout the 20th century, youth actors do not figure in our IR textbooks as shapers of international politics. Our section brings together IR scholars working on the history, dynamics and effects of youth advocacy and activism in global politics. While critical IR scholarship has thrown light on the gendered, classist, racialized and anthropocentric exclusions that underpin salient sites of global affairs, this EISA section turns attention to contested political representation of youth. A quintessential object of study in the discipline of IR, international organizations first and foremost evoke the picture of adult, professionalized high-politics. Our section therefore asks: how have youth advocates and activists been in-/excluded in international institutions? How do they interpret, resist and engage with hegemonic discourses, influential policies and international political events across fields such as global health, climate, migration, international security and economic governance? To what extent are the boundaries between youth and other age groups (children; adults) contested? What are the effects of legitimizing international rules by addressing responsibilities for future generations and the ‘not-yet’ without meaningfully engaging youth?

S23 New Intelligence Studies
Section Chairs

Hager Ben Jaffel & Sebastian Larsson

In today’s unruly and unpredictable world, intelligence has moved far beyond the conventional operations of intelligence services, beyond espionage and national security. Logics of counterterrorism, surveillance, and policing have emerged as the ‘new normal’ in intelligence work. 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, law enforcement, and border guards, as well as 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 data in transnational alliances and conducting mass surveillance on citizens across the globe using advanced digital technologies.

Envisioning a new world in this context means investigating and questioning contemporary intelligence and its increasingly dispersed effects on our everyday lives and fundamental rights and freedoms. In doing so, narrow state-centric and functionalist perspectives in established Intelligence Studies (IS) – which reinforce rather than reimagine dominant world orders – must be abandoned in favour of interdisciplinary and critical perspectives that take the professionals and practices of intelligence as the immediate point of departure. Building on previous efforts at EISA and beyond to develop such a research agenda, we invite contributions from across IR that challenge orthodox understandings of intelligence, bring into view the new actors, objects, targets, and sites of contemporary intelligence, or that take a fresh look at intelligence services through perspectives centring on their professionals, practices, as well as violent effects.

S24 Online Section

Burak Tansel & Dagmar Vorlíček

This year, an online one-day pre-conference will be organized on 5 September 2023.

Authors interested in taking part should select the Online Section as the preferred thematic section in the submission process.