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February 2018

Workshop: Doing International Political Sociology

February 22, 2018
University of London in Paris Paris, France + Google Map

'Doing IPS' research cluster is organising a cafe style workshop in University of London in Paris on the practice of 'doing' IPS. It will particularly interrogate the convergences and divergences between different idioms within the IPS through engaging with the ongoing research in the field, by both senior academics and early career researchers. Early career researchers will get the chance to present and discuss their works with seniors, and attendees will get the chance to gather the various trajectories in ongoing IPS research. It will conclude with a panel chaired by Jef Huysmans.
For more information on this event and/or if you wish to register, click here

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Global Politics Unbound Roundtable: Riding the Postcolonial and Decolonial Wave

February 28, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Queen Mary University of London, Law Building, Room 207 London, United Kingdom + Google Map

Riding the post-colonial and de-colonial wave: what will the intensified interest in post-colonialism contribute to our understanding of world politics?
Speakers: Audrey Alejandro, Clive Gabay, Nivi Manchanda, Lisa Tilley
Chair: Robbie Shilliam

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May 2018

Performing Utopia: Discourses of Love, Compassion and More in International Relations

May 25, 2018
Queen Mary University of London: Arts Two Building, Room 217, Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS United Kingdom
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One-day Workshop on Friday, May 25, 2018, organised by Audrey Alejandro for BISA and DoingIPS
At: School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London (Arts Two Building, Room 217).

Since the 1990s, International Relations (IR) scholars have growingly been interested in the role of discourses for the structuration of the social and political order. The interest for discourses spans across the theoretical spectrum of the discipline from critical realism to constructivism to critical theories. This better understanding of discourses has offered new insights on commonly studied objects such as norms, identities and the legitimation of international policy. Finally, the familiarisation to Discourse Analysis and the emphasis on the role of narratives broaden the methodological scope of IR scholars and students.

A key concept used in the literature is the concept of performativity. Performativity is the capacity for discourses to manifest into being the reality they describe. From John Austin to Pierre Bourdieu, the study of performativity extends from identifying speech acts—for example, a couple being married as a result of a priest saying “you are married”—to investigating the social conditions in which any discourse can become performative. Based on the idea of performativity, scholars have put forward how social agents unconsciously perform the power relationships and discriminations they have been socialised through the implicit layers of their discourses.

The concept of performativity, however, raises a challenge for the scholars who aim at challenging the social and political order. This particularly applies to criticism formulated in negative terms. Indeed, if discourses participate in structuring the world they refer to, how can IR discourses focusing only on domination and constraints contribute to social change and the improvement of the social conditions they study?
The aim of this workshop is to bring together scholars whose work addresses this contradiction. The concept of “utopia” has been chosen as an umbrella to encompass all the objects, theories and methodologies capable of performing a world different than the one historically studied in the discipline. The workshop will enable scholars to begin collaboration and build a research community reflexively sensitive to the production of its academic discourses and taking into account their potential performativity.

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