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Upcoming Events


International Political Sociology and Historical Sociology: Encounters

When: 19th October, 17:30-19:00

Where: S-2.08, Strand Campus, King's College London

Participants: Dr.Leonie Ansems de Vries (KCL), Prof. Sandra Halperin (Royal Holloway, University of London), Prof. Jef Huysmans (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr. Ayse Zarakol (University of Cambridge), Alvina Hoffmann (KCL, chair).

Registration: For registration send an email to

This roundtable is co-hosted by the LISS DTP funded IPS PhD seminar series and the Research Centre in International Relations (RCIR). In the Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology, Historical Sociology appears as a cognate field of study, something this roundtable wants to build on and suggest pointsof contact. How can we rethink history from an IPS perspective? What is history in Global Historical Sociology? What is the value of studying time as long durée?

Four distinguished speakers within the subfields of International Political Sociology (IPS) and Historical Sociology will reflect on their own research, focusing on empirical, methodological and theoretical questions on whether an encounter between IPS and historical sociology is possible, what it would look like,and envision possible research avenues.

Possible points to discuss:

•How do you approach the ‘international’ from your field? (Global historical sociology as opposed to fracturing and problematising the ‘international’ in IPS)
•How do you connect events through time in your research?
•How do we study historical practices?
•What mode of temporality is history and what are its limits?
•How do we approach the archive, and how might an IPS-inspired approach help us recover multiplicities and do multi-sited archival research?
•Can we look at long durée, global processes and transformations from an IPS perspective?
•What is the role of empire, hierarchy and power struggles in your research?

Past events


Blasts from the Past?: Anachronisms in Security Studies

When: 14th March, 17:00-19:00

Where: Bush House NE, Room  1.03, Strand Campus, King's College London

Speaker: Prof. Jaap de Wilde (University of Groningen). Thomas Bottelier (KCL) as discussant. Event chaired by Dr. Pablo de Orellana (KCL)



Does history repeat itself? In recent years many have asked whether we are reliving the 1930s, or witnessing the beginning of a new Cold War. In this talk, hosted by the KCL Research Centre in International Relations (RCIR) and the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War we enquire:  what are the consequences of such anachronistic thinking?

Considering these questions from a conceptual and historical perspective, Jaap de Wilde (Groningen) will be discussing his recently published paper on Anachronistic Research in International Relations and Security Studies. De Wilde argues that political thought and security studies “are trapped in anachronistic thinking.” But, where many historians and others argue that anachronisms should be discarded, De Wilde argues that anachronisms are inescapable, and that it is necessary to “theorize their consequences,” not eliminate them. He identifies two main ways anachronistic thinking operates, one well-known and theorized, the other less so: projecting the present onto the past (e.g. balance-of-power theory onto ancient Greece) and projecting the past onto the present (e.g. talk of a ‘new Cold War’). Both ways ignore the time-bounded character of many concepts, and limit most international-political thought to narrow confines such as the Westphalian states-system.

Revealing this perspective opens up a much deeper well of historical experience from which to draw in understanding contemporary international issues, such as the model of medieval politics for present-day European security. This talk is aimed at broadening and adding depth to current debates by students and researchers in IR Theory, (Critical) Security Studies, History, European Studies, analysts and practitioners.


Jaap de Wilde, known for his work in security studies, securitisation and governance, is professor in International Relations & Security Studies at the Department of International Relations & International Organization,  University of Groningen. He is governor of Globalisation Studies Groningen, which he co-founded in 2010 and from 2013-2017 he was chairman of the Dutch Foundation for Peace Research. From 2001 to 2007, De Wilde was professor in European Security Studies at the Department of Political Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and from 1995-2007 senior research fellow in European Studies and IR Theory at the Centre for European Studies (CES), University of Twente. From 1993-1995 he worked as senior research fellow at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). More:


The Law of the List: UN Security Council Sanctions and the Politics of Global Security Law


When: 14thFebruary, 17:15-18:45

Where: Bush House, NE Wing 1.04, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG

Speaker: Gavin Sullivan (Kent Law School, University of Kent)  

How does the UN Security Council come to know and govern the problems of 'global terrorism' and 'foreign terrorist fighters' in practice? And what are the implications of the Council’s post-9/11 pre-emptive counterterrorism campaign for international law, collective security and human rights?

This talk addresses these questions by following the UN Al Qaeda and ISIL sanctions list and security experts tasked with its administration. Based on interviews with officials from the UN Security Council, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and other security experts, I show how the mundane technology of the list and the politics of expertise are redefining the boundaries of collective security and creating global security law in the shadows of the UN Security Council.

My argument is that we need to be much more attentive to the ways that non-human things - artefacts, technologies, instruments - actively participate in the making of legal and political relations.  

Speaker:  Gavin Sullivan is a lecturer in law at the University of Kent. He obtained his PhD (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the politics of global security law and governance and cuts across the disciplinary divides of law, international relations, sociology and security studies. His research has been published in journals such as Transnational Legal Theory, the American Journal of International Law and Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Gavin is also practising solicitor with experience in public law and human rights litigation.

He previously directed the Counterterrorism Program at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (Berlin) and worked with Leigh Day & Co (London). He has undertaken research for the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights on the human rights effects of laws targeting foreign terrorist fighters. Gavin coordinates the Transnational Listing Project - a global law clinic providing pro bono representation to people targeted by security lists worldwide. He is a member of the Law and Society Association and the European Society of International Law.


War and the Politics of Ethics


When: 21st February, 18:00-19:30

Where: The Pyramid Room K4U.04, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Speaker: Maja Zehfuss, Prof. International Politics (University of Manchester)

War is destructive and deadly. The First World War is often thought to have shown that war is futile. Yet the Second World War, although even more spectacularly horrible and deadly, lent itself to being represented as a -­ or indeed The - ­Good War, the war in which good triumphed over evil, freedom and democracy over genocidal racism and totalitarianism. This apparent success in making the world a better place through war has since provided not only a trope through which war can be justified but ­more than that ­ a moral imaginary that powerfully suggests the appropriateness or even need to wage war for the Good.

This has been visible in contemporary Western war as ethical war. From Kosovo to Iraq, the West has seen itself as delivering a better world to populations suffering from oppression, genocide and other serious human rights abuses, while protecting freedom and democracy at home. We are trapped in a dilemma, however, if what we do risks killing those we ostensibly seek to protect. This paper introduces the argument of my new book, War and the Politics of Ethics (Oxford University Press 2018) that this long-standing and powerful dilemma requires us to move beyond existing ways of conceiving the ethics of war to understand war as a politics of ethics.

Speaker: Maja Zehfuss is Professor of International Politics at The University of Manchester.  She is the author of Constructivism and International Relations: The Politics of Reality (Cambridge University Press 2002), Wounds of Memory: Politics of War in Germany (Cambridge University Press 2007) and War and the Politics of Ethics (Oxford University Press 2018).  She also co-edits Global Politics: A New Introduction (with Jenny Edkins, Routledge, 3rd edition 2019).


'The EU Security-Industrial Complex: Framing Freedom, Technology and Surveillance in Europe'


When: 11th December, 17:00-19:00

Where: War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07, KCL, Strand, WC2R 2LS  

Speaker: Chris Jones (Statewatch) in conversation with Professor Didier Bigo and Dr. Emma Mc Cluskey


The Schengen Agreement, signed on 14th June 1985, coupled the lifting of border controls in Europe with ‘offsetting measures’ in the field of police cooperation and border security. In a nutshell, Schengen attempted at resolving the tensions between freedom and control of movement by making the latter the condition of the former.

While the European Union project has faltered in recent years, afflicted by the fall-out of the economic crisis, the rise of anti-EU parties and the Brexit vote, there is one area where it has not only continued apace but made significant advances: Europe’s security policies have not only gained political support from across its Member States but growing budgets and resources too.

Chris Jones is a researcher at the London-based civil liberties charity Statewatch, where he has worked since 2010. He specialises in EU justice and home affairs issues, particularly in relation to policing, migration and security policy.

Chris Jones’ latest report , Market Forces; The Development of the EU Security Industrial Complex, demonstrates how the EU’s €1.7 billion ‘Secure societies’ research programme has been shaped by the “homeland security” industry and in the process is constructing an ever more militarised and security-focused Europe.

This will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the “Schengen Paradox: Freedom, Technology, Surveillance’ with Professor Didier Bigo, Dr. Emma Mc Cluskey, Professor Kees Groenendijk and Professor Cyrille Fijnaut.

This talk opens up more broadly how the different set of practices related to Schengen frames the relations between freedom of movement, border controls and inclusion-exclusion of migrants and asylum seekers. We discuss the transdisciplinary approach we undertake connecting International political sociology of freedom and security, sociology of surveillance and anthropological research on borders- to look at the importance of the Schengen Paradox today.

Public seminar: ‘Textual Teamwork: Combining Close and Distant Readings of U. S. National Security Strategies’

Joint event between the Research Centre in International Relations (Department of War Studies) and the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.

When:7th November 2017, 17:00-18:30
Where: The Pyramid Room K4U.04, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Speaker: Professor Robin Wagner-Pacifici, New School of Social Research

Registration link:

This talk will feature reflections on methodological benefits and challenges in combining close, individual readings of official state strategy documents with computational readings of them. Achievements, frustrations, and ongoing aspirations of a team of U.S. sociologists, aiming to combine a close, hermeneutic and semiotic reading and a computationally generated modeling reading in one research project, will be presented. 

Discussants: Claudia Aradau (War Studies) and Tobias Blanke (Digital Humanities) 

Robin Wagner-Pacifici is the University in Exile Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of a number of books, most recently What is an Event? (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and The Art of Surrender: Decomposing Sovereignty at Conflict’s End. Current work in progress includes further development of a sociological theory of event shape-taking and trajectory (event restlessness and undecidability) with focus on 9/11 and the election of Barack Obama; a collaborative project mapping sovereign relations in the realm of security strategy (including qualitative and quantitative analysis of networks of sovereign and semi-sovereign entities in US National Security Strategy reports); and theorizing the boundaries and resolutions of social, political, and military conflict. 

Claudia Aradau is Professor of International Politics in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. Her research has developed a critical political analysis of security practices. Among her publications are Politics of Catastrophe: Genealogies of the Unknown (with Rens van Munster, 2011) and Critical Security Methods: New Frameworks for Analysis (co-edited with Jef Huysmans, Andrew Neal and Nadine Voelkner, 2015). Her recent work examines security assemblages in the age of Big Data, with a particular focus on the production of (non)knowledge. She is currently co-writing a book on algorithmic reason and the new government of self and other with Tobias Blanke. 

Tobias Blanke is Reader in Social and Cultural Informatics in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. His background is both in computer science and philosophy. He has led on several projects in social and cultural informatics, from open source optical character recognition, open linked data, scholarly primitives to document mining and information extraction for research. His current work focuses on Big Data and its implications for society as well as developing novel computational approaches to analyse digital culture and society.

Human Security as Ontological Security: A Post-Colonial Approach?

When: 21st March 2017, 13.00-14.30
Where: War Studies Meeting Room K6.07, KCL, Strand, WC2R 2LS        Speaker: Professor Giorgio Shani

Giorgio Shani is Professor at the International Christian University, Japan and Visiting Senior Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. Professor Shani's research interests focus on religion, security and ‘post-western’ international political theory, with particularly with reference to South Asia and Japan.
In his most recent book, Religion, Identity and Human Security (Routledge 2014), he attempts to reconceptualise Human Security along post-secular lines by arguing that, if Human Security is to contest the hegemony of the national security paradigm and potentially become a new global ethic, it needs to be more inclusive of religious and cultural difference.
His lecture on 'Human Security as Ontological Security: A Post-Colonial Approach?' will suggest that that a ‘post-secular’ understanding of Human Security  is better able to provide ontological security in times of rapid global transformation but only if it accounts for the centrality of religion to post-colonial subjectivity as a legacy of colonialism. This will be illustrated by the case of the global Sikh community.

Fracturing IR: An agenda for International Political Sociology

When: 23rd February, 17:00h-18:30h

Where: The Pyramid Room K4U.04, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Speakers: Prof. Jef Husymans and Prof. Joao Pontes. Chaired by Prof. Vivienne Jabri

In this talk we seek to introduce an agenda for international political sociology (IPS) that researches the fracturing of contemporary social and political relations. It inscribes IPS in two interconnected lineages: a lineage of critique focused on the question of limits and a poststructural lineage – literally understood as ‘after structuralism’ – which refers to how to deal with the limits of structuralism while retaining a focus on the conditions of possibility of practice and relations. In doing so, we seek to foreground the problems of structuralism and various poststructural engagements with it as a defining and productive lineage for taking IPS forward. It is an agenda for contributions to IPS that experiment theoretically, conceptually, and methodologically with ‘connecting’ and ‘becoming’ to re-inscribe the “post” of structuralism and to re- invent the question of limits in ways that speak to the contemporary in IR and world politics.

The talk draws on the 10th Anniversary issue of the journal International Political Sociology that we edited: “Ten years of IPS: fracturing IR”, International Political Sociology. Vol. 10, no. 4, 2016.

Jef Huysmans is Professor of International Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London.  He was Co-Editor in Chief of the journal International Political Sociology from 2012 until end of 2016. He is best known for his work on the politics of insecurity, the securitization of migration, and critical methods. Currently he is working on security and democracy in times of surveillance, the political life of methods, the inscription of the fact and prospect of violence in democratic politics, and the political significance of everyday practices. His latest book is Security Unbound. Enacting Democratic Limits. (Routledge, 2014).

Joao Pontes Nogueira is Associate Professor of International Relations in the International Relations Institute at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil.  He was Co-Editor in Chief of the journal International Political Sociology from 2012 until end of 2016. His current research focuses on inequality and development; transformations of humanitarian space and international relations theory and international political sociology.  He also coordinates the IPS Winter School held every year in Rio de Janeiro. 


Book Launch: The International in Security, Security in the International

Prof. Pınar Bilgin, Bilkent University

When: 16 February 2017, 17.00-19.00

Where: War Studies Meeting Room K6.07, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Speakers: Prof Pınar Bilgin in conversation with Dr Claudia Aradau and Prof Vivienne Jabri

Free registration:

Seeking to further debates surrounding thinking beyond the 'West/non-West' divide, this book analyzes how scholarship on, and conceptions of, the international outside core contexts are tied up with peripheral actors’ search for security. Accordingly, Bilgin looks at core/periphery dynamics not only in terms of the production of knowledge in the production of IR scholarship, or material threats, but also peripheral actors' conceptions of the international in terms of 'standard of civilization' and their more contemporary guises, which she terms as ‘hierarchy in anarchical society’.

Pınar Bilgin is Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University. She is the author of Regional Security in the Middle East: A Critical Perspective (2005), The International in Security, Security in the International (2016) and co-editor of Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology (With Xavier Guillaume, forthcoming in 2017), Asia in International Relations: Unthinking Imperial Power Relations (with L.H.M. Ling, forthcoming in 2017). She was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at WWIC, Washington DC in 2006-07 and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King's College London in 2013-14. She was a visiting professor at the Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies of the University of Southern Denmark and a visiting scholar at the Center for the Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the University of Copenhagen during 2015-16. She served as Associate Editor of Security Dialogue during 2008-2013 and Associate Editor of International Political Sociology during 2012-2017. She is the co-editor (with Monica Herz) of the new Palgrave book series, Critical Security Studies in the Global South.

Frontiers of Mobility: Migration and Control in an Age of Securitisation


Dr Ruben Andersson, London School of Economics 

Tuesday 15 March 2016, 3pm, War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07)

Amid the political panic over the migration or refugee ‘crisis’, the capability to control cross- border movement has emerged as a holy grail for anxious politicians in Europe and elsewhere – just at a time when the capability to regain such control looms large for well- connected refugees and migrants themselves. This paper sketches some initial thoughts on how to analyse and research this tense juncture, characterised by a growing mismatch between states’ vast resources to control movement and the equally unprecedented resources at migrants’ disposal, as well as by the increasing securitisation of mobility that attempts to ‘paper over’ this very mismatch. One way of approaching this juncture from an anthropological perspective, I suggest, is to build an ‘ecological’ approach that explores interactions in a ‘complex system’ of mobility control. Complex systems analysis may help bridge historical and empirical scales, reaching an ethnographically grounded account of today’s perennial ‘mobility crises’ that joins up the microphysics of mobility with meso/macro structures and longer historical shifts. In the same vein, an ecological perspective may also allow for analytically treating what are often seen as separate ‘mobility problematics’ within the same frame, from the heavily patrolled European borderlands to the control of air travel and the perennial refugee encampments outside the West.

Ruben Andersson is an anthropologist at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, London School of Economics and Political Science, and the author of Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe (University of California Press, 2014).

This event is part of the Borders, Citizenship & Mobility workshop, co-organised by RCIR and the Department of Geography, King's College London


Sovereignty in Jerusalem: from Concept to Conflict

Dr. Roee Kibrik, chaired by Dr. Leonie Ansems de Vries, discussant: Dr. Filippo Costa-Buranelli


Tuesday 22 March 2016, 5pm, War Studies Meeting Room (K. 6.07)

Embracing the notion that concepts are a foundation of political behavior and that politics is at the base of conceptualization processes, researchers have focused on the political and social processes of attributing meanings to concepts. This work contributes to this effort by introducing the idea that the state of concepts can be an analytical tool which assists researchers and practitioners who delve into this field of concepts. It argues that a concept can be in one out of four states: stable, contested, essentially contested, or destabilized. The concept’s state derived from the specific historical context of relations and interactions between existing knowledge, socio-political structures and practices and experiences. The state of a concept has consequences in terms of the political actors’ ability to communicate and project a future act and execute it effectively. The paper takes the example of sovereignty in Jerusalem to demonstrate the political and epistemological advantages of recognizing that concepts have different states.

Roee Kibrik is an Israel Institute postdoctoral Fellow, and a visiting researcher at King's College London, the Department of War Studies.  He received his PhD. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the department of International Relations. His work has focused on the socio-cognitive processes that shaped the behaviour of the Israeli actor in the negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He integrates insights from political theory, political psychology, language and history, in order to expose the complex relations between theory and politics and describe different dynamics of mutual construction and change. In the last years he served as a Neubauer Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel-Aviv, and as a Postdoctoral Fellow

Book (re)launch: The Reason of States
with an introductory talk by Prof James Mayall on the "Ambiguous Legacy of Liberal Empire"

chaired by Prof Mervyn Frost
Wednesday 24 February 2016, 5-7pm, War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07), Department of War Studies, King's College London

In 1974, before there was any such thing as 'the English School', Michael
Donelan convened the International Political Theory seminar, held Fridays
at the London School of Economics. Over the next ten years, 'Interpol'
issued three volumes, on the *Reason*, the *Community* and the *Condition
of States*. *The Reason of States*, first published in 1978, was the
immediate occasion for Roy Jones' seminars at Leicester and Keele and the
famous 1981 article, which linked Manning, Wight and Donelan and baptised
their collective efforts the 'English School'.  It was in these volumes
that Chris Hill, Mervyn Frost, James Mayall, Cornelia Navari and Hidemi
Suganami made their first appearance as international political theorists;
that John Vincent produced his famous 'Realpolitik', Barrie Paskins his
'Community of Terror?' and Philip Windsor his 'The State and War'.
Routledge has undertaken a reissue of the volumes, demonstrating the
trajectory of its development from the last meetings of the British
Committee on the Theory of International Politics to Barry Buzan's 1999
relaunch of the 'ES'.

This event is organised by the Research Centre in International Relations, King's College London.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 from 17:00 to 19:00 (GMT), War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07), Department of War Studies, King's College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS
You can register for this event here

The Field of Eurocracy

Conference with Prof. Didier Georgakakis, 6 May, 3:30 – 5:30pm, K2.31 Nash Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor King’s Building, Strand Campus

The Research Centre for International Relations (RCIR) is delighted to host Prof. Georgakakis (Université Paris - la Sorbonne) who will deliver a talk on the field of Eurocracy. This event is organised in the framework of the EU-funded SOURCE project in which researchers of the RCIR are mapping the professions and institutions of security in Europe.

The field of Eurocracy corresponds to the transnational social space where actors struggle to define the tools, policies, instruments and values of the European Union, as well as the properties that one must possess to legitimately get involved in these struggles. This concept provides a fruitful venue to map the institutions and professions of security in Europe. The talk will bring the field of Eurocracy to bear on European security actors. The discussion will tackle the possible convergence in terms of methods and contents with the approach of the transnational field of the guilds of security management developed at RCIR.

Discussant: Dr. Edoardo Bressanelli (Department of EU Studies, KCL)

Chair: Prof. Didier Bigo (Department of War Studies, KCL)



SOURCE and DTC Special Workshop on Creating and Managing Data

Methods workshop, 6 May, 10am-3pm, 2.21 Waterloo Bridge Wing, Waterloo Campus

For students who are interested in building a database, this special session will present an online, open-access and user-friendly environment to design, create, structure and manage rich datasets. For students who have followed the DTC-course on Visualising Security, this special session will tackle the methodological operations that come before visualising data, i.e. creating and managing data. The workshop will be co-organised with the SOURCE project, which focuses on mapping the institutions and professions of security in Europe. To this end, it is developing a relational database that will be used to gather, centralise and organise data generated by researchers.

Workshop 1: How to structure and manage data? (10:00 – 12:00)

In this first workshop, Dr. Ian Johnson, Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, will deliver a first general presentation of the Heurist data management system. Heurist provides an online, open-access and user-friendly environment to design, create, structure and manage rich sets of relational data.

Workshop 2: training on the Liberty and Security database (13:00 – 15:00)
This second workshop will feature a hands-on training where participants will be invited to locate and enter data regarding EU agencies of liberty and security. DTC students will therefore explore how they can use Heurist to organise and manage data of their own research projects.

Attendance to the workshops is by registration only, email and/or You can find out more about the SOURCE project here

NOTE: The workshops will be followed by a conference co-organised by the DTC and the SOURCE project at KCL where Prof. Didier Georgakakis will be discussing the struggle to define the tools, policies, instruments and values of the European Union and its approaches to security, as well as the properties that one must possess to legitimately get involved in these struggles. It shall be held 3:30 – 5:30pm, K2.31 Nash Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor King’s Building, Strand Campus. Visit for more details.





Wednesday 11 March, 5-6 pm, 2/19 Waterloo Bridge Wing, Franklin Wilkins Building, Waterloo campus

In coordination with the ERSC Doctoral Training Centre, the SOURCE team at KCL invites Frederic Lebaron to deliver a one-day training session on mapping methods and especially on multi-correspondance analysis and their relations with a Bourdieusian approach. He will explain both the methods and how he has used them in his own research concerning European Central Bank. To show that the methods can be applied to very different terrains Mederic Martin Mazé will also present his own PHD research on multiple correspondence analysis which has been applied to a database of more than 230 international projects concerning Central Asia, including projects funded and implemented by the European Commission.  



Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations

Friday 6 march, 12-2pm, Pyramid Room, Strand Campus, King’s College London

The International Development Institute and the Research Centre in International Relations at KCL present the book Bodies of Violence by Lauren Wilcox, of the University of Cambridge's Centre for Gender Studies.

According to conventional International Relations theory, states or groups make war and, in doing so, kill and injure people that other states are charged with protecting. It views those who are either protected or killed by this violence as mere bodies: ahistorical humans, who breathe, suffer and die but have no particular political agency. Such limited thinking about bodies and violence is not just wrong but also limits the capacity of IR to theorize the meaning and consequences of political violence. Lauren Wilcox provides a feminist conceptualization of body politics that understands bodies as material and meaningful, and as produced by, and productive of, social and political relations. Theorizing subjects as embodied requires us to pay attention to how bodies are killed and injured, but also formed, re-formed, gendered, and racialized through the bodily relations of war. It also requires that we consider how bodies enable and generate war and political violence. For example, bodies both direct violent acts (in drone warfare, for example) and are constituted by practices that manage violence (as in the scrutiny of persons as bodies through biometric technologies and body scanners). The book also argues that violence is more than a strategic action or a destructive violation of laws and norms: violence can be understood as a creative force shaping how we understand ourselves as political subjects and forming the boundaries of our political communities.

All welcome. For further information please email



The changing politics of inequality: contemporary contestations in the field
of development

Thursday 5 March 12-1pm, Pyramid Room, 4th Floor King's Building, Strand Campus

The KCL Research Centre in International Relations is delighted to host a talk by Joao Nogueira on inequality and its impact on the politics of development.

For the past three decades inequality has been a secondary issue in the
agenda of international development.  More recently inequality has become a
feature of reformist approaches to the contemporary crisis of neoliberalism.
The presentation discusses some examples of this conceptual shift and their
impact on the politics of development.

Joao P. Nogueira is Associate Professor of International  Relations at the
International Relations Institute at the Pontifical Catholic University of
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Visiting Scholar at Queen Mary University of
London.  He is co-Editor in Chief of the ISA Journal International Political
Sociology.  His fields of research are international relations theory and
inequality in world politics.



Why Colombia recycles its wars? Maria Teresa Ronderos talk at RCIR


22nd of January from 2pm - 3.30pm. King's College London, Waterloo Campus, Franklin Wilking Building, Room 75, ground floor. 

Maria Teresa Ronderos will be presenting her book at RCIR, focusing on the question of why Colombia recycles its wars. The book, Guerras Recicladas, is a history of the paramilitary in Colombia that seeks to answer this question. Maria Teresa shall also be discussing issues of freedom of the press following from the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Colombia is a paradoxical country. Supposedly belonging to the first wave of democracies and attaining, albeit briefly, universal male suffrage in the 1850s, it has experienced a long history of democracy and institutional strength and stability rare in Latin America. For example, in no other Latin American country would the system of checks and balances have stopped President Álvaro Uribe from consolidating his personal power during his presidency between 2002 and 2010.

Yet in the last 50 (possibly 70 depending on how you count) years Colombia has also had a continual civil war, was the murder capital of the world and became home to the international drug industry. It is also a country where the army can murder possibly 3,000 civilians for pay rises and holidays, the so-called “false positives” scandal, without the minister of defense feeling the need to resign.

There are at least three interpretations of coexistence of the functional and dysfunctional in Colombia. The first, the “conservative view” claims that Colombia is basically a successful country in difficult circumstances with bad luck. These difficult circumstances are the mountains and jungles with a very difficult topography alongside a decentralized population in an archipelago of cities that are intrinsically difficult to tax and govern. It’s bad luck includes unusually persistent guerilla groups (bad luck compared to Perú, Venezuela etc.) and the ambition, ruthlessness and skill of Pablo Escobar that led to the rise of the drug industry and a culture of assassins (could have happened to anyone!). Difficult circumstances and bad luck have also interacted: geography helps sustain the guerillas and the problems of governing the country make it difficult to raise taxes to fight them. This is the source of the supposedly historically anomalous levels of recent violence and difficulty in stamping out the drug industry.

Maria Teresa Ronderos is a Colombian investigative reporter, former editor of Semana, Colombian main news magazine and of, a site specialized on the armed conflict, and currently director of the Program on Independent Journalism of the Open Society Foundations.

All welcome. Email



SOURCE Workshop #2:  SOcietal security and national security: an uneasy relation? 

15th January 2015, 10:00 – noon. King’s College London, Strand Campus, Small Committee Room (K0.31), 2nd Floor


The Research Centre in International Relations at King’s College London is currently involved in the EC-funded SOURCE Network of Excellence. Within that framework, the RCIR is organizing a workshop dedicated to understanding how societal security relates to national security.

The recent decision of the UK’s Investigatory Power Tribunal on the actions of UK’s intelligence services will provide the backdrop of the workshop’s interventions. Prof. Didier Bigo (KCL) and Dr. Sergio Carrera (CEPS) will explore how the terminologies of societal and national security intersect and who are the actors involved. Particular emphasis will be put on the legal and political challenges of transnational digital surveillance.

All are welcome. Email



SOURCE Workshop #1:  Mapping the Professionals of ‘Societal Security’ in Europe

17-18th November 2014,

War studies meeting room, Department of War Studies, King's Building, King's College London

The Research Centre of International Relations will hold its 1st SOURCE roundtable on the 17th and 18 th November 2014 in the War Studies Meeting Room. SOURCE is a EC-funded project dealing with societal security in Europe. Within this framework, the RCIR has recently designed methodological principles to map out the professions and institutions in charge of securing society in Europe. This first workshop will invite a group of experts who are conducting similar investigations to reflect and comment on the SOURCE mapping methodology. The discussion will tackle the potential articulations between different mapping methods: network analysis, digital or geometric methods, oral history, prosopography, in situ ethnographic observation, in depth biographic interviews, etc.

The SOURCE team at King's College London Research Centre on International Relations comprises: Claudia Aradau, Didier Bigo, Vivienne Jabri, Médéric Martin-Mazé. Please see past posts on this Forum for work by our members on the SOURCE project.

Attendance to the workshop is by invitation only except for KCL research students. contact: Keep an eye on this page for updates and a resume of the workshop.

For more on the SOURCE project, see also:



BIG THINKERS: Exploring Important  theorists of social issues Karl Marx, Jacques Derrida & Friedrich Hayek

13 November 2014, 2-6pm, Franklin Wilkins Building 1.71, Waterloo campus

This afternoon event will involve three 30 minute presentations in which King's academics will present key conceptual ideas from a major social theorist of specific value to their work. A question and answer session will follow each talk and there will be refreshments and a talk to provide ideas and advise on using big thinkers in your own research.

Karl Marx, discussed by Prof. Alex Callinicos (European & International Studies)
Jacques Derrida, discussed by Prof. Vivienne Jabri (War Studies)
Friedrich Hayek, discussed by Prof. Mark Pennington (Political Economy)

The schedule for the afternoon is as follows: 

2-2:15pm- Opening remarks 2:15-3pm- Marx 3-3:45pm- Derrida 3:45-4:15pm- tea/coffee 4:15-5pm- Hayek 5-6pm- "How (Not) To Use Big Social Theorists", followed by roundtable 6pm onwards- drinks/refreshments




sign up here to attend:



War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07)
Public Talk, Seminar
03/12/2014 (17:30-19:00)
Professor Ned Lebow and Dr Lola Frost in conversation

Prof Ned Lebow: Why Leaders Consistently Underrate the Risk of War in Crises.

Since 1945 initiators have lost almost ninety percent of the wars they began.  This is a striking finding as starting these wars was in most instances a matter of choice, not of necessity.  Leaders and their advisors are notoriously bad at calculating risks and more often than not motivated to deny them for political and psychological reasons. I will elaborate and document some the most important reasons for miscalculation and denial and the lessons they offer for contemporary leaders and people tempted to support their military adventures.

Dr Lola Frost: Do we underrate the possibility of productive risk practices?

There are surely many reasons why we value art, compassion, love, faith or bravery but when it comes to risk, it would seem that we often collapse the idea of risk into risk management. The guiding principle of this artist’s residency is to explore the idea and practice of productive risk practices. Throughout this residency I will try to demonstrate how aesthetic risks, like other transformative risk practices might be both ethically and politically productive, but not in any direct, positivist or instrumental way. For the provocations of aesthetic risk, orchestrated by that defining feature of art where thought is made strange to itself, are immensely valued, if not entirely understood in the current international world order, even perhaps by those who might miscalculate the risk of war. The questions then are: do we underrate the possibility of productive risk practices and what does it take to take aesthetic risks? Does a breathtaking poetry reading change anything?

For further information on Lola Frost's Taking Risks Exhibition please see here

No need to RSVP



SOURCE Roundtable:                                        Methods and the international

War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07)
Public Talk
05/11/2014 (10:00-12:00)


SOURCE is a European Community funded project dealing with societal security in Europe. Within this framework, a team of researchers at KCL is currently designing methodological principles to map out the professions and institutions in charge of securing society in Europe. The first roundtable will discuss how methods construct different understandings of the international. It will link the concrete aspects of contacting actors and collecting observations with the challenge of restoring the sociological and anthropological dimensions of international practice. Anna Leander will open the debate with a short presentation of her own experience in researching the public-private nexus of security. She is a Professor at the Copenhagen Business School (Department for Management, Politics and Philosophy), a Visiting Professor at Institute of International Relations, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro and a Core team member of CRIC (Centre for the Resolution of International Conflict,

Roundtable participants are: Claudia Aradau, Didier Bigo, Vivienne Jabri, Anna Leander, Médéric Martin-Mazé.


War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07)
Public Talk
05/11/2014 (17:30-19:00)


Prof. Thomas Rid and Dr Lola Frost in conversation

Cybernetic risk:

In the early 1940s, the Anti-Aircraft problem became ever more pressing. Shooting down German bombers was getting harder. After an artillery shell left the gun's muzzle, the targeted plane would fly for up to 20 seconds and 4 kilometres before impact. Hitting the assemblage of pilot-and-machine required automated perception, computing, and prediction: it required a smoothly operating assemblage of gunner-and-machine on the ground. AA gave rise to cybernetics. Was the gun and even the plane not simply an extension of the human body?

Technology progressed in breakneck speed over the next decades. Computing, automation, robotics, and networking made human-machine interaction ever more fascinating and hard-to-grasp. Cybernetics offered a way to articulate these changes in science, art, film, and counterculture. What were these cybernetic hopes, fears, and risks? And what do they mean for us to day?

Aesthetic Free Play and the education of modern subjects:

Can art and aesthetic experience help us negotiate the hopes, fears and risks of the modern technological world we inhabit today? Given that our aesthetic experiences are never only an address of what we know or understand, but also of those emotional, affective and perceptual components of our experience that we cannot conceptualize, the answer to this question must be that the benefits of art and aesthetic free play can only operate indirectly. Aesthetic experience is a risky form of ‘play’, one in which the multiplicity and incommensurability of signification provokes our imaginations. For both Schiller and Ranciere such ‘aesthetic free play’ is part of the education of modern subjects, a subject position not interested in  definitive answers or specific interests, but  one whose reflexive, individualizing, and critical openness allows us to reflect upon, and experiment with our hopes and fears and our attitudes to risk in a modern and technological world.

Starting with a consideration of selected artworks by the Italian Futurists and Russian Suprematists and Constructivists, this collaborative conversation will be an opportunity to explore the interface between the possibility of  the educational ‘disinterestedness’ of aesthetic free play in art and the machinic histories of cybernetic art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

For more information on Lola Frost's Taking Risks Exhibition please see here

No need to RSVP



Location: War Studies Meeting room (K6.07) 

Category: Work-in-progress PhD workshop

When: 24/10/2014 (11am-5pm)

Description: This workshop is dedicated to PhD students all over the UK, who use post-structural and critical approaches in their research projects. The day will consist of two panels with presentations, followed by Q and A sessions and discussions of each participants work. The day will finish with a roundtable discussion with members from the RCIR on "writing, researching and acting in a post-structural/critical vein". Please let Ali ( or Jo ( if you want to attend.




Public Talk
22/10/2014 (17:30-19:00)
Registration URL

Lola Frost and Dr Claudia Aradau in conversation

Venue: Lola Frost’s Taking Risks Exhibition: Somerset House East Wing, Learning Centre Rooms, level -2, Kings College London, Strand Campus.

Lola Frost: Aesthetic Risk 

Our collaboration in this aesthetic risk/security risk forum is concerned to open up the idea and practice of productive risk.  Aesthetic experience in art, often defined as a moment of estrangement, can also be understood as the performance of an incommensurable gap which opens up between what we sense and what we know, or between our perceptions and our cultural expectations.  Such incommensurable and risky moments can inaugurate ethically transformative and politically disruptive processes for both viewers and artists. This collaborative conversation will be an opportunity to open up a consideration of such risky, but productively ethical and political possibilities. It will also be an opportunity to consider the possibility that all risks are not subsumed into the idea and practices of risk management. Furthermore, as the enactment of a risk practice, Lola Frost’s Taking Risks exhibition invites viewers to take aesthetic risks. 

Claudia Aradau: Knowing the future: risk, security, surveillance

Security and surveillance measures often have been justified in relation to the anticipation of dangerous and risky futures. Dangerous irruptions in the future are then to be contained, minimised or pre-emptively neutralised through different modes of risk management. These kinds of justifications have also underpinned the mass surveillance debates in the wake of the Snowden revelations. The promise of ‘connecting the dots’ about future potential terrorist attacks justifies the collection of data, data mining, and risk profiling. This talk asks what it means to ‘know the future' in the light of these debates about surveillance and security.

Claudia Aradau is Reader in International Politics in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She has written widely on security practices, risk, and uncertainty. Her book, co-authored with Rens van Munster, Politics of Catastrophe: Genealogies of the unknown critically analyses the modes of anticipatory knowledge deployed by security professionals to respond to catastrophes-to-come.



Category:Reading group and discussion 

When: 20/10/2014 (17.30-19.00)

Where: Somerset House East Wing, Learning Centre Rooms, level -2, Kings College London, Strand Campus.

On Monday October 20, the RCIR reading group will be holding a special meeting to dsicuss Elizabeth Grosz's essay 'Merleau-Ponty and Irigiray in the Flesh'. This essay has been chosen by KCL Leverhulme artist in residence Lola Frost as one of particular relevance and import to the work displayed in her current exhibition Taking Risks (Somerset House East Wing, 7-25 October). The event will begin at half past five with a tour round the exhibition by Lola herself, followed by an hour's discussion on the text in the exhibition space. All welcome, if you are interested in attending please let Alister Wedderburn ( or Jo Hedlund ( know. 

PROF PINAR BILGIN: the international in security, security in the international

Category: Public talk/seminar, followed by wine reception

When: 16/10/2014 (4-6pm)

Where: War Studies Meeting Room

Professor Pinr Bilgin, of the Bilkent University will join us for an afternoon to talk to us about her latest work on "The international in Security, Security in the International." This will no doubt be a fascinating talk. Below is her abstract: 

"How to think about security in a world of multiple differences? In this talk, I will introduce my research project that builds on the contributions of Critical Security Studies (broadly defined) and draws upon the insights of Postcolonial IR to suggest that thinking about security in a world of multiple differences entails enquiring into the international in security and security in the international. By 'inquiring into the international in security,' I refer to the need for incorporating others' conceptions of the international into the study of security. By 'others', I mean whose who happen not to be located on or near the top of hierarchies in world politics, thereby having less influence in shaping various dynamics (including their own portrayal in world politics). By 'inquiring into security in the international' I point to the need to understand how others' insecurities shape (as they are shaped by) their conceptions of the international (including IR scholarship)."





Public Talk, Seminar
When 15/10/2014 (18:00-19:00)
Venue: Somerset House East Wing Level -2

Speakers: Lola Frost, Alister Wedderburn, Laurie Benson and Pablo de Orellana 

Lola Frost, Alister Wedderburn, Laurie Benson and Pablo de Orellana will be speaking on a range of issues in relation to art, aesthetics and their relevance to ongoing debates in International Relations. Art, they believe, has a role to play in investigating International Relations, providing insights into themes which include transformation, violence, suffering and identity. 

Lola will initiate this conversational forum with a short introduction to the idea of aesthetic risk and a brief discussion of its transformational and ethical relevance to the paintings on display in her Taking Risks exhibition in Somerset House East Wing.  

Alister will speak about identity, playfulness and comic approaches to suffering, focusing in particular on the destabilisation of traditional ideas of ‘victimhood’ through the use of zoomorphism in cartoons about the Holocaust. He will refer to the work of various Jewish writers and draughtsmen working both during and after World War II.

Laurie will be looking at postcolonial issues of positionality and agency with respect to the ongoing contestations between France and Algeria. Particularly this will focus on the political and transformative possibilities of artistic re-appropriations of space as negotiated by the practices of Franco-Maghrebi artists in relation to public/gallery space, the artwork and politics in production, reception and consumption. 

Pablo will be exploring how art offers insights into how art can help understand the role and dynamics of feelings and emotion in relation to identity. In particular, he will focus on how art helps isolate and assess the constitution of identity.  This will be done through a brief analysis of five works of art and a documentary image, extracting lessons for political philosophy’s own consideration and analysis of identity and processes of identification. 

For more information on Lola Frost's Taking Risks Exhibition please see here

No need to RSVP


Prof. Jonathan Joseph: 'Explaining the EU's resilience turn: A not so special tool of a somewhat special actor'

Tuesday 27th May, 4pm Pyramid Room, King's Building, Strand Campus, King's College London

Prof. Joseph's paper discusses the recent turn to resilience-building strategies and focusses on the EU's adoption of this strategy in its approach to overseas development and disaster risk reduction. It examines whether there is anything special about the EU's use of a resilience approach and whether this in turn means that there is something special about the EU. In explaining why the resilience turn has gained influence, it locates the EU approach within the broader global governance / good governance discourse. It also does this by looking at resilience strategy in relation to the wider framework of European Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and looks to explain why the EU as an organisation is particularly keen to develop resilience-based approaches. After explaining what resilience is and how it fits with the evolution of EU policy in the areas of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, the article briefly examines the EU's most prominent resilience projects in the Sahel and Horn of Africa. It then develops a theoretical framework that sees resilience in relation to new forms and strategies of governance. While indicating that there is nothing special about the EU's resilience turn, it is suggested that resilience-building does help the EU project an image of itself as having a particular global role. Prof. Jonathan Joseph is based at the University of Sheffield's Department of Politics. His research focuses on how governmentality works in different contexts and whether it can explain international or global forms of governance. He is also interested in the theoretical issue of how governmentality intersects with hegemony. He is the author of

The Social in the Global: Social Theory, Governmentality and Global Politics

, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012),

Scientific Realism and International Relations

, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002) and

Marxism and Social Theory

, (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006). More details






Methods in a digital world workshop

15th May 2014, War Studies Meeting Room K6.07, King's Building, Strand Campus digimethworkshp

This workshop brings together speakers from a range of disciplines to discuss how social science and humanities methods have changed in a digital world. It is organised by Claudia Aradau and Tobias Blanke and is part of King's Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC) 'Society&Science' ESRC-funded initiative.

The datafication and digitisation of society have brought new methodological challenges for social sciences. The aim of the workshop is to bridge the gap between social science methods and new digital methods and thus develop a conversation between disciplines with a methodological focus. Rather than assuming that a fundamental transformation takes place, which changes the methods we use, the workshop will focus on the relationship of digital methods to traditional social science ones. In particular, the invited speakers and the panels will explore how traditional modes of scientific reasoning about evidence are transformed but also reinvented through digital methodologies and technologies. It is only in connection to existing methods that we can develop an understanding of the changes and challenges that digital methods bring to different fields. Only if we understand, for instance, the relationship of digital evidence with traditional evidence or how new computational means render the traditional distinction between qualitative and qualitative methods in social sciences, can we proceed with an analysis of methods in the digital world.

The workshop addresses three sets of questions in order to develop a new interdisciplinary research agenda around methods in a digital world. To what extent are our traditional methods transformed by the digital world? How can we map this transformation? What new digital methods emerge from the digitisation of traditional social science methods? What are the challenges in evaluating and assessing the scientific quality of these methods? Does the wide access to digital technology mean that methods have become democratised in the digital world? What are the implications of involving volunteers or ‘citizen scientists’ in social science research? More details and programme here.






Gabrielle Rifkind and Giandomenico Picco: 'The Fog of Peace: the new face of conflict resolution'

Wednesday, 14 May 5:00 - 6:30, Pyramid Room, King's Building, Strand Campus, King's College London

Institutions do not decide whom to destroy or to kill, whether to make peace or war; those decisions are the responsibility of individuals. In their new book, "The Fog of Peace" the authors argue that the most important aspect of conflict resolution is for antagonists to understand their opponents as individuals, their ambitions, their pains, the resentments that condition their thinking and the traumas they do not fully themselves grasp. In this presentation, they ask should we talk to the enemy? What happens if the protagonists are nasty and brutish, tempting policy-makers to retaliate? How do nations find the capacity not to hit back, trapping themselves in endless cycles of violence? We will discuss their new book and their approach to 'empathy' in conflict resolution in the presentation.

Giandomenico Picco served as under-secretary general of the United Nations and was personal representative of the secretary general for the United Nation year of dialogue amongst civilisations. He led the task force negotiations to end the Iran-Iraq war and the freedom of Western hostages from Lebanon. Over decades he helped securing the freedom of 127 individuals unjustly detained from 4 different countries.
Gabrielle Rifkind is the director of the Middle East programme at Oxford Research Group. She is a group analyst and specialist in conflict resolution immersed in the politics of the Middle East. Rifkind combines in-depth political and psychological expertise with many years’ experience in promoting serious analysis and discreet dialogues with groups behind the scenes.



Launch of Postgraduate Critical and Post-Structural Research Network

21st March, King's Building K4.31 (11am-12.30), K4U.04 Pyramid Room (13.00-17.00)

A group of PhD students at various universities in the UK are looking to set up a postgraduate critical and post-structural research network to offer a way for PhD students to connect with both students and staff at different institutions across the country in order to foster collaborations, ideas- and skills-sharing, and to create a strong peer-review network. We want to build on excellent initiatives such as the annual Aber-Lanc colloquium and Gregynog's Idealab, and establish closer personal and working relationships by organising regular low-key events throughout the year. These will take the form of student-led workshops and discussions both face-to-face and online that will focus on the mutual exchange of ideas and a critical (but supportive) approach to each others' research. We hope attendees will be able to air work-in-progress, participate in peer-review sessions and share research methods. We will also encourage and help organise day-long institutional isits, as well as establish an annual award for best paper by a PhD student. As time progresses and depending on interest and response to the network, our activities might expand.

The first event will be a day-long work-in-progress workshop on Friday the 21st of March, hosted by the Research Centre in International Relations at King¹s College London. Students are encouraged to present work in progress that they wish to receive feed-back on (ahead of conference attendance, journal submissions, or simply thesis chapter drafts/ whatever they are currently working on). We will circulate written work 2 weeks in advance and will aim to assign one discussant for each piece of work among both the other attending students and potentially RCIR fellows. When you confirm attendance, please also include around 50-100 word description of your research topic, main thinkers/theories you use, and your research methods so that we can match
up suitable discussants.

e-mai Josefin Hedlund ( or Alister Wedderburn ( preferably by the 21stof February if you wish to attend. Attendance is free, and we are currently working on funding for (potentially) train tickets and some light food and refreshments.

Whether you are able to attend on the 21st of March or not, feel free to email one of us in order to be added to the mailing list for future events, and please also join our facebook group:




Borders, Citizenship & Mobility: An Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Geopolitics of Encounter

Friday, 21 March, 2:00-4:00, Strand Building S  -1.29

We will host a lecture by Bridget Anderson (Oxford) on ’The Politics of Citizenship: Exclusion, Tolerance, Failure’, drawing from arguments and ideas developed in her recent book Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control (please see attached flyer). 

The workshop has been initiated and co-organised by Richard Schofield and Nicholas De Genova and sponsored with funding from the Department of Geography.  We are hopeful that you may be interested in participating in this ongoing dialogue, which will involve discussions with invited speakers roughly every two weeks.  We are counting on the active collaboration of colleagues from across King’s, and beyond. 





Joao Nogueira: 'From Fragile States to Fragile Cities: Conceptual and Operational Redefinitions of Third Generation Humanitarian Practices'

Thursday 27th February, 11am-1pm, War Studies Meeting Room, Strand Campus

Joao P. Nogueira will explore conceptual and operational redefinitions of third generation humanitarian practices. His presentation will look at the transformations of the humanitarian “regime” through a set of normative innovations that have characterized what is now conventionally defined as “third generation” humanitarian assistance and complex operations. He will argue that the redefinition of internationally accepted principles and rules of humanitarian action can be traced by the analysis of key concepts used by academics and practitioners to define and understand humanitarian crisis in the post-Cold War era. New formulations and interpretations of these concepts are increasingly used to legitimize the widening of the scope of humanitarian agencies, more specifically to allow for their deployment in “non-war” zones such as urban areas in developing or less developed countries. 

Joao P. Nogueira is a Professor of International Relations at the International Relations Institute at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was Director of IRI/PUC-Rio and Coordinator of the BRICS Policy Center. He was one of the founders of the Brazilian International Relations Association and was the general secretary for 2 years. He is also the co-Editor of the journal International Political Sociology (IPS), from the International Studies Association (ISA).




Francesco Ragazzi on 'Quali-quantitative methods and IPS'

Thursday 20th February, noon-1pm  Pyramid Room, Strand Campus

Francesco Ragazzi, Assistant Professor at Leiden University and Associated Scholar at CERI / Sciences Po Paris will be giving a talk at the department on on 'Quali-quantitative methods and IPS'​, hosted by Prof. Didier Bigo of RCIR. The talk is at noon to 1pm, at the Pyramid room. Ragazzi works on the politics of migration, diasporas and transnationalism, radicalisation and critical security studies. All welcome. 




Prof. Prof. Mônica Herz on South-South mediation and the objectives of the new Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM)

22 January 2014, 2pm – 4pm, War Studies Room – 6th floor, King’s Building, Strand Campus, King's College London Hosted by the Research Centre in International Relations (RCIR), War Studies, and the King’s Brazil Institute. Chair: Prof. Didier Bigo, RCIR, War Studies. Seats are taken on a first come, first served basis. Prof. Mônica Herz, from the Institute of International Relations of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (IRI/PUC-Rio), will discuss ideas on South-South mediation and the objectives of the new Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM), created just recently, in 2013, through a partnership between IRI/PUC-Rio and the Royal Embassy of Norway in Brazil. The GSUM is a learning, research and training platform that intends to promote the spread of knowledge and expertise on international mediation among academics, diplomats, governmental officials and non-governmental actors from Global-South countries. Mônica Herz is an associate professor at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro Institute of International Relations. She has a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science and her publications include 

Organizações Internacionais: histórias e práticas

 (co-author Andréa Ribeiro Hoffman), Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier, 2004; 

Ecuador vs. Peru: Peacemaking Amid Rivalry

 (co-author, João Pontes Nogueira ), Boulder Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002;

OAS Global Governance Away From the Media

, Routledge, 2010, apart from several articles and chapters on Latin America.




Prof. Karin Fierke:  Political Self Sacrifice: Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations


15th November 2013, 12 noon-1.30, War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07) on the 6th Floor of the King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London Professor Karin Fierke will be giving a talk on her latest book Political Self Sacrifice: Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations, published by Cambridge University Press, for more information please click


. Professor Fierke has been based at St. Andrews as a Professor in the School of International Relations in 2006. She is currently on the steering committee of the Standing Group on International Relations of the European Consortium for Political Research and representative on the ISA Governing Council. She is the author of

Critical Approaches to International Security

, Polity 2007;

Diplomatic Interventions: Conflict and Change in a Globalizing World

, Palgrave 2005; (edited with Knud Erik Jorgensen)

Constructing International Relations: The Next Generation

. M.E. Sharpe 2001;

Changing Games, Changing Strategies: Critical Investigations in Security

, Manchester University Press 1998. For full bibliography and profile on Prof. Fierke please click


. Prof. Fierke has also contributed to the RCIR Forum with a piece on Political Self Sacrifice: Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations which is available


as well as a podcast, also available at the RCIR Forum




Prof. Mark B. Salter: Through a scanner darkly: Comparing Methods in Security Studies


18th November, 5-630pm, Room K 0.20, Ground Floor of the King's Building, strand Campus, King's College London. more


. To illustrate the effect of applying different methods to the same research object, Prof. Salter's paper analyses aviation security using Foucauldian discourse analysis, Bourdieusian field analysis and finally actor-network-theory's materialism. Each method brings particular politics and relations into sharp focus. Empirically focused on the decisions to adopt risk management in aviation security in Canada, this paper demonstrates the degree to which these new security studies methods are commensurable or cumulative. Mark B. Salter is full professor at the School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa. He is editor of "Making Things International," "Research Methods in Critical Security Studies" and "Politics at the Airport," among others. He is associate editor of International Political Sociology and Security Dialogue.


Dr. Laura E Sjoberg: Gendering Global Conflict: Toward a Feminist Theory of War
Monday 2nd December, 5-7pm, Pyramid Room on the 4th Floor of the King's Building, strand Campus, King's College London Dr.  Laura E Sjoberg will be speaking about her latest book: Gendering Global Conflict: Toward a Feminist Theory of War, published by Columbia University Press. For more information about the book please click


. Dr Sjoberg is currently an associate professor at the University of Florida. Among many other books, she is the author of (with Caron Gentry) Mothers, monsters, whores: women’s violence in global politics, Zed Books, 2007 and Gender, justice, and the wars in iraq: a feminist reformulation of just war theory, Lexington Books, 2006. Her research focuses on feminist approaches to international relations and especially to international security, gender and just war theory, women’s violence in global politics, and feminist interpretations of the theory and practice of security policy. For a full biography, her very extensive bibliography and other interests click


. Dr. Sjoberg has also contributed to the RCIR Forum with an article on 'The Politics of “Fitting” Feminist Theory in IR' which is available



Regular events


Reading group
The reading group is a student-led group which focuses on post-structural and critical theory. The aim is to offer an opportunity for students to read widely in this area, but also to discuss the specific reading they are doing for their project with others. Each fortnight, a student leads a session on a theorist of their choice, circulating readings in advance, introducing them and leading an hour's discussion. Writers tackled so far include Michel Foucault, Homi Bhabha, Jacques Derrida, Pierre Bourdieu, and Jean Baudrillard. To find out more, or to be added to the mailing list, please send an email to either Jo or Ali  (,    


Film Group
Inspired by the 'aesthetic turn' in International Relations, our monthly film screenings aim to provide a different perspective from which to discuss and think about research and theory. We recognise that theory and politics are about narratives and representations, and thus, the screen is one of the sites where these representations materialise. Therefore, it is important that we interrogate the stories told about the world and about ourselves through films. However, films and other forms of art can also offer a different way to illustrate theoretical arguments and can thus open up debates and pave the way for new understandings of some of the problems haunting the discipline of IR, such as conflict, difference, responsibility, identity, and inequality. Some examples of previous and up-coming films and themes are: Caché (dir by Michael Haneke), Thursday 30th of January 2014: Post-colonialism, memory, history, and questions of spectatorship. Introduced by RCIR PhD student Laurie Benson Brazil (dir by Terry Gilliam), Tuesday 25 February 2014: Governmentality, bureaucracy, resistance and the state. Introduced by RCIR PhD student Alister Wedderburn If you want to know more about the screenings, or get added to our mailing list, etc. then please get in touch with either Laurie Benson ( or Jo or Ali on   (,






Workshop 1: How to structure and manage data? (10:00 – 12:00)

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