IPSA RC 41 - Geopolitics

To content | To menu | To search

03Aug 2014

Call for Papers: Geopolitical Economy

Geopolitical Economy: States, Economies and the Capitalist World Order

Research in Political Economy, Volume 30 (2015)

Edited by Radhika Desai

Submission deadline: 1 October 2014

Proposal Acceptances: 15 October 2014

Final papers due: 1 December 2014

This issue advances geopolitical economy as a new approach to understanding the evolution of the capitalist world order and its 21st century form of multipolarity. Neither can be explained by recently dominant approaches such as ‘U.S. hegemony’ or ‘globalization’: they treat the world economy as a seamless whole in which either no state matters or only one does. Today’s ‘BRICs’ and ‘emerging economies’ are only the latest instances of state-led or combined development. Such development has a long history of repeatedly challenging the unevenness of capitalism and the international division of labour it created. It is this dialectic of uneven and combined development, not markets or imperialism, that spread productive capacity around the world. It also ensured that the ‘hegemony’ of the UK would end and that of the US would never be realised, despite repeated attempts.

In geopolitical economy the role of states in developing and regulating economies is central. States’ mutual interactions – conflicting cooperative and collusive – and the international order they create are understood in terms of the character of national economies, their contradictions, and the international possibilities and imperatives they generate. Geopolitical economy as an approach to the world order is clearly anticipated in classical political economy up to and including Marx and Engels, though this becomes clearest if we take a fresh look at it untainted by neoclassical economics and associated discourses of neoliberalism, globalization and hegemony. Further intellectual resources for geopolitical economy include the classical theories of imperialism, the theory of uneven and combin
ed development as well as 20th century critics of neoclassical economics such as Keynes, Kalecki, Polanyi, Minsky and the developmental state tradition going back to List and Serra and forward to Amsden and Wade.

Papers that investigate any aspect of the world order, its theories or its historiography – whether contemporary or historical – in a way that relates to geopolitical economy as described above, or poses important objections to it, are welcome for consideration.

A non-exhaustive list of potential themes would include:

The international relations of early capitalism

Capitalism, imperialism and imperialist competition

Capitalism and the state
Combined development, capitalist and non-capitalist
Wars in Uneven and Combined development
International economic governance
International relations and international political economy theories in light of geopolitical economy
Development theory, the demand for a NIEO and the ‘rise of the rest’
The BRICs and emerging economies as combined development
Challenges to states’ economic roles: sources, strength, implications for geopolitical economy
Proposals should be sent to Radhika.Desai@umanitoba.ca by 1 October 2014
Proposal Acceptances will be sent out by 15 October 2014. Papers will be due by 1 December 2014.

- See more at: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/books/call_for_papers.htm?id=5364#sthash.kfgrg3wY.dpuf

14Jun 2014

21st Annual Critical Geography Conference: How Power Happens, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, November 7-9, 2014

Hosted by Temple University’s Department of Geography and Urban Studies, the 21st Annual Critical Geography Conference hopes to include a wide array of scholars and activists doing work in critical geography. This year’s overarching theme connotes an exploration of how we understand, follow, imagine, feel, utilize, yield to and alter the workings of power. Power has been theorized from the top down and the bottom up, as structure and as capillary, as productive and destructive, and as both immaterial and material. We hope to use geography’s diverse engagements with power as an entry point for generating discussions across the ‘divides’ of critical geography – specifically divides between approaches attending to structural forces, focusing on knowledge production and meaning making, and/or tracing power into bodies and matter/materiality. As our logo <tucriticalgeography.org> seeks to make clear, the conference locates the question of “how power happens?” at the core of these three areas of inquiry, and calls upon critical geographers to create fruitful conversation and debate within the apparent areas of overlap.

The conference will begin on Friday, November 7th, 2014. The opening evening will feature a keynote address by Dr. Mona Domosh from the Department of Geography at Dartmouth College.

The program on Saturday, November 8th and Sunday, November 9th will consist of paper sessions, panels, round table discussions, and sessions with alternative formats.

We invite you to submit abstracts or proposals for sessions, by the deadline of August 10, 2014. Abstracts or proposals should be 250 words in length, and we ask that you include contact information and any titles or affiliations you would like placed in the program. Sessions may include papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, performances, or sessions with alternative formats. We are especially interested in participants organizing their own sessions, and we also want to encourage perspectives and styles of communication from beyond the academy. If you would like to organize a session, please let us know in advance and you can then issue a CFP through the appropriate mailing lists. Papers submitted individually will be reviewed by the program committee after August 20, and will be accepted for committee-organized sessions as space allows. Please send your abstract or proposal to Sarah Stinard-Kiel at sarah.sk@temple.edu

Further information on the conference, including accommodations, program, and conference events will be updated on the conference web site as the information becomes available, www.tucriticalgeography.org. You can also find updates on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tucriticalgeography. Please feel free to email any further questions to the conference planning committee via Sarah Stinard-Kiel at sarah.sk@temple.edu or Allison Hayes-Conroy at anhc@temple.edu. The conference will be a caregiver and child friendly space.

01Apr 2014

International workshop "Borders at the interface: Bordering Europe, Africa and the Middle East". Beer Sheva and Jerusalem, Israel, 7-11.12.2014

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Political Geography (CPG)

Geopolitics Journal

IPSA RC 41 Geopolitics


International Workshop

In Cooperation with the FP7 EUBORDERSCAPES Consortium


Beer Sheva and Jerusalem, Israel

In its geopolitical context, Israel is located at the interface of three major regions – Europe, Asia (the Middle East part of Asia) and Africa. The region itself is the interface of regions, cultures and the worlds great monotheistic religions, partly explaining the fact that it continues to be one of the world's geopolitical shatterbelts and the focus for ethnic, religious and territorial conflict. As well as being an interface, it is also a transition region, where cultures and peoples have mixed as they cross from one area to another. It is as much as cross-border region as it is a border , and this is reflected in culture, language and food. Hybridity and meeting is reflected in notions of Eurasia and Mediteranean as alternative places for cultural mixing along with political conflict. In cooperation with the FP7 consortium on Euroborderscapes, the newly founded Geopolitics Chair at Ben-Gurion University, along with three dynamic research centers, the Herzog center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Center for the Study of European Politics and Society (CSEPS) and the Tamar Golan center for African Studies invite scholars with an interest in borders and in any one of the relevant regions to submit papers for an international workshop aimed focusing on the interface between the three regions. This will take place as part of the ever growing community of border scholars worldwide, ranging across the borders of the academic disciplines and examining the changing significances and functions of borders as they cross cultures.

Tentative Itinerary Dec 7-8: - FP7 Workshop and Meetings Dec 8-9: - Conference Sessions, Ben-Gurion University Dec 10: Field Trip – Borders and Geopolitics in Israel / Palestine Dec 11: AM –Field Trip - Borders, Territory and Conflict in Jerusalem Dec 11: PM – Conference Sessions, Jerusalem.

The conference will start in Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheba, will include two geopolitical field trips in areas of cultural and political contestation within Israel/Palestine and Jerusalem, and will conclude its final sessions in Jerusalem. Scholars are invited to submit abstracts on the conference themes to the following email address: reneny@post.bgu.ac.il no later than April 30, 2014. There will be a conference fee of $120 to cover the main organizational costs and conference dinner. The field trips will be covered by the conference organisers. Participants will cover their own travel and accommodation costs. Final technical details will be sent in a second circular in June 2014.

ABSTRACT REGISTRATION: Name: Affiliation: Email: Title of Abstract: Abstract:

01Feb 2014

14th international conference BRIT (Border Regions In Transition) The border, a source of innovation, Arras-Lille-Mons, 4-7.11.14

BRIT (Border Regions in Transition) is an international network of researchers and practitioners dealing with issues on borders. More details on BRIT and BRITXIV is given here.

The objective of this conference is, with a transdisciplinary approach (geography, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, history), to contribute to a collective reflection on innovations related to border and cross-border dynamics.

The decision to set BRIT next to the Franco-Belgian border in 2014 falls within the symbol. A century after the declaration of the Great War, the aim is to trace the evolution of the border between France and Belgium, which started from “front” border to end with « sewing » border. If it once represented a split between two territories, the border has now come to represent an element of welding these two territories. The field day will offer a contact with these concrete realities.

More information about BRIT XIV is to be found http://www.brit2014.org/index.php/about-britxiv/.

Call for abstracts and papers

The list of sessions is given in call for papers - http://www.brit2014.org/index.php/call/.

Abstracts will be sent until March 15, 2014.

Agenda and places

November 4, 2014 : Arras (France)

November 5, 2014 : field day from France to Belgium

November 6, 2014 : Lille (France)

November 7, 2014 : Mons (Belgium)

Contact : contact@brit2014.org

28Jan 2014

International workshop "Living in European Borderlands", Luxembourg, 20-22.11.2014

20-22 November 2014, University of Luxembourg

Call for Papers

Border studies are broadly interested in national borders and the movement across these by people, goods, services and communication. The emerging ‘borderlands studies’ further strengthen this interest by considering the specificity of what is developing alongside the lines on the land at the border. Borderlands studies with the conceptual assumption that borderlands are distinct due to intensive exchange across the border and ensuing forms of reciprocal influence, look beyond the historical facticity of territorial borders by reflecting their porousness and the actual processes of their crossing and maintenance. Borderlands studies are simultaneously inspired by two different considerations: on the one hand they relate the perceived increase in integration and movement across national borders to globalisation and the concurrent acceleration and shrinking of the world; on the other hand, they regard the short-distance (and often regionally confined) crossings of national borders as a discrete (and not necessarily modern) phenomenon. The claim that borderlands are distinct implies a thematically more inclusive approach beyond a focus on mobility. Borderlands studies thus stimulate empirical research that looks at everyday practices in borderlands more broadly and from various disciplinary angles, including practices that relate to mobility and others that relate to sedentariness.

We invite scholars from different disciplines (anthropology, sociology, human geography, history and related fields) working on European borderlands to present their research on everyday practices and experiences of living in a borderland at a workshop that will take place from 20-22 November 2014 at the University of Luxembourg. The workshop is hosted by the research project “Cross border residence. Identity experience and integration processes in the Greater Region” (CBRES), realized conjointly by the Institute for History at the University of Luxembourg and the CEPS/INSTEAD Luxembourg. The project looks at German villages in the Luxembourg/German borderland that have experienced a significant influx of new residents from Luxembourg. Using qualitative and quantitative methods and comparing four different villages we are trying to understand the ways in which these emerging borderland social constellations shape, and are shaped by, everyday practices and how they impact upon individual and collective identities.

We are thus particularly interested in contribut
ions dealing with cross border residential migration in other European borderlands. Starting from this specific research field, where “living in borderlands” is understood in the narrow sense of residing at a border – including the processes of settling and homemaking across the border and the experiences of gradually getting acquainted with new neighbours stemming from the other side of the border – we also welcome work on other aspects of daily borderland practices.

Papers can be empirical and/or conceptual relating to the following themes:

• Dwelling, work and consumption in borderlands transnational action spaces; (un)familiarity as an element of daily practices; interactions between residential and daily mobility

• Identity constructions in borderlands intersection of local, regional, national identification and various aspects of socio-cultural differentiation

• Historical perspectives on borderlands processes of de-bordering and re-bordering; border memories

• Cross-border suburbanisation and urban/rural relations rural urbanity; urban development and urban sprawl differentials

• Sedentariness and mobility in borderlands conceptual problems, methodological approaches, the relationship of Borderland Studies to research on migration and globalisation

• Comparative approaches looking at particular borderlands

Please submit 250 word long abstract to elisabeth.boesen@uni.lu and gregor.schnuer@uni.lu by 31 March 2014.

05Dec 2013

2014 IGU Regional Conference, Kraków, Poland, 18-22.08.2014

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2014 IGU Regional Conference which will be held in Kraków, Poland, 18-22 August, 2014. It will also be an excellent opportunity to discover the beauty and variety of the environment and the culture of Central and Eastern Europe. The main theme of the conference is Changes, Challenges, Responsibility. Modern geography faces significant challenges focusing on the recognition of and response to contemporary changes in the environment, society and economy. All this calls for our responsibility. The conference aims to create a forum at which these issues can be addressed. It is open to all geographers across the spectrum who specialize in all fields of the discipline. The conference is going to be an event contributing to efforts undertaken, for example, by ICSU/ISSC Future Earth, and aimed at defining pathways towards sustainability and responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change. Kraków, the former capital of Poland, is the seat of the second oldest university in Central Europe, established in 1364. The Jagiellonian University is the seat of the first ever Chair of Geography in Poland, established in 1849. We believe that the 2014 IGU Regional Conference will be an important and meaningful event, bringing together geographers from all over the world and contributing to a better understanding of the changes and challenges faced by the world and our discipline as well as the responsibility we all share.

Please find here the sessions organised by the Commission on Political Geography:


More information on the Conference Website: http://www.igu2014.org/

The travel grant application process for attendance at the next IGU Regional Conference in Krakow, Poland 18 th to 22 nd August 2014 is now open. Details, together with an application form, are here.

05Dec 2013

ABS 2014 World Conference, Joensuu, Finland – St. Petersburg, Russia, 9-13.06.2014

The Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS) invites proposals for individual papers and posters as well as complete panels and roundtables related to multi-disciplinary study of borders, border areas and cross-border interaction. Contributions from all world regions are encouraged. The organizing theme for the 2014 World Conference is:

Post-Cold War Borders: Global Trends and Regional Responses

Since the end of the Cold War era, state borders have increasingly been understood as multifaceted social institutions rather than solely as formal political markers of sovereignty. The changing significance of borders has been partly interpreted as a reflection of global "de-bordering", and of optimistic scenarios of globalization and international cooperation. However, such notions of "de-bordering" have been challenged by or even succumbed to the reality of ethnic and cultural tensions and increasing complexity and instability in the world system. It is time to ask how often contradictory global tendencies are reflected on the ground. We can recognize global megatrends that are changing the nature of borders but also regional and local processes of border-making and border negotiating.

The unprecedented expansion and transformation of the global economy and the concurrent fluidity of people and goods within a context of increased securitization, signifies fundamental societal challenges that directly relate to borders. On this view, borders help condition how societies and individuals shape their strategies and identities. At the same time, borders themselves can be seen as products of a social and political negotiation of space; they frame social and political action and are constructed through institutional and discursive practices at different levels and by different actors.

Despite new border studies perspectives that favor a broad cultural, economic and complex governance view of borders and borderlands, a strict top-down international relations view of borders continue to dominate policymaking. This current era of heightened globalization requires that we pay attention not only to the tendency of increased governance of borders and border regions, but also at the regional responses to such development.

Through regional responses to globalization, borders are reproduced, for example, in situations of conflict where historical memories are mobilized to support territorial claims, to address past injustices or to strengthen group identity – often by perpetuating negative stereotypes of the "other". However through new institutional and discursive practices contested borders can also be transformed into symbols of co-operation and of common historical heritage

The general theme encompasses a wide range of topics and approaches. Please consult the conference website for inspiration. We invite proposals that focus on empirical research and case studies, conceptual and theoretical issues, and/ or policy relevant aspect of border studies alike.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Oscar J. Martinez, University of Arizona Prof. Paul Nugent, University of Edinburgh Prof. Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary, Université Joseph Fourier/CNRS-PACTE Prof. Anssi Paasi, University of Oulu Prof. Alexander F. Filippov, Higher School of Economics/Russian Academy of Sciences

The Association for Borderlands Studies 2014 World Conference is organized by the VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies at the University of Eastern Finland in cooperation with the Centre for Independent Social Research and the European University at St. Petersburg.

The organizers wish to thank ABORNE – The African Borderlands Research Network and the Finnish Association for Russian and East European Studies for their financial and scientific contribution.

06Jul 2013

Call for Applications for IAPSS Think Tank

The International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) is looking for a new team for its own Think Tank. We are looking for 16 (sixteen) Political Science students and young researchers aiming at developing their research for the IAPSS Think Tank.

This year’s topic will be Global Governance and New Trends: Analysis and Prospects. In there, researchers will analyse the new geopolitical strategic trends on the global world, under four main geographic subdivisions (corresponding to an equal number of working groups):

1. US Foreign Policy and Asia-Pacific;

2. African and Latin American Political Regimes;

3. The European Union as a global player;

4. The economic rise of the Asian “tigers”

The topics will be addressed by the groups in a policy-oriented perspective. Contributions will be added from various angles: human security, military power, regional cooperation, multilateralism and international organizations, youth and social networks; other relevant related perspectives.

In order to apply, please send us your CV + cover letter containing your motivation to be part of this Think Tank and what you consider to be your main contribution to this Think Tank.

The deadline is set to July 26th. Candidates will get the results of their application by July 29th . We are looking forward to receive your applications.

Best regards,

Ana Isabel Xavier Think Tank Coordinator International Association for Political Science Students thinktank@iapss.org

Rodrigo Vaz Head of the Academic Department International Association for Political Science Students academic@iapss.org

23May 2013

ISPRS/ IGU/ICA Joint Workshop on Borderlands Modeling and Understanding for Global Sustainability, Beijing, China, 5-6.12.2013

Organized by: - Beijing Normal University (BNU) - National Geomatics Center of China (NGCC) - Peking University (PKU) - Lanzhou University (LU)

Sponsored by: - International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) - International Geographical Union (IGU) - International Cartographic Association (ICA) - Geographical Society of China (GSC) - Association of American Geographers (AAG)


Achieving sustainable development is a consensus of the international community, as declared by the Rio+ 20 Outcome Document. How to accomplish this task is a big challenge facing the government, private sector and academia. Nowadays the United nations (UN) are exerting great efforts in mobilizing the world to come up with a post-2015 development agenda based on inputs from all walks of life. It is the moral obligation of the borderland-related research community to have our thought and say, thus making our due contribution.

Borderlands are physical spaces adjoining national boundary lines and geographic units with unique characteristics in terms of geography, natural resources, demography, economy, and culture. In most cases, they unite as a continuum with the same ethnicity, economic pattern and natural resource, and share more common features with the neighboring country instead of the inner land of the mother country. These similarities and identicalness do no respect and cannot be divided by the artificial boundary lines which are politically dictated. People, goods, services and ideas flow across boundaries from state to state in a very easy manner. The borderlands are becoming more and more important in the context of global sustainable development and regional cooperation, and deserve special attention for policy-makers and researchers.

A better understanding of borderlands can be advanced through an integrated multi-disciplinary researches and the utilization of new technologies. During the past few years, we have witnessed recent scientific achievements and technological development in earth observation, global geographic information, geopolitics, geographic modeling, international relations and many other related subjects. This makes it possible to conduct a more comprehensive research of the borderlands areas in our planet through multi-disciplinary collaboration. New concepts and theories, methods and algorithms, as well as the advanced geo-computing tools/ platform can be developed to support the planning, monitoring, and management of borderlands. Scientific innovation and excellency in this domain will not only contribute to the socio-economic development and human well-being in border areas, but will also benefit the global understanding and sustainability.

This workshop aims to promote scientific research and academic exchange on digital modeling, advanced analysis and comprehensive understanding of borderlands. It will provide a forum for leading scientists and young researchers to present their latest research results, exchange new ideas and discuss the possible collaboration in this field.

Topics: - Scientific challenges in borderlands studies - Conceptual and theoretical achievements in borderlands studies - Modeling and representation of digital borderlands - Reliable information of borderlands - Geo-computing infrastructure for borderland studies - Analytical and quantitative methods for borderlands - Understanding the relation of land cover and culture in border areas - Understanding cross-border economies and communication - Understanding non-traditional security in border areas - Others

Scientific Committee: Prof. Dahe Qin (Chair, IGU Vice President, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China) Prof. Jun Chen (Co-Chair, ISPRS President, NGCC/BNU, China) Prof. Yanhua Liu (Co-Chair, GSC President, China) Dr. Douglas Richardson (Co-Chair, AAG Executive Director, USA) Prof. William Cartwright (Co-Chair, ICA Past President, RMIT University, Australia) Prof. Giuliano Bellezza (IGU Vice President, Universities of Roma La Sapienza and Viterbo-Tuscia, Italy) Dr. Derek Clarke (ICA Vice President, Surveys and Mapping, SouthAfrica) Prof. Yifang Ban (ISPRS WG IV/II/VIII Chair, KTH, Sweden) Prof. Debin Du (East China Normal University, China) Dr. Jie Jiang (ISPRS Com II President (NGCC, China) Dr. Peter Jordan (ICA Com. Chair on Atlases, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria) Dr. Shuying Leng (National Natural Science Foundation of China, China) Prof. Songnian Li (ISPRS Com IV President, Rayson University, Canada) Prof. Weidong Liu (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China) Prof. Yaolin Liu (ICA Vice President, Wuhan University, China) Mr. Sukendra Martha (ICA Vice President, Board of Geospatial Information, Indonesia) Prof. Alexander Murphy (AAG Past President, University of Oregon, USA) Prof. Matin Pratt (Durham University, UK) Prof. Mark Rosenberg (Queen’s University, Canada) Dr. Changqing Song (National Natural Science Foundation of China, China) Prof. Shu Tao (Peking University, China) Prof. Vladimir Tikunov (ICA Com. Chair on GI for Sustainability, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia) Prof. Jiayao Wang (Information Engineering University, China) Prof. Shangyi Zhou (Beijing Normal University, China)

Organizing Committee: Prof. YuejingGe (Chair, Beijing Normal University, China) Prof. Hui Deng (Peking University, China) Prof. Yixin Hua (Information Engineering University, China) Dr. Horst Kremers (ICA Com. Co-chair on GI for Sustainability, Co-Chair (Germany) Prof. Qingwen Qi (ICA Com. Co-chair on Atlases, CAS, China) Dr. Bo Qu (China Foreign Affairs University, China) Dr. René Sieber, ICA Commission on Atlases, Co-Chair (Switzerland) Mr. Faliang Wang (NGCC, China) Prof. Shengtian Yang (Beijing Normal University, China) Prof. Tingjun Zhang (Lanzhou University, China) Dr. Zhuodong Zhang (Beijing Normal University, China)

Secretary: Dr. Yang Cheng (Beijing Normal University, China)

Abstract and paper submission: - Abstract with approx. 500 wordsin English should be submitted before August 10, 2013. The submission system will be available on the workshop webpage. - Notification of acceptance will be sent out by September 10, 2013 with instructions for the submission of draft papers by October 10, 2013 for circulation at the workshop.

Registration fees: All participants, except non-attending co-authors, must pay the registration fees of $200 (or 1200 RMB) at the workshop. The fees will be used for renting venue, printing workshop documents, providing food services, inviting keynote speakers, and preparing conference proceedings. This workshop offers a reduced registration fee of $100 (or 600 RMB) for graduate students.

Contac information: Dr. Yang Cheng School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, China No. 19, XinJieKouWai St., HaiDian District, Beijing 100875, P. R. China Phone: (86)-10-58807473, Ext.1340 Fax: (86)-10-58806955 E-mail: chengyang@bnu.edu.cn

Important Dates: Abstracts:August 10, 2013 Notification of acceptance: September 10, 2013 Full paper: October 10, 2013

05Feb 2013

IPSA RC 41 Second Conference on Geopolitics


An International Workshop on Emerging Regional Contests and Contestants

Tuesday, 26 November – Wednesday, 27 November 2013



The contours of today’s evolving global system suggest two contradictory futures. The first predicts a “Great Convergence” of mankind, whereas the second foresees an emerging “G-Zero” leaderless planet Earth.

That the international system could go either way owes to the unprecedented economic and technological globalization shaping our world in one direction -- even as a major reshuffling and circulation of power worldwide is leading us in the opposite direction.

Economic, domestic and regional uncertainties in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia further challenge students of international affairs to define the political superstructure of tomorrow’s world.

The International Political Science Association’s Research Committee on Geopolitics (RC-41) is pleased to announce an International Workshop on “Geopolitics and Great Powers”, aimed at professionally addressing these concerns.

The Jerusalem International Workshop format offers the opportunity for close, careful consideration of such questions as:

 Are we on the threshold of a unipolar-, bipolar-, tripolar-, or multipolar “moment” in world politics?

 In the 21st century what determines any country’s ranking in the hierarchy of power, influence and leverage?

 What distinguishes a Great Power from middle-range and smaller state actors?

 Who are the actors (both state-and non-state) best positioned to lead in a major rebalancing of power?

 To what extent does the United States remain indispensable for today’s world order?

 Where are the so-called “flashpoints” with the greatest potential for tipping the delicately-poised scales between stability and instability, development and stagnation, integration and fragmentation, peace and war?

Portions of the IPSA RC-41 Workshop Program will be devoted to specific regional problems and contests already on the geopolitical horizons in both the eastern Mediterranean-Persian Gulf zone and the Pacific Basin. These individual case studies on the impact of Great Powers on Geopolitics are meant to reinforce more general insights at the theoretical level.


Unlike open international conferences, the Workshop framework is designed to limit participation to a smaller and rather select group of invitees - on the order of 16 to 18 people - each bringing to bear his or her disciplinary expertise or area studies specialization.

Accordingly, the Jerusalem Workshop will be conducted in a Round Table format, with scholarly presentations dividing into 8 panel sessions, with 2 – 3 papers at each session, followed by open discussion among the direct Round Table academic participants and invited guests drawn from the diplomatic and policymaking communities. The 8 panel themes are devoted to:

1. The New International System/ “Power” and “Influence” Redefined

2. The Emerging Great Powers

3. Regionalization in a World of Sub-Systems - Regional Contests and Power Balances

4. The Mediterranean & Middle East

5. The Asia-Pacific Theater

6. Central Asia / Southeast Asia

7. Positioning the United States

8. Summing Up: Theoretical Insights and Implications

The intention is for the Jerusalem Workshop schola
rs and specialists to then reconstitute themselves into a continuous Working Group for the purpose of presenting a Panel session at the IPSA international conference scheduled for Montreal, Canada in 2014. This follow-up session will enable members of the Working Group to offer a reassessment as well as update of their 2013 observations in the light of intervening events.

It is also intended to publish original papers presented at the “GEOPOLITICS AND GREAT POWERS” workshop in book form, or as independent articles in leading professional refereed journals.


Tuesday 26 November

9:00 - 18:00 Opening Reception Greetings & Keynote Speaker Paper Presentations & Discussion Panels 1 - 4

Wednesday 27 November

9:00 - 17:00 Paper Presentations & Discussion Panels 5 - 8 18:00 Concluding Remarks: “Toward Montreal"

Thursday 28 November (optional) Group Tour / Policy Meetings

General Information:

Anyone wishing to participate in the 2013 RC-41 Jerusalem Workshop and to contribute by addressing any of the above topics is invited to submit an initial paper proposal.

The Proposal and/or Abstract (limited to 750 words or less) should be sent to Professor Aharon Klieman at aklieman@gmail.com.

Final date for submission 10 May 2013

Notice of Acceptance 20 May 2013

No Registration fee is required.

Acceptance is conditioned, however, upon the participant’s commitment to full, active attendance at all panel sessions and discussions throughout the two days of the Workshop, in addition to one paper presentation.

Participants in the 2013 Jerusalem International Workshop are expected to cover all personal transportation arrangements and expenses. Limited IPSA conference travel grants may be available upon special request to help defray partial air fare costs for junior scholars or in exceptional cases.

Hotel accommodations and meals during the Workshop will be provided for direct participants courtesy of The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

All Workshop sessions will be conducted on the Mount Scopus campus of The Hebrew University.


Announcement & Call for Papers February 2013
Submission of Proposals / Abstracts May 10, 2013
Notice of Acceptance May 20, 2013
Full Paper Submission October 15, 2013
Final Program November 1, 2013

25Nov 2012

7th Annual Graduate Conference in European History "Concepts of Space in recent European Historiography", Budapest, Hungary, 25-27.04.2013

“ H I S T O R I A N S I N S P A C E ”

Concepts of Space in recent European Historiography

7th Annual Graduate Conference in European History

April 25-27, 2013

Budapest, Central European University

Organized by the Central European University, Budapest in co-operation with the European University Institute, Florence and the University of Vienna.

Historicize space! This injunction has not always been on the agenda of historians. Traditionally, historians were tempted to take space for granted. The boundaries of the nineteenth century nation-state were regarded as the natural presupposition of much historical research. These established “mental maps” still continue to influence the structure of history writing today. However, historians were not entirely immune to the effects of the “spatial turn” and can probably no longer be accused to treat space as if it were “packed solidly on to the head of a pin,” as Edward W. Soja did in his Postmodern Geographies in 1989.

History is primarily about time, about what happened when. Concurrently, it should not be forgotten that events and processes took place somewhere. Historical phenomena have a setting, a location – their place. However, taking their cue from geography, anthropology and sociology, some historians have come to broaden established notions of space. The concept may not refer merely to “geographical” or “real space” which “contains” peoples, nations and cultures. Rather, it may as well point to socially and culturally constructed objects of inquiry and how these are perceived by individuals or groups. In other words, space is understood as being framed through social and cultural relations, as Henri Lefebvre showed already in his path-breaking The Production of Space (1974).

Thus, some historical phenomena are essentially marked by their spatial dimensions and can thus be better approached from the vantage point of spatiality alongside temporality. The 7th Graduate Conference in European History (GRACEH) is inviting graduate students and young researchers to reflect on the rather ambiguous relationship historians entertain with the category of “space.”

We are welcoming abstracts which interrogate the various understandings of space, those which present new methodological approaches to the topic, and case studies which are placed within a wider theoretical context. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

Historians and Space: methodological and theoretical approaches Representations of space Going Global: linking local, regional, national, transnational history Symbolic geography and cultural spaces: for example ‘Europe’, ‘Central Europe’, ‘Southeast Europe’ or the ‘Balkans’, the ‘Levant’, the ‘Orient’, etc. The spatial constitution of politics: empires and nation states (territoriality, kinship) Economic history: world systems, ‘core’ and ‘periphery’, ‘backwardness’ Spatial dimensions of everyday life: approaching gender, ethnicity, class, religion Urban spaces (morphology, planning; spaces of production, consumption and exchange, urban/rural divides) Geographies of knowledge: production and transfers Space and Memory Digital technologies and tools for writing spatial history, visualizations, Geographical Information Systems The working language of the conference will be English. Please send an abstract of no more than 400 words and a brief CV to gracehatceu.hu by January 20, 2013. Full papers will be pre-circulated and grouped into thematic panels of 3 to 4 contributions. We would like to ask all participants to prepare a presentation of no more than 15 minutes, in order to allow ample time for discussion and questions.

Final papers are due on March 31, 2013.

19Nov 2012

Conference "Borders, Cooperation and Regional Conflict in Post-Soviet Contexts: Between Integration and Disintegration?', Tbilisi, Georgia, 28–30.04.2013

The end of the Cold War has fundamentally changed the nature of borders within the emerging political spaces of the former Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union created thousands of kilometres of new state borders which have been redefined in terms of national sovereignty, as frames for free and sovereign action, but which also have becomes sites of hardening, closure, of new visa restrictions and, perhaps most seriously, of territorial conflict. This conference will focus on Post-Soviet states and their borders. But it is not simply about state borders as such – it is also about border conflicts, patterns of economic, political and social interaction, and actual and potential projects of regional cooperation and the geopolitical role of the European Union in contributing to regional stability.

This conference is timely in that it will bring together researchers who been studying regional issues in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Black Sea. Furthermore, a major objective of the conference is to debate the role and aims of the EU in redefinition, negotiation and conflict over post-Soviet space. This includes local perceptions of the evolving quality of the EU’s social and political influence within Post-Soviet contexts, e.g. in countries such as Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Possible topics for panels and papers include: Post-Soviet nation-building: e.g. through the renegotiation of state-society relations, new interpretations of history, identity-politics, etc. Post-Soviet politics of borders: e.g. in terms of visa restrictions and the shrinking of CIS free visa areas, migration policies, local border regimes, etc.

Regional practices and political language of cooperation within different regional contexts (in particular Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Southern Caucasus and Eastern Europe) Natural resources, borders and interstate conflicts within different regional contexts Europeanization and Neighborhood relations: e.g. as manifested in discourses and practices of regional co-operation and institutional engagement (partly within the context of potential EU membership) between the EU as a political actor and its neighbors The Black Sea as political/economic region and shifting Black Sea geopolitics In addition to this research focus, we will welcome panels and papers that address borders and border-related issues more generally. Organisers: Georgian Institute of Public Affairs University of Eastern Finland – Karelian Institute and VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies University of Warsaw - European Institute for Regional and Local Development (Euroreg) Carleton University - Centre for Governance and Public Management

Fees: Participation fees of ca. 100 USD per person (75 USD for students) will be charged in order to cover local organization costs. Participant number will be approximately 40-50

Conference days are 28 and 29 April 2013 Excursion: Starting on 30 April there will be a 1 - 1,5 day excursion to border regions (TBA)

Deadlines and abstracts: Proposals for panels as well as individual presentations will be accepted. Please include the following information (max. 300 words per paper) • Name of authors/contributors • Institutional affiliations, titles • Contact: telephone, fax, email, mailing address • Title of the paper • Abstract: Subject, empirical frame, analytical approach, theme

Send your proposals via email in Word format to james.scott@uef.fi and gorzelak@post.pl Conference Dates and Deadlines: December 15th 2012 : deadline for submitting abstracts and proposals December 2012 : proposals selection and notification sent to presenters March, 15th 2013 : submission of papers to discussants April 28th-30th 2013: Conference in Tbilisi.

14Sep 2012

Call for proposals, Belgeo 2013: Modelling and benchmarking of borders

Call for proposals – Belgeo 2-2013 Modelling and benchmarking of borders

Guest editors: Anne-Laure Amilhat-Szary, Gregory Hamez, Didier Paris, Bernard Reitel, Olivier Walther

The study of cross border spaces is often conducted with reference to a specific context to the extent that no border can be understood without analysing the unique constellations of States, regional and local entities bound together by a shared history. This special issue of Belgeo intends to open new directions to overcome the monographic approach and to reach a modelling of these spaces. Modelling often implies a quantitative methodology, which can be difficult to execute in border studies where data comparability can be an issue. Therefore, this issue will also focus on qualitative approaches to border modelling and welcomes contributions that address methodological and conceptual issues. The papers will contribute to such a theoretical framework, on any of the following themes: - Modelling of cross-border spaces and their evolution (modelling in terms of spatial analysis, geopolitical analysis, spatial patterns (choreme), textual analysis, narratives analysis) - Methodological approaches to collecting and representing cross-border data. How to define a cross-border space, according to what criteria? Among other things, this raises the question of the cartographic representation as well as the innovation in standards and the MAUP – Modifiable Areas Unit Problem - The qualitative or quantitative approaches taking into account the representations or perceptions related to borders. The border is a meaningful limit which structures the identities. By what concepts approaching the degree of appropriation of cross-border spaces, and the sense of spatial belonging expressed by the people? - The qualitative or quantitative approaches to evaluate the integration and construction of cross border territories. Some cross border spaces tend to institutionalise as planning entities, especially in Europe. Are there identifiable models of cross border cooperation and of governance? Which evaluation procedures can be applied to the development strategies and governance tools? - A comparative approach to spaces. Are models necessarily constructed at the global scale, or are there distinctive continental/regional models that are emerging?

The papers may also address the question of benchmarking and the exemplary nature of interaction and integration processes across some borders, under the following themes: - Which typology of borders can account for the levels of dissymmetry, interaction and their evolution? - What are the links between “model” and “good practices”? Which links and differences occur between both approaches, and how can these be analysed? - Which analytical framework could be used to compare the cross border spaces in different regions of the world? - Can and should the European cross-border context be considered as an example for other world regions in a process of integration? Are other world regions adopting different, alternative, models of cross-border coordination?

Proposals should be sent to Belgeo’s publishing secretary and guest editors (cvdmotte@ulb.ac.be and gregory.hamez@univ-lorraine.fr) by the end of October 2012. Please provide a title and a short text outlining the subject and the aims of the paper. Full papers should be submitted before mid-February 2013 to Belgeo (cvdmotte@ulb.ac.be).

09Aug 2012

Session "The geopolitics of mobility and immobility", AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles , USA, 9-13.04.13

Session organisers: Mat Coleman (Ohio State University, US) Mike Collyer (University of Sussex, UK) Deirdre Conlon (Saint Peter’s University, US) and Elisa Pascucci (University of Sussex, UK)

Migration, both across and within international boundaries, has long challenged the essentialisation of territory that is central to classical understandings of geopolitics. Established critical approaches to the ‘geopolitics of mobility’ (Hyndman 1997) have identified migration control or humanitarian action as key sites for the respatialisation of state authority. As embodied subjects of that authority migrants face contradictory processes of facilitation and control of movement. We are interested in the implications of these contradictions in terms of their impact on those who are, or wish to be, mobile and for understanding state practices of control. We welcome papers that explore the intersections between (im)mobility and state action, particularly those based on recent empirical work.

States’ actions around mobility, the contradictions therein, as well as their impact on (im)mobility manifest in numerous ways. Among these are inequalities in access to mobility (and immobility). Most obviously, this involves practices of radical exclusion and spatial control exercised over migrant bodies. In some cases this results in forced mobility with the aim of reterritorialising out of place bodies, such as deportation or exclusion. In other cases it may be immobility that is enforced through migrant detention or the stranding or ‘warehousing’ of asylum seekers and refugees in camps, transit centres, and off-shore sites (Conlon, 2011; Mountz, 2011). There may be a combination of both, as recent investigations of mobility within detention estates have demonstrated (Gill 2009; Hiemstra forthcoming). These practices focus on rendering certain individuals invisible to the wider public while also serving to perpetuate the figure of the migrant as problem or threat. For other groups of people it is the borders themselves that are rendered invisible by their unencumbered passage across them and implications of state involvement also include the facilitation of mobility for these privileged actors. There may be an interrelationship between these practices of facilitation and control of mobility, as ass="mark">Sparke (2006) has suggested.

We are also interested in challenges to state practices of control. The movement of border controls away from the edges of state territory, either through extra-territorial controls or through the movement inwards (Coleman, 2012) of key elements of control, has coincided with a more elaborate performance of control at the borderline itself, the construction of new border architectures and greater public attention to statistics relating to migration and control. The analysis of state performativity in this area offers an additional explanatory framework for state action. Yet another productive line of inquiry examines inter-state agreements and practices related to mobility and migrant removal (Collyer, 2012) as well as the role of institutional actors that are external to states, such as UNHCR, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and various migrant support groups, to these processes. Coinciding with these practices of control, many states have devoted new levels of attention to attracting or influencing overseas nationals, expanding voting rights, institutionalising favourable tax arrangements or officialising forms of representation, such as diaspora ministries. Questions of ‘building’ diaspora have much in common with state building processes in their redefinition of who legitimately forms part of the nation.

In light of the above, we welcome papers that examine the geopolitics of mobility and immobility. Possible paper topics might include (but are not limited to):

§ State practices of migration control
§ The spatialised control of migrant bodies
§ Migrant experiences of mobility and (im)mobility
§ Mobility as privilege
§ Moving borders – interiorisation and/or extra-territorial mechanisms of state border control
§ Border architecture(s)
§ State performativity at border sites
§ The role of external/non-state actors in mobility and (im)mobility
§ Diasporas and state building

Please send inquiries / abstracts of no more than 250 words to Elisa Pascucci (E.Pascucci@sussex.ac.uk) by September 15th 2012

Coleman, M. (2012) The "local" migration state: The site-specific devolution of immigration enforcement in the U.S. South. Law & Policy. 34(2): 159-190.
Collyer, M. (2012) Deportation and the micropolitics of exclusion: The rise of removals from the UK to Sri Lanka. Geopolitics. 17(2): 276-292
Conlon, D. (2011) Waiting: Feminist perspectives on the spacings/timings of migrant (im)mobility, Gender, Place, and Culture. 18(3): 353-360.
Gill, N. (2009) Governmental mobility: The power effects of the movement of detained asylum seekers around Britain’s detention estate. Political Geography. 28: 186-196.
Hiemstra, N. (forthcoming) “You don’t even know where you are”: Chaotic geographies of US migrant detention and deportation, in D. Moran, N. Gill and D. Conlon (eds.) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention. Forthcoming with Ashgate.
Hyndman, J. (1997) Border crossings. Antipode. 29(2): 149-176.
Mountz, A. (2011) Where asylum seekers wait: Feminist counter-topograhies of sites between states. Gender, Place and Culture. 18(3): 381-399.
Sparke, M. 2006, A neoliberal nexus: Citizenship, security and the future of the border. Political Geography. 25 (2) 2006: 151 – 180.

20Jul 2012

Madrid 2012 Papers

Please find attached the papers presented at RC 41 Panels at IPSA World Congress in Madrid 2012. You can fin find more information on the event here http://rc41.ipsa.org/pages/2012-Madrid

The Emerging Balance of Institutions in the Asia-Pacific: A Game on Two Chessboards? Dr. Artyom Lukin

Artyom Lukin

The US vs. The East Asian Rising Powers: Can the US Stay on Top? Dr. Ziv Rubinovitz

Ziv Rubinovitz

What Determines Secondary Powers’ Strategy Toward Rising Power? China’s Rise and East Asian States’ Responses Mr. Jeongseok Lee

Jeongseok Lee

Central Asia and the Great Powers: Different Times, the Same Game? Mr. Paulo Duarte

Paulo Duarte

Large Refugee Populations, Resource Scarcity and Conflict Miss Heidrun Bohnet

Heidrun Bohnet

Water Resource Management and North American Paradiplomacy: The Case of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Mrs. Annie Chaloux, Prof. Stéphane Paquin

Annie Chaloux

Rethinking the "Middle East" as an Object of Study in Political Science Dr. Carimo Mohomed

Carimo Mohomed

The Shifting Hard and Soft Balance of Power in the Euro-Mediterranean Regional Security Complex Dr. Astrid Boening

Astrid Boening

Thinking Regions in the 21st Century. A Mediterranean Approach Miss Maria Ayllon

Maria Ayllon

26May 2012

Conference "Eurasia - Defining and Crossing Barriers", Warsaw, Poland, July 2014

One of the principal challenges of the 21st century is whether the division of Eurasia into Europe and Asia is still valid? Since from geological point of view there is no such thing as the continent of Europe, shouldn't we then consider Eurasia as one whole and common habitat of Eurasians? The more so that Asians have hardly accepted Asian identity as their own. Let us therefore challenge the Ural Mountains in their capacity of the border between Europe and Asia! Let us explore and ease the barriers determine continental affiliation! We the denizens of European Union are Western Eurasians and Russians, Indians and Chinese are Northern Eurasians! Our query thus will concern main aspects of human activity such as economy, politics, culture, religion, and mental barriers. The aim is to identify and describe diverse barriers that have to be brought down or sometimes scaled up to bring about the possibility of an Eurasian entity. Rector Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski welcomes our group to Collegium Civitas located in the palace of Culture and Science in the very centre of Warsaw. For our disposal will have 4 auditoria - each of them for 130 people, plus 15 class rooms with a capacity from 25 to 50 people. Also, a big auditorium with a capacity of 500 persons can be used for the inauguration and closing ceremonies. Electronic equipment is available that allows parallel participation of 12 speakers - microphones, loudspeakers and power-point facilities will be provided. Hotels in Warsaw close to the centre are anticipated to cost below $100 a night. For more information on the conference, contact:

Jacek Kugler (Claremont Graduate University), jacek.kugler@cgu. edu Tadeusz Kugler (Roger Williams University), tkugler@rwu.edu Paulina Codogni (Collegium Civitas), paulinac_2000@yahoo. com

13May 2012

Conference "Relocating Borders: a comparative approach", Berlin, Germany, 11-13.01.2013

Borders are taking on greater significance these days, even while their meaning is changing and multiplying. This conference brings together research on the way borders are currently being relocated, in every sense, both material and conceptual. While the conference focuses particularly on the eastern peripheries of Europe (whose precise location, either in terms of 'eastern' or 'peripheries' is also currently being debated), it invites researchers working on any regions of the world to participate. That will provide both a rich comparative perspective, but also allow an exploration of the shifting interrelations between locations. It is not surprising that borders are currently a key focus of attention: there are more people, things, money, debt and ideas moving across them, and they are moving at a faster pace; state power is increasingly challenged, as well as reinforced, by globalisation, while more walls, security and surveillance are constructed; intense debates are raging about environment and climate change and the apparent need to straddle borders to solve the problems they generate; information, digital and medical technologies have reshaped the relations and separations across borders, and made differences and similarities more visible; the European Union and other trans-state entities have made borders ever more complex; the balance of power across the world is changing. In short, borders appear to be relocating just now, both conceptually and materially, and this conference invites researchers from all disciplines to come together to compare notes on this major shift. On the assumption that the change is epistemological as well as ontological, the best way to explore that process is through comparison. Berlin is the right place to hold such a gathering: traces of the city's past remain despite the removal of the Wall, that icon of Cold War border in Europe. Those traces are most obvious in what used to be the gap beyond the wall: no-man's land has been filled by a jumble of contemporary buildings, creating what some say is a strip of neoliberal landscape flowing across the city where once there had been emptiness. The gentrification of many neighborhoods in East Berlin (and elsewhere) has generated internal inequalities, while the previously migrant neighborhoods have become vibrant alternative districts both socially and politically. Humboldt University, where the conference will be held, is in the immediate proximity of the Wall's trace. The conference will include a round table devoted to Berlin's special status in Europe as a city that traces and marks both past and contemporary significance of borders in Europe.

Relocating Borders is organized by COST 2 Action IS0803

Keynote speakers: Thomas Hyland Eriksen (Oslo) Caren Kaplan (UC Davis) Saskia Sassen (Columbia)

and for a special session on Berlin, Daniel Libeskind, designer of the Berlin Jewish Museum and master planner for the design of the post-9/11 World Trade Center.

Conference Topics:

Applicants are welcome to submit either individual papers or panel proposals on any topic of their choice relevant to the conference theme. Alternatively, you may choose to submit under one of the following headings: 1. European Tidemarks 2. Money, Trade and Finance 3. Genders and Sexualities 4. Techniques and Technologies 5. Laws, Documents, Bureaucracies 6. Beliefs, Faiths and Religions 7. Architectures, Things and Objects 8. Places, Spaces and Locations 9. Histories and Futures 10. Travels and Crossings How to Apply: Please fill in the form that can be downloaded here:


Deadline: 31 May 2012

What happens next: Your proposal will be assessed by the conference committee, and you will be informed of the result by 25th June 2012. If you are selected, you must confirm your acceptance of the offer by Monday 9th July.

10May 2012

ISA 54th Annual Convention, San Francisco, USA, 3-6.04.2013

Theme: The Politics of International Diffusion: Regional and Global Dimensions

The ongoing global financial and economic crises, the upheavals throughout the Middle East, the emerging dispersion of power toward a broader G-20, and copycat protest movements across all regions highlight both the continued centrality of diffusion to contemporary international politics and the difficulty of predicting diffusion patterns. A conventional wisdom argues that the speed and reach of diffusion is unlike anything we have seen in the past. People, power, authority, capital, property rights, international law, religion, technology, democracy, electoral systems, flower and color revolutions, sub-national and supranational governance systems, conventional and unconventional weapons, wars, peace, regional institutional designs; norms about gender, minority, children and other human rights; knowledge, culture and information; financial, fiscal and economic crises; open and closed economic models; patterns of state expansion and retraction; and emotions regarding each of these categories are among the many politically-consequential phenomena that cross borders within and across regions. They do so however, at different rates, through different mechanisms, and with diverse effects. Of crucial concern is the need to assess what we know and what we don’t know regarding the sources, agents, mechanisms, speed, spatial and temporal domains, consequences, and desirability of international diffusion.

The 2013 conference will seek to improve our understanding of regional and global diffusion across several dimensions. What phenomena diffuse faster, why and how? What phenomena do not diffuse? Why is non/diffusion so hard to predict? What are the barriers to diffusion and how do they operate? What explains differential rates of diffusion across time and space? How can different epistemological and methodological tools be used to study those processes? What are the areas of consensus and dissent in the study of international and transnational diffusion? And what are the normative and policy implications of different findings? In addressing these general puzzles, we invite proposals that take stock of the following additional aspects of contemporary international/ transnational diffusion:

What is diffusion and how can it be studied? Interest in the specific content of diffusion (norms, trade, technology, etc.) has generally overwhelmed a focus on diffusion itself as a core concept in international studies. Hence, there is ample room to improve conceptualization that could enhance our ability to analyze, measure or compare the extent and rate of diffusion across time and space. Research relying on different methods, epistemologies, disciplines, regions, and core substantive interests often proceeds along different tracks, depriving the study of diffusion from potential synergies. Yet the analysis of diffusion renders itself an ideal subject for transcending particular international studies paradigms, methods, modes of analysis, and region-specific expertise.

What diffuses, what doesn’t, how and why? The rate of diffusion of different phenomena is uneven as is the spatial and temporal domain within which it occurs. Indeed there are instances of non-diffusion (democracy in Eastern Europe and the Middle East for several decades preceding 1989 and 2011 respectively); stalled diffusion (supranational regional institutions beyond Europe); and counter-diffusion (higher barriers to migration and citizenship; EU efforts to contain a spreading financial crisis). Hence, to avoid potential selection biases evident in at least some of the existing literature on diffusion, our understanding of what does not diffuse should be as central as what does.

Who are the agents and what are the causal mechanisms carrying out or blocking diffusion? When are agents and power structures mutually enabling or disabling diffusion? Governments, regional and international institutions, non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental associations, multinational corporations, social movements, hedge funds, political/moral entrepreneurs, and networks, among others, acts as agents of diffusion through top-down or bottom-up mechanisms. Some state bureaucracies may seek to halt immigration whereas others encourage it. States may seek to block or accelerate the diffusion of power through war, balancing, soft power, or international institutions. Causal mechanisms of interest also include coercion, persuasion, emulation, socialization, adaptation, translation, resistance, competition, bargaining, signaling, emotions and learning.

What are the spatial and temporal domains of diffusion? While analysis of global diffusion rode the wave of post-1989 globalization studies, regional processes of diffusion in the last couple of decades, and the relationship between the regional and the global, demand closer attention. What diffuses (or doesn’t diffuse) more commonly or more rapidly at the regional than the global levels? Conversely, what makes global (systemic) diffusion more likely? What diffuses from the West to the rest and vice-versa? What patterns of diffusion can be observed across different regions? When is global-to-regional, regional-to-global, or region-to-region diffusion more common? What phenomena diffuse across democracies (or autocracies) at different rates than they otherwise would?

What are the outcomes of diffusion? Will democracy be the outcome of the 2011 Arab uprisings? How does global diffusion alter the boundaries of regions? How does it affect in/equality? Some regard the diffusion of capital, technology and markets as harbingers of more egalitarian economic capabilities around the globe; others see such diffusion as perpetuating skewed distributional effects. Some see the spread of international power and authority to more states increased multipolarityas inducing greater equality; others foresee a dilution of human rights norms as a result. Some regard the rapid diffusion of bilateral and plurilateral trade and investment agreements as beneficial to a world of open economies; others foresee weakened global rules.

How desirable is diffusion? Beyond disagreements over empirical findings, intellectual excitement over the potential diffusion of public goods must be tempered with sober assessments of undesirable diffusion of public bads. Furthermore, there are bound to be contested normative standpoints regarding the diffusion of particular political phenomena. And even where consensus on the desirability of diffusing democratic institutions and human rights may exist, debates over appropriate mechanisms and their unintended effects remain. Many agree that international contagion of financial crises is an undesirable outcome but disagreement remains high on the solutions, given their implications for the kinds of arrangements in state-society relations that may emerge after the crisis. Studies of human migration can dwell on its normatively desirable and undesirable consequences.

These are suggestive rather than comprehensive sub-themes that can be complemented with other ongoing research on the nuts and bolts of international, transnational, and regional diffusion. Panel proposals that bring together methodologically and epistemologically diverse groups of scholars interested in diffusion will be of particular interest. They may lead to productive collaborations in the effort to untangle the sources, nature, speed, mechanisms, and firewalls in the diffusion of international political phenomena.

The deadline for paper and panel proposals, made through the MyISA system, is June 1, 2012. Inquiries to the program chairs should be directed to isa2013@isanet.org. The call for papers has been archived on our website here .

11Apr 2012

Local Actions in a Global Context. Paradiplomacy by Subnational Jurisdictions, Longyearbyen, Norway, 15-17.01.13

Local Actions in a Global Context will consider how subnational jurisdictions and non-state actors use paradiplomacy to seek influence beyond their borders. As globalisation reduces the ability of national governments to independently implement effective policies, subnational jurisdictions – towns, cities, and regions – are finding that sovereignty is no longer essential for entrance to the global stage. Local governments and unrecognised states are using paradiplomacy and informal diplomacy to promote their interests internationally in such areas as trade, culture, tourism, politics, and environment.

Paradiplomacy presents concerns as well as opportunities. Local governments may lack the vital skills and democratic structures to engage competently and responsibly in a global context. Subsidiarity and multilevel governance could also complicate international decision-making and reinforce disparities of wealth.

This conference will consider the implications of subnational and unrecognised jurisdictions exercising foreign policy and how such actions could benefit and harm communities and the world at large. It will also explore the apparatuses of paradiplomacy (tourism offices, trade boards, etc.), network governance, and the nature of interactions between subnational jurisdictions and other actors. Jon Pierre and Eric Clark will act as keynote speakers.

The deadline for proposals is 1 June 2012. Talks last 20 minutes and are in English. Proposals are considered on a rolling basis: If you make a proposal early, you may be able to register at a reduced rate. If you have any questions or would like to join the conference mailing list, e-mail Adam Grydehøj at agrydehoj@islanddynamics.org


07Apr 2012

19th Annual Conference on Critical Geography "The Near Future: Volatility, Opportunity, and Critique", Chapel Hill, USA, 2-4.11.2012

The Geography Department at UNC Chapel Hill invites you to join us in a discussion about the future of the political. As struggles around the world capture our collective imaginations, the legitimacy of existing social orders and previously acceptable avenues of political action have been called into question. What comes next? What connections between body and world, knowledge and practice, and reclamation and revolt are working through and beyond the limits of the current moment? What future worlds are emerging from the conflicts, contradictions, and movements that characterize the now? While informed by our mutual commitment to developing new knowledge and practice that responds to these struggles, our task is to commit focus to the discordant realities that inform our research and political engagements with the world. We invite a wide range of academics, non-academics, activists, and artists to present on these volatile times and the possibilities they portend.

The conference will take place November 2-4, 2012 and will be hosted by the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. On Friday, November 2nd, our opening plenary will feature Heidi Nast (DePaul University). Arturo Escobar (UNC Chapel Hill) will host a brunch conversation on possible political futures on Sunday November 4, 2012, as our closing event.

Work, Collaborate, Present This year, the conference will be organized around four broad themes that foster inquiries into the near future (see themes below). We encourage you to propose panels that speak to the issues described here to foster dialogue and collaboration. If your panel crosses more than one theme or asks new or different questions, let us know and we will work with you to make accommodations. Please let us know as early as possible if you require additional technical support or if you have questions about the conference.

Join us in extending the traditional conference proceedings by submitting proposals for your work in a wide range of formats. We encourage paper presentations, panel discussions, interactive workshops, collaborative roundtables, visual presentations of film, dance and art, and alternative offerings that generate new theory, practice and opportunities for future work. Deadline for submissions is Friday, August 31. Abstracts or proposals should be 250 words. Please include contact information, titles, and institutional/organizational affiliations. Also include information on which of the themes below (1 through 4) your panel addresses. We strongly encourage you to think about how your proposal can build better connections between research and practice, particularly with non-academic audiences.

Proposals can be sent to: criticalgeography@unc.edu.

Additional information about the conference is coming soon. Please check back for additional information about conference programming, and details regarding logistics and accommodations.

We look forward to seeing you in November!

Themes (1) Occupation and Decolonization in the Current Crisis Three years after the peak of the financial crisis of 2008, people took a cue from the Arab Spring uprisings and took to the streets of major US cities, highlighting the plight of the 99% while denouncing the concentrated power of the 1%. We invite papers and panels that address the following: What are the contemporary dynamics of this crisis? What is the relationship between the often-highlighted sector of finance in this crisis, and the broader functioning of capital as a whole? What is the composition of the contemporary struggles responding to this crisis? And how might an attempt to shift the theoretical and empirical focus from occupation to decolonization assist or impede the conversation about building a movement that is most likely to enact profound social change?

(2) Living and Dying in a Material World Political ecologies, bio/necropolitical analyses, and materialist engagements explore the making and intertwining of social and natural worlds. Central to these inquiries is the stuff of political life: how the political is constituted and redefined around things/bodies and through contests over ontology and meaning, and how this informs struggles over spaces, resources, rights and territory, life and death. In what ways do engagements with things/bodies allow us to rethink and address current moments of crisis, be it financial, ecological, energetic, institutional, or territorial? We invite work that provides a forum for these debates and engagements, including but not limited to questions of circulation and the movement of value, energy, waste, decay, and consumption, metabolisms of nature and capital, and geographies of crisis.

(3) Embodied Knowledge as Practice Feminist geographers, queer theorists, and a wide range of non-representational scholarship have situated the body as a complex yet crucial focus of geography, calling to task the political, economic, and social imbrications that are tied up in the creation of bodies. Just as importantly, work around the body brushes against the limits of the translatable, raising both theoretical and methodological difficulties yet also untested potentials, as bodies everywhere form new knowledges, practices, and actions to meet the challenges of contemporary precarity and flux. We invite work that either uses the body as a site of empirical research or seeks to embody research-as-practice in ways that push the boundaries of traditional research exploration and presentation.

(4) Territories of Resistance Over the last decades we’ve witnessed a series of revolts on the world stage, ranging from El Alto in Bolivia to the Arab Spring. We’re interested in papers that inquire into these tremors, specifically: their relation to prior struggles, neoliberalism, occupation, global colonialism, war, and austerity; the geopolitical implications of their international encounters; and the conceptions of space, claims to territory and subjectivity, and visions of collective life at work in them. We’re also interested in papers situated domestically, where anti-neoliberal struggles – largely informed by the continued legacy of race radicalism – have centered on the construction of just cities. Often, communities of color are seen as mere objects of neoliberal policy; in contrast, we are interested in papers that recognize them as producers of viable post-neoliberal forms of urban life.

- page 2 of 4 -