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International Political Sociology

Impact factor: 1.405 5-Year impact factor: 1.942 Print ISSN: 1749-5679 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subjects: Sociology, International Relations, Political Science

Most recent papers:

  • Enclosing Critique: The Limits of Ontological Security.
    Chris Rossdale.
    International Political Sociology. December 07, 2015
    --- - |2 The concept of ontological security has received increased attention in the security studies literature over the past ten years. This article develops a critical perspective toward ontological security and its mobilization by IR scholars, arguing that substantive ethical and political resources are produced by resisting the terms of ontological security/insecurity. It argues that the aspiration to ontological security, to contiguous and stable narratives of selfhood, can (violently) obscure the ways in which such narratives are themselves implicated in power relations. Furthermore, it argues that attempts to order political life into an ontological/security episteme disciplines or marginalizes modes of subjectivity which resist the closure of ontological security‐seeking strategies. The article engages queer figurations of subjectivity as mobilized by Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and Jack Halberstam, as well as examples from anti‐militarist social movements, to demonstrate traditions which refuse and resist the framework of ontological security. It does this both in order to highlight particular practices and strategies that are written out by an epistemology oriented around ontological security/insecurity, and to show how a resistance to such ordering can enliven political action in various ways. - 'International Political Sociology, Volume 9, Issue 4, Page 369-386, December 2015. '
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12103   open full text
  • When Borders Lie Within: Ethnic Marriages and Illegality on the Sino‐Vietnamese Border.
    Elena Barabantseva.
    International Political Sociology. December 07, 2015
    --- - |2 This article examines the changing geopolitical realities which have redefined the nature of sovereign governance on the Sino‐Vietnamese border. The binary forms of classification in a rigidly and clearly delimited Sino‐Vietnamese borderland replace the ambiguous space of “zomia,” with its fluid and overlapping identifications. This dynamic context sets the conditions for local communities and their long‐standing tradition of ethnic marriages straddling the borders of China and its neighboring states. In order to understand how, and why, the status of previously accepted forms of undocumented ethnic marriage has recently changed from “common” (shishi) to “illegal” (feifa) in two ethnic Yao villages, I look at various factors. These include how state discourses on marriage migration in Asia, biopolitical concerns about population security in China, and regional iterations of the global anti‐human trafficking campaign, come into play in forceful ways to shape the geopolitical regime of the Sino‐Vietnamese borderland and redefine the terms of legitimate practices, thus reconfiguring ethnic marriages as illegal. - 'International Political Sociology, Volume 9, Issue 4, Page 352-368, December 2015. '
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12102   open full text
  • “Resiliency Humanitarianism”: Responsibilizing Refugees through Humanitarian Emergency Governance in the Camp.
    Suzan Ilcan, Kim Rygiel.
    International Political Sociology. December 07, 2015
    --- - |2 Scholarly interest in the camp has grown over recent years, inspired in part by Giorgio Agamben's (1995; Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life) work. Scholarship in this area has built on Agamben's view of the camp as an abject space of exception and bare life but also, in reaction to this view, has theorized the camp as a political and social space which constitutes refugees and displaced persons as political subjects, active in demanding rights and social justice. Building on existing scholarship, this article draws attention to another important trend in the camp which has emerged alongside the growing activism of refugee populations, dissatisfied with their lack of rights and abject conditions. This is the trend of engaging refugees to become self‐governing in the management of the camp, to think of the camp in terms of community development, with camp life providing the experiences through which refugees are to refashion themselves as resilient, entrepreneurial subjects. Our analysis examines this trend through the issue of humanitarian emergency governance of refugees and IDPs and within the context of reforms undertaken by the United Nations—specifically, through what we term “resiliency humanitarianism.” We use this term to suggest a particular rationale of care, camp coordination, and management which emerges within neoliberal government and which focuses on assisting refugees and IDPs to adapt to, and survive, crisis with the aim of responsibilizing them. - 'International Political Sociology, Volume 9, Issue 4, Page 333-351, December 2015. '
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12101   open full text
  • “Today, I Want to Speak Out the Truth”: Victim Agency, Responsibility, and Transitional Justice.
    Erin K. Baines.
    International Political Sociology. December 07, 2015
    --- - |2 In this article, I am concerned with the political agency available to victims of wartime violence, and the subsequent insights it generates for thinking about complicity and responsibility. The article first considers the problematic ways in which victims are cast in the discipline of transitional justice, drawing on interdisciplinary studies of gender, agency, and wartime violence. I conceptualize the political as relational and situated within a web of human relationships that make life meaningful. Political agency includes acts, gestures, and words that negotiate the value of human life within various relationships. To illustrate, I turn to the life story of Sara, a young woman who grew up in the context of prolonged conflict in northern Uganda. I conclude with thinking about how Sara's acts of political agency move us beyond static categories of victims in transitional justice, and conceive of responsibility as diffuse and socially held. - 'International Political Sociology, Volume 9, Issue 4, Page 316-332, December 2015. '
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12100   open full text
  • Everyday Resilience as Resistance: Palestinian Women Practicing Sumud.
    Caitlin Ryan.
    International Political Sociology. December 07, 2015
    --- - |2 This article contributes a different approach to discussions of resilience and resistance by arguing that within the current literature, there is too little attention to how communities may engage in their own resilience building without outside intervention or interference. Further, this article will argue that the literature which poses resilience as fundamentally different from resistance overlooks the ways in which resilience can be seen as a tactic of resistance through the lens of infrapolitics. The article uses the Palestinian example of sumud to illustrate these two points. Sumud is a tactic of resistance to the Israeli occupation that relies upon adaptation to the difficulties of life under occupation, staying in the territories despite hardship, and asserting Palestinian culture and identity in response to Zionist claims which posit Israelis as the sole legitimate inhabitants of the land. Sumud represents a “resilient resistance”—a tactic of resistance that relies on qualities of resilience such as getting by and adapting to shock. Thinking about sumud as a form of resilient resistance challenges the resilience literature to engage with a greater variety of forms of resilience. - 'International Political Sociology, Volume 9, Issue 4, Page 299-315, December 2015. '
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12099   open full text
  • Violence and Political Myth: Radicalizing Believers in the Pages of Inspire Magazine.
    Xander Kirke.
    International Political Sociology. December 07, 2015
    --- - |2 Violent Jihadist movements have increasingly produced online English language magazines in order to encourage young Muslims into terrorism. This article argues that sociological approaches to the study of these magazines should engage with theories of political myth, understood as the collective “work” on dramatic and figurative narratives which provide significance to the political conditions of social groups. The utility of this approach is demonstrated through an analysis of al‐Qaeda's online magazine, Inspire. Targeted toward an alienated young Western Muslim readership, Inspire stylistically mimics Western magazines by using satirical representations of politicians and making references to popular culture. The authors seek to convince their readership that they are part of a violent conflict with Western “crusaders” and treacherous false Muslims. Through a rhetorical strategy of “legitimization via proximization,” perceived injustices committed by the purported enemies of Islam throughout the world are seen as direct attacks on the reader and all Muslims. The reader must sacrifice his/her livelihood in order to become a “hero” and defend the Umma against its enemies. The article concludes that the mobilizing potential of the work on myth in these magazines necessitates further research. - 'International Political Sociology, Volume 9, Issue 4, Page 283-298, December 2015. '
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12098   open full text
  • Contributors.

    International Political Sociology. December 07, 2015
    --- - - International Political Sociology, Volume 9, Issue 4, Page 387-387, December 2015.
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12104   open full text
  • Ethnography, Commitment, and Critique: Departing from Activist Scholarship.
    Lara Montesinos Coleman.
    International Political Sociology. September 03, 2015
    This article addresses the vexed question of relations between critique and political struggle. As emphasis upon the “impact” of research increases, possibilities of integrating research into practices of resistance have been highlighted. Such approaches lend themselves to ethnographic methods, with scholars engaged in these ways offering nuanced reflections on possibilities of “bridging gaps” between research and solidarity. Here, however, I draw on over a decade of “activist” ethnography to highlight risks of conceptual enclosure associated with this move. The politics of struggle are quickly erased through available categories and problematics, which are readily absorbed into existing constellations of power. By contrast, the gaps between solidarity and writing provide spaces for emergence of a critical attitude—along lines sketched by Foucault. Nevertheless, to “apply” Foucault to this sort of ethnography carries a risk of betrayal. Foucault's critical ethos can be neither starting point nor end of engagement with actually existing struggles. Inspired by the philosophical tradition in which Foucault's work was rooted, I advocate a practice that gives weight to ontologies emerging from struggle as conjectures perpetually in question. This implies not closing gaps but a persistent back‐and‐forth between critique and commitment—risking ourselves as subjects at both ends.
    September 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12096   open full text
  • Ubuntu: Toward an Emancipatory Cosmopolitanism?
    Mvuselelo Ngcoya.
    International Political Sociology. September 03, 2015
    This paper seeks to contribute to the growing body of critical scholarship that extends cosmopolitanism beyond its Kantian conceptions in International Relations (IR). It examines the promise of the ubuntu philosophy which is popular in South Africa and asks whether it can lead to what Pieterse (Development and Change, 37, 2006, 1247) calls “emancipatory cosmopolitanism.” Using Wiredu's (1996) “sympathetic impartiality,” the paper explores insights from this indigenous ubuntu philosophy to critique dominant conceptions of cosmopolitan thought in IR.
    September 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12095   open full text
  • Security and Surveillance in Virtual Worlds: Who Is Watching the Warlocks and Why?
    Tim Stevens.
    International Political Sociology. September 03, 2015
    Virtual worlds, persistent online spaces of social interaction and emergent gameplay, have hitherto been neglected in International Studies. Documents disclosed by Edward Snowden in December 2013 suggest that intelligence agencies, including the US National Security Agency and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), have been less reticent in exploring and exploiting these environments for signals and human intelligence. This article introduces virtual worlds as sociological sites in the matrix of international politics and explores how the intelligence community (IC) has conducted operations in these environments, principally for counterterrorism purposes. Reconstructing the activities of the IC shows how virtual worlds have been drawn into the ambit of state surveillance practices, particularly as a means to generate intelligence from virtual‐world behaviors that correlate with, and predict, “real‐world” behaviors indicative of terrorism and other subversive activities. These intelligence activities portend a general colonization by the state of previously unregulated interstices of the sociotechnical Internet and their analysis contributes to our understanding of the relationship between government and the Internet in the early twenty‐first century.
    September 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12094   open full text
  • Africa and the Theoretical Peace in IR.
    Vineet Thakur.
    International Political Sociology. September 03, 2015
    This article responds to the debate on “The End of IR Theory?” that appeared in a recent volume of the European Journal of International Relations. It argues that the pronouncements about “theoretical peace” carry the subtext of “epistemic violence,” foreclosing the debate and the possibility of theoretic interventions emerging from the non‐West—in this case, Africa. Elucidating how IR theory (IRT) has remained a parochial enterprise by the deliberate silencing of Africa, the article then finds pathways by which Africa can contribute to IRT. Using the metaphor of storytelling, it lists eight different ways in which Africa can tell new stories in IR.
    September 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12092   open full text
  • Drones, Targeted Killings, and the Limitations of International Law.
    Thomas Gregory.
    International Political Sociology. September 03, 2015
    The debate about drones has largely taken place on a legal terrain with various politicians, lawyers, and activists all seeking to establish whether or not targeted killings are legal under the existing framework of international law. In particular, they have raised concerns about the geographical and temporal scope of the “war on terror,” the legal status of those being targeted and whether or not these strikes can be considered discriminate, proportionate, and necessary. The aim of this article is not to settle these legal questions once and for all but to think about the limitations of framing the use of drones as a legal issue rather than an ethical, moral, or political concern. I will argue that the emphasis on international law distracts attention away from the horrors of war by masking the pain and suffering that is caused in favor of technical debates about the application of particular legal codes. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, Adriana Cavarero, and Elaine Scarry, I will argue that we need to turn our attention back to the embodied experiences of those affected.
    September 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ips.12093   open full text
  • Saving the Discipline: Plurality, Social Capital, and the Sociology of IR Theorizing.
    Gerard Ree.
    International Political Sociology. May 29, 2014
    For several decades, the field of International Relations theory has been preoccupied with its own methodological and theoretical plurality. As a consequence, IR scholars have proposed a range of different solutions to this “problem.” In doing so, they have drawn from different sources of social capital in the field, allowing them to base their legitimacy on the ways they relate to “progress” and the status quo. Drawing from Bourdieu's sociology, this article will explore five different strategies for “saving the discipline” and show how they relate to different kinds of scientific capital and power relations in the field. It will also explore the ways in which social conventions (such as politesse) can be used as tools for symbolic violence. The article will finish by arguing that rather than a problem to be resolved, plurality functions as an organizing principle regulating social power relations in the field.
    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12053   open full text
  • Privatizing Security, Securitizing Policing: The Case of the G20 in Toronto, Canada.
    Veronica Kitchen, Kim Rygiel.
    International Political Sociology. May 29, 2014
    Allegations of police brutality, unlawful detention, and other breaches of civil liberties during the G20 in Toronto in June 2010 provide an important case through which to understand the changing nature of security and policing, raising questions about the political implications of such shifts in terms of police accountability, transparency, and democracy. Within the field of public policing, scholars predicted that globalization processes would weaken public policing as a dominant policing institution. Instead, it has expanded, in part, through the convergence of internal and international dimensions of security, whereby new policy networks cooperate in matters of policing and security in a new integrated model, the result of which is a further militarization of urban space and expanded markets for security, leading to the securitization of everyday life. This article examines the case of Toronto's hosting of the G20 and the role that the Integrated Security Unit—led by the RCMP and including private security firms—played. By focusing on the role of multilateral networks that include private sector actors, we examine the implications of the privatization and securitization of policing for democracy, citizenship, and accountability, looking at how they affect the ability of publics to engage in public debate, to consult, or to protest policies.
    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12052   open full text
  • Climate Anarchy: Creative Disorder in World Politics.
    Hugh C. Dyer.
    International Political Sociology. May 29, 2014
    “Climate anarchy” describes the divergence of climate politics from established mechanisms of global governance and an emergent political order. This new (dis)order represents alternative governances and politics, and a challenge to national governmental perspectives on world politics. When interstate policymaking, such as that on climate change, falters at the point of agreement—as it has from Copenhagen in 2009 to Rio+20, and on to Warsaw in 2013—different global relationships are engendered. This occurs as the narrowly defined anarchy of national jurisdictions is superseded by a wider anarchic diversity in political practices. If states must respond to climate change, they are not leading climate policy effectively, and state‐centric perspectives cannot account for such political disorder. The ensuing discomfort about the fragmentation of climate governance should be embraced as an opportunity for political innovation, and the diverse responses to climate change viewed as an emerging paradigmatic shift in world politics. The argument thus informs broader debates on policy and governance, as well as conceptual and disciplinary developments, by testing the construction, governance, and anarchy of climate issues.
    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12051   open full text
  • Foucaultian Dispositifs as Methodology: The Case of Anonymous Exclusions by Unique Identification in India.
    Owen D. Thomas.
    International Political Sociology. May 29, 2014
    This paper examines the Indian government's Unique Identification (UID) program, the largest digital biometric program in history. UID is intended to provide a new model of security based on a complex interrelation between welfare, identity and rights. The program resembles the kind of liberal governmentality and biopolitical imperative described by Foucault, yet it is also inseparable from the specific socio‐historic conditions in India that constitute the strategic need for UID. This paper contributes to an ongoing debate as to the suitability of Foucault's thought for international studies by suggesting a productive line of inquiry: tracing the variance between the rationality of government programs and the technologies of enactment. The paper utilizes three methodological “prescriptives” from Foucault's concept of the dispositif, which are applied to the case study. This paper argues that the concrete application of the program challenges the perception that biometric technologies can guarantee the identity and inclusion of the political subject when applied across different geographies with different socio‐historical conditions. The specific discursive and non‐discursive conditions present in the application of UID lead to unexpected political strategies. While India's UID program seeks to augment the population with the biometric identity necessary for consumer citizenship, frugal government and expanded surveillance, those whose bodies are not “readable” by the biometric technology are excluded. It is exactly those subjects that the program aims to help that are most likely to be excluded.
    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12050   open full text
  • Technologizing Humanitarian Space: Darfur Advocacy and the Rape‐Stove Panacea.
    Samer Abdelnour, Akbar M. Saeed.
    International Political Sociology. May 29, 2014
    We examine how an unassuming domestic technology—the fuel‐efficient stove—came to be construed as an effective tool for reducing sexual violence globally. Highlighting the process of problematization, the linking of problems with actionable solutions, we show how US‐based humanitarian advocacy organizations drew upon spatial, gender, perpetrator, racial, and interventionist representations to advance the notion that “stoves reduce rape” in Darfur. Though their effectiveness in Darfur remains questionable, efficient stoves were consequently adopted as a universal technical panacea for sexual violence in any conflict or refugee camp context. By examining the emergence and global diffusion of the rape‐stove problematization, our study documents an important example of the technologizing of humanitarian space. We postulate fuel‐efficient stoves to be a technology of Othering able to simplify, combine, decontextualize, and transform problematizations from their originating contexts elsewhere. When humanitarian advocates construe immensely complex crises as “manageable problems,” the promotion of simple technical panaceas may inadvertently increase the burden of poverty for user‐beneficiaries and silence the voices of those they claim to champion and serve.
    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12049   open full text
  • After Snowden: Rethinking the Impact of Surveillance.
    Zygmunt Bauman, Didier Bigo, Paulo Esteves, Elspeth Guild, Vivienne Jabri, David Lyon, R. B. J. Walker.
    International Political Sociology. May 29, 2014
    Current revelations about the secret US‐NSA program, PRISM, have confirmed the large‐scale mass surveillance of the telecommunication and electronic messages of governments, companies, and citizens, including the United States' closest allies in Europe and Latin America. The transnational ramifications of surveillance call for a re‐evaluation of contemporary world politics' practices. The debate cannot be limited to the United States versus the rest of the world or to surveillance versus privacy; much more is at stake. This collective article briefly describes the specificities of cyber mass surveillance, including its mix of the practices of intelligence services and those of private companies providing services around the world. It then investigates the impact of these practices on national security, diplomacy, human rights, democracy, subjectivity, and obedience.
    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12048   open full text
  • Free Us from Power: Governmentality, Counter‐conduct, and Simulation in European Democracy and Reform Promotion in the Arab World.
    Helle Malmvig.
    International Political Sociology. May 29, 2014
    For over a decade, Arab governments have been enrolled into EU initiatives aimed at promoting democratic reform in the region. Common to these initiatives are their claims to be uninvolved with power and external imposition, professing instead to be based on voluntary notions of local demand and ownership. This article challenges this core liberalist assumption of the absence of power. Drawing on Foucault's reflections on liberal governmentality, it shows how power operates through a technology of “contractualization” which produces a distinct Arab subjectivity in the form of a lack (of reform will). Yet governing technologies are never complete, and possibilities of reversal and resistance always exist. In the second part, the article engages with the emerging debate on Foucault's concept of counter‐conduct, opening up the concept to more subtle and less spectacular forms of resistance. Drawing inspiration from Derrida's analysis of (in)hospitality and Baudrillard's logic of simulation, the article shows how the liberal assumptions of “invitation,” “ownership,” and “gradualism” inherent in European reform initiatives enable resistance in the form of: (i) selection of entry; (ii) setting conditions; and (iii) simulating reform.
    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12055   open full text
  • Criminalizing Communism: Transnational Mnemopolitics in Europe.
    Maria Mälksoo.
    International Political Sociology. March 21, 2014
    The Eastern enlargement of the European Union has intensified calls for the reconstruction of a common European remembrance of the continent's multiple totalitarian legacies. Various political initiatives to condemn, along with counter‐attempts to re‐legitimize, the legacy of communism have emerged at the pan‐European level. Each aspires to leave an imprint on the symbolic moral order and the legal regime of the broader European community. This article builds a conceptual framework for understanding the contestation of political and juridical regulation of the transnational remembrance of totalitarian communist regimes in Europe. Critically engaging the concept of cosmopolitanization of memory, it is argued that mnemonic identity in Europe is being transformed via new claims on “European memory.” These claims are being made by various East European actors seeking recognition of the region's particular historical legacies as part of the pan‐European normative verdict on twentieth‐century totalitarianisms.
    March 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12041   open full text
  • Spatial Alternatives and Counter‐Sovereignties in Israel/Palestine.
    Nir Gazit, Robert Latham.
    International Political Sociology. March 21, 2014
    The securitization of the spaces of Israeli‐Palestinian interaction, from checkpoints to the West Bank Separation Wall, continues to intensify and receive attention from journalists, scholars, and activists. Understandably, the focus is on the negative consequences of existing spatial configurations. Receiving far less attention is the development of alternative spatial formations which might advance forms of “desecuritization,” especially in those spaces that are crucial hinges of Israeli‐Palestinian interaction (Jerusalem and other mixed cities, the Wall, the Green Line, roads). This article explores whether alternative ways of using, organizing, experiencing, and coexisting in space—especially at the micro level—hold out promise for helping to reframe significant dimensions of Israeli‐Palestinian interaction. It seeks to better understand whether disjointed forms of sovereignty that appear—or disappear—across the occupation can be met by counter‐sovereignties; whether new spatial counter‐realities can be articulated through everyday life; and whether forms of agency, especially contestation, can reset understandings of, and perspectives on, spaces. A range of examples are considered within Jerusalem, mixed cities, the occupied Palestinian territories and at the border, bearing on religious sites, healthcare, gentrification, security infrastructure, popular protest, and festivals.
    March 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12040   open full text
  • Constituting Omar Khadr: Cultural Racism, Childhood, and Citizenship.
    Augustine S. J. Park.
    International Political Sociology. March 21, 2014
    Until 2012, Omar Khadr was both the only former child soldier and Western national left in Guantanamo Bay. Captured by US forces at the age of 15, this Canadian youth would spend more than 40% of his life in US custody during the War on Terror. This article advances two key arguments. First, as a child soldier, Khadr is simultaneously cast as an object of sympathy and suspicion. The construction of Khadr's childhood is animated by a cultural racism, which casts Khadr as both a victim of an extremist family and the evil outcome of a “jihadi” upbringing. Second, this article examines competing culturally racialized claims about citizenship, prompted by the failure of the Canadian government to seek Khadr's repatriation. While the central preoccupation of liberal citizenship discourse is the erosion of Canada's identity as a Western, liberal democracy, “racial‐nationalist” discourse raises the alarm on the threat posed by “citizens of convenience” who must be cast out of the polity through practices of “pure exclusion.”
    March 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12039   open full text
  • Materializing US Security: Guantanamo's Object Lessons and Concrete Messages.
    Elspeth Veeren.
    International Political Sociology. March 21, 2014
    While a growing body of literature working at the intersection of security and visual studies recognizes the value of studying images, how these visualities are produced is less theorized, especially with respect to materialities and their capacity to compel meanings. Analyzing the tours of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which have been arranged by the US military for VIP visitors since the site opened, this article argues that the selective organization and presentation of specific matter was image‐making and therefore meaning‐making. Through efforts to produce a spectacle of detention, Guantánamo was deliberately constructed as “safe, humane, legal, transparent”—in the process shifting the meaning of these very concepts. Guantánamo's tours as visual and material practices were therefore used to produce meaning in the debate over the future of the site and how best to secure the US state post‐9/11. They were part of the constitution of the war's legitimacy, leading, ultimately, to certain understandings of security. Guantánamo, with its “object lessons” and “concrete messages,” is therefore a useful case study for understanding security meaning‐making as produced by the interaction of linguistic, visual, and material domains and their elements.
    March 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12038   open full text
  • A Global Politics of Pity? Disaster Imagery and the Emotional Construction of Solidarity after the 2004 Asian Tsunami.
    Emma Hutchison.
    International Political Sociology. March 21, 2014
    The study of emotion has become a steadily growing field in international relations and international political sociology. This essay adds to the field through a further empirical examination of the political roles emotions can play. Specifically, the essay questions how emotions were implicated in the construction of transnational solidarity—and the associated humanitarian actions—following an event of pivotal global importance: the Asian tsunami disaster of December 2004. To this end, I focus on the emotional dimensions of dominant media tsunami imagery and examine how emotions helped to produce the humanitarian meanings and ideologies on which the subsequent solidarity and humanitarian actions were based. Analyzing photographs in the New York Times, the essay demonstrates that the dominant tsunami imagery helped to evoke solidarity and garner aid. It did so, at least in part, through mobilizing stereotypical and deeply colonial representations of developing world disaster that are suggestive of a “politics of pity.” In this way, the essay contributes both an empirical study of emotions in world politics and an examination of the linkages between emotions and contemporary humanitarianism.
    March 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ips.12037   open full text
  • Doing Postcolonial Studies Differently: Interview with Mohamed Tozy.
    Béatrice Hibou.
    International Political Sociology. December 12, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    December 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12033   open full text
  • Private Detention and the Immigration Industrial Complex.
    Roxanne Lynne Doty, Elizabeth Shannon Wheatley.
    International Political Sociology. December 12, 2013
    This study draws upon the insights of Michel Foucault to examine the contemporary immigration industrial complex in the United States. We focus on the involvement of private prison corporations in this complex, as well as the factors that have been essential to its creation and that perpetuate its continuance. We argue that four key aspects of the system (the legal apparatus, worldviews/ideas, private corporations, and webs of influence) converge to create an immigration industrial complex and that this complex functions as an economy of power that works to manage the existing system and discourages fundamental reform.
    December 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12032   open full text
  • Performativity and the Politics of Equipping for Calculation: Constructing a Global Market for Microfinance.
    Lasse F. Henriksen.
    International Political Sociology. December 12, 2013
    This article argues that the concept of performativity deepens our understanding of contemporary, expertise‐driven processes of global economic governance. Tracing the World Bank's role in constructing a global market for microfinance, the paper suggests that the World Bank was instrumental in translating selected parts of economic models into practice, thereby changing microfinance practices globally. Socio‐technical networks centered on the World Bank were created to equip actors to become part of a global market, which incorporated not only donors but also commercial investors. The paper makes a critical intervention in the performativity literature by arguing for the need to take positional power and dominance in the socio‐technical networks of International Organizations more seriously. This move improves our ability to specify how economic ideas and models are translated into practice in transnational arenas.
    December 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12031   open full text
  • The End of the ‘Liberal Theory of History’? Dissecting the US Congress' Discourse on China's Currency Policy.
    Nicola Nymalm.
    International Political Sociology. December 12, 2013
    Over the last 10 years, economic issues related to currency policy have become the major ongoing dispute between China and the United States. Specifically, the US Congress has demanded a tougher policy to avert the negative consequences of “unfair” Chinese policies—in the form of a “manipulated currency”—for the US economy. Building on an analytical framework of discourse theory (DT)—and proposing a method for applying DT in empirical research—an investigation into congressional debates on the Chinese currency shows that the question is not a purely economic one, but rather that it reflects a dislocation of US identity as the vanguard of liberal‐democratic capitalism. This dislocation involves changes to how “liberal” identity in the US Congress is articulated in relation to the role attributed to “illiberal” China, which in turn affects the formulation of US China policy in Congress.
    December 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12030   open full text
  • The Politics of Drawing: Children, Evidence, and the Darfur Conflict.
    Claudia Aradau, Andrew Hill.
    International Political Sociology. December 12, 2013
    Drawing has been largely neglected in discussions of visuality, conflict, and violence. In 2007, the International Criminal Court accepted 500 children's drawings depicting the conflict in Darfur as contextual evidence for war crime trials against Sudanese officials. Starting from this event, and the attention that the Darfuri children's drawings have garnered internationally, this article explores the role that drawings, and children's drawings in particular, play in the visualization of conflict and violence. Rather than focusing primarily on the relation between image and text, the article argues that visuality needs to be understood as both an aesthetic and social object, whose production, circulation, and reception transform its political effects. It then shows how children's drawings are both differentially produced, and productive of difference and ambivalence, in the “truthfulness” of conflict.
    December 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12029   open full text
  • Interrogating the Neoliberal Biopolitics of the Sustainable Development‐Resilience Nexus.
    Julian Reid.
    International Political Sociology. December 12, 2013
    One of the defining features of post‐Cold War international relations has been the correlation of development practices and rationalities with those of security, and the emergence of what has been called the “development‐security nexus.” While the development–security nexus remains relevant, semantic shifts in the conceptualization of both development and security are occurring. Demands for development are increasingly tied not simply to demands for “security,” but to a discursively new object of “resilience.” And this shift from security to resilience is likewise tied to a reconceptualization of development as “sustainable development.” Are these, then, merely semantic shifts, or do they signify changes in the rationalities that have shaped the “development–security nexus” during the post‐Cold War period? Are the rationalities that distinguish resilience different to those underpinning demands for security? And are those of “sustainable development” different to what was once known simply as “development”? Does the weaving of a nexus of relations between “sustainable development” and “resilience” represent a departure from the “development–security nexus” in some way? And, if so, what explains that shift and what are its political implications? This article answers these questions through an analysis of the neoliberal biopolitics of the “sustainable development‐resilience nexus.” While sustainable development deploys ecological reason to argue for the need to secure the life of the biosphere, neoliberalism prescribes economy as the very means of that security. Economic reason is conceived within neoliberalism as a servant of ecological reason, claiming to secure life from economy through a promotion of the capacities of life for economy. This is the paradoxical foundation on which neoliberalism constructs its appropriation of sustainable development. Sustainable development and neoliberalism are not the same, nor is the former simply a proxy of the latter, but they do come into contact powerfully on the terrain of their rationalities of security which, on account of the interplay between ecological and economic reason, is increasingly conceptualized as resilience. This surface of contact ought to make for a tense and political field of contestation, but has instead made largely for a strategically manipulable relation between the two doctrines.
    December 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12028   open full text
  • Sentencing Risk: Temporality and Precaution in Terrorism Trials.
    Marieke de Goede, Beatrice de Graaf.
    International Political Sociology. September 12, 2013
    In debates on the preemptive measures of the war on terror, criminal law is often regarded as the antithesis to exception—a conventional mode of response that acts on the basis of past harm. Since September 11, 2001, however, significant new terrorism laws have been adopted in most countries in order to make possible the disruption and prosecution of potential terrorists engaged in preparatory activities. Thus, ancillary acts undertaken increasingly in advance of actual violence are brought within the remit of criminal law. This paper engages the question of the precautionary turn in criminal law itself, and how it plays out in actual courtrooms. We examine the terrorist trial as a performative space where potential future terror is imagined, invoked, contested, and made real. By focusing on the cases of the Hofstad group in the Netherlands, and the Rhyme trials in the UK, the paper examines how present criminal offenses involving terrorist aims and intent are constituted through the appeal to potential future violence. In conclusion, the paper teases out the political dynamic of secondary risk management that—frequently—underlies contemporary terrorism prosecutions.
    September 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12025   open full text
  • Standardization for Transnational Diffusion: The Case of Truth Commissions and Conditional Cash Transfers.
    Marcos Ancelovici, Jane Jenson.
    International Political Sociology. September 12, 2013
    The study of the transnational transfer of practices and institutions generally looks at the intermediary and final stages of the process, with much less attention devoted to its initial steps. In contrast, this article theorizes the early part of the trajectory of transfer, conceptualized as the process through which local ideas and practices are turned into a “standard model,” which we term the process of standardization. Drawing upon the public policy and social movement literatures, we identify three potentially robust mechanisms as central to the process of standardization—certification, decontextualization, and framing—and apply this framework to two cases: the transnational spread of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the use of conditional cash transfers as a social policy instrument. We find that the key actors in shaping the content of these standards were neither the innovators nor the early adopters but intermediary entrepreneurs located at the intersection of a complex mix of state and nonstate networks.
    September 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12024   open full text
  • At the Crossroads of Autonomy and Essentialism: Indigenous Peoples in International Environmental Politics.
    Marjo Lindroth, Heidi Sinevaara‐Niskanen.
    International Political Sociology. September 12, 2013
    Indigenous peoples are often perceived as custodians of nature owing to their close relationship with their environment and their nature‐based livelihoods. This paper investigates the kinds of environmental agencies that are constructed for, and by, indigenous peoples within the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PF) and the Arctic Council. The particular focus of this research is the issue of responsibility. The article brings together empirical materials from the two forums and engages with them using Foucault‐inspired approaches. We offer a critical discussion of indigenous peoples' environmental agency in international politics, addressing the need to problematize representations of indigenous agency that to date have been largely unchallenged in both the practice and study of international politics. We identify three perspectives through which the environmental agency of indigenous peoples is validated and justified: having particular knowledge, being stakeholders, and having a close relationship with nature. Certain kinds of expectations are inscribed in each of these perspectives; responsibility becomes intertwined with agency.
    September 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12023   open full text
  • In the Name of Love: Marriage Migration, Governmentality, and Technologies of Love.
    Anne‐Marie D'Aoust.
    International Political Sociology. September 12, 2013
    The past 10 years have seen an increase in legislation pertaining to marriage migration in Europe. Such attention betrays various concerns and anxieties that intersect not only with issues of risk management, rights, and citizenship, but also with less tangible dimensions such as emotions, which become embedded in legal as well as in surveillance practices. Emotions such as love are integral to the institutions, procedures, analyses and reflections, calculation, and tactics that Foucault identified as part of governmental processes; the latter should not necessarily be equated with (and limited to) rationalized technocratic processes detached from emotional components. Technologies of love are central to the governmentality of marriage migration; as modes of subjectification and governing practice, they connect intimacy with citizenship. More than the manifestation of the rationalization of a specific emotion, technologies of love allow for an exploration of what an engagement with emotions such as love does to governmentality. Illustrations of the “attachment requirement” in Denmark, and the case of “Catgate” in Great Britain, show that technologies of love play a significant role in stirring and disciplining specific migration flows (what kind of marriage migrants the state welcomes or keeps at bay), but also in challenging, even if inadvertently, those policies and practices designed to gauge “true” relationships.
    September 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12022   open full text
  • Cosmopolitanism and the End of Humanity: A Grammatical Reading of Posthumanism.
    Véronique Pin‐Fat.
    International Political Sociology. September 12, 2013
    The academic discipline of International Relations has yet to systematically begin tracing the impact of posthumanism on ethics in global politics. In a context where a humanist picture of the subject is in “a state of crisis that is more acute than ever,” and the “end of humanity” is being declared by some, the question arises as to whether a moral commitment to liberal cosmopolitanism can be maintained. It arises because the moral commitments of cosmopolitanism traditionally rest on a humanist foundation, and posthumanism, at first glance, seems an obvious threat to it. In this article, rather than reading posthumanism as a threat to humanity, I read humanism as the threat. I propose that, tricky though it may be, a cosmopolitanism that embraces the end of humanity can be formulated and defended as a moral commitment to humanity: a cosmopolitanism without foundations. This cosmopolitanism without foundations is, I suggest, one way to overcome the skeptic's fantasy that we are hidden from each other, and with it the belief that our primary relation to the world is one of knowledge anchored to foundational promises of certainty. Instead, a life lived in the world with others is proposed, and with it a cosmopolitan commitment to humanity as an unavoidable ethical responsibility.
    September 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12021   open full text
  • Jomo Kwame Sundaram: An Interview.
    Anna Leander, Prem Kumar Rajaram.
    International Political Sociology. June 10, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12019   open full text
  • Resilience and the Autotelic Subject: Toward a Critique of the Societalization of Security.
    David Chandler.
    International Political Sociology. June 10, 2013
    In discourses of resilience, there is a clear assumption that governments need to assume a more proactive engagement with society. This proactive engagement is understood to be preventive, not in the sense of preventing future disaster or catastrophe but in preventing the disruptive or destabilizing effects of such an event. In this sense, the key to security programs of resilience is the coping capacities of citizens, the ability of citizens to respond, or adapt, to security crises. The subject or agent of security thereby shifts from the state to society and to the individuals constitutive of it. In many ways, this shift away from a sovereign‐based understanding to a social or societal understanding of security, under the guidance or goal of resilience, could be understood as a deliberalizing discourse, one which divests security responsibilities from the level of the state down to the level of the citizen. This article seeks to consider some of the genealogical aspects of discourses of resilience as a societal or agent‐based understanding of security (particularly focusing on the work of Friedrich von Hayek and Anthony Giddens) in order to work through some of the consequences of the state's divestment of security responsibilities for traditional liberal framings of state–society relations.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12018   open full text
  • Politics of Disappearance: Scanners and (Unobserved) Bodies as Mediators of Security Practices.
    Rocco Bellanova, Gloria González Fuster.
    International Political Sociology. June 10, 2013
    In 2008, debates over the deployment of body scanners in EU airports gave rise to imbroglios of technologies, bodies, law, and policies. Eventually, these entanglements appeared to be undone and resolved by the concealment of bodies from the screens of the machines—which had, meanwhile, been renamed security scanners. Using the concept of setting, this article describes the processes of disappearance operating among a vivid multiplicity of actants and connections and identifies three main paradoxical features characterizing them. Based on this analysis, the article advances the notion of the politics of disappearance, where heterogeneous elements—both material and immaterial, visible as well as invisible—actively contribute to the making of a security practice and, potentially, to the opening of political landscapes.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12017   open full text
  • The Making of Docile Dissent: Neoliberalization and Resistance in Colombia and Beyond.
    Lara Montesinos Coleman.
    International Political Sociology. June 10, 2013
    This study is about strategies of neoliberalization in relation to practices of dissent and resistance. It explores how struggles arising in the context of neoliberalization may be subject to entanglement within the very processes they seek to contest and—in so doing—interrogates the political stakes of neoliberal governmental rationality. Drawing upon extensive ethnographic research, I trace the international trajectory of mobilizations against the dispossession visited upon Colombian farmers in the context of BP's investment in oilfields in the mid‐1990s. Reasoning through attention to the ways in which this one specific struggle was neutralized, I suggest that a key aim of neoliberal strategies of political control is to accomplish a sort of “political hygiene” by nullifying politically surplus subjects and containing dissent within manageable parameters. The invocation of discourses of rights and civil society can be seen to be integral to neoliberal political rationality in this regard, but rights are comprehended within a symbolic structuration of the population that coincides with neoliberal logics. I suggest that such logics are directed not so much at incorporating the population into a generalized “right of death and power over life,” as Foucault famously put it, but at inscribing subjects into networks of unstable and precarious private contract that constrict the wider obligations of population and citizenship commonly associated with liberalism. Discourses of rights, civil society, and development are not antidotes to socioeconomic dispossession or armed repression. Rather, all of these are complementary components of strategies aimed at the domestification of dissent.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12016   open full text
  • Davos Woman to the Rescue of Global Capitalism: Postfeminist Politics and Competitiveness Promotion at the World Economic Forum.
    Juanita Elias.
    International Political Sociology. June 10, 2013
    The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a global governance actor that has in recent years taken an increased interest in issues pertaining to gender equality and women's empowerment. The paper critically investigates the work of the WEF in this area, suggesting that WEF‐produced gender and development discourse is profoundly compatible with the politics and practices of neoliberalism—not least in the way in which it aligns gender equality and women's empowerment with national economic competitiveness. This is, furthermore, a distinctly postfeminist reading of gender that rests upon the production of neoliberal‐compatible female subjectivities—such as “rational economic woman” or “Davos woman”—who emerge as those in society best able to deliver fair and sustainable economic growth (effectively rescuing global capitalism from the excesses of hypermasculine crisis capitalism). The framing of the case for gender equality and women's empowerment in these terms is powerful and may well be an effective way for gender advocates to present their demands. But by analyzing not only how the WEF has framed/represented gender issues but also what has been left out of this representation, the paper points to the way in which simplistic representations concerning the contribution that women make to economic competitiveness disguise the double burdens and gendered structures of socioeconomic inequality that are central to the widening and deepening of the market into all spheres of social life under conditions of roll‐back neoliberalism.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12015   open full text
  • “Once Was Blind but Now Can See”: Modernity and the Social Sciences.
    Sanjay Seth.
    International Political Sociology. June 10, 2013
    This article asks a series of very direct, if not simple, questions. How, and why, is it that we assume that modern knowledge is universal, despite its European genealogy and its historically recent provenance? What warrant do we have for considering this knowledge superior to the premodern knowledges of the West and the autochthonous knowledges of the non‐West? Are we, in short, right to assume that modern Western knowledge transcends the circumstances of its historical and geographical emergence and thus that the social sciences are “true” for everyone—even though to do so is to privilege the modern and the Western over the premodern and the non‐Western? In addressing these questions, this essay highlights the exclusions—of gods and spirits, and of nature—that have gone into the constitution of the concept of “the social,” a taken‐for‐granted object which provides the ground and the subject matter for the social sciences.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12014   open full text
  • International Relations Theory and the “Social Whole”: Encounters and Gaps Between IR and Sociology.
    Mathias Albert, Barry Buzan.
    International Political Sociology. June 10, 2013
    This article explores some basic issues which arise from International Relations (IR) theory also being a form of social theory in a broader sense. Many of these issues are related to the question of a “social whole,” that is, whether international relations/International Relations is one of many parts of a social whole, on what grounds it is differentiated from other parts, and whether it operates on a distinct level of social reality. We argue that these questions have been addressed in many forms of IR theory, but mostly only implicitly, and that the failure to make explicit assumptions about a social whole is probably due to the relative neglect of the subject in modern Sociology. The article argues that implicit assumptions about a social whole can be unearthed by looking at the concepts of systems, levels, and sectors, discussing debates about each of these in turn. Openly addressing IR theory as social theory, and spelling out images of a social whole, allows one to gain a sharper understanding of some of the basic analytical categories used, and to judge whether they form plausible delimitations of social reality within a wider social context.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ips.12013   open full text