Activities & Events

forthcoming

1. CfP EWIS 2022 – deadline 23/11
2. WISC PANEL & ROUNDTable
3. ISA 2022 Panels – scheduled for april 2022

1. call for papers – EISA #EWIS2022 in thessaloniki
06/07 – 09/07/2022 the interconnected worlds of past and present: co-constituting the international

Responding to the EWIS2022 Call for Workshop Proposals Benjamin Tallis and Aleksandra Spalińska will submit a proposal for a workshop on Multiplicity and the Intertemporal-Intersocietal Nexus: Reconstituting the International. We are looking for paper proposals/expressions of interest that fit this theme – see description below – in order to flesh out our proposal (although we can’t guarantee participation at this stage and won’t know until 06/12/21 if the workshop will be accepted!).
Workshop Description/CFP below – Submit your proposals (Name, Paper title and provisional abstract) ASAP and no later than 23/11/21 to:
Benjamin Tallis – tallis[at]hertie-school.org – & Aleksandra Spalińska – a.spalinska[at]student.uw.edu.pl

Kazimir Malevich, Detail from Black Square, 1915, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
workshop description/ Cfp
Multiplicity and the Inter-Temporal, Inter-Societal Nexus:
co-constituting and Re-constituting the International 

‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.’ LP Hartley, The Go Between, 1953

Multiplicity is seemingly well suited to exploring the inter-temporal in the international – and vice versa – but has yet to be put to this purpose. This workshop seeks to do just that by explicitly turning Multiplicity to the nexus of Multiplicity is intuitively well suited to exploring the inter-temporal in the international – and vice versa – but has yet to be put to this purpose. This workshop does just that by explicitly turning Multiplicity to the nexus of inter-temporal and inter-societal relations that constitute international politics. This nexus includes both the ways in which the existence of multiple societies produces and shapes different times and temporalities, as well as how those times and temporalities generate or influence the constellations of relations between and through societies. The nexus thereforeencompasses the co-existence of multiple, differentiable ‘presents’ (as in e.g. Uneven and Combined Development or, differently, ‘end of history’ Liberalism), as well as plural pasts, futures and their interconnections (in e.g., Memory Studies, Futures Studies, Hauntology).  

Exploring the intertemporal-intersocietal nexus presages understanding of how these multiple multiplicities both engender and reflect different temporalities – whether tragic, progressive or more complex – and how they affect the international (as Chronos or Kairos). Multiplicity, as an IR theory, was developed to understand the implications of plurality; particularly the plurality of societies (IR’s unique perspective) and the ‘consequences’ this has: co-existence, difference, interaction, combination and relational change (Rosenberg, 2016). Now we focus these analytical categories on the mutual implications of multiple times and temporalities as well as societies.

We thus seek to enact Multiplicity’s potential, inter alia, to provide new and compelling interpretations of continuityand (relational) change, especially through societal interaction and combination. Doing so can better illuminate how these processes are linked to the ordering of societal co-existencedifferentiation and, therefore, We thus seek to enact Multiplicity’s potential to provide new and compelling interpretations of, inter alia, continuity and (relational) change, especially through societal interaction and combination. Doing so can better illuminate how these processes are linked to the ordering of societal co-existencedifferentiation and, therefore, the formation and reproduction of identity across and through time as well as space. We can thus also engage with questions of modern and post-modern selfhood (whether ‘individual’ or collective) – and what comes after. Multiplicity’s broad inclusivity means that we welcome submissions which take discursive, practice-based, material, ideational, experiential, mnemonic, narrative or other ways of exploring the politics of the inter-temporally and inter-societally constituted international.

We want new voices to enter the Multiplicity conversation and intend the workshop to draw oncritical, feminist, post-colonial, historical and other scholarship that has highlighted IR’s problems with the past, specifically the violent histories of its subject matter – and the discipline’s complicity with them. The workshop also engages critical IR’s ongoing problems with the future: ceaseless deconstruction and critique have done little to imagine or construct new and better worlds, let alone reconstitute the international (Austin, 2017). Some leading critical scholars encourage us to abandon ‘the future’ itself (e.g. Grove, 2019) and even the poetic call for EWIS2022 workshops omits the future amid its talk of interconnected pasts and presents. We thus welcome senior, early and mid-career scholars engaging a broad swathe of (IR) scholarship, including on temporality (e.g. Hom, 2020; Hutchings, 2008), but also those explicitly seeking to influence policy and practice. Like previous EWIS Multiplicity workshops, we aim to generate a special issue of a leading journal (2018: Globalizations, 2020: Cooperation and Conflict) and not only to foster but expand the Multiplicity research community.

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition, 1916. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

past events

1. Multiplicity panels at millennium conference 2021 (23/10/21)

Re-writing the International as Multiplicity, Part 1: Conceptual and Methodological Innovation

  • Brieg Powel, Chair
  • Alex Prichard, Discussant
  • Olaf Corry – What has disciplinarity ever done for IR? International Relations, academic disciplines and multiplicity in knowledge production
  • Antje Wiener – Societal Multiplicity for International Relations: Engaging Societal Interaction
  • Jochen Kleinschmidt – Retrofuturistic Realism
  • Aleksandra Spalińska – Afterlives of Medievalism and Re-writing the International

Re-writing the International as Multiplicity, Part 2: Expanding the Spheres of the International

  • Aleksandra Spalińska, Chair
  • Alex Hoseason, Discussant
  • Astrid Nordin – Multiplicity, holism, and relationality of the ‘international’: A view through Chinese traditions
  • Brieg Powel – The Mesopotamian trap: multiplicity, emergence, and the ‘international’ in early Southwest Asia
  • Alex Colas – Food and Imperialism: Patterns of Domination and Subversion in the Modern International System
  • Benjamin Tallis – Kraftwerk and the International Re-birth of Germany: Multiplicity, Identity and Difference in Music and International Relations.

2. EISA #EWIS2020 WORKSHOP
ONline, Spring-summer 2020

Workshop M: Multiplicity: IR’s Strangely Familiar Common Ground

Workshop Conveners:
Benjamin Tallis, IFSH Hamburg, 
Justin Rosenberg, University of Sussex,

This workshop engages the EWIS2020 theme (the strange and familiar in IR – ‘Together We’re Stranger’) by expanding the research programme of Multiplicity to focus on difference – and the ways we mediate it.

Yet a single idea, Multiplicity, could both mediate IR’s estrangement from itself and better equip it to explain, understand and even address the human condition of difference. This idea was first proposed in the 2015 Carr Memorial Lecture, and has developed into a many-sided, collaborative research programme, including an EISAPEC19 section, a forum and a special issue. We used this workshop to generate a new special issue proposal for Cooperation and Conflict. This accepted and is currently in review. The workshop participants can be found on our ‘People’ page.

Multiplicity’s starting point is the ontological claim that human social existence is, and always has been, plural: it is distributed across a multiplicity of societal entities. This simple fact provides the raison d’etre for a discipline of IR: we study the profound consequences of societal multiplicity for the human world: co-existence, difference, interaction, combination and dialectical change. How do these consequences structure the international as a dimension of social reality? What are their implications for the social sciences and humanities at large? Via such questions, Multiplicity provides both a way of exploring ‘the international’ as a dimension of social reality and a new common ground for the fragmented world of IR theory. For in the end, all IR theory is concerned either with the consequences of human plurality or with the consequences of thinking this plurality in particular ways.

Thus far, the Multiplicity debate has largely focused on ‘interaction’ as a way of countering ‘internalist’ conceptions of social existence and change. At EWIS2020 we seek to enlarge this focus by more explicitly considering difference – and its relations to the other consequences of multiplicity – by questioning e.g.:

  • How does societal multiplicity entail difference as a property of the human world?
  • What axes of difference – political, cultural, historical, ecological, epistemological etc. –operate in inter-societal affairs?
  • To what kinds of tension, conflict and creativity does difference give rise, and through whatspecifically international mechanisms do these effects operate?
  • How do existing IR theories – realist, liberal, Marxist, feminist, poststructuralist, decolonial,queer, ecological etc. – conceptualise difference and its role in world affairs?
  • How does multiplicity let us see difference differently?
  • How does multiplicity enable all IR theories to share their insights on the constitutive role ofdifference in the human world?We welcome proposals on these and other questions related to multiplicity (or explorations of such) from across IR – mainstream and critical, theoretical and empirical, contemporary and historical.

EWIS 2020 Theme:
Together We’re Stranger’: Strange and Familiar in International Relations
The 7th iteration of EWIS at the ULB takes inspiration from a song and an eponymic album Together We’re Stranger by an English art-pop duo No-Man, formed in 1987 as No Man Is an Island (Except the Isle of Man). The problems of difference and otherness, the reefs of cultural miscommunication and mutual misunderstandings in the inevitably ‘peopled’ world, combined with the inescapable need to somehow organise cultural diversity, keep haunting contemporary international relations. How can we live together – as we cannot really live apart, regardless of the occasional temptations to mute the noise of the world, ‘take back control’ and retrofit modern societies to imaginary orders that never were? Are we more vulnerable to ourselves, seeking seclusion? How do we mediate estrangement and togetherness – through which modes of knowledge and reasoning, practices, or devices? Are we stranger together – or yet something else? We encourage you to step outside and not to be afraid to probe the brave new world; to ask for better.

3.multiplicity: exploring IR’s common ground and unleashing its latent potential

Section 29, 13th EISA Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Sofia

Section Description:

For a hundred years IR has failed to see what is under its nose: the fundamental fact of human multiplicity. Trapped in the prison of political science, IR has failed to define this as its object of enquiry (Rosenberg 2016). Split by the prisms of plurally sectarian approaches it has been unable to identify common ground for analysis or advocacy (Sylvester, 2007). And though happy to import ideas from elsewhere, it has not exported its own insights in return. This section uses Multiplicity’s lens to enable IR scholars to reveal what has been hiding in plain sight, to focus on the distinctive subject matter of IR and thus highlight what we can show to others across the Social Sciences and Humanities. Human existence is multiple – societally, politically, culturally, developmentally and ecologically. And the consequences of this multiplicity – co-existence, difference, interaction, combination and dialectical change – are general features of the human world which offer a new common ground for IR theory. We explore this common ground more thoroughly, widening our gaze to bring in new perspectives on and from Multiplicity, and helping IR to see – and be seen – differently.

Multiplicity Section Overview

Wednesday 11/09 

  • Plenary Sessions – Weds 11/09 from 1445 – Room 272 
  • Multiplicity Social Event Weds 11/09  – 1930 – Bar de Rouge – Ulitsa Shipka 6/ Shipka Street 6 (ул. Шипка 6)

Thursday 12/09

  • TA – 0900 – Opening Roundtable – Intro to Multiplicity
    Justin Rosenberg, Thomas Diez, Mathias Albert, Antje Wiener, Anja Jakobi, Olaf Corry, Benjamin Tallis
  • TB – 1115 – Multiplicity: Common Ground for IR (from forthcoming special issue of Globalizations 1)
    Olaf Corry, Benjamin Tallis, Justin Rosenberg, Brieg Powel, Yulia Yurchenko; Chair/Disc: Anja Jakobi
  • TC – 1430 – Multiplicity: Common Ground for IR (from forthcoming special issue of Globalizations 2)
    Rosalba Belmonte, Felix Buchwald, Kai Koddenbrock, Marco Vieira, Kamran Matin; Chair/Disc: Dirk Nabers
  • TD – 1645 – Exploring Relationalities in/for International Relations
    Daniel Nexon, Anahita Arian, Kosuke Shimizu, Simon Frankel Pratt; Chair: David Blaney; Disc: Emilian Kavalski.

Friday 13/09

  • FA – 0900 – Multiplicity & Uneven and Combined Development
    Chris Boyle, Eren Duzgun, Sarah Kermanian, Xin Liu; Chair: Felix Buchwald; Disc: Kamran Matin
  • FB – 1115 – Multiplicity and IPE: Breaking Out of the Double Prison
    Can Cemgill, Julian Germann, David Blaney, Chris Boyle; Chair: Kai Koddenbrock, Disc: Justin Rosenberg
  • TC – 1430 – ROUNDTABLE – Multiplicity, IR and International Political Theory: New Directions, Possibilties & Challenges 
    Cameron Thies, Catarina Kinnvall, Daniel Nexon, Alena Drieschova, Benjamin Herborth, Anatoly Resehetnikov, Justin Rosenberg; Chair: David Shim.
     
  • 1930-2230: Conference Grand Reception (open to all participants)

Saturday 14/09

  • FA – 0900 – The IR of Food: Empires, Nations & Regimes in the Making of Alimentary Multiplicity 
    Alex Colas, Claudia Prieto Piastro, Atsuko Ichijo, Jason Edwards, Kieran Andrieu; Chair/Disc: Colas.

We invited contributions from all corners of International Studies, of all persuasions and in all registers: theoretical, philosophical, empirical, historical, contemporary, policy-focused, ‘mainstream’ or ‘critical’. The section cohered around questions and examples of: a) how multiplicity informs our arguments; b) how to advance the shared IR conversation about multiplicity; and c) how multiplicity makes IR relevant beyond the discipline.

4.beyond campfire IR: Multiplicity as new common ground for IR theory – workshop K, eisa #ewis2018, groningen 06-09/06/2018/

This workshop was used to generate papers for the Special Issue of Globalizations that was published in 2020. Workshop Participants are listed on our People page.