Jack Snyder (Columbia Univ.)
Religion and International Relations Theory
Since September 11, 2001, religion has become a central topic in discussions about international politics. And yet the standard works of US international relations theory, which continue to shape much academic research, hardly mention religion. A handful of new works by young US international relations scholars have begun to fill this gap. The best of this new work is represented in Religion and International Relations Theory, edited by Jack Snyder, forthcoming from Columbia University Press in March 2011. Snyder’s overview of the project will focus on four approaches to integrating religion into theoretically-grounded international relations scholarship: (1) working within the traditional US paradigms of realism, liberalism, and social constructivism, (2) supplanting existing paradigms with a religion-centered theory, such as the “clash of civilizations” thesis, (3) analyzing secularisms as worldviews comparable to religions, and (4) treating religion as a variable in testable hypotheses about the causes of conflict international relations.
CERI – Salle de conférences 5pm – 7pm
Discussant: Denis Lacorne (CERI)
When the Pre-modern is Post-modern: Hobbes, Lacan and the Making of the International System
CERI, Salle du Conseil – 4ème étage – 5pm-7pm
Discussant: Ariel Colonomos
From Hans Morgenthau to Kenneth Waltz, via Carl Schmitt, the writings of Thomas Hobbes have played a key role in shaping Realist understandings of the international system. Less appraised are the uncanny similarities that exist between his political ontology and that of Jacques Lacan. In this paper I return to this fount of Realism to I show how these two worlds – that of the early modern thinker of the post-modern psychoanalyst – reveal ontologies of dependence and relationality. Specifically, I show that the figure of the sovereign, the linchpin of Hobbes’ political order, represents none other than Lacan’s Other. The implications are significant, as, in the light of these resemblances, the conclusions realists have drawn with regards to the possibilities of states’ acting in that system appear a misreading of Hobbes. Underpinning Hobbes’s thought is in fact a sense of the fundamental dependence between the self and the Other that rule out the type of survivalist behavior that they describe and prescribe.
Erez Manela (Harvard), “International Society as Historical Subject”
Tuesday June 2nd 10.30 am – 12.30 pm
Scholars of international relations and law have been writing about international society for a while now, but historians, particularly in the United States, have been slow to adopt this term or wrestle with its implications. Though the field of international history has been experiencing a revival in the United States, with new work taking the field in exciting new directions, innovation has been coupled with disagreement and confusion about the changing shape of the field and its spatial, temporal, thematic, and methodological scope. This paper summarizes the debate about the state and direction of the field over the last several decades, outlines the state of the field today, and then attempts to show how reconceiving the field as the history of international society could help bring the numerous threads of recent developments into a coherent and common framework.
Co-organized with Sciences Po Centre d’Histoire
CERI: salle de conférences
Martti Koskenniemi (Univ. of Helsinki): “International Law and Politics – What is Critical Method in Law?”
Discussants: Horatia Muir Watt (Sciences Po – Ecole de droit), Jerome Sgard (CERI)
The talk is co-sponsored by Sciences Po’s school of law (Ecole de droit)
CERI: 5 to 7pm
What’s the future of Academia? An interview with Martti Koskenniemi
Kate Nash (University of London)
10.30 am – 12.30 pm
Salle de conférences
Human rights are formally universal, applying equally to all human beings on the planet. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is also an attempt to make human rights universal in content, stipulating that they must apply to “Everyone…without distinction of any kind” (Article 2). Increasingly too, the principle of universal rights is becoming legal as well as moral, as international human rights law becomes more detailed and dense, especially through judgements made in courts, national and international. At the same time, however, the world continues to be organised into states that are territorially bounded and historically associated with struggles for democracy linked to sovereignty and nationalism. As they are legalised, human rights are increasingly positioned as ‘intermestic rights’, ‘in between’ national and international law. In practice (in part as a function of the proliferation of sites at which it is decided) law is uncertain and unpredictable with regard to enforcing human rights. Realising human rights ideals in practice will always be controversial; realising such ideals will never become simply a matter of ensuring the rule of law.
Discutant et responsable scientifique : Bastien Irondelle (CERI)
CERI, salle de conférences
Richard Price (University of British Columbia)
At what point, if any, is one to reasonably concede that the ‘realties’ of world politics require compromise from cherished principles or moral ends, and how do we really know we have reached an ethical limit when we seen one? Since social constructivist analyses of the development of moral norms tell us how we get moral change in world politics, that agenda should provide insightful leverage on the ethical question of ‘what to do.’ This talk identifies contributions of the social constructivist research agenda in International Relations for theorizing moral limit and possibility in global political dilemmas, engaging in particular international political theory and critical IR theory, and questions of the relationship of normative and empirical scholarship in IR.
CERI, 5-7 pm (salle de conférences rez-de-chaussée)
Milja Kurki (Aberystwyth University)
‘The normative and political dimensions of causal analysis’
Often the idea of causal analysis is separated from the analysis of normative issues and questions of moral and political responsibility, in IR and also in many circles in philosophy of social sciences. This tendency is generated by an unthinking acceptance and reproduction of a positivist fact-value distinction. When causal analysis is framed in non-positivist terms we can see not only that there is nothing a-normative or a-political about the analysis of causation, but also that complex issues arise concerning the exact relationship between the frameworks of causal analysis we use and our normative and political commitments. I will argue here that engaging in causal analysis is a deeply moral, normatively-loaded, and political matter, and moreover, that important issues are at stake in the kind of meta-theoretical frameworks we apply to causal analysis. Far from dismissing causal analysis as de-politicising, as has been the tendency in the interpretivist end of IR, we should recognise that it is around debates about causality, and frameworks of causal analysis, that much of the interesting moral and political debate in international relations takes place.
Dr. Milja Kurki
Lecturer in International Relations Theory and Principal Investigator, ‘Political Economies of Democratisation’ (European Research Council)