University of London Institute in Paris

9-11 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris

Seminar series
Challenging Europe

Development and Security in the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Liberal Governance?

This seminar will explore the ramifications of the contemporary merger of Development and Security and how the intensification of security practices in this policy area in Africa cannot be reduced to yet another expression of neoliberal global governance. Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social fields and case studies in Africa will be drawn upon, to explore the relational future of the two sectors. Discussions will map and theorize structural transformations of the fields of practice and how these developments alter the politics, agents, and strategies of development with profound implications for the future.

The event will feature a presentation by Rita Abrahamsen (University of Ottawa) and Michael C. Williams (University of Ottawa) followed by a discussion of their conception of security and their approach to development and neoliberal governance led by Joao Pontes Nogueira (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), Didier Bigo (Sciences-Po Paris & King’s College London), and David Williams (Queen Mary University of London).

This event is organised by Jean-François Drolet and Jef Huysmans for the School of Politics and International Relations Queen Mary in collaboration with the University of London Institute Paris.


18:00: Registration

18:30: Lecture

19:15: Panel Debate

20:00: End of Debate / Drinks reception until 21:00

Guest Speakers

  • Rita Abrahamsen is Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Her research interests are in African politics, security and development, security privatisation and postcolonial theory. She is the author (with M.C. Williams) of Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and the Good Governance Agenda in Africa (Zed Books, 2000). Her articles have appeared in leading journals including African Affairs, Alternatives, International Political Sociology, Journal of Modern African Studies, Political Studies, Third World Quarterly and Review of African Political Economy. She was joint-editor of African Affairs, the highest ranked journal in African studies, from 2009 to 2014. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa, she was in the Department of International Politics at the University of Aberystwyth, and she has been visiting fellow at the University of Cape Town, the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Queensland in Brisbane, the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo, and the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) at the University of Copenhagen.
  • Michael C. Williams is Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. His research interests are in International Relations theory, security studies, and political thought. His most recent book (with Rita Abrahamsen) is Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2011). His previous publications include The Realist Tradition and the Limits of International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Culture and Security: Symbolic Power and the Politics of International Security (Routledge, 2007) and the editor of several books, including most recently, Realism Reconsidered: The Legacy of Hans J. Morgenthau in International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2007). His articles have appeared in journals including the European Journal of International Relations, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Millennium, and the Review of International Studies. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa, he was Professor of International Politics in the Departmen of International Politics at Aberystwyth, and has been a visiting fellow at the Universities of Cape Town, Copenhagen, and the European University Institute in Florence.
  • Didier Bigo is Professor at King’s College London Department of War studies and MCU Research Professor at Sciences-Po Paris. He is also the director of the Centre for Study of Conflicts, Liberty and Security (CCLS) and editor of the quarterly journal in French Cultures et Conflits published by CCLS and l’Harmattan. He has been the founder and co-editor with Rob Walker of International Political Sociology one of the journals of the International Studies Association published by Oxford University Press. He is co-editor of the Routledge collection International Political Sociology, and the Routledge collection liberty and security. He is responsible for the KCL WP of the FP7 SOURCE in London and coordinator of the ANR UTIC in Paris.
  • Joao Pontes Nogueira is Associate Professor of International Relations at the International Relations Institute at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Recently he was Visiting Professor at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University in 2013 as well as at the University of Newcastle in 2014. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Queen Mary University of London. From 2008 to 2012 he was Director of the International Relations Institute (IRI) at PUC-Rio. He is one of the founders of the Brazilian International Relations Association, and he is currently co-editor in chief (with Jef Huysmans) of the ISA journal International Political Sociology (IPS). His fields of interest include international relations theory, the geopolitics of knowledge in IR, humanitarianism, inequality in world politics; and the role of the BRICS in contemporary international relations. He has co-authored with Monica Herz "Peru vs. Ecuador: peacemaking amid rivalry" (Lynne Rienner, 2002); "Teoria das Relacoes Internacionais: correntes e debates", with Nizar Messari (Elsevier/Campus, 2005); edited the book “Os BRICS e as Transformações na Ordem Internacional” (Editora PUC Rio, 2012) and co-edited, with Rob Walker, "International Relations and the (re)invention of History" (forthcoming).
  • David Williams completed his MSc and PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He was Hedley Bull and Talbot Junior Research Fellow in International Relations at Lady Margaret Hall, and Departmental Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford University. Subsequently he was Head of the Department for International Politics at City University before joining Queen Mary University London in 2012. His publications include The World Bank and Domestic Transformation in International Politics: Liberalism, Governance and Sovereignty, and International Development and Global Politics: History, Theory and Practice (London, Routledge, hbk. and pbk. 2011).