University of London Institute in Paris

9-11 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris

Seminar series
Dis-placing Politics


This one-day workshop is organised by QMUL's Global Politics Unbound research group.

The interest in International Political Sociology has been steadily growing over the last decade and a half. Last year the journal International Political Sociology celebrated its 10th anniversary. At the same time, the Routledge handbook of International Political Sociology and a key edited volume International Political Sociology: Transversal Lines were published. Between them they are proposing distinct lines of research that have shaped the lineages of critical international studies in the last 15 years. IPS has also become a vibrant place for research that works across international relations, sociology and law, and for critical reflections on the relation between political theory, political sociology, and law. This workshop seeks to bring together work from PhD students and early career researchers working in the field of IPS. The aim is to explore (a) different theoretical and methodological lines of thought that are deployed in IPS, (b) themes of debate within IPS, and (c) how IPS enacts critical lineages and their limits in the social sciences. In this workshop, we are particularly interested in exploring differences in idioms of IPS by bringing together participants working from different disciplines, epistemic cultures, and universities.

If you would like to participate, please, send 150-200 word abstract and title of your research and how it relates to IPS to before the 15 December 2017.


9:30–9:45 - Arrival

9:45–10:00 - Welcome (Engin Isin (ULIP/QMUL), Hesham Shafick (QMUL), Katharine Weatherhead (QMUL), and Jef Huysmans (QMUL))

10:00–12:30 - Your work and International Political Sociology (IPS)

Participants discuss their work and how they see it relating to IPS in groups of 5. Each group discussion will be facilitated by a senior academic. Each participant briefly presents their work in 5 to 10 minutes followed by short discussion. This will be followed by a 40-minutes general discussion identifying points of debate and differences in approaches within IPS. These will form the basis for the general discussion in the session after lunch.

12:30 –13:30 - Lunch Break

13:30–15:00 - IPS controversies in the making

Each group presents how research approaches and differences identified as IPS in the morning sessions intervene in contemporary issues in international relations and/or international politics. The discussion will focus on the ways in which IPS is able to generate intellectually productive and politically resonant concepts, categories, and perspectives on these contemporary issues.

15:00 – 16:00 - Coffee Break

16:00-18:00 - Reading Workshop - Politics of Mobility: questioning the spectre of borders

Led by Jef Huysmans, this reading workshop is open to ULIP postgraduate students and external guests. Pre-reading: Aradau, Claudia, Huysmans, Jef & Squire, Vicki (2010) ‘Acts of European Citizenship. A Political Sociology of Mobility.’ Journal of Common Market Studies Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 945-965

18:00–20:00 - Seminar - No borders?

This seminar will be open to the public as part of ULIP's Dis-Placing Politics event series. Chaired by Jef Huysmans (QMUL), it will feature papers from Engin Isin (ULIP / QMUL), Audrey Alejandro (QMUL), and Philippe Bonditti (ESPOL, Lille).

Throughout the world people are negotiating their identities, movements, citizenships across various national and international borders as artists, citizens, entrepreneurs, diplomats, exiles, migrants, refugees, students, tourists, and workers. People find that borders act on them differently. Those who are able to afford buying multiple citizenships experience borders as a pleasant experience. Those who are not so lucky will be thrown into a seemingly interminable struggle over justifying themselves and their mobility. This state of affairs led some scholars and activists to question borders while states and nations increasingly become protective of their own borders. However, the debates about the relevance and effects of borders goes beyond the movement of people. Intensive experiences of globalisation and transnational connections between local sites, cultures, social movements, and economies have seriously questioned the key role of borders and even distinctions between local and global. Yet, borders are so central to understanding international relations that imagining and valuing lives and politics without borders remains a challenge. We will discuss various interventions on borders in contemporary international politics and reflect on ways of thinking about borders and without borders in International Political Sociology.