Mike Magcamit joins SPIR

Mike Magcamit

Mike Magcamit is a Marie Skodowlska-Curie fellow who will be working with Lee for two years on a project entitled The Divine Tragedy of Securing the Sacred: Security, Religion and Nationalism in Southeast Asia. His research will investigate the three-way linkages between religion, security and nationalism, exploring how relations between dominant and minority religions influence the formation of national security policies. After a period based in SPIR, he will be undertaking fieldwork in Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines. The final three months of his fellowship will be spent at the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Sweden, where he will work to disseminate his research findings beyond academia.

Mike comes from the Philippines, but joins us from Japan after teaching International Relations in Tokyo since 2016, on a joint programme between the LSE and Musashi University.

Mike will be based in Arts One, Room 2.24 and his email is m.magcamit@qmul.ac.uk. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelmagcam1

Research Project: Mobile People

Co-directed by Professors Engin Isin and Kimberley Hutchings, Queen Mary University of London Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships (QMUL-LTDS) will involve 21 PhD research projects (2018-2023) concerned with how the world is being dynamically constituted by mobile people in active and novel ways and how this affects fundamental social and political institutions.

Its aim is to generate theories, concepts, methods, and data that are necessary to understand mobility as a way of life – not as an exception but as an emerging norm. Current research demonstrates that developments in human mobility are interrelated with the ways in which they are studied, interpreted, documented, and managed. Thus, thinking about mobility as a way of life entails reflexivity about the processes of producing knowledge about mobile lives in an increasingly mobile world: how we study, manage, govern, and imagine it. The projects will address the transformative effects of mobile people on the social and political institutions they inhabit and construct. How mobile people are creating new worlds, not solely as host versus guest, mobile versus immobile relations, but in ways which fundamentally challenge social and political institutions of citizenship, democracy, nationality and security is the innovative focus of this programme.

The programme is organised according to thematic priorities which reflect established expertise at QMUL. These themes (boundariesgenerationsenvironmenthealthidentitieslanguage) will be studied in relation to the impacts of mobility as a way of life on social and political institutions (citizenshipdemocracynationality, and security). The organisation of the programme is guided by the principle that institutions such as citizenship (membership, rights, obligations), democracy (representation, participation, government), nationality (sovereignty, state, territory), and security (authority, legality, threat/protection) are undergoing profound transformations. These transformations are shaped by and reshape the articulation of spatial relations (boundaries), temporal relations (generations), meanings of place from world to home (environment), definitions and experiences of well/ill-being (health), dispositions and behaviours (identities), and communication and speech (language).

For further information click here

Event: Tankers, Tycoons, and the Making of Modern Regimes of Law, Labour, and Finance

21st March 2019 | 6.30pm – 8.30pm in ArtsOne Lecture Theatre

Please register free for this event here

Speaker: Laleh Khalili
Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London

Venue: Arts One Lecture Theatre
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS

Excellent research on the politics of containerisation and the logic of logistics (Levinson; Cowen; Sekula) has shown the transformations these new modalities of disciplining trade have wrought not only on the circulation of goods but also the processes of production. Containers as we know them were invented in the 1950s and came especially to prominence after the 1960s, when their usage was normalised during the Vietnam war.

However, many of the practices we now associate with containerisation – foremost among them the automation of processes of maritime circulation, and the transformation of urban landscapes around the ports – go back at least two decades before the 1950s, to the legal, engineering, and financial innovations around petroleum tankers.

By focusing on the tanker terminals of the Arabian Peninsula since the 1930s and the subsequent burgeoning of tanker-ships plying the trade between the Peninsula and the rest of the world, Laleh Khalili will illuminate the radical transformations the particularities of tanker trade has formed. This includes early instances of automated workplaces; terminals far enough from port-city centres to isolate them from public scrutiny; and disciplining of workers aboard tanker-ships. Further, the shift in ownership structures and financing of tanker trades over the last one-hundred years either foreshadows or dramatically illuminates the transformations in financial capital itself. Finally, much of lex petrolea, the legal and arbitral corpus that sets the parameter of extraction and circulation of oil, itself provides the ground on which late capitalist legal property regimes are founded.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception to which all attendees are invited.

Speaker biography

Laleh Khalili is Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS University of London. Her first book, Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge, 2007) drew on ethnographic research in the Palestinian refugee camp of Burj al-Barajna in Lebanon and focussed on the particular genres of commemoration – from the heroic practices of the heady days of Third Worldism to the tragic discourses of an era in which NGOs are ascendant. She also edited Modern Arab Politics (Routledge, 2008) and co-edited (with Jillian Schwedler) Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Hurst/OUP, 2010). Her most recent book, Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford, 2013), drew on interviews with former detainees of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and various Israeli detention camps and prisons – and military officers, guards, and interrogators, as well as a large number of archival sources to show the continuities in practices of detention in liberal counterinsurgencies from the Boer War until today. Her Time in the Shadows was the winner of the Susan Strange Best Book Prize of the British International Studies Association and the 2014 best book award of the International Political Sociology section of the ISA.

Janne Autto (University of Lapland) to visit SPIR from 14th-26th January

Janne Autto
Janne Autto

Janne Autto from the University of Lapland will be visiting SPIR 14-26 January 2019; Janne will be located in Office 2.24, Arts One Building.

Besides exploring research cooperation between SPIR and Faculty of Social Science at the University of Lapland, he will be working with Jef Huysmans on security and austerity. Janne’s visit also aims at establishing a Finnish connection with the Doing International Political Sociology network.

Janne Autto is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Lapland. His work focuses on political struggles over the welfare state and citizens’ social rights and responsibilities, including governmental aspirations and resistance to them. His intellectual home is in cultural theory, the major directions of interest being Bourdieusian and Foucauldian thinking, British cultural studies and French pragmatic sociology. In addition, he has a strong interest in qualitative research methods. He has applied in particular methods of semiotic sociology and narrative research.

His recent publications include:

Autto, J. & Törrönen, J. (2018) ‘Yes, but all responsible Finns want to stop living on credit’: Feeling rules in the Finnish politics of austerity. Citizenship Studies, forthcoming.

Autto, J. & Törrönen, J. (2017) ‘Justifications of citizens’ subject positions in public debates on welfare’. Acta Sociologica 60(1), 61–73.

Autto, J. (2015) ‘When policymakers and parents meet political discourses: Fields and subject positions in the Finnish debates on children’s day care’. Social Politics 23(1): 94–118.

He has edited a book on cultural studies of welfare state (with Mikael Nygård, Hyvinvointivaltion kulttuurintutkimus, Lapland University Press 2015) as well as on working-life (with Merja Kinnunen, Tänään töissä, Lapland University Press 2009). He is a member of editorial board of Sosiologia, the Finnish journal of sociology published by the Westermarck Society.

Women and the History of International Thought

Women and the History of International Thought

Lead Researchers: Professor Kimberly Hutchings, Professor Patricia Owens and Dr Katharina Rietzler

Funding Agency: Leverhulme Trust

This is a  four-year research project that aims to systematically recover and evaluate the international thought of women both inside and outside academe during the early to mid-twentieth-century. It will locate academic women researching international relations in Anglo-American centres of IR; analyse the intellectual contributions of women thinker-practitioners in non-academic locations to challenge existing standards of inclusion; and examine the writings of already canonical women that have so far been marginalised in histories of international thought. Given the influence of European traditions on the largely Anglo-American discipline of International Relations and the simultaneous neglect of black intellectuals it includes European and diaspora women such as Simone de Beauvoir, Anna Julia Cooper, Rosa Luxemburg, Bertha von Suttner, Eslanda Robeson, and Simone Weil.

The Art of international Friendship: Exploring Twining in a Global Age

The Art of international Friendship: Exploring Twining in a Global Age

Lead Researcher: Dr Holly Ryan

Funding Agency:  Economic and Social Research Council

At a time when social fragmentation and cultural polarisation appear to be on the rise, this research project seeks to advance and improve on academic and practical understandings of ‘international friendship’ by focusing on alternative drivers such as solidarity, empathy, artistic production and inter-cultural exchange. In particular, by weaving together concepts and methods drawn from International Relations, Social Movement Studies, and Aesthetics, it aims to generate new insights into how cross-border ‘friendships’ are formed, valued and maintained by state and non-state actors operating across the local, national and international levels.It seeks to:

  1. To generate new qualitative data on the civic, social and cultural value of town twinning.
  2. To rethink and revise the concept of ‘international friendship’ as deployed by scholars in the field of International Relations.
  3. To analyse neglected dimensions of twinning practice, including ‘public service twinning’ and ‘solidarity twinning’

Film Screening: ‘Pili’

A single mother facing an HIV+ status, a community of stigma and a generation of poverty, Pili is offered the chance to change it all. But with only 3 days to do so, will she be able to? Facing generations of internalised stigma, Pili’s battle is not just for money, but for acceptance.

The film builds on Dr Sophie Harman’s fieldwork on East African women enduring HIV/AIDS.   Despite having never made a film before, producer Sophie Harman was determined to communicate the lives of East African women in the most compelling narrative possible alongside director Leanne Welham. To comprehend life in Miono, they spoke with 80 women from Pwani, discussing their lives, hopes and experiences of living with HIV/AIDS. From this, the two sketched out the beautiful story of the film. In creating the film, producer Sophie Harman and director Leanne Welham found that for most women in Pwani, their stories of poverty and HIV discrimination were the same. A mentor to the women in Miono, and a cast member in Pili named Sesilia remarked, ‘Pili is everywhere.’

Special screening and with Producer Sophie Harman and Director Leanne Welham:

Tickets for Mon 15th, Lexi Cinema: http://bit.ly/PiliQALexi

Tickets for Weds 18th, Crouch End Art House: http://bit.ly/PiliQAArtHouse

Details on other cinemas screening Pili could be found on the Pili Film facebook page

Clive Gabay’s New Book: ‘Imagining Africa: Whiteness and the Western Gaze’

The book discusses the long history of idealism concerning the potential of economic and political developments in Africa, the latest iteration of which emerged around the time of the 2007-8 global financial crisis. Gabay takes a historical approach to questions concerning change and international order as these apply to Africa in Western imaginaries. Challenging traditional postcolonial accounts that see the West imagine itself as superior to Africa, he argues that the centrality of racial anxieties concerning white supremacy make Africa appear, at moments of Western crisis, as the saviour of Western ideals, specifically democracy, bureaucracy, and neoclassical economic order. Uncommonly, this book turns its lens as much inwards as outwards, interrogating how changing attitudes to Africa over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries correspond to shifting anxieties concerning whiteness, and the growing hope that Africa will be the place where the historical genius of whiteness might be saved and perpetuated.

Dr Clive Gabay is Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious grants and awards and, in 2014, won one of only six British Academy Conference Awards which enabled him to hold a conference at the British Academy called evelopment and its Alternatives’, attended by a number of leading scholars, including James C. Scott (Yale) and Phillip McMichael (Cornell). In 2015, he was awarded a highly competitive UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Leaders Fellowship. Among other outlets, he has published in Globalizations, Review of African Political Economy, and Interventions: The International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.

Doing International Political Sociology

Queen Mary Convenor: Jef Huysmans

Website: https://www.doingips.org/

DoingIPS brings together researchers working in the broad area of International Political Sociology (IPS). They explore different theoretical and methodological lines of thought that are deployed in IPS and key themes of debate that are currently shaping IPS. More than a finite research group, DoingIPS is a hub that aims to promote International Political Sociology by adopting a flexible and inclusive approach.

Since its inception international political sociology has been defined by its distinct effort to articulate a critique of dogmatic conceptualisations of the international as a site of political life. To that aim, it explores the conceptions of the social and political that historically have been inscribed in ‘the international’, how the international is produced in multiple sites of political and social life and what the limits of the international are. One of the driving interests of IPS is to understand transversal social and political life that escapes institutionalisation in contained polities and societies. It creates a site for developing concepts, methods and theories that go beyond the inherited models of territorialised sovereignty, state/society relations and the international system while engaging some of the most pertinent challenges in world politics today.

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State transformation and the rise of China

Lead Researchers: Lee Jones (QMUL), Shahar Hameiri (University of Queensland) and Shaun Breslin (University of Warwick)

International Relations (IR) scholars are hotly debating rising powers’ effects on world politics. Often ignored is evidence that state transformation processes – fragmentation, decentralisation and internationalisation – related to deepening economic and security interdependence, influence rising powers’ international behaviour. Central to IR debates is China, the most important rising power and often assumed to be a unitary and coherent ‘Westphalian’ state. This project examines state transformation’s implications for its relations with Southeast Asia. The aim is to develop a new approach for analysing the dimensions and effects of contemporary rising powers, to advance IR theory and provide better policy tools for engaging rising powers.