Deadline EXTENDED to 12 June 2020
The ‘Doing IPS’ PhD Seminar
Series introduces graduate students to research inspired by International
Political Sociology’s (IPS) commitment
to challenge methodological and conceptual assumptions in their research
disciplines, and ask new questions about transdisciplinary modes of enquiry. It
will address the need for doctoral candidates to have a forum dedicated to IPS
where they can: (1) present their work and receive feedback from peers and
senior academics in the field, (2) engage with contemporary IPS research
designs and debates, and (3) develop transdisciplinary and cross-institutional
relationships with a view to facilitating further discussions and
collaborations around common research themes. More widely, the series will
strengthen the analysis and evaluation skills of early career researchers.
IPS is best conceptualised as
a collective intellectual project that seeks to challenge the fundamental
oppositions within traditional theorising, such as that between politics and
society, the individual and the collective, structure and agency, internal and
external, international and national or local.
IPS analyses tend to deploy a
dual methodological approach: firstly, understanding the everyday as the
primary site of power relations, practices and resistances, and secondly,
thinking processually and relationally. A relational approach rejects stasis
and the implicit sedimentation of power inherent within it, and a processual
approach insists that it is the practices, rather than ‘pre-constituted’
entities, between actors that reveal the fields of forces in political and
social life. An IPS approach, therefore, interrogates and analyses the
dynamics, materialities, regimes of knowledge, etc. that constitute the
phenomena that we encounter in the world around us.
Thinking and writing from an
IPS tradition may best be described as an active process, with motion and
movement a central concern. In place of fixed and unchanging phenomena, IPS
emphasises flows, networks, conjunctures and connections, disjunctures and
disconnections, tensions, frictions, accelerations, entanglements,
crystallisations, relations, alterities, differences, and multiplicities.
Embracing the ‘messiness’ of
social and political life, therefore, is crucial to IPS: it disavows the
exclusionary and hierarchical modalities of thinking common to traditional
International Relations and political science theorising. Transversal and
intersecting, rather than hierarchical, thinking rejects boundaries between
disciplines or knowledges, challenging the possibility of studying sociology
without anthropology, politics without geography, criminology without history,
and so on.
Scholars and scholarship
employing an IPS approach has evolved and developed over the decades. Formative
literature uses Bourdieusian theory to map the fields of various transnational
elites and professionals. Contemporary IPS analyses embrace ethnographic and
other anthropological and sociological methodologies, and employ a range of
conceptual traditions, including (but not limited to) deconstruction,
Foucauldian, postcolonial and decolonial, queer and feminist, assemblage and
materiality, and critical race theory.
Broadly speaking, IPS asks, “what are the connections between the
international, the political and the sociological?”
Themes in IPS
Established themes in IPS
have included, but have not been limited to:
- Innovations and
interventions in critical theory and methodologies
- Migration and
- Technology and
STS (Science & Technology Studies)
- Technologies of
sovereignty, and exception
- Ethnography and fieldwork
This year, we are keen to push IPS forward and make
productive links between our established themes and scholarship and
developments in IR and sociology. With that in mind, we particularly welcome
papers that speak to:
- Critical race
- Queer, trans, and
feminist theory and analyses
state and abolition
- Racial capitalism
- Events, issues or
sites beyond Europe or North America/the West broadly defined
methodologies that prioritise mobility, lines, pathways, structures, movements,
intersections, conjunctures, disjunctures, circuits, patterns, transversality,
Doing IPS Seminar Series – Programme and Structure
The series runs over a period
of 10-12 months starting from September usually meeting on the last Friday of
each month for two hours. The exact time will be determined based on the
preferences of the accepted participants. The seminars will rotate between the
three host institutions (King’s College London, Queen Mary University of
London, and London School of Economics and Political Science), with sessions
streamed virtually where possible (see also: Key information below).
Welcome and IPS open discussion
Our first session of the year will take the format of an open discussion where
all are welcome. We will structure discussion around some open questions that
cover IPS concepts, theories, and methodologies. For new members, we will give
some introductory remarks and recommendations for reading.
In each two-hour seminar, two participants will present a piece of
work-in-progress (around 8000-10,000 words of a thesis chapter, book chapter,
journal manuscript) to the group and invite a senior academic as discussant.
The discussion will be followed by questions and answers with the audience.
Each presenter is allocated
one hour, and all participants are expected to have read the papers in advance.
Presenters are encouraged to invite their supervisors and colleagues interested
in their work.
We are committed to developing our members’ intellectual and professional
development. We also run writing retreats and special sessions that are
organised ad hoc throughout the year. We are very keen to gather and
accommodate requests for sessions that will be of interest to the wider group.
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
- We accept
applications from doctoral students in any
discipline across the social sciences and humanities.
- Please be aware
that this is a forum for extensive and engaged discussion of your work; if you
are planning on presenting near to the time you will be submitting your thesis,
please make us aware when you apply.
- We are aware that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has
impacted us all as scholars and in our personal lives in myriad ways–ill
physical health, mental health issues, financial and time pressures, childcare
and caring duties, to name but a few. We are very much understanding of these
changing circumstances and are committed to being as flexible as possible in
whatever way we can. If you’re facing a problem that impacts your ability to engage
with our group, please feel free to contact us.
- Limited travel and accommodation grants are available
for travel to London if necessary.
How to apply (deadline EXTENDED: Friday 12 June 2020 at 12:00pm BST)
Applications to the PhD
seminar series should include:
- A short bio
(name, institutional affiliation, the year of your PhD, prospective thesis
submission date, key words that describe your research interests)
- How does your
work relate to IPS (broadly defined)? (1-5 short sentences
- Abstract of the work
you want to present (250 words)
- Whether you would
like to apply for a travel/accommodation grant (if you live outside of London)
Please send your application
The deadline for applications
is Friday, 5 June 2020 at 12pm BST. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by
Please email us at email@example.com if you have any questions or queries.
Doctoral student organisers
- Lucy Thomas,
Department of War Studies, King’s College London
- Hannah Owens,
School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London
- Olivia Nantermoz,
Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political
Senior academic organisers
- Audrey Alejandro,
Assistant Professor of Qualitative Text Analysis, Department of Methodology,
London School of Economics and Political Science
- Jef Huysmans,
Professor of International Politics, School of Politics and International
Relations, Queen Mary University of London