The Chair in Geopolitics of Risk is accepting abstracts as part of a panel proposal for the 2024 edition of the International Studies Association. The conference will take place from the 3rd to 6th of April 2024 in San Francisco under the following overarching theme: Putting Relationality at the Centre of International Studies.
This panel proposes to critically investigate the geopolitics of risk through a multidimensional and relational perspective. In contemporary IR theory and beyond, risk is often approached as an objective, neutral, and quantifiable concept, thereby producing an understanding of uncertainty as being “manageable”. However, this predominant focus on risk management both fails to capture and simultaneously obscures the complex and inherently socio-political, cultural, and even moral dimensions of risk, and thus overlooks what it means to face uncertainty in the international sphere. By adopting a critical security studies approach, we seek to explore the contextual diversity of risk and highlight its profound geopolitical implications.
Drawing from the collective work carried out at the Chair in Geopolitics of Risk (ENS) notably by Peter Burgess and Sarah Perret, we move towards an understanding of risk as a multifaceted social construct and argue that risk (re)produces tacit and invisible relations of power. Hence, a geopolitics of risk perspective offers alternative imaginaries to conceive risk and all the agents involved in its production.
To unravel the geopolitics of risk, we propose employing the concept of entanglement, defined by Christian Von Scheve and Markus Lange as the interrelatedness, interwovenness, and at times the mutual dependency of risk constructions and their manifestations in international relations and risk practices (2023).
To explore these themes, we invite contributions that critically examine the entanglements and relationalities within the geopolitics of risk, also through empirical case study analyses.
In particular, we are interested in discussing the following questions:
How do different agents construct and navigate risk in diverse geopolitical contexts?
In what ways do power relations shape the framing and management of risk?
How do entanglements between different risk perceptions influence policy practices?
How could areas and spaces made remote (see Andersson 2019) by a geopolitics of risk approach be cartography, made visible, and contested? What are today the places where
the global danger zones rub up against the “green zones” as defined by risk considerations?
What are the ethical and political dimensions of risk, and how do they shape globaldynamics?
How do digital technologies shape our understanding of risk, and how do they influence power relations, interactions and mutual influence among different agents (both state and non-state actors, international organizations, civil society, etc.)?