Materialism and World Politics

20-22 October, 2012

Download the registration form (.doc) here.

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Scheduled Speakers:

Keynote: The ontology of global politics
William Connolly (Johns Hopkins University)

Opening Panel: What does materialism mean for world politics today?
John Protevi (Louisiana State University)
Alberto Toscano (Goldsmith’s University)

Closing Panel: Agency and structure in a complex world
Colin Wight (University of Sydney)
Erika Cudworth (University of East London)
Stephen Hobden (University of East London)
Diana Coole (Birkbeck, University of London)

ANT/STS Workshop keynote:
Andrew Barry (University of Oxford)

ANT/STS Workshop roundtable:


The annual conference for volume 41 of Millennium: Journal of International Studies will take place on 20-22 October, 2012 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This includes 2 days of panels and keynotes on the weekend, and a special Monday workshop on actor-network theory (ANT) and science and technology studies (STS). Space for the latter is limited though, so let us know of your interest in attending it as soon as possible.

The theme of this year’s conference is on the topic of materialism in world politics. In contrast to the dominant discourses of neorealism, neoliberalism and constructivism, the materialist position asks critical questions about rational actors, agency in a physical world, the role of affect in decision-making, the biopolitical shaping of bodies, the perils and promises of material technology, the resurgence of historical materialism, and the looming environmental catastrophe. A large number of critical writers in International Relations have been discussing these topics for some time, yet the common materialist basis to them has gone unacknowledged. The purpose of this conference will be to solidify this important shift and to push its critical edges further. Against the disembodied understanding of International Relations put forth by mainstream theories, this conference will recognize the significance of material factors for world politics.

Panels include:

    • Material Insecurities I: Thinking about (In)Security Through Things
    • Material Insecurities II: Securing Space and Place
    • Marxism and Governmentality in the Contemporary World
    • The Irruptions of Materialism
    • “New Materialisms” and The Body and International Relations
    • Crisis and Critique in a Resilient Order
    • The Colonial Challenge to Materialism / The Materialist Challenge to Postcolonialism
    • Rethinking the Human Condition: Complexity, Posthumanism and the ‘New’ Democratic Politics
    • The Materiality of Capitalism
    • Rethinking IR Theory
    • The Spaces of Borders
    • The Nerves of Global Politics
    • The Biopolitical World
    • Accounting for Symmetries in the International
    • Of Black Boxes, Dispositifs, and Security
    • Violent Materialities: Technologies and Assemblages of War
    • The Horrors and Hallows of State Violence
    • Power in Global Capitalism
    • The Political Promises of Ontology
    • Affect in World Politics
    • Complexity and Science
    • Alternative Spatial Ontologies, Anti-Statist Mobilizations, and the Limits of State Power
    • Geopolitics of Security
    • Infrastructures of the World Economy
    • Materialism and French Philosophy
    • The Body and Gender
    • OpenIR?: Technology, Open Access and the Political Economy of Knowledge (Re)Production
    • Assemblages and IR Theory: Linking Agency, Geography and Materiality
    • Heterogeneous Entanglements & Unstable Technologies
    • Technologies of Warfare
    • The Material/Ideational Divide
    • Planetary Politics after the Human
    • Materialities, Multiplicities and Bodies: IR of Flesh, Ore and Concrete
    • Resistance and Bodies
    • Gendered Governmentalities
    • The Media of International Relations
    • Materialism and World Politics

A selection of the conference papers will be published in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, volume 41, no. 3.

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