Rethinking the Standard(s) of Civilisation(s) in International Relations

19-20 October 2013
London School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract proposals due: 7 June, 2013

The annual conference for volume 42 of Millennium: Journal of International Studies will take place on 19-20 October, 2013, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The theme of this year’s conference will focus on the standard(s) of civilisation(s) in International Relations. In recent years, there has been a renewed scholarly interest in the concept of ‘the standard of civilisation’ in examining international norms, practices and policies entrenched in world politics, including international law, human rights, the status of women, good governance and globalisation, global markets, the EU policy of ‘membership conditionality’, and state-building.

These are only some of the key aspects of international relations that illustrate the crucial relationship between civilisation and standards of conduct in global politics.

In addition to these topics, the conference will ask crucial questions about western modernity and Eurocentrisism in international relations, democracy promotion, civilisational discourses and identities, the rise of Asia, postcoloniality and globalisation, the eurozone crisis and market civilisation, war and genocide, and empire and civilisation.
In contrast to mainstream International Relations theories, the conference seeks to highlight the normative asymmetries of power and hierarchies embedded in “civilisational” practices, norms and discourses of global politics. In doing so, the conference aims at critically engaging with the concept of the standard of civilisation and investigating further the ways in which it remains relevant to the study of international relations today.

Confirmed speakers:

Keynote Speaker: John Hobson (University of Sheffield)

Opening and Closing Panels:

Brett Bowden (University of Western Sydney)

Edward Keene (University of Oxford)

Shogo Suzuki (University of Copenhagen)

Individuals interested in presenting a paper are requested to submit a 300 word abstract to: by 7 June, 2013. Submissions for panels are also welcome.

A selection of the conference papers will be published in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, volume 42, no. 3.

Photo credit: “The Signing and Sealing of the Treaty of Nanking in the State Cabin of H. M. S. Cornwallis, 29th August, 1842” (detail). Painted by Capt. John Platt

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