Entanglements and Detachments in Global Politics

22-24 October 2020

Invited speakers include: Ayça Çubuçku, Bentley Allan, Claudia Leal, Francis Nyamnjoh, Joanne Yao, Laleh Khalili, Lisa Lowe, Mel Y. Chen, Rahul Rao, Renisa Mawani, Tim Ingold, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson

International Relations is concerned with the connections that constitute lived political realities. The present moment is marked by an unprecedented awareness of the intra-relations and ruptures at the core of social and political life. The ongoing global pandemic, anti-racist protests and struggles against environmental degradation have laid bare the need for connected understandings of global politics. This conference is a call to push existing approaches to global (dis)connectivity, heterogeneity and shared vulnerabilities further by attuning to the entanglements of societies, species and environments, as well as acknowledging the ways of being that are foreclosed when entangled realities materialise.

We invite theoretical, ethical and empirical engagements with entanglements and detachments, as well as understudied connections and disconnections. Through the notion of ‘entanglement’ we invite conversation on the messy, layered connections that constitute our worlds. ‘Detachment’ explores the limits of entanglement, by pointing to the disparity between different lifeworlds, species, objects and subjects not only as outcomes of opposing power structures or connections yet to be drawn but also as separations. By thinking together about entanglements and detachments, we invite reflection on the ethics of (dis)connecting, or connecting differently, with other forms of life and matter in global politics.

The 2020 Millennium Conference will engage with questions on entanglements and detachments, including, but not limited to:

  • How are seemingly separate worlds and histories entangled with one another?
  • How can we study entanglements and how are researchers entangled with their objects of study?
  • What is not or should not be entangled in global politics? 
  • What are the politics and ethics of detachment? 
  • What are the routes and mechanisms by which people, objects and ideas become entangled and detached?
  • How do entangled ontologies shift debates about emancipation and (non-human) agency?
  • How are entities entangled along routes that are understudied in IR, including ‘South-South’ connections? 
  • How do entanglements of power exceed existing critiques? 

Due to ongoing public health concerns, our conference will be held online this year. We particularly welcome submissions that are more developed and intended for consideration in our special issue by scholars at all stages of their careers. We have a limited capacity this year to host online events and the number of abstracts that we can accommodate will be more restricted than our physical conferences in the past. 

A selection of contributions will be published as part of a special issue in Millennium: Journal of International Studies vol. 49 (3). If you would like your work to be considered for this issue, please submit it via the ScholarOne online system by midnight (UK time) on the 30th of November. Standard/conventional manuscripts should be 8,000 to 12,000 words. We welcome different forms of engagement with the theme, so if you would like to submit another type of contribution, please email millennium@lse.ac.uk to discuss it with us.

Alice Engelhard, Andy Li and Enrike van Wingerden

Editors, vol. 49

Millennium: Journal of International Studies