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Dr Gundula Ludwig on "State"

The Frankfurter Arbeitskreis  für Politische Theorie und Philosophie is running a video glossary with which the present, in which the Covid-19 pandemic intertwines with other crises, is to be made accessible by means of Critical Theory.

Dr. Gundula Ludwig speaks on the keyword "state" (approx. 30 min, German).

With the glossary the Frankfurter Arbeitskreis calls for donations for initiatives for migrants. You can find more details under the video.

Prof. Dr. Klaus SchlichteProf. Dr. Klaus Schlichte
Podcast with Prof. Klaus Schlichte

Lack of resources in the health care system, the absence of tourism and the massive drop in labor remittances are three problems facing the countries of the Global South.

In its series "Podcast PolitikWissen", the University of Innsbruck had conducted a telephone interview with Prof. Klaus Schlichte  on 21.04. (approx. 35 min, German.).

InIIS is closed

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Members are not reachable by telephone

The university has been put into an emergency operation mode. Therefore the InIIS will be closed until further notice. 

The employees can no longer be reached by telephone. Please contact us by email. However, you must expect delays in replying. All e-mail addresses of InIIS members can be found on the page persons.

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Now available as PDF

The newsletter is available here (PDF).

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(EISA), 14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Msida, Malta, September 16 – 19, 2020

The CfP as PDF.

Call for Papers: ‘The Politics of Internationalised Welfare’ (S39)
European International Studies Association (EISA), 14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Msida, Malta, September 16 – 19, 2020
Proposal submission deadline: March 16, 2020
Section chairs: Alex Veit & Kressen Thyen (University of Bremen)
The call for papers is now open for “The Politics of Internationalised Welfare”, Section 39 at the EISA-PEC, 16-19 September 2020.

Section 39: The Politics of Internationalised Welfare

In recent years, students of International Relations have increasingly paid attention to internationalised welfare as a relevant field of study. In contrast to the traditional welfare literature, which conceptualises social policy primarily as a domestic issue, this new branch of scholarship emphasises the influence and impact of global dynamics and international actors on social needs and welfare provision. However, different areas of international engagement, such as global health, social protection, or humanitarian aid, are often treated as separate fields of study.In this section, we aim to bring these fields together and to analyse the fundamental questions linking them: How do international political structures—from colonialism to global governance—impact on welfare states around the globe? What influence do international and transnational actors have on the design, finance and provision of welfare systems? Which ideas and interests drive international involvement in welfare provision?
From the ‘age of empires’ to the contemporary multilateral world, international authorities and actors have addressed social inequality, political grievances and environmental risks in different ways. This section seeks to highlight changes and continuities of internationalised welfare. It is therefore structured in a historical order that connects the past, present, and future.
With this call we are inviting paper proposals in particular relating to the following panels:
- Imperial, Late Imperial and Post-Imperial Welfare Politics in the Global South
- Welfare in the Post-colony: Between Popular Contention, Statebuilding and Internationalisation
- Beyond Capital IR – Studying Social Questions in the Countryside
- Climate Change and Poverty: Vulnerable Populations, Human Security & Social Justice
A more detailed description of the intended panels follows below.
Please submit your paper proposal through the EISA-PEC online platform. Submission guidelines are available here:
We look forward to receiving your proposals and to seeing you in Msida!
Alex & Kressen
Imperial, Late Imperial and Post-Imperial Welfare Politics in the Global South
Panel Chair: Roy Karadağ
This panel targets the imperial sources of internationalised welfare. It aims to bring together scholars who investigate and critically reflect upon the ideas, policy measures and practices of empires in identifying, problematizing and dealing with poverty, social crises and contestations from excluded groups across global peripheries. What were the features of this imperial wave of global social policy? Under which conditions did imperial politicians, bureaucrats and academics engage with teaching, healing and nurturing subject populations in colonies and protectorates? In which ways were these policies and practices themselves transformed in the late imperial years after the Second World War? What were the overall consequences for social policy making after decolonisation had finally materialised?
Organised around this set of questions, contributions ideally bridge the gap between themes of dependent development and the politics of empire, on the one hand, and of welfare statism and social policy, on the other hand. In particular, the goal is to theorise what the ‘imperial’ is in ‘imperial social policy and welfare’. Geographically, we invite papers that cover African, Middle Eastern and Asian contexts of imperial rule. With regard to policy fields, papers may cover anything from education, health, food, labour, pensions, housing and social assistance schemes. Contributions may render the multi-sited and multi-causal nature of imperial policy making visible, for example by investigating the various imperial justifications of policies and regulations, and the contestations they produced both within and beyond the respective imperial institutions.
Welfare in the Post-colony: Between Popular Contention, Statebuilding and Internationalisation
Panel Chairs: Kressen Thyen & Alex Veit
This panel interrogates postcolonial welfare states in the Global South as processes and products of entanglement between domestic and transnational political configurations.
On the national level, public welfare connects state organizations and social groups. It may increase state legitimacy, but also trigger new demands. It addresses social inequality, but also manifests group privileges. It symbolises nationhood and provides vision, but also exposes gaps between ambition and implementation. Geographically, welfare bureaucracies embody the state in the most remote village, but also reproduce urban-rural divides. Welfare administrative knowledge is the backbone of planning for the public good, but such data can also be used as a tool of control and repression. In sum, welfare provision creates colourful, often contradictory bonds between states and populations.
At the same time, welfare states of the Global South are transnational configurations. The design, finance, and provision of welfare is a transnational process in which international organisations, bilateral donors, transnational NGOs, religious organisations and expert communities are centrally involved. While such international involvement arguably creates a “global social policy” in its infancy, it also renders concepts of sovereignty, citizenship, democracy, accountability, entitlement, and durability highly precarious. This fundamentally puts into question previous assumptions on welfare state formation.
To address these processes of entanglement between transnational and domestic configurations, we invite papers addressing or relating to the following questions: How can we conceptualise welfare in the Global South? How does internationalisation impact on everyday patterns of legitimation and
contestation? In what ways did neoliberalism and structural adjustments disrupt postcolonial welfare politics? Where do countervailing ideas emerge against dominant welfare approaches?
Beyond Capital IR – Studying Social Questions in the Countryside
Panel Chairs: Klaus Schlichte & Anna Wolkenhauer
A lot is going on in the countryside. In recent years, Sociology, Development Studies and Political Science have paid renewed attention to rural areas for a number of reasons. Deteriorating food security, increasingly frequently felt impacts of climate change, and a growing awareness of sustainability issues have put farmers back at the centre of attention.
Practices like land-grabbing, the depletion of natural resources, food insecurity or huge gaps in public service delivery seem to fuel forms of opposition that have hitherto rather been ignored by “capital IR”. This panel aims at interrogating social questions that specifically address rural areas, rural populations and internationalised politics targeting them. This can include social policies, rural development, food policies or other schemes geared by “the will to improve” (Tanya Li). While locally effective, state and non-state policies are embedded in a global system of development initiatives, governance structures, trade rules, and political representation more widely. We are convinced that IR is well-advised not to ignore the connections between rural change and international structures – historical and contemporary.
This panel invites contributions related to the following or related questions: How are structural transformations in the countryside addressed by (internationalised) welfare? How have state retrenchment and a neoliberal redefinition of social policy affected rural areas? How are social and political questions related in the countryside; do welfare and political representation interact? What potential do food security interventions hold for social inclusion and transformation?
Climate Change and Poverty: Vulnerable Populations, Human Security & Social Justice
Panel Chair: Simon Chin-Yee
Climate change plays an increasingly important role in discussions of poverty, human security and socio-economic risks. Vulnerable populations are increasingly susceptible to weather shocks, desertification, sea level rise and conflicts which can lead to poverty traps. Sustained eradication of poverty will depend on many socio-economic conditions, including access to health care, education and economic growth. Climate change impacts on poverty exponentially as vulnerable populations are more exposed to its effects and have less capacity to adapt or react to natural disasters. Additionally, climate change is increasingly seen as a threat multiplier further exacerbating impacts on human security. These are human rights and climate justice issues.
This panel seeks to examine how changing environmental conditions are impacting vulnerable populations with an eye to the future, answering questions such as: How can vulnerable communities avoid falling into the poverty trap? How do populations cope when experiencing negative shocks in multiple channels simultaneously? What responsibility does the global climate regime have to address issues of human rights and vulnerable populations? To what extent are climate related risks addressed by internationalised social policy-making?
Section Chairs are Alex Veit ( and Kressen Thyen (, Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS), CRC Global Dynamics of Social Policy, University of Bremen, Germany.
For further information related to the submission process please contact

Illustration for the Call of papers (Foto: Pixabay)Illustration for the Call of papers (Foto: Pixabay)
Africa Challenges Conference 27.-30.06.2020

The African Challenge conference is an event of the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD e.V.). Papers for the panel "P14: Protests in Africa and their outcomes" can be uploaded via the conference website.

Protests in Africa have starkly increased over the past decade. The apex of protest movements is closely connected to the limited development efforts of African governments. Widespread protests challenge current governments on issues such as governance issues, income and wealth distribution, and educational topics. Cross-class
coalitions between the middle- and lower classes seem to drive these demonstrations.
While the causes for the recent protest peak have been explored, only scant attention has
hitherto been given to the study of the outcomes these protests produced. Additionally, the
question of the internal composition of protest movements deserves further attention.

This panel asks:
• what are the actual outcomes of current protests?
• How and where do protest coalitions push for change? Do their demands translate into
concrete reforms, or have governments been successful in averting fundamental policy
• What are the contextual conditions that influence outcomes of protests?
• What lessons can be drawn from movements in the South for social movement theory?

We welcome comparative analyses as well as in-depth case studies. Moreover, we invite
contributions looking at the micro- and meso-level, studying the processes of coalition

Poster: Political Consultation HoursPoster: Political Consultation Hours
Ask your questions to Dr. Roy Karadag

(c) Harald Rehling / Universität BremenThe office hours are offered by Roy Karadag. You can come as an individual or in small groups.
The consultation hour is aimed at all interested citizens. No prior knowledge is required.

The consultation takes place in the InIIS at the University of Bremen (Mary-Somerville-Str. 7).

Appointments can be made by e-mail or telephone:
Tel. 218 - 67468

Even though the managing director is on parental leave until April 2020, the Political Consultation Hour will continue to take place.

You can find a portrait of Roy Karadags on the page of the University of Bremen.

EISA Workhop from 1st.-4th July 2020 in Brüssel

CfP als PDF: "Strangeness as an Asset - Self-Reflexivity in Global Social and Development Policy"

7th European Workshops in International Studies Brussels, 1-4 July 2020

Submission of abstracts until 13/01/2020 through EISA 

John Berten, University of Tübingen,

Anna Wolkenhauer, University of Bremen,

Aiming at reducing poverty, a myriad of specialised experts in international organisations and beyond produce large amounts of evidence in countries of the Global South, formulating policy recommendations based on ever more sophisticated models and tools designed to maximise effectiveness and ensure efficient spending for desired outcomes. Scholars of social policy and development frequently use quantitative knowledge as a research tool, without reflecting on the conditions of its production. Being closely intertwined, the spheres of policy and the academe in global social policy and development (GSP&D) provide an insightful example of the constitutive role of knowledge production for policies – and ultimately societal relations.

Yet, practices of knowledge and evidence production in GSP&D are undertheorised. Policy diffusion theory, for instance, assumes an unproblematic transmission of policies across borders, not offering insights on how experiences are turned into policy ideas in the first place or how policy knowledge is transformed into objects ready to be transferred to other sites. More particularly, it does not reflect on the limits and power implications of particular disciplines’ ways of knowledge production, including conceptions of objective and neutral knowledge.

From studies inspired by STS we know that power and authority operate in (policy) knowledge production in various ways. As part of a 'politics by other means', (Latour 1988), the knowledge-policy relationship is characterized by assemblages between varied actors, technologies, materials and (performative) practices. Thereby, STS highlights that every knowing means transformation, because every representation of the 'world out there' is actually an intervention in the world, and not least the choice of one’s research methods has real effects.

Nowadays, IR reflexively debates its own colonial origins, racialised power relations and silencing of non-Western contributions. In a constructivist sense, reflexivity matters for critically examining knowledge-power relations within IR as a discipline itself, as well as for studying its research objects. Yet, to free reflexivity from its “meta-theoretical entrapment” (Hamati-Ataya 2013), theoretical elaborations need to be complemented by empirical studies of knowledge production in GSP&D, with the aim to imagine potentially more emancipatory research practices. Due to the intertwined roles of academics in the Global North and policy researchers operating in the Global South, the case of GSP&D is well suited for studying knowledge production from a self-reflexive stance – in IR and beyond.

The workshop welcomes participants interested in exploring the myriad knowledge-power relationships in social policy and/or development, including possibilities for putting reflexivity into (research) action. Ideally, participants should be willing to contribute to a joint publication. Potential questions include:

How can we reflexively theorise knowledge-production in GSP&D?

  • What theoretical approaches shed light on the intimate relationship between knowledge and power?
  • How do different types of knowledge communicate in GSP&D?
  • How can racial and postcolonial asymmetries be factored into the analysis?
  • What kind of world are GSP&D scholars creating, and how? Are there alternatives?


How can IR’s meta-theoretical reflexivity inform emancipatory empirical research?

  • What does self-reflexivity mean for our own (field) research?
  • What kind of reflexive findings could matter for a world beyond the discipline of IR?
Poster Poster "Wilde Theorie 23"
Wilde Theorie #23 with Claudia Brunner

Gewalt ist nicht nur Ereignis, sondern auch Prozess und Verhältnis. Sie zerstört Ordnung nicht nur, sondern begründet sie und hält sie aufrecht. Der Dimension des Wissens wird dabei in konventioneller Forschung wenig Bedeutung beigemessen, gilt sie doch als Gegenteil von oder als Gegenmittel zu Gewalt. Mit dem Begriff der »epistemischen Gewalt« rückt Claudia Brunner den konstitutiven Zusammenhang von Wissen, Herrschaft und Gewalt in der kolonialen Moderne, unserer Gegenwart, in den Fokus. Ausgehend von feministischer, post- und dekolonialer Theorie konturiert sie in Auseinandersetzung mit den Konzepten struktureller, kultureller, symbolischer und normativer Gewalt ein transdisziplinäres Konzept epistemischer Gewalt.

Informationen zum Forschungsprojekt Epistemic Violence und zu Claudia Brunner finden Sie hier.


Workshop am 17.01.2020

Demokratie provinzialisieren. Postkoloniale Perspektiven auf Demokratietheorie 
Workshop am 17.01.2020

InIIS, Raum 7.2210

Obwohl in den letzten Jahren postkoloniale Ansätze auch in der Politikwissenschaft an Bedeutung gewonnen haben, sind bei der Diskussion dessen, was es heißt, heute über Demokratie nachzudenken, postkoloniale Perspektiven immer noch rar. Vor diesem Hintergrund wollen wir uns in dem Workshop systematisch mit der Frage auseinandersetzen, wie Demokratietheorien aus postkolonialer Perspektive gelesen, erweitert, kritisiert werden können und wie auf diese Weise das Verständnis von und die Kritik an Demokratie präzisiert werden kann. Wir wollen (radikale) Demokratietheorie in Dialog mit post- und dekolonialen Theorie bringen, um über demokratietheoretische Konzepte wie Politik, Demos, Partizipation, Solidarität, Freiheit, Gleichheit, Konflikt und Relationalität aus postkolonialer Sicht zu diskutieren. 

Der Workshop ist als Lektüre-Workshop konzipiert. Vorab werden ausgewählte Texte (ca. 200 Seiten) verschickt, die die Grundlage der gemeinsamen Diskussion darstellen.Bei Teilnehmer*innen wird die Bereitschaft vorausgesetzt, kurz in einen der Texte einzuführen.

Eine verbindliche Anmeldung zum Workshop ist erforderlich. Wir bitten alle Interessierten, sich bis 08.01.2020 bei anzumelden. Die Teilnehmer*innenzahl ist beschränkt. Die Plätze werden nach dem first-come, first-serve-Prinzip vergeben.