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Work In Progress

Celebrating publications from ISRU members that resulted from Work-In-Progress Seminar Series paper presentations

22 May 2019

ISRU’s goals are to create a vibrant intellectual environment at Cardiff, support the production of world-class research, and build Cardiff’s reputation for research excellence in the area of International Studies. As the 2018/19 academic year draws to a close, we wish to thank all those that have presented, served as discussant or have attended at the WIP seminar series and congratulate ISRU members on their publications! 

Basham, Victoria M. & Sergio Catignani (2018) War is where the hearth is: gendered labor and the everyday reproduction of the geopolitical in the army reserves, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20:2, 153-171, DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2018.1442736

In March 2018, an article entitled ‘War is where the hearth is: gendered labor and everyday reproduction of the geopolitical in the army reserves’ was published by International Feminist Journal of Politics. The article was co-authored by Victoria Basham and Sergio Catignani. Dr Basham is a Reader in International Relations at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University. She is also President of the European International Studies Association. An early draft of this article was presented at the ISRU Work In Progress seminar series. In the acknowledgement section of this article, Dr Basham and Dr Catignani thank the ISRU members for their comments and in particular they thank Dr Anne Harrington who served as discussant. 

Below is the abstract for this article: 

The feminized imaginary of “home and hearth” has long been central to the notion of soldiering as masculinist protection. Soldiering and war are not only materialized by gendered imaginaries of home and hearth though, but through everyday labors enacted within the home. Focusing on in-depth qualitative research with women partners and spouses of British Army reservists, we examine how women’s everyday domestic and emotional labor enables reservists to serve, constituting “hearth and home” as a site through which war is made possible. As reservists – who are still overwhelmingly heterosexual men – become increasingly called upon by the state, one must consider how the changing nature of the Army’s procurement of soldiers is also changing demands on women’s labor. Feminist IPE scholars have shown broader trends in the outsourcing of labor to women and its privatization. Our research similarly underscores the significance of everyday gendered labor to the geopolitical. Moreover, we highlight the fragility of military power, given that women can withdraw their labor at any time. The article concludes that paying attention to women’s everyday labor in the home facilitates greater understanding of one of the key sites through which war is both materialized and challenged.

This article can be accessed here

Gruffydd Jones, Branwen (2019) ‘Time, History, Politics: Anticolonial Constellations’, Interventions. International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2019.1585919

In 2016 Dr Branwen Gruffydd Jones, a lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University, presented her paper entitled Time, History, Politics: Anticolonial Constellations’, Interventions’ at the ISRU WIP seminar. In March 2019, this paper was published in the International Journal of Post-Colonial Studies. In the acknowledgement section of this article Dr Gruffydd Jones thanks the ISRU ‘for helpful discussions. 

Below is the abstract for this article: 

One of the most significant elements of the international relations of the twentieth century was the transformation from a colonial to a postcolonial world order. That transformation, contested, lengthy and uneven, was the fruit of struggles by colonised peoples for independence. The postcolonial experience has proved very different from that hoped for by the anticolonial generation. From the perspective of our own times, how can we learn from the thought and practice of those earlier struggles? In this essay I first discuss the work of David Scott, who has posed this question in compelling terms, arguing that our postcolonial present requires a tragic apprehension of anticolonialism. Finding his questions urgent but his conclusions too restrictive, I turn to Walter Benjamin and show how his method offers alternative possibilities for exploring the questions Scott poses. Drawing on archives of African anticolonialism, I consider how we can engage with these struggles for our own times, through three elements of Benjamin’s approach: the question of time and temporality; the method of montage and quotation; and the device of the dialectical image. In doing so, this essay sketches possibilities of an anticolonial method suitable for

our own neoliberal but still imperial times.

This article can be accessed here 

Sara Dezalay. 2018. “Lawyers in Africa: Brokers of the State, Intermediaries of Globalization. A Case Study of the “Africa” Bar in Paris”, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 25(2), 639-669.

Sara Dezalay is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University. In 2018, Dr Dezlay’s article entitled ‘Lawyers in Africa: Brokers of the State, Intermediaries of Globalization. A Case Study of the “Africa” Bar in Paris’ was published in the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. Dr Dezalay presented an early draft of this paper at the ISRU seminar series.

Below is the abstract of this article: 

Africa is the “Global Economy’s Last Frontier”! Images of the African continent as a boon of mineral riches, and a new legal Far West pervade media and scholarly accounts. Yet, these images tend to reflect the protracted political and development dependency of African states, with lawyers involved in corporate dealings on the continent either denounced as mercenaries at the service of neo-colonial “looting” or idealized as missionaries of the rule of law. This article suggests a research strategy that moves away from these ideological and political accounts. It uses lawyers’ trajectories and professional strategies as an entry-point to reglobalize the longue durée of the unequal and uneven connections between Africa and the world. The “Africa” Bar in Paris— the empirical focus of this article—emerges as a microcosm of such interconnected and enduring histories of globalization. Offshore, yet connected, this Bar is a “cross-roads” space across politics and economics, shaped by the legacies of the ties between Paris, the metropole, and its former African colonies, and ongoing waves of corporate legal globalization from the U.S. toward Europe and most recently the African continent.

This article can be accessed here:

Hansen-Magnusson, H. 2019. The web of responsibility in and for the Arctic. Cambridge Review of International Affairs(10.1080/09557571.2019.1573805)

In February 2018, Dr Hannes Hansen-Magnusson presented a draft paper entitled ‘The web of responsibility in and for the Arctic. This article was published in the Review of International Affairs in March 2019. Dr Hansen-Magnusson is a lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University. 

Below is the abstract for this article:

What does it mean to be responsible in and for the Arctic? This article addresses this question, noting that responsibility has become a core policy norm in different governance areas in recent decades. The article contributes to the current debate on responsibility in global politics, arguing that one should consider not only who is responsible (and what for) but also the capability foundations upon which responsibility is exercised, as well as the underlying normativity of this practice. Instead of only focusing on capabilities as first principles from which responsibilities arise, this article suggests approaching responsibility as a web of relations. On the basis of this theoretical discussion the article turns to two cases of contemporary Arctic policy where we can observe responsibility ‘at work’. The fields of search and rescue and sustainable development are both marked by a cooperative approach among (state and non-state) parties, whose interactions centre on a particular ethical understanding of responsibility rather than on power-oriented politics. Yet each policy field contains specific dilemmas, as Arctic governance is characterised by a web of responsibility that comprises multiple subjects in charge and/or objects for which they are responsible.

Adler-Nissen, Rebecca; Drieschova, Alena, “Track-change diplomacy: Technology, affordances and the practice of international negotiations” International Studies Quarterly. Forthcoming 2019.

This article can be accessed here:

Dr Alena Drieschova is a lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University. She presented a early version of the paper entitled ‘Track-change diplomacy: Technology, affordances and the practice of international negotiations’ at a ISRU Work In Progress seminar. This article is co-authored with Rebecca Adler-Nissen and will be published in International Studies Quarterly in December 2019.

Below is the abstract for this article: 

How does technology influence international negotiations? This article explores ‘track-change diplomacy’ – how diplomats use information and communication technology (ICT) such as word processing software and mobile devices to collaboratively edit and negotiate documents. To analyze the widespread but understudied phenomenon of track-change diplomacy, the article adopts a practice-oriented approach to technology, developing the concept of affordance: the way a tool or technology simultaneously enables and constrains the tasks users can possibly perform with it. The article shows how digital ICT affords shareabilityvisualization and immediacy of information, thus shaping the temporality and power dynamics of international negotiations. These three affordances have significant consequences for how states construct and promote national interests; how diplomats reach compromises among a large number of states (as text edits in collective drafting exercises); and how power plays out in international negotiations. Drawing on ethnographic methods, including participant observation of negotiations between the EU’s member states as well as in-depth interviews, the analysis casts new light on these negotiations, where documents become the site of both semantic and political struggle. Rather than delivering on the technology’s promise of keeping track and reinforcing national oversight in negotiations, we argue that track-change diplomacy can in fact lead to a loss of control, challenging existing understandings of diplomacy. 

The article can be accessed here: