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One International Relations or Many? Multiple Worlds, Multiple Crises
Wednesday 18 – Saturday 21 September 2013, Warsaw, Poland

Organised by
the Standing Group on International Relations and EISA
in cooperation with
the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw
and the Polish Association for International Studies

‘The world in crisis’ is a phrase that we often hear, especially in recent years – be it the eurozone crisis, the global economic crisis after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the crisis of legitimacy for a number of states in North Africa and the Middle East, the crisis of US hegemony, climate change and (un)sustainable development, and so on. Curiously, this has led to remarkably little self-reflection among International Relations communities, especially with regard to two key aspects of the phrase: (1) whose ‘world’ is it that is in crisis, and (2) what is labelled as a ‘crisis’ and what is not.

This forces us to ask why and how this might be the case; in particular, this Call for Papers calls attention to the ways in which contemporary ‘real-world’ crises are frequently viewed as indicative of crises of the paradigms and frameworks promoted by others and not ourselves. As such, this conference asks whether IR is able to respond effectively to the challenges posed to its assumptions and frameworks as such. That is, if international relations is characterised by multiple worlds and multiple crises then what does this say about the discipline of International Relations?

We are particularly interested in the plurality of perspectives that exist within (and can be brought into) IR in order to highlight how these different perspectives allow us to see four things: (1) our view of IR as a discipline; (2) our conception of ‘the world(s)’ that we live in and study; (3) our view of what is important and/or appropriate for IR to study in the world(s) that we live in; (4) our assessment of crises and their significance, which extends to whether we view them as crises or not in the first place (and thus the question ‘crises for whom?’). In other words, are there many rather than one International Relations and does this mean that there are multiple worlds and crises which IR scholars could study? And why and how does this matter?

While participants are especially invited to respond to the conference theme, proposals on all aspects of International Relations will be considered.

Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent) and Ian Bruff (Manchester)

Programme Chairs