POSTPONE Inaugural Workshop 21st of March, King’s College London

On 21st of March the Research Centre in International Relations hosted the inaugural workshop for the newly created cross-national PhD research network POSTPONE (Postgraduate Poststructural Research Network)at King’s College London’s Strand campus. Continue reading

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Mass Electronic Surveillance, Security and Rights in Liberal Democracies panel discussion at RCIR

Snapshot of Boundless Informant global heat map of data collection. The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). Note the '2007' date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself.

Snapshot of Boundless Informant global heat map of data collection. Color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). The ‘2007’ date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself. Source here.

21st January 2014, 630pm, Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus.Please be prompt as seats are first come, first served.

The Research Centre in International Relations in the Department of War Studies will host a panel discussion on revelations relating to mass electronic surveillance and its implications for civil liberties and rights.

Speakers include Sir David Omand (former Head of GCHQ and Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies), Ben Emmerson QC (Mr. Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and Matrix Chambers), Professor Didier Bigo (Department of War Studies and Sciences Po, Paris), and chairing, Professor Vivienne Jabri (Department of War Studies, head of RCIR).

The event is at the Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s College London Strand Campus, Strand, London WC2R 2LS. Directions here. Continue reading

Podcast: Prof. Karin Fierke at RCIR

Political Self Sacrifice: Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations

In this podcast, following from her talk at RCIR, Professor Karin Fierke discusses with Dr. Peter Busch (War Studies, KCL) her latest book: Political Self Sacrifice: Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations, published by Cambridge University Press, for more information please click here.

This event took place on 15th November 2013, War Studies Meeting Room (K6.07) Strand Campus, King’s College London. You can read her original article on RCIR Forum here.

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SAPIENT Policy Meeting and EIRSS Summer School, 2-13 September 2013

By Isabel Rocha de Siqueira and Emma Mc Cluskey

In September 2013, the Research Centre for International Relations at King’s College London (RCIR-KCL), the SAPIENT project, coordinated by Prof. Didier Bigo (KCL), and the University of Kent, in Brussels, organised two parallel events in Brussels: a Policy Meeting on Smart Borders, sponsored by the SAPIENT project; and a Summer School on Security, Borders and Mobility, held at the University of Kent. This post on the RCIR Forum provides us with the opportunity to make podcasts and information from both events publicly available.

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Body/politic and the illumination of Human Suffering

by K.M. Fierke, University of St. Andrews

Why write a book on a topic so macabre as Political Self Sacrifice? The beginnings were simple enough. I was puzzled by the significance of two distinct words, ‘suicide’ terrorist and martyr – words with two very different meanings, yet used interchangeably to refer to human bombs. But the question of language, while interesting, is not the only one. Why put cases as different as self-immolation by fire, nonviolent martyrdom, hunger strikes and the human bomb under the same microscope, when surely these are very different phenomenon? What do, for instance, the hundreds of Tibetan monks who have set themselves on fire over the past few years, the sixty Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkey (2012) or the hundred some hunger strikers at Guantanamo, the thousands of nonviolent activists killed in the early days of the Syrian revolution or the suicide terrorist from Hamas, share, if anything, in common? Why have acts of self-destruction, whether in the form of lighting a match or putting one’s self in harm’s way, been undertaken by so many and why should we, as scholars of international relations, be interested? Continue reading

Large-scale surveillance as a transnational activity ?

By Didier Bigo

In the wake of disclosures by Edward Snowden surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes (Upstream, Xkeyscore), it is important to assess large-scale surveillance practices in other parts of the world and especially those in Europe. Some EU member states have been regularly quoted : the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Continue reading

The Politics of (In)visibility: Governance-­‐Resistance of Refugees

by Leonie Ansems de Vries

Migrants and refugees are in the spotlight across the globe. To give only a snapshot of recent news coverage: Millions of people are fleeing Syria; two overcrowded boats carrying refugees capsized near Lampedusa earlier this month; the Australian government sends asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea under a new ‘offshore resettlement policy’; the UK government is under fire for its controversial ‘Go Home’ campaign, urging ‘illegal migrants’ to ‘go home or face arrest’. These events and policies bring to light the importance and urgency of responding to both the plight of refugees and the securitisation of migration in very practical ways. It also prompts the need to conceptualise these issues in ways other than through discourses of threat, (in)security and/or victimisation. I would like to throw a different light on the issue of refugees and migration by focusing on the affirmative political practices of refugees in Malaysia. What I call the politics of (in)visibility, plays out at the intersection of theory and practice as well as at the juncture of governance and resistance.

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