SOURCE workshop #2 Societal Security and National Security: an Uneasy Relation?

15th January 2015, 10:00 – noon. King’s College London, Strand Campus, Small Committee Room (K0.31), 2nd Floor

The Research Centre in International Relations at King’s College London is currently involved in the EC-funded SOURCE Network of Excellence. Within that framework, the RCIR is organizing a workshop dedicated to understanding how societal security relates to national security.

The recent decision of the UK’s Investigatory Power Tribunal on the actions of UK’s intelligence services will provide the backdrop of the workshop’s interventions. Prof. Didier Bigo (KCL) and Dr. Sergio Carrera (CEPS) will explore how the terminologies of societal and national security intersect and who are the actors involved. Particular emphasis will be put on the legal and political challenges of transnational digital surveillance.

All are welcome. Email kclrcir@kcl.ac.uk The full programme for the workshop is here: SOURCE Workshop 2_Programme

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First SOURCE Roundtable: Methods and the international

The Research Centre in International Relations will hold the 1st SOURCE roundtable on Wednesday 5th November 2014, 10 :00 – 12 :00. at the War studies meeting room, 6th Floor King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s college London.

SOURCE is a European Community funded project dealing with societal security in Europe. Within this framework, a team of researchers at KCL is currently designing methodological principles to map out the professions and institutions in charge of securing society in Europe. The first roundtable will discuss how methods construct different understandings of the international. It will link the concrete aspects of contacting actors and collecting observations with the challenge of restoring the sociological and anthropological dimensions of international practice. Anna Leander will open the debate with a short presentation of her own experience in researching the public-private nexus of security. She is a Professor at the Copenhagen Business School (Department for Management, Politics and Philosophy), a Visiting Professor at Institute of International Relations, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro and a Core team member of CRIC (Centre for the Resolution of International Conflict, http://cric.ku.dk/).

Roundtable participants are: Claudia Aradau, Didier Bigo, Vivienne Jabri, Anna Leander, Médéric Martin-Mazé.

All are welcome to attend. For more details please email kclrcir@kcl.ac.uk

Explaining the EU’s Resilience Turn: A not so special tool of a somewhat special actor

By Jonathan Joseph, University of Sheffield

The idea of resilience has become a popular idea across a range of policy areas and in the fields of international development and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in particular. Simply put, resilience, at least in this policy area, can be defined as our ability to withstand, adapt to, and recover from external crisis such as environmental changes, natural disasters and human-made conflicts. In contrast to strategies that prioritise prevention and response, resilience’s key notions are preparedness and adaptation. The European Union (EU) has been quick to embrace the idea, launching pilot projects in The Sahel and Horn of Africa regions. It is also prominent in new strategy documents on international aid and development. But why has the idea become some popular in these areas in such a relatively short space of time? Continue reading

Celtic, Sport and the Attempted Depoliticisation of Collective Space

by Alister Wedderburn

Parkhead, Glasgow, 26 November 2013: as Celtic and AC Milan run through the formalities before kick-off, one corner of the grand, sold-out stadium begins to unfurl a series of banners. They are in the section occupied by the Green Brigade, the home side’s ‘ultra’ group, and even by the immoderate standards of Glasgow’s football-centric sectarianism, [1] they are provocative. There is a portrait of William Wallace, and another of Bobby Sands, the IRA soldier and 1981 hunger striker. Accompanying them is a lyric from ‘Terrorist or Dreamer’ by Provisional IRA commander-turned-songwriter Bik McFarlane, Sands’ commanding officer in the Maze prison. [2]

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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