Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations

Friday 6 march, 12-2pm, Pyramid Room, Strand Campus, King’s College London. All welcome. For further information please email rcir@kcl.ac.uk

UntitledThe International Development Institute and the Research Centre in International Relations at KCL present the book Bodies of Violence by Lauren Wilcox, of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Gender Studies.

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RCIR Debate on Theory and Methods in IR

The RCIR is hosting a debate on the ‘methods turn’ and its implications for theorising ‘the international’. The first piece is provided by Professor Anna Leander of the Copenhagen Business School, and emerges from a Roundtable held in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and including Claudia Aradau, Didier Bigo, Vivienne Jabri, Anna Leander and Mederic Martin-Maze. The fascinating aspect of the Roundtable was that a paper presented by Mederic on ‘mapping security practices in Europe’ generated a discussion on how sophisticated methodologies that seek to trace and map networks and controversies in what is a transnational terrain of security practices can turn the lens back onto ‘the international’ and its theorisation. We start with Anna Leander’s piece and hope to develop the debate further with other contributions to follow.                                      Prof. Vivienne Jabri, Director KCL Research Centre in International Relations

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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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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