Regulating Geopolitics: Statecraft and Its Discontents

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Galerie 6, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Alun Jones
Chairs: Alun Jones


Diplomacy has been seen traditionally as one of the principal means of projecting and legitimising state interests and identities internationally, with diplomatic practice playing a key role in the (re)ordering and (re)structuring of these identities. However, recent research from across the social sciences has begun to problematize this view, by showing how diplomatic practice is subject to innumerable spatial-temporal contingencies. These include the critical importance of the mundane to shaping “big-picture” diplomatic imperatives; how everyday practice effects and affects the folding of spaces and scales of diplomacy and foreign policy-making; and the use of diplomatic tropes by non-state actors to fashion new geopolitical possibilities. Thus, while diplomacy remains crucial to creating the illusion of state presence and the existing status quo of international political relations, and gives rise to the ordering of the state at home and at – a – distance, its constituent practices are increasingly liable to contestation and conflict, with substantial consequences for contemporary expressions of state legitimacy.
This session will consider these contemporary (dis)orderings of diplomacy, established diplomatic practice and alternative (including ‘public’, ‘integrated’, and ‘cultural’) forms of diplomacy, and their spatial and geographic consequences. Papers highlighting the role of diplomacy in global politics, its practices and spaces, orderings and transactions are particularly welcomed, as are contributions addressing diplomacy’s technologies and assemblages; its fields of operation and multiple stakeholders; and how future geographies of diplomacy might be sustained over time and through space. Similarly, contributions are welcomed on more emancipatory questions for geographies of diplomacy, for example, gender and diplomacy, and engaging with why and how actors are authenticated to speak, negotiate, and advocate on behalf of ‘the state’ and its consequences. Theoretical, methodological and/or empirical insights that address one or more of the above themes are encouraged. The session’s contribution is threefold: to foreground the relatively neglected role of geographies of diplomacy as spatially and temporally contingent processes; highlight the potential contribution of research on diplomacy to practice-based accounts of international studies; and explore some of the methodological challenges confronting researchers in this endeavour


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Alun Jones University College Dublin 5 12:40 PM
Presenter Jamey Essex*, University of Windsor, Ilkin Yusibov, University of Windsor, Geographies of diplomatic labor: Institutional culture, collective bargaining, and Canada’s foreign service 20 12:45 PM
Presenter Julian Clark*, School of Geography, University of Birmingham, UK, More-than-representational diplomacies and the materialities of diplomatic crises 20 1:05 PM
Presenter Alun Jones*, University College Dublin, Everyday Geographies of Diplomatic Performance in New York 20 1:25 PM
Presenter Veit Bachmann*, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Regulating Geopolitics of South-South cooperation: (Trans)regionalism in question 20 1:45 PM
Discussant Jason Dittmer University College London 10 2:05 PM

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