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Dr El-Khairy, I Presume?

15 Jul

We’re on a roll now. On Friday, Omar became the fourth of us to ascend the greased pole of academic accreditation since we began cultivating this little corner of the internet. Forever more to be known as Dr El-Khairy, his burgeoning cultural insurgency notwithstanding. The work in question? American Statecraft for a Global Digital Age: Warfare, Diplomacy and Culture in a Segregated World. And who said it was good enough? Faisal Devji and Eyal Weizman, actually. So there. And I have promises in writing that he will be telling us more about it all real soon.

Dr Sabaratnam, I Presume?

15 Mar

Hot on Roberto’s heels, and the third of us to achieve doctorhood since the inception of The Disorder Of Things, our very own Meera today survived the critical questioning of Robbie Shilliam and Christopher Cramer. She is henceforth Dr Sabaratnam, certified by virtue of her thesis: Re-Thinking the Liberal Peace: Anti-Colonial Thought and Post-War Intervention in Mozambique. For the record, I’m assured that any violence inflicted was purely intellectual.

Dr Roccu, I Presume?

6 Mar

The second of us to achieve doctorhood since the inception of The Disorder Of Things, our very own Roberto this afternoon survived interrogation by Charles Tripp and Toby Dodge to become a fully certified Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations. His thesis being entitled Gramsci in Cairo: Neoliberal Authoritarianism, Passive Revolution and Failed Hegemony in Mubarak’s Egypt, 1991-2010. Timely and on trend, awarded sans corrections.

How is Rape a Weapon of War?

13 Feb

This post summarises a piece for the European Journal of International Relations just published online. An inconsequentially different pre-publication version is also available for anyone unable to breach the pay wall.

UPDATE (8 March): Sage have kindly made the full EJIR paper open access until early April, so you can now get it directly that way too.


I’m sure you have reasons
A rational defence
Weapons and motives
Bloody fingerprints
But I can’t help thinking
It’s still all disease.

Fugazi, ‘Argument’ (2001)

‘Weapon of War’ could be many explanations and I’m not sure of any of them.

UNHCR official, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 2010

1. War Rape in the Feminist Imaginary

Rape is a weapon of war. Such is the refrain of practically all contemporary academic research, political advocacy and media reporting on wartime sexual violence. Once considered firmly outside the remit of foreign policy, rape is today labelled as a ‘tactic of war’ by US Secretaries of State who pledge to eradicate it and acknowledged as a war crime and constituent act of genocide at the highest levels of international law and global governance, a development which for some amounts to the ‘international criminalization of rape’. This idea of rape as a weapon of war has a distinctly feminist heritage. Opposed to the historical placement of gendered violence within the hidden realm of the private, feminist scholarship was the first to draw out the connections between sexual violence and the history of war, just as feminists fought to make rape in times of nominal peace a matter for public concern. Feminist academics have, then, pioneered a view of sexual violence as a form of social power characterised by the operations and dynamics of gender. Sexual violence under feminist inquiry is thus politicised, and forced into the public sphere.

But the consensus that rape is a weapon of war obscures important, and frequently unacknowledged, differences in our ways of understanding and explaining it. Continue reading

Figure/Ground Interview

31 Dec

For anyone who’s interested, there’s an interview with me over at the Figure/Ground Communication site. It touches on a few topics such as the changing nature of the university, the technological shifts in teaching, and some thoughts on the philosophical movement of speculative realism. Many thanks to Laureano Ralon for the generous opportunity as well.

Rewriting International Relations

15 Nov

A small cascade of Millennium-related news and IR from Elsewhere. First, our very own Nick was recently elected as Co-Editor (with Edmund H. Arghand and Maria Fotou) to oversee the journal for Volume 41 (2012-2013) on the basis of a conference proposal on ‘Materialism and World Politics’ (full CfP details forthcoming soon). Second, the Millennium blog has had a facelift (ongoing tweaks to be made to its façade), so go have a look.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Northedge Essay Competition is now open. So if you’re a post-graduate student (PhD or advanced Masters) in IR or cognate fields, and you have some exceptional work lying fallow, spruce it up and submit. The deadline is 30 January 2012, and the winning essay will appear in Millennium 41(1). Previous winners have been very good indeed.

Fifth, the journal’s social media tentacles are growing, so do the following thing on Twitter and the liking thing on Facebook, if you are of that bent. Finally, a reminder that Millennium‘s weekly Editorial Board meetings are open to all LSE postgraduates (MSc and PhD) who are engaged and interested. If you fit that description and for some reason aren’t already involved, do email the Editors for details.

Elsewhere, BISA’s Historical Sociology and IR Working Group also has a new look, and a particularly awesome and growing resources page. And there’s now an Occupy IR Theory blog and associated hashtag (#occupyirtheory, natch), which is worth both a virtual engagement and a flesh-world contribution. Similarly, if for any reason you are unaware of David Campbell’s blog on visual culture and international politics, rectify yourselves!

The Disorder Of Things Is One!

5 Oct

Thank you for your custom. Image from Awkward Family Photos.

Housekeeping

5 Sep

UPDATE (6 September): Also, you can now read us simply by going to http://thedisorderofthings.com, although the old address will also work just fine. Pass it on. Pay it forward.


Inordinate excitement at Disorder HQ over some minor tweaks to our shiny façade. Regulars (we know you exist) will notice that the banner is now clickable and takes you back to the front page, that the posts are slightly wider (allowing us to back even more juicy intellectual content into your field of vision), and that a random dance of chance now determines the banner image.

The images, obviously bursting with detail and meaning on several levels, have been cropped and borrowed from: Diego Rivera (Man At The Crossroads/Man, Controller Of The Universe, 1933-1934), Gerard ter Borch (The Ratification Of The Treaty Of Münster, 1648), Jean-Michel Basquiat (Native Carrying Some Guns, Bibles, Amorites On Safari, 1982), Kent Monkman (The Triumph Of Mischief, 2007) (hat-tip to Propagandhi), Pieter Bruegel (The Triumph Of Death, 1562-ish), Emmanuel Leutze (The Storming Of The Teocalli, 1848), Ron English (Graveyard Guernica, 2011), MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill (Highways Of Empire, 1927) and Jack Kirby (Captain America Comics #1, 1941, with Joe Simon). More may follow.

We trust this will all work perfectly, but let us know if not.

Dr Hoover, I Presume?

6 May

Disordered congratulations are in order. Yesterday, following a few hours of rigorous questioning by Anne Phillips and David Owen, our very own Joe was awarded the title of Doctor of Philosophy from LSE for his thesis: Reconstructing Human Rights: A Pragmatic and Pluralist Inquiry in Global Ethics. No corrections. We’ll do our best to get him to tell us all about it soon.

Symposium: Rethinking Masculinity

12 Apr

UPDATE (19 April): I’ve just received confirmation that a proposal based on this Symposium has been accepted as a Special Issue for the International Feminist Journal of Politics. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Papers not presented at the Symposium will not only be welcome but are actively encouraged. The deadline for first drafts is likely to be in August 2011 for eventual publication in 2012. Further details to follow…


A call for participation in a one-day Symposium at LSE I’ve been involved in organising. It’s taking place in just over three weeks and promises to be very productive and, yes, exciting. Thanks to some funding, places are free, but do email me if you want to come so we can get a sense of numbers for food. There will also doubtless be continuing discussion afterwards. Please distribute widely.


Rethinking Masculinity & Practices of Violence in Conflict Settings


Thursday 5 May 2011

Room Clem.D702, Clement House (on Aldwych), London School of Economics & Political Science

Keynote: Professor Cynthia Cockburn (City University and University of Warwick)

Sponsored by the British International Studies Association Gender IR Working Group, the LSE Department of International Relations and the LSE Gender Institute.

Thinking about masculinity, maleness and men has always had a place in the interdisciplinary fields of feminist, queer and gender studies. Discussion and debate about the relevance of masculinity as a shifting concept has recently been further developed in the fields of politics and International Relations (IR) where scholars have explicitly tried to address women’s experiences in relation to the persistence of the ‘man question’.

Despite this, masculinity in international politics remains somewhat amorphous. Research has tended to be disconnected, addressing particular wars or media events, rather than masculinity as an organising concept or its role across space and time in its historically variable forms. This symposium (and a proposed journal Special Issue arising from it) therefore seeks to extend and deepen work on the conceptual character and concrete forms taken by masculinity through the lens of violence and conflict settings.

Continue reading

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