Paper: Visibility | Mapping International Practices

A draft paper, co-authored with Professor Anna Leander, is now available here.

The paper explores how the concept of ‘visibility’ as expanded on in social theory can work alongside the emergent field of International Practice Theory (IPT) to ‘sensitize’ us to the regimes or fields of visibility that affect our understanding of the world and its politics. The paper is a contribution towards a new and exciting project being lead by Dr. Christian Bueger, Reader in International Relations at Cardiff University, on Mapping International Practices. As the organisers describe the project:

Over the last decade, International Practice Theory has become a strong voice in the repertoire of International Relations theory. A significant number of scholars have engaged in developing a practice-based research and theory for international relations. Practice-driven research remains a very young, dynamic, and highly promising theoretical approach to the study of international relations. Indeed, the practice turn appears to be one of the most productive theoretical and empirical endeavors of IR scholarship in the present decade. Several scholars, each from a slightly different theoretical angle, have introduced practices as an ontological phenomenon and analytical framework into IR scholarship, and spelled out the spectrum and consequences of the practice turn for the field or developed distinct theories and frameworks. With so much theoretical and empirical work already in place it seems to be the right time to pause for a moment and clarify in which sense this community of scholars essentially shares a common agenda, which is broad enough to allow for disagreements and controversies, but which is also recognizable as a distinct type of IR scholarship. To date, no explicit collective discussion has taken shape about the contours that define the practice turn in IR scholarship as a distinct theoretical approach.

We will present the paper at a workshop being held at Cardiff University between the 14th and 15th of October and which includes participants Ted Hopf (Singapore), William Walters (Canada), Vincent Pouliot (Canada), Merje Kuus (Canada), Steven Bernstein (Canada), Anna Leander (Denmark), Rebecca Adler-Nissen (Denmark), Joelle duMouchel (Denmark), Frank Gadinger (Germany), Hilmar Schaefer (Germany), and Morten Andersen (Norway). An International Studies Association (ISA) Catalytic workshop will continue the project in the new year, followed by an edited volume.