Call for Papers | Doing Visual IR

Doing Visual IR

European Workshops in International Studies 

Deadline: 10/01/2018


Jonathan Luke Austin
(The Violence Prevention Initiative, Geneva. & The Graduate Institute, Geneva)

Stephanie Perazzone
(The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)


Professor Roland Bleiker,
University of Queensland

Professor Lene Hansen,
University of Copenhagen


How do we see the world and its politics? How do we make sense of international events? What do television screens, computer monitors, advertising billboards, and other everyday images do to our sensual appreciation for the global political order? And how might we study all of this? How can the discipline of IR come to terms with the explosion in visual imagery of wars, protests, rallies, street fights, and beyond? This workshop asks questions like these. It is concerned with the still quite nascent shift within IR away from the textual as the principal object of its study and primary mode of its own articulation. However, its main focus will be quite specifically on the methods and methodologies of doing visual IR and the questions of power and politics these methods implicate.

The intellectual backdrop for the workshop rests on the reflexive, ethnographic, narrative, and aesthetic turns within IR. Each of these approaches has contributed to bringing forward a critical, inter-disciplinary, and – most importantly – an increasingly diverse set of outlooks into IR. This includes reassessing and dissecting the intricate relations between differently positioned societies in the global system, the ‘decolonizing’ of research, the linkages between the micro and macro levels of politics and its analysis, and the role of researchers and expert accounts in controlling narratives, reproducing exploitative power relations and shaping collectively shared ‘images’ of international relations and its conflicts. Specifically vis-à-vis questions of the visual and visibility, the introduction of the ‘image’ into IR that has occurred across these fields has worked to foreground the everyday lifeworlds of individual human beings, the materiality of those worlds, the questions of perspective in seeing Self and Other, and the ways in which powerful actors utilize visibility as a tool of domination, political manipulation, and beyond. With this backdrop in mind, the workshop focuses on how methods of doing visual IR can ‘complicate’ the discipline’s intellectual construction of world orders in ways that give voice to other perspectives and expose emerging forms of socio-political domination.

We seek contributions that focus on the diverse methods and methodologies that can be employed to ‘do’ visual IR and which explore the power, politics, and potentially positive-political consequences of these methods. This might include perspectives from within specific theoretical traditions (practice theory, feminist theory, post-colonial theory, etc.) or reflections on quite specific methods of doing visual analysis in IR (the use of photography, the use of videography, the use of secondary visual data, the analysis of comics, art works, and beyond, etc.). We are particularly keen to encourage innovative contributions and presentations of all kinds into our discussions. The ultimate goal of the workshop is to draw together both young and senior scholars from various disciplinary traditions concerned with key issues surrounding doing visual IR. We envisage publishing our discussions in both an edited volume and a special issue and are making plans to this effect in advance of the workshop. The edited volume is planned as a handbook for students of working within IR wishing to employ visual approaches within their work, while the special issue will focus more on the broader conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues that emerge from our discussions at the workshop.




Please submit your abstracts to: by 10.01.2018.

  1. Abstracts MUST be submitted electronically via the online submission system
    by the given deadline January 10, 2018. Abstracts received via fax, e-mail or received after the deadline will not be accepted and therefore will not be considered for the programme or publication.
  2. One author can only submit 1 abstract.
  3. Abstracts are to be submitted to the following topic:
  • WS T – Doing Visual IR: Methods, Power and Politics
  1. The presentation type should be confirmed during the submission:
    • Paper presentation
  1. Abstracts could be amended in the online submission system until the submission deadline of January 10, 2018. 
  2. All abstracts will be reviewed by the EWIS 2018 Scientific Committee – Workshop Conveners in consultation with the Programme Chairs. They will decide which abstracts will be accepted and rejected but may also recommend that your abstract is considered in a different workshop.
  3. All presenting authors will receive an acceptance/rejection notification via e-mail by February 10, 2018.
  4. All presenting authors are obliged to register by March 16, 2018.

Abstract Formatting

  1. All abstracts must be written in English.
  2. When submitting your abstract, consider and select the best suitable workshop – and one alternative workshop should your first choice not accept your submission.
  3. The abstract title is limited by 20 words.  Please capitalise your abstract title  in the following way – This is my Abstract for EWIS 2018: For Presentation in Groningen.
  4. Up to 10 authors can be included (incl. presenting author). The person, who submits the abstract is automatically considered to be the contact person for all future correspondence. Authors order could be changed if needed by swopping the names at the list of the co-authors. The first name is considered to be the main author. Presenting author could be amended in the online submission system while managing co-authors.
  5. The maximum abstract length is 200 words, which is approximately 2/3 of A4 page. Pictures/charts/special formulas are not allowed within the abstract text.
  6. Each author should submit from 3 to 6 keywords matching /his/her abstract content. Please insert the keywords in alphabetical order.
  7. The submitter is required to include presenting author’s short biography (up to 100 words).

Further details on EWIS Workshops are available here: