Talk | Ergonomics, Critique and Politics

On Thursday 6th December I gave a talk at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy Studies entitled ‘Towards an International Political Ergonomics’ based on my current work exploring the interconnections between social theory, technology, and political change. A video version of the talk will be available shortly.

Workshop | Sensing Collectives

In a week or so, I will present some of my latest work (co-authored with Anna Leander) at the Hybrid Lab, Berlin. We will present a paper entitled “(De)Composing the Californian Aesthetic.” The programme for the event can be found below.


Publication | Doing and Mediating Critique

An early (pre-print) version of my latest article (with Rocco Bellanova and Mareile Kaufmann) entitled Doing and Mediating Critique: An Invitation to Practice Companionship is now available. The article will be published in Security Dialogue 50 (1), 2019.


What does it mean to study security from a critical perspective? This question keeps haunting critical security studies. Conversations about normative stances, political engagement, and the role of critique are mainstays of the discipline. However, they tend to revolve around a too disembodied image of research, where the everyday practice of researchers is sidelined. Yet, researchers do do research: they work materially, socially, and cognitively. They mediate between various feedback loops or fields of critique. In doing so, they actively build and exercise critique. First, despite manifold suggestions to abandon critique, we suggest returning to the practice of critique via the notion of companionship. This permits us to reinvigorate our attention to the objects, persons, and phenomena through which critique gains inspiration and purpose, and that literally accompany our relationship to critique. Second, we explore what happens when our companions disagree, when critique faces controversies and (a)symmetries. Here, we support research designs of tracing credibility and establishing symmetries in order to move away from critique as denouncing positions we disagree with. Third, we discuss the relation between companionship, critique, reflexivity, and style. Here, the rhetorical practices of critical inquiry are laid out, and possibilities for its articulation in different and less silencing voices are proposed.

Citation: Austin, Jonathan Luke., Bellanova, Rocco. & Kaufmann, Mareile. (2019). ‘Doing and Mediating Critique: An Invitation to Practice Companionship,’ Security Dialogue 50 (1).

A copy of the article can be downloaded here.


Politics Beyond Technology | New Project

In collaboration with Anna Leander, I will shortly be launching a new project entitled Politics Beyond Technology. The project focuses affirmatively on the possibilities of a new renewed engagement with the material and technological vis-a-vis the problems facing International Relations, but does so not only theoretically, conceptually, or philosophically, but in dramatically practical terms: outlining how the discipline’s engagement with the technological has the potential to transform its future engagements with praxis. Exploratory for the workshops will take place in 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, and Beirut, Lebanon.

Project platform (updates soon!):

Workshop | Language and (In)Securitisation

In June 2018, I presented an ongoing research project being carried out with Anna Leander focused on the connections between aesthetics, security, and philosophical conceptions of the sublime. The work was presented at King’s College London’s Language and Everyday (In)securitisation workshop and included contributions from Jef Huysmans, Iver B. Neumann, Claudia Aradau, Didier Bigo, Rodney Jones, Kamran Khan, Rob Walker, and others.

Workshop | The Practice-Normativity Nexus

In June 2018 I participated in a workshop exploring the Practice-Normativity Nexus in International Relations Theory organised by Anna Leander, Antje Wiener, and Ole Jacob Sending. At the workshop, I presented my latest work on the Violence Prevention (VIPRE) Initiative and a related paper focused on the intersections between New Materialist theory and socio-political critique. Other participants at the workshop included Anna Leander, Stefano Guzzini, Antje Wiener, Ole Jacob Sending, Keith Krause, Philip Liste, Annabelle Littoz-Monnet, Mervyn Frost, Rahel Kunz, Thomas Biersteker, Elisabeth Prugl, Xymena Kurakowska, Klaus Dingwerth, and others.


Doing Visual IR

During the forthcoming European International Studies Association’s (EISA) European Workshops in International Studies, myself and Stephanie Perazzone will be hosting a workshop on ‘Doing Visual IR.’ A line-up of leading and new names, from both across and beyond the field, will be exploring the methods of approaches to studying the International through the visual.

The programme can be found below.


Post-Critical IR? | Groundwork for a future

The first Post-Critical IR? workshop took place in Copenhagen during March 2018. Below, a summary of core presentations from the workshop can be found, including interventions from Michael C. Williams, Jean-Francois Drolet, Rebecca Adler-Nissen, Anna Leander, and Keith Krause.