Redrawing the Boundaries of International Relations: Going beyond State and Power

Redrawing the Boundaries of International Relations:
Going beyond State and Power
 
Ravenshaw University, Cuttack is organising an International Conference on " Redrawing the Boundaries of International Relations: Going beyond State and Power " on February 20-22, 2014. The Conference is sponsored by ICSSR, New Delhi. The Conference is expected to provide a suitable platform to a large number of International Relations Scholars working both at national and international levels to debate and discuss the changing dynamics of International Relations both in theory and practice.
 
Concept Note
 
Contemporary global dynamics of interaction, exchange and rise of new actors and forces have raised a paradox for International Relations theory and practice. On the one hand, the 'new' critical, post-Realist International Relations appear stronger than ever before. An impressive literature has developed on these new themes and actors and has questioned the theoretical foundations of Neo-Realist approaches, which dominated in the previous quarter century. On the other hand, many new issues have emerged, which pose a challenge to the international community and the study of identity in international relations as opposed to a focus on national/state-centric interests. Cold war and Post Cold War politics was about how to manage the state in the best possible way in the international environment. The primary interest for the state was to safeguard its national interest. National interest was also defined in terms of power and military security. The basic objective of this seminar is to probe into the development of International Relations as a subject in recent times. The central question of this international seminar is; - Do we have to alter / extend our tools of analysis to understand the dynamics and challenges of contemporary International Politics? 
 
What moves International Politics today? Have concepts such as the State and Power both become redundant? And if so, then what can replace or supplement them? How has International Relations as an academic discipline been able to cope with the pressures and challenges of a new world order marked by prolific interdependence amongst nation states. Is the subject of International Relations adequately prepared to face the multiple challenges that have engulfed underdeveloped and developing nations, some of which are simultaneously 'rising powers'? 
 
International relations is a study of the relations between political communities. The conference would seek to explore the multiple dimensions of a relationship that political communities can have. This relationship is not limited to safeguarding the national interest, which as a term does not capture everything about a nation (its functions, purposes and motivations). This seminar therefore seeks to go beyond by discussing the fundamental issues that confront the international community. The focus on state and power limits our understanding of International Relations and the potential for a peaceful international order. The conference will identify these issues and deliberate on them, so that these important global issues gain more prominence in academic discourse. One of the challenges of this seminar will be to redefine the notion of security and how modern states inappropriately use the term to justify state sponsored violence and to 'securitize' issues. This will allow the participants to reflect upon the old "gun versus butter" dilemma. In the post cold war era, redefining the concept of 'security' has grown in salience. Traditional national security approaches have not been sensitive to conflicts that arise from cultural, ethnic and religious differences as has happened in different parts of the world. 
 
At a deeper level, national security and nationalism have become problematic to many marginalized sections. The biggest question that these groups are asking; Why should we obey the state? Naxlite violence in India, ethnic violence in Srilanka and Pakistan and other parts of the world suggest that the larger questions of rights and citizenship needs to be debated. The process of globalization and fragmentation of political communities are two major influences on political communities at present times. There is a growing demand for respecting national or ethnic differences, which exist in virtually all nation states. These demands are part of a global movement in which minority groups seek respect for their languages and cultures. What is common in all these demands is a rejection of western forms of political community. This has necessitated a reconsideration of traditional ideas of citizenship. There is an intense struggle within the political communities for recognizing the 'difference of cultures' and evolving a plural version of citizenship, which is sensitive to different group aspirations.
 
It is not only about citizenship rights, but also with regard to the whole idea of how the state conceptualises the development process. Whether the state propagates a development process which is just, humane and morally sustainable or a process driven by utilitarian short term values? The seminar intends to look at the comparative development experience in the world and to debate particular development models, which are acceptable to all. Feminists from all over the world have started to assert their understanding of society and how the state and society have undermined their rights. Women activists also draw attention to discrimination on the base of race, caste, class and other related categories.
 
Sub themes:
 
Social movements in different parts of the world (with a special focus on developing countries and emerging markets).
Human Rights
Global Justice
Comparative Development experience
Women's issues
Migration and Diaspora
Environmental Politics across the globe
Human security
Nuclear Proliferation
International Terrorism
Globalization and the post cold war order
The Politics of Humanitarian Intervention
Future Role of United Nations
Scholarly articles are invited from academicians, activists, research scholars to present their ideas in the conference. The papers may not necessarily be limited to the sub-themes outlined here. The paper can be submitted on any aspect of International Relations based on the theme of the Conference. Research scholars are encouraged to present their paper in this conference.
 
Important Dates:
Conference Date: 20-22 February, 2014
Last date of Abstract Submission: December 20, 2013
Abstract Confirmation: December 25, 2013
Full paper Submission: January 30, 2014
 

 

Time and Place:

Date:   Thursday, Feb 20, 2014
Venue:   Revenshaw University, Cuttack
Address:   Revenshaw University, Cuttack
City/Twon:   Cuttack, Odisha
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