Offene Sektionstagung der IB-Sektion der DVPW

This week I will present my latest research project on Social distance in IR for the first time to, hopefully, a critical audience at the conference of the International Relations section of the German Political Science Association (DVPW) in Bremen.

You can find me, Thursday morning, Oct. 5, room SFG 2030.

Far away and Unknown: On Social Distance in Security Governance
In this paper I introduce the concept of ‘social distance’ to the study of security governance. As a concept, social distance derives from social psychology and denotes that ‘distance’ – temporal, cultural, spatial, and hypothetical – influences subjective experiences. Known as construal level theory, studies have shown that mental representations of distal events are more abstract, thereby moderating emotional stimuli and thus affect, preferences, and action. Bringing this concept into the field of security governance I explore the following question: How does social distance influence and shape security discourses and practices in relation to the organisation of humanitarian interventions?

EISA Pan-European Conference 2017

Join me for a panel part of the section on critical military studies addressing Critical Approaches to the Study of Private Military and Security Companies first thing Thursday morning, 09:00-10:45 (room 20,021) at the EISA Pan-European Conference in Barcelona.

PMSCs and Global Recruitment: When demand from the ‘West’ meets labour from the ‘South’
Whether working for the UN, NATO, states or NGOs, Private Military and Security Contractors (PMSCs) are becoming more visible and invaluable in (post-)conflict zones. Although frequently discussed in relation to state control and legal accountability these companies, especially for more menial and feminised tasks, employ many Third Country Nationals (TCNs). Mainly coming from under-privileged regions and developing states thousands of ‘labour migrants’ have found their way into conflict zones. Different from the dominant image of contractors—as employing former British and US-American elite special forces—PMSC-practices are largely constituted and made possible by labour from the Global South. This paper reflects critically on the way international military engagements have come to rely on global recruitment practices and places this in the broader context of the globalisation of production and labour in general. Exploring the parallels between the use of TCNs by PMSCs and the establishment of Global Production Networks (GPNs) in other industries this paper observes that the establishment of labour supply chains in support of Western warfare changed the distribution of the social, physical, and economic costs and benefits of the production of warfare.

Here is a pdf of the original paper. A later version of this paper was published in ZeFKo (in German).

On holidays…

… I will be out touring the U.S.A. Southwest and Rocky Mountains the coming weeks, hiking in Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches and Yellowstone National Parks. These are my first post-Ph.D. summer holidays! Something I have been looking forward to for quite some time.

post-holiday up-date:
picture taken on the road to Grand Canyon National Park from Las Vegas.


ECPR Summer School in Methods and Techniques 2017

I’ll be offering the second week course on Process Tracing Methodology at the upcoming ECPR Summer School for Methods and Techniques Aug 7-11 at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

Process Tracing Methodology II – Evidence and Empirical Testing in Practice
This course is a more practical, hands-on course in using Process Tracing (PT) methods in one’s own research. It complements the theoretical PT I Summer School course held in the first week, as well as the introductory course taught at the Winter School in Bamberg.

The course focuses on how we can use within-case evidence to make causal inferences about mechanisms. The course starts with an introduction to how we can make causal inferences using Bayesian logic, i.e. when we have no variation upon which to make inferences. We then turn to the practicalities of empirical testing and making causal inferences in days 2 and 3, focusing on how we can strengthen the inferences we can make by improving the empirical tests that we employ in our research. We will work on this topic using a combination of analysis of existing work and tests developed based on your own research. Day 4 discusses inductive theory-building using PT. The final day discusses how we can utilize PT in practical case study research.

The course requires active participation. It is expected that participants are able to use parts of their own research in the exercises and group work during the course

For more information and the full course outline: more information.