8th Annual Post Graduate International Political Theory Conference

8th Annual Post Graduate International Political Theory Conference

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Welcome to the 8th Annual Postgraduate International Political Theory Conference.

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The conference is organised by PhD students from the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews and we welcome you to join us and be part of the exciting topics and papers that our participants will discuss. See the attached call for papers for the theme of the conference.

The future of (International) Politics in times of uncertainty: Insights from (International) Political Theory

In 1989, in his widely celebrated essay The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama declared the End of History. With obvious references to Hegel, Fukuyama’s wager was that liberal democratic capitalism is the final mode of human government. However, the political landscape and developments in recent years have yet again challenged Fukuyama’s claim. Since the alleged End of History, the Western world has seen an all-time high rise in anti-liberal, anti-globalist and nationalist rhetoric. The rise of far-right populist parties in Europe and the alternative (alt) right in the United States of America are symptomatic of the slow decline of the liberal consensus. (Radical) Leftist movements are also challenging the hegemony of the (neo)liberal order, with the recent protests in Latin America being another indication for the growing international desire for change.

However, change in our contemporary political lives is already happening. We find violence manifest itself in ways never thought before. With the development of technology and methods of surveillance, biopolitical means are changing and new techniques of governmentality are arising. If successful, the current research in neurotechnology would mean the end of human freedom as we know it. But, perhaps the most urgent threat to our way of life is that of nature itself. We have reached the stage in which Climate change is not something which can be dismissed, but even aware of the catastrophic ramifications we do not do enough. Luckily, it is when we are confronted with the tragic potentialities of a threat, that we find a beacon of hope. And this hope is the millions of activists inspired by the young generation of humanity. A generation, which demands change.

In times of uncertainty about the future, only one thing is certain and that is things cannot go on as they are now. Whether that future is going to be dystopian or utopian is entirely contingent on the decisions that we take in the next couple of decades. This, we strongly believe, can only be done effectively through theory. It is our task to understand and interpret the threats and emancipatory potentials of the present, engage in praxis of changing the world or prescribe normative arguments of what the future ought to be. Therefore, with a pluralist understanding of the purpose of theory and full acknowledgement of the need for multi-disciplinary engagement with those questions we would like to invite participants from the Social Sciences to present papers on the following (but not limited to) topics:

 Populism and reactionary politics

 The study of the far right and alternative right

 Critique of (neo) liberal capitalism

 Resistance

 Political Violence

 Technology and (bio)politics

 Governmentality

 Climate change and/or climate change activism

 Revolutionary politics

 Dystopia/ Utopia and Dystopianism/ Utopianism

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