International Workshop: History, Genealogy, Archaeology

History, Genealogy, Archaeology

Alternative Approaches to Political and International Studies

Kingston University London, 3 November 2017


“Only an iconoclastic philosopher could undertake the long and difficult task of detaching all the suffixes from beauty, of searching behind the obvious images for the hidden ones, of seeking the very roots of this image-making power. In the depths of matter there grows an obscure vegetation; black flowers bloom in matter’s darkness. They already possess a velvety touch, a formula for perfume.”

– Gaston Bachelard, Water and Dreams

The notion of ‘archaeology’ has become popular in the humanities and social sciences thanks to the works of Michel Foucault. However, the difficult positioning of his work – fostered by a rigid academic schematism and by the ‘genealogical turn’ undertaken by Foucault in his later writings – has contributed to the lack of clarity surrounding the epistemological status of critical methods. It becomes crucial, therefore, to reflect on the epistemological foundations of these alternative approaches in order to clarify their explanatory power. For, in what sense can one write a ‘genealogy of the political’, of its savoirs and powers? What are the similarities – and differences – between the genealogical and archaeological methods and critical historiography? What might an ‘archaeology of violence and the political’ look like?

This one-day International Workshop is conceived as an advanced postgraduate training in which senior scholars and MA/PhD students will engage in an in-depth discussion on a range of fundamental epistemological and methodological issues in order to assess the contribution of critical theory to the fields of Political and International Studies.

List of Speakers

  • Claudia Aradau (King’s College), ‘A Genealogy of Otherness: Security in a Digital Age’
  • Antonio Cerella (Kingston University), ‘Towards an Archaeology of Silence: Ontology and History in the Work of Foucault, Schmitt and Heidegger’
  • Mitchell Dean (Copenhagen Business School), ‘The Archè in Political Archaeology’
  • Iwona Janicka (Warwick University), ‘Ethics of Generosity, Gift Economy and Alternative Modes of Existence’
  • Sanja Perovic (King’s College), ‘Mise-en-abîme in Foucault, Schmitt and Live Art: Representing the Recent Past’
  • Scott Wilson (Kingston University), ‘The Day the Conducator Died’: Towards a De-Ontologisation of Politics’



There are a few bursaries available for MA/PhD students, which will be allocated on a competitive basis. If you wish to apply for a bursary, please send an email to Dr Antonio Cerella at:

The workshop is free to anyone who wishes to attend but registration is necessary.

To register, please go to:



States of Exceptions II: The Politics of Life

The Body of War: Drones and Lone Wolves

An International Symposium

Lancaster University, 24–25 November 2016

stealth-wear-burqa2-multi-mdAnti-Drone Burqa by American artist Adam Harvey ©

“The discriminatory concept of the enemy as a criminal and the attendant implication of justa causa run parallel to the intensification of the means of destruction and the disorientation of theaters of war. Intensification of the technical means of destruction opens the abyss of an equally destructive legal and moral discrimination. […] Given the fact that war has been transformed into a police action against troublemakers, criminals, and pests, justification of the methods of this “police bombing” must be intensified. Thus, one is compelled to push the discrimination of the opponent into the abyss.”

Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth (1950)

13 November 2015: three suicide bombers blew themselves up near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, killing themselves and a bystander, and triggering a series of violent actions that caused 130 casualties. 15 November 2015: the President of France, François Hollande, after defying the attacks ‘an act of war’ by the Islamic State, launched a three-month state of emergency and ‘Opération Chammal’, a huge airstrike campaign against ISIL targets in Syria.

These two violent actions design a deformed and limitless theater of war, within which all distinctions and limitations elaborated by International Law seem to disappear. It is not merely the loss of the fundamental distinction between combatants and civilians, that both suicide bombers and airstrike bombings signal. In the current situation, all the fundamental principles that gave birth to the Laws of War seem to collapse: spatial and temporal limitations of hostilities, proportionality of military actions, discrimination of targets, weapons and just methods to use them. In this way, the ‘enemy’, from a juridical concept, is transformed into an ‘ideological object’; his figure, pushed to a climax from both these ‘invisible’ and ‘mobile’ fronts, becomes absolute and dehumanized. Hollande, Cameron and Obama’s unwillingness to use ground troops against the ‘uncivilized’ (Kerry 2015) is mirrored by the ISIL call to intensify suicide missions against the ‘cowards’ (Dābiq, 12: 2015).

But what lies behind the asymmetric confrontation between airstrikes and ‘humanstrikes’, behind the blurring of the distinction between the state of war and state of peace? What notion of humanity are the physical disengagement of the Western powers (with their tele-killing via drones and airstrikes) and the physical engagement of suicide bombers (ready to turn their bodies into a weapon) trying to convey? In other words, how and to what extent is there a connection between the automatization and biopoliticization of war operated by Western powers and the sacrificial nature of the conflict adopted by those who want to fight these powers?

In this second part of the “States of Exception” project, our intention is to explore these questions in order to map the crucial transformations of warfare, of its ethical principles and methods of engagement.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

  • David Cook, Associate Professor in Religious Studies at Rice University and author of Martyrdom in Islam (Cambridge).
  • Derek Gregory, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia and author of Violent Geographies: Fear, Terror, and Political Violence (Routledge).
  • Adam Harvey, American artist working on surveillance, privacy, and biometrics, winner of the Future Greats Award 2014 for his Anti-Drone project (2013).

The symposium will be held at Lancaster University, November 24-25, 2016. We invite potential participants to submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by August 15th, 2016 drawing upon, but not limited to, such issues as:

  • Theatres of War: The New Spatialities and Temporalities of Warfare
  • Mirror Images? Drones vs. Suicide Bombers
  • Phenomenology of Drones
  • New Perspectives on Ethics, Horror & Terror
  • The Ubiquity of the Enemy: Lone Wolves and Self-Representing Terror
  • The Collapse of International Law: What Enemy? Which Proportionality?
  • The Body as a Weapon: The Immanentization of Martyrdom
  • Phenomenology of Lone Wolves
  • The End of Law: Rethinking Limitation, Proportionality and Discrimination

If accepted, participants are expected to send the full paper by October 15, 2016. Please send abstracts with “States of Exception II” in subject line to

 CRIPT website:

Click here to Download the Symposium Programme


States of Exception I. The Politics of Sacrifice


A CRIPT Research Project

Special interrogation plans, extraordinary renditions, and temporary permanence centers are but a few examples of the “states of exception” that characterize contemporary global politics. Prison and refugee camps, torture and “legal violations”, “unlawful combatants” and “emergency procedures” – all these dispositifs seem more and more to confirm Walter Benjamin’s intuition that today, the exception has become the norm. But what lies behind this extrajudicial suspension of law? What kind of sovereignty is being reaffirmed by means of this (ab)use of power? Are states of exception symptoms of sovereignty’s weakening or its will to power? This project aims at critically exploring – both theoretically and empirically – the variety of states of exception, analyzing their forms, meanings, and evolution. We conceive exceptions both as historical phenomena and hermeneutical figures, spaces and times through which to reconsider the meaning and changing nature of politics in the so-called age of globalization.

States of Exception is an inter-disciplinary project articulated around three main moments or areas:

  1. States of Exception I: Figures

The Politics of Sacrifice: Martyrs & Migrants

  1. States of Exception II: Spaces

The Politics of Life: Drones & Lone Wolves

  1. States of Exception III: Times  

The Politics of Politics: to be confirmed…


CfP: States of Exceptions I

The Politics of Sacrifice: Martyrs and Migrants

The University of Manchester, December 10th–11th, 2015


“For they collected the bones and skulls of criminals who had been put to death for numerous crimes, men whom the law courts of the city had condemned to punishment, made them out to be gods, haunted their sepulchres, and thought that they became better by defiling themselves at their graves. ‘Martyrs’ the dead men were called, and ‘ministers’ of a sort, and ‘ambassadors’ from the gods to carry men’s prayers.”

Eunapius of Sardis, Lives of Philosophers and Sophists, IV century AD

Self-immolations and sacrifices, deadly processions and migration processes, martyrs and migrants are mirror figures that physically cross our social-political imaginaries, highlighting their crisis. From the Mediterranean as a new mare nostrum to the Tibetan plateau, from Palestine to the coasts of Australia, these “figures of the exception” are indicators of the crisis of Western political categories that, exported globally, cannot take root outside of the violent and tendentious context in which they were forged. In this first part of the “States of Exception” project, our intention is to use these “figures” as analytical prisms through which to re-read the origins and evolution of statuality and its sovereign manifestations, in an attempt to imagine alternative times and spaces for the politics to come.

The workshop will be held at the University of Manchester, December 10 and 11, 2015. We invite potential participants to submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by September 30th, 2015 drawing upon, but not limited to, such issues as:

  • The Mediterranean Migrants Crisis: Critical Analyses
  • Political Theologies of Martyrdom
  • Writing a Vacuum: Ethnographies of Migration
  • Phenomenology of Martyrdom: Sacrifice, Suicide, Killing
  • The World Seen from a Boat: Statelessness and Mobile Geographies
  • Martyrdom & World Religions: Critical Interpretations
  • Bio-Sovereignty: The Body of the Migrant, the Remains of Citizenship
  • Martyrdom in Context: Case Studies from around the World
  • Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, America: Translating Narratives of Migration and Diasporas
  • The Politics of Martyrdom: Self-Immolation and the Quest for Sovereignty
  • Martyrdom as a Politics of Sacrifice

We intend to compile a selection of the papers for publication after the workshop.

Please send abstracts with “States of Exception” in subject line to

CRIPT Research Themes, 2015-16

Dear Members,

CRIPT will continue to support research activities of its members – by providing space for dissemination as well as funding support – which can be located at the intersection between political and global theory broadly defined. In this regard, we would draw your attention to a couple of changes we have introduced to the group’s research activities. We would like to propose two new research streams (outlines below) for the biennium 2015-2016.

Theme one“Paradigms or Figures of the Exception”

By ‘paradigm’ we mean here, in line with Giorgio Agamben, those political figures that “make intelligible a broader historical-problematic context”. In this sense, a paradigm is to be understood as a ‘multidimensional window’, a liminal category, a crossroads in which the global intersects and reflects itself into the domestic and the domestic, in turn, reflects into the global. Accordingly, this research stream tries to promote those projects that aim at critically analysing the new global geometries of power and rethinking potential spaces of freedom. We encourage submissions of panels/roundtables/workshops that aim at exploring in depth the new paradigms of the exception, and initiatives that are looking for a continuous interrogation of these issues be it in a series of panels at different conferences, discussion-groups or contributions to blogs or other publishing outlets.

List of topics (indicative):

  • The Camp
  • The Martyr
  • The Migrant
  • Extraordinary Renditions
  • General Strike
  • Sacrifice

Theme two: ‘Thinkers of the Political’

We also encourage submissions of projects that aim at rethinking the work of some critical ‘thinkers of the political’. The aim of this section is to explore the key concepts and ideas of those thinkers that could help opening alternative methodological and epistemological ways to explore and theorise the forms of the ‘political’ in the global age or shed a new light on the existing ways of studying and understanding ‘the political’.

List of thinkers (indicative):

  • Miguel Abensour
  • Giorgio Agamben
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Rosi Braidotti
  • Cornelius Castoriadis
  • Carl von Clausewitz
  • Roberto Esposito
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Ernst Jünger
  • Claude Lefort
  • Niccolò Machiavelli
  • Carl Schmitt
  • Georges Sorel
  • Baruch Spinoza
  • Max Weber

We are open to your initiatives and we very much look forward to working with you.

With best wishes,

Antonio & Andreja

CRIPT annual general meeting — invitation

CRIPT annual general meeting is part of the 2013 BISA annual conference. The AGM takes place in the Wedgwood Room of the Novotel Hotel (the main BISA conference hotel), on Thrusday, 20 June from 12.30 to 1.30pm.

All CRIPT members as well as supporters and people interested in joining or supporting CRIPT in future are welcome to attend.

Alternatively, please, leave us a comment below.

CRIPT at BISA 2013 annual conference in Birmingham

BISA annual conference is held this year in Birmingham, on 20-21 June. The conference theme is Beyond the Ivory Tower: IR and the Real World. CRIPT is sponsoring (together with the Historical Sociology working group) a roundtable discussion on the conference theme. In addition, CRIPT is sponsoring three research panels. We would like to invite all CRIPT members and supporters to attend our panels — detailed information below — and to leave us comments on them.

Roundtable 38 — ‘The IR Scholar as Public Intellectual’
Friday, 21 June, 9.00-10.30am.
Convenor: Simona Rentea
Participants: George Lawson, Nick Vaughan-Williams, Meera Sabaratnam, Milja Kurki, Andreja Zevnik, Simona Rentea
Panel 17 — ‘IR Theory after Liberalism: Realism and Political Theology in a Post-Secular Age I’
Thursday, 20 June, 1.30-3.00pm.
Convenor: Sean Molloy, University of Kent
Chair: Andreja Zevnik, University of Manchester
Discussant: Michael Dillon, Lancaster University
Paper1: ‘Spectres of Kant’, Brad Evans, University of Bristol
Paper 2: ‘The Ethics of Enmity: Carl Schmitt and the (Theological) Critique of Liberal International Law’, Tom Moore, University of Westminster
Paper 3, ‘Overcoming Gnosticism? Reinhold Niebuhr’s Realist Political Theology’, Vassilis Paipais, London School of Economics
Paper 4, ‘E.H. Carr, Reinhold Niebuhr an the Problem of Immoral Society in IR’, Sean Molloy, University of Kent
Panel 70 — ‘The Ethics of Security and the Ethics of Securitization’
Friday, 21 June, 2.00-3.30pm.
Convenor: Rita Floyd, University of Birmingham
Chair: Toni Erskine, Aberystwyth University / University of New South Wales
Discussant: Molly Cochran, Oxford Brookes University
Paper1: ‘The Concept of Security as Ethical Paradox’, Kamila Stullerova, Aberystwyth University
Paper 2: ‘Value Theory and the Concepts of Security’, Jonathan Herington, University of Birmingham
Paper 3, ‘What exactly is a just cause in just securitization?’, Rita Floyd, University of Birmingham
Paper 4, ‘Securitization Theory and the Limits of Security Studies’, Stuart Maltman, University of Aberdeen
Panel 54 — ‘IR Theory after Liberalism: Realism and Political Theology in a Post-Secular Age II’
Friday, 21 June, 11.00-12.30pm.
Convenor: Sean Molloy, University of Kent
Chair: Vassilis Paipais, London School of Economics
Discussant: Brad Evans, University of Bristol
Paper1: ‘Nature Saved: from the Cathecontic to the Eschatological in Contemporary Liberal Biopolitics’, Simona Rentea, Aberystwyth University
Paper 2: ‘Archaeology and Religion in the international theory of Arnold Toynbee’, Lucian M. Ashworth, Memorial University
Paper 3, ‘Accident Eschaton, Katechon: Towards a Genealogy of the Event, Michael Dillon, Lancaster University 

The conference takes place in three hotels on and around Brindley Place, Birmingham Centre; please, see BISA website for more information and registration options.

Sponsoring the 1st St Andrews Graduate Conference in International Political Theory

CRIPT is one of the sponsors of the 1st St Andrews Graduate Conference in International Political Theory, held at St Andrews, on 10-11 June 2013.


Monday, 10th June 2013

11-11.30am    Registration

11.30am-1pm    Panel 1: Reconsiderations of the political

  • Chair: Dr Gabriella Slomp (St Andrews)
  • Discussant: Bernardo Teles Fazendeiro (St Andrews)
  • David Ragazzoni (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies): Relocating ‘the political’: Carl Schmitt and the reassessment of international political theory at the dawn of the jus publicum Europaeum
  • Daniel Duggan (Durham): Republicanism and cosmopolitan nationalism in the international political thought of T. H. Green
  • James Wakefield (Cardiff): The internal state and international politics: one case for post-Westphalian idealism

1-2.30pm    Lunch break

2.30-4pm    Panel 2: Issues of identity and otherness

  • Chair: Prof. Patrick Hayden (St Andrews)
  • Discussant: Natasha Saunders (St Andrews)
  • Noirin MacNamara (Queen’s University Belfast): Judith Butler and responsibility in global politics
  • Martin Deleixhe (Universite Libre de Bruxelles): Kant’s right to hospitality reinterpreted as a right to an integration process

4-4.30pm    Refreshments

4.30-6.30pm    Keynote address

  • Prof. David Boucher (Cardiff): Raw and Cooked Savages: the background theory of colonialism and its modern legacy
  • Chair: Max Jaede (St Andrews)

7pm    Conference dinner

Tuesday, 11th June 2013

10-12am    Panel 3: Global constitutionalism and international law

  • Chair: Prof. Nicholas Rengger (St Andrews)
  • Discussant: Muhammad Ashfaq (St Andrews)
  • Signe Blaabjerg Christoffersen (Copenhagen): Accountability Rediscovered: towards a multifaceted understanding of accountability
  • Markus Patberg (TU Darmstadt/UCL): Constituent power and the democratic legitimacy of institution-building in the global realm
  • Nele Kortendiek (Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg): Democratising global social justice: a discourse-theoretical approach to transnational distributive justice and democracy
  • Davide Orsi (Cardiff): Customary international law and the jus in law: some considerations from Michael Oakeshott’s theory of civil association

12-1pm    Lunch break

1-2.30pm    Panel 4: Issues of transitional justice

  • Chair: Prof. Patrick Hayden (St Andrews)
  • Discussant: Maša Mrovlje (St Andrews)
  • Jesper Lærke Pedersen (Durham): Colonialism and special duties of redress
  • Josh Bowsher (Nottingham): Staging the Post-Apartheid State: Post-conflict nationhood as the pedagogical narrative and performative iterations of truth and reconciliation
  • Duncan Scott (Aberdeen): Practising pragmatism after conflict: An assessment of two ethics of political reconciliation

2.30-2.45pm    Closing remarks

  • Prof. Nicholas Rengger (St Andrews)

2.45pm    Refreshments