26. August 2018
International workshop on “Narrating International Relations: Exploring Narrative as Concept and Method” at the University of Hamburg.
Please follow the respective links to view the workshop's poster and programme.
Date: 26-27 August 2018
Venue: Welckerstraße 8, rooms 2.16-2.18
Dr. Maren Hofius (University of Hamburg)
Dr. Felix Berenskoetter (SOAS, University of London)
Dr. Iain Ferguson (National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow)
Narratives are a powerful feature in a world characterized by political uncertainty, cultural diversity and institutional complexity. With politics being increasingly described as ‘post-factual’ and ‘populist’, shaped by affect and fiction, narratives help make sense and meaningfully order political realities, forge collective identities and create normative guidance along future trajectories. Yet, narratives are not innocent, but the site of political contestation and a mode of politics. A narrative can bring people together, but it can also divide and fuel conflict. Where Western metanarratives, such as enlightenment, liberalism and progress, used to hold together entire civilizational units, they also functioned as a cover for violent practices. At the same time, they are internally contested and increasingly met by counter-narratives challenging the hegemonic position from which they originate. The outcome is a new complexity that reveals a polyphony of voices giving meaning to and seeking recognition on both the domestic and the international plane. Political narratives thus give expression to key ideational fault lines and to power struggles among agents claiming narrative authority.
Despite its widespread use, narrative remains an underexplored concept in the International Relations (IR) discipline. The ‘narrative turn’ has been long proclaimed in the social sciences, but has had no lasting impact on IR. Building on these insights, this workshop seeks to take stock of extant uses of narrative in the IR discipline and to advance novel ways of engaging with narrative as both concept and method, exploring both how we study narratives and how we use narratives to study phenomena of world politics. To that end, we will review diverse notions of ‘narrative’, their methodological, epistemological and ontological dimensions, and reflect on the purpose, function and value of narrative in IR theory and for empirical analysis.
For further details please contact Dr. Maren Hofius: Maren.Hofius@uni-hamburg.de
The event is jointly organised by the Chair of Global Governance and the British International Studies Association (BISA) Interpretivism in International Relations (IIR) Working Group, and is generously funded by BISA as well as the Centre for Globalisation and Governance (CGG).
Foto: British International Studies Association
Foto: Centre for Globalisation and Governance