Christian Bueger

On the road to the AU’s maritime charter: Event in Addis

How will the Lome Charter that is going to be adopted at the African Union’s extraordinary summit in October this year will change ocean governance on the continent? This is the core question that we will be exploring at an event in Addis Ababa organized by the Institute for Security Studies. The event titled “From awareness to action: Africa’s blue economy after Lomé” takes place on September 29th. Please see further information here.  In my talk, I will emphasize the need of thinking the blue economy, ocean health, and maritime security agendas together and focussing on those activities that can benefit each agenda. Drawing on my current work on the relation between these agendas, I will argue that maritime domain awareness and information sharing, joint law enforcement operations, and education should be priority areas for the next years.  In these areas, significant synergies between all three agendas can be achieved. Knowing what happens at sea and ensuring the flow of information between all actors relevant is the necessary background for designing policies and projects to better protect the seas and develop them. Given the vastness of the sea and the resource limitations actors will have to learn how to work together in policing the sea. Education is pivotal for increasing the awareness of the vital importance of the sea for the future of the continent and training the practitioners which will be able to implement the agendas.

The Political Anthropology of Internationalized Politics

How can the dialogue between anthropology and International Relations (IR) turned into a productive research agenda? This is the core question explored at a workshop I am attending at the University of Bremen from 15th to 16th of September. In the meantime there is significant interest in IR the ethnographic spectrum of methods, and various scholars have proven the utility of ethnographic techniques across the disciplines sub-fields. This has been triggered in particular by the interest in the micro-dynamics of international politics, for “the everyday”, and the concept of practice as a unit of analysis. Anthropology, in turn, has shown over the past decades a substantial interest in questions traditionally pursued by IR scholars, such as the connections between the local and the global, the making of politics, or the distribution of power.

Bringing those lines of reasoning together, the workshop in particular zooms in on the international relations of Africa and the role of bureaucracies, development, and state building. The contributions make a powerful case for the productivity of methods characterized by immersion, “being there”, paying attention to details, and listening carefully. In my own contribution titled “Conducting ‘field research’ when there is no ‘field’. Some notes on the praxiographic challenge” I primarily discuss methodological questions and criticize the usefulness of some of the concepts that are part of the debate, in particular, the concept of a “field”. I argue, abandoning the notion of the field, provides us with the reflexive space for discucssing the practical problems of conducting research on practices of  international(ized) politics.

The Assemblage of EU mediation

CrWvCZnWYAA8VOpOn the 2nd of September I had the pleasure to be the external examiner of Natalie Brandenburg’s thesis at the Brussels School of International Affairs, University of Kent, supervised by Dr. Tom Casier. In the study Brandenburg shows how mediation is underpinned by a particular political rationality, and how the mediation assemblage is hierarchical structured. She drew on two cases, mediation in Myanmar and Georgia. The thesis is a thought provoking contribution to EU studies, peace and conflict studies, and a powerful example how practice theory can illuminate world political phenomena.

Call for Workshops for EWIS 2017 in Cardiff

small logo4th European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS)

Cardiff, 07-10 June, 2017: New Frontiers in International Relations

Call for Workshop Proposals (Deadline 30.09.2016)
The European International Studies Association (EISA) invites proposals for workshops as part of EWIS 2017 to take place at Cardiff University, UK, 07-10 June 2017. The workshops allow scholars to engage in sustained, in-depth discussion with a diverse range of their peers from various institutions, countries, disciplines and career stages. EWIS has quickly proven to be a popular and productive format, proving ideal for the preparation of special issues, edited volumes or for pushing the boundaries of current research and exploring new ideas, themes and directions.

EWIS 2017 will be held at Cardiff University, a world-leading hub of expertise in International Relations. As well as an intellectually stimulating environment, the university is in walking distance from the city centre, which not only provides all the amenities one would expect of a dynamic capital city. Cardiff is also well connected for easy arrival and departure by train or plane, and offers a great base from which to explore the beauty of Wales.

With the EWIS 2017 theme ‘New Frontiers in International Relations’ we invite in particular workshops that aim at exploring the frontiers of the discipline of International Relations, by pushing its intellectual, theoretical and methodological boundaries, opening new agendas or revisiting established ones, and engaging in dialogues with cognate disciplines such as social theory, geography, cultural studies, economics, or sociology.

EWIS can accommodate up to 20 workshops with a maximum of 20 participants in each workshop. We are seeking proposals for workshops on specific themes within the broad field of International Studies from potential convenors who would organize and chair the workshops. We particularly encourage proposals that address the theme of Cardiff 2017 ‘New Frontiers in International Relations’. The proposals should include:

Workshop title
Description of workshop topic and its relevance (max 500 words)
An indication of possible paper topics and potential participants (1-2 pages)
A short CV of each workshop convenor (max 1 page each)
There can be up to two convenors of each workshop. Workshop convenors must be current EISA members. They will pay a reduced participation fee and they will be invited to the workshop convenors’ dinner. They will, however, have to make and pay for their own travel and hotel arrangements.

Schedule: The deadline is 30 September 2016. Successful proposals will be notified by 21 October 2016. There will then be an open call for papers which will run until 16 December 2016. The papers will then be selected by 13 January 2017. Registration will be open until 03 March 2017.

Submission & Inquiries: All proposals should be submitted as pdf attachments to Dr Christian Bueger (for Cardiff University) and Dr Benjamin Tallis (for the EISA) and copied (cc) to

Please contact for general enquiries about EWIS2017.

European Workshop in International Studies to be hosted in Cardiff

small logoThe Department of International Relations of Cardiff University and the European International Studies Association are proud to announce that the European Workshops in International Studies will be hosted in the capital of Wales from June 7 to 10, 2017.
The workshops provide scholars with a unique opportunity to work closely with international scholars on a particular topic over the course of three days. This format has been tried and tested, proving ideal for preparing Special Issues, edited volumes or for exploring new ideas and themes.
The theme of EWIS 2017 will be “New Frontiers in International Relations” inviting in particular scholars to re-think the boundaries of international relations scholarship and pushing these further. A full call inviting proposals for workshops held as part of EWIS, will be issued in August with decisions on the selected workshops to be announced in September.
Cardiff University, the host of EWIS 2017 is a world-leading hub of expertise in International Relations, providing an intellectually stimulating environment for the workshop series. The university is situated within walking distance from the city centre, which provides all cultural and social amenities one might expect from a capital city. Cardiff itself is the gateway to the beauty of Wales, its hills and its beaches. It is well connected to airports and train services, allowing participants a hassle-free arrival.

Telling and Acting: A provocative new study of the EU’s external action

tartuOn the 15th of July I will have the pleasure to act as opponent in a defense at the University of Tartu. I will discuss Birgit Poopuu’s thesis titled “Acting is everything: The European Union and the process of becoming a peacebuilder”. The thesis develops an innovative framework combining insights from post-structuralism and practice theory to study a range of recent CSDP missions. Poopuu argues that the external actions of the EU should be understood as means of telling and acting out a particular identity of Europe.


New edition of Handbook of Security Studies published

HandbookThe 2nd edition of the Routledge Handbook of Security Studies has just been published. The 41 chapters give an overview of the stat of the art of Security Studies, discuss theoretical approaches, as well as distinct security challenges. In my contribution to the handbook, titled “Security as Practice”, I introduce and discuss how practice theories have been developed within the sub-discipline. I pay particular attention to theories developed from Bourdieu’s work, the security communities of practice approach, as well as relationalist and actor-network theory inspired work. The pre-print of the chapter is available via my academia page.

Linking History and Theory in International Relations

What is the link between the history and theory of international relations? Is the a growing gap between the two ways of reasoning about international relations? Can theory survive without history, and vice versa? These were the questions of a two day workshops held at Cardiff on the 29th of June and 1st of July. Organized by Campbell Craig the workshop brought together 15 scholars from the UK and the US reflecting different positions and disciplinary backgrounds.

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New maritime security research project launched in Portugal

The Portugese Institute of Higher Military Studies (Instituto Universitário Militar) launched a new research project on maritime security on the 30th of June. The project is based in the Departamento de Estudos Pós-Graduados (Área de Ensino Específica de Marinha)  and led by João Carlos Lourenço da Piedade. I had the honour to address the launching workshop. In my talk I was arguing that the rise of maritime security is inducive of a major shift in the governance of the sea. The rise of maritime security strategies, the recognition of non-state maritime threats, the importance of the blue economy agenda and the relative failure of existing ocean governance institutions to address these, point out that the immediate post-cold war maritime order is transforming substantially. I concluded in speculating about some of the contours of the new maritime security order, highlighting in particular the role of informality as well as technology.