Global Governance Centre
07 September 2022

The GGC in Athens

This year, the European International Studies Association’s 15th Pan-European Conference on International Relations (EISA PEC) took place in the historic and vibrant city of Athens, Greece.

From the 1-4 September, the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences opened its doors and courtyards to roughly 1500 international studies scholars from Europe and beyond, including quite a few from the GGC’s scholarly community.

Under the conference theme of Pandaemonium: Interrogating the Apocalyptic Imaginaries of Our Time, GGC scholars could be heard presenting their most recent research on a range of topics relevant for the study of global governance.

Here are a few highlights….


Knowledge, Expertise, Global Governance

Tied to a new Swiss National Science Foundation project that began this month, GGC’s Academic Director Prof. Annabelle Littoz-Monnet and PhD candidate Juanita Uribe-Garcia convened a panel entitled De-blackboxing the Production of Knowledge in Global Governance. Drawing analytical tools from the transdisciplinary fields of science and technology studies (STS), sociology of knowledge, and international relations, the central rationale of the panel was the following: knowledge production is not an endogenous process but instead a way of doing politics “by other means,” as theorized by Bruno Latour. Committed to this claim, panel participants collectively interrogated the actors, practices, material infrastructures, and data that partake in validating certain knowledge forms that come to be dominant in global governance. Annabelle Littoz-Monnet, in her paper, explored the emergence and growing power of private data institutes in the fabrication of global health metrics, pointing to the politics of privatizing data production. Drawing from her doctoral research, Juanita Uribe-Garcia turned to the UN World Food Systems Summit as a site of global food governance-making, where exclusionary knowledge configurations prevent participatory, inclusive policy-making processes.

Turning from the global governance fields of health and food to human rights, GGC research affiliate Dr. Nina Reiners brought forward two papers unpacking the role of expert groups in advancing human rights protections. In one paper, she developed the notion of transnational lawmaking coalitions (TLCs) as informal yet powerful collaborations that act as change makers in international law. More on this can be found in her award-winning book Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights as well as her recent blog post in The Global. In a panel she co-convened on the United Nations and the (un)making of inequalities, Nina Reiners revealed how UN human rights experts deal with accusations of being elitist and failing to sufficiently address global inequalities.


International Organizations, Archiving, Historicity

GGC Executive Director and Research Associate Dr. Monique Beerli co-convened the Leaving (No) Traces: The Practices and Politics of Archiving beyond the Western State section. Reflecting on previous archival research in the collections of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Monique Beerli made interventions on the archival agency of international organizations, the politics of archiving acts of (in)humanity, and the methodological potential of doing historical practice theory research.


International Norms, Responsibility, World Order

GGC Postdoctoral Research Dr. Erna Burai presented two single-authored papers. On the general theme of norm diffusion processes, the first paper developed the notion of responsibilization to understanding the mobilizing power of responsibility as a moral discursive claim in world politics. Targeting peacebuilding scholars, her second presentation unpacked ontologies of responsibility in connection to transitional justice and reconciliation processes. For the two years to come, Erna Burai has also been nominated to join the EISA’s Early Career Development Group, which organizes a range of activities to support early career scholars in the field of international studies.


International Practices, Agency, Coloniality

As part of broader debates interrogating international norms and practices in global governance fields, GGC visiting fellow Nadine Benedix made two interventions on the need to rethink agency and actorness in IR. In one co-authored paper, she interrogated the opposition between “local” and “international” actors in much of the literature on international interventions and norms, positioning this binary dichotomy as reproductive of colonial hierarchies. Turning then to the agency of organized working children in Bolivia, her second paper proposes a rethinking of children not as actors that are governed but instead as actively practicing global governance. She will also be representing some of her thoughts on the agency of working children as part of the GGC’s Global Governance Talks series. Find out more here.


Aesthetics, Materiality, World Politics

Furthering an ongoing intellectual project to displace the dominance of the written word as the dominate mode of mediating academic knowledge and engaging in world politics, GGC faculty member Prof. Anna Leander co-convened the International Political Design: Making World Politics Differently section. Over a total of ten sessions, participants considered the potential of aesthetic-material practices, from computational design and technological innovation to architecture and film-making, as means of reimagining world politics and redirecting global governance practices.


See the full EISA programme here

Image by GothPhil