Call for Papers & Panels – 2nd Annual Conference of the European Initiative on Security Studies (EISS)

We are pleased to highlight the 2nd annual conference of the European Initiative on Security Studies (EISS). The conference will be held in Paris on 21-22 June 2018 at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2).

The EISS is a Europe-wide network of over sixty universities that share the goal of consolidating security studies in Europe. Here you’ll find all the info on the EISS.

Here the call for papers and panels with a description of: the objectives of the EISS, key information on the conference (including on the difference between ‘closed’ and ‘open’ panels), the draft program and the panels’ abstracts.

The EISS conference is organized by the Association for the Study of War and Strategy (AEGES) in collaboration with the Center Thucydides and the Center for Studies and Research on Administrative and Political Science (CERSA) of the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2).

 Here you’ll find all the details on the conference.

 The deadlines for submitting paper proposals for closed panels and panel proposals for open panels are as follows:

31 January 2018: deadline for sending paper proposals to the panel chairs and panel proposals to the EISS. NB Paper proposals should be sent to the panel chairs (cf. their emails in the attached document) while panel proposals should be sent to the EISS  (eissnetwork@gmail.com)

Mid-late February 2018: decision on open panels by EISS; and on papers for closed panels by chairs

March 2018: final program sent to participants

The report of last year’s conference (EISS 2017) is available here

 See you in Paris…

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Emotions, Ideologies and Violent Political Mobilization

Emotions such as anger, resentment and fear do play a big role in explaining why people take up arms (well, and do many other things in “ordinary” life). Ideologies too are often invoked as a motive for action: Banners of different colors are often inextricably linked to rebellions, and are certainly a powerful driver of all sorts of political mobilization. Yet, their study in the context of civil wars has been limited to a few, although very important, studies such as Roger Petersen’s work the link between emotions and conflict in Eastern Europe (and the Balkans). The recent Symposium on PS: Political Science & Politics, organized by Stefano Costalli (University of Florence) and Andrea Ruggeri (University of Oxford), constitutes an important addition to the field. Featuring an Introduction by the Editors and 6 articles dealing with different aspects of how emotions, ideology and collective armed mobilization interact. Venus in Arms suggests you to read them all, as the pieces are filled with insights on how to connect these phenomena and enriched by quite a few empirical examples that show such connections at work. If you dig into the articles, you might even find a piece titled “Organizing Emotions and Ideology in Collective Armed Mobilization“. If you really don’t have time to go through the issue, well you can skip that one. You know the author and nothing good should be expected.

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Political Parties and Foreign Policy: a couple of workshops

The debate in comparative politics, international relations, and (even more surprisingly), in Foreign Policy Analysis, has devoted limited attention to the role of political parties in foreign and security policy. A recent wave of studies has tried to address this gap, aiming to “bring political parties in” the debate ). However, systematic analyses on whether party politics makes a difference in foreign and security policies are still lacking.

Thus, it is worth noticing two upcoming workshops that focus on political parties and foreign policy.

The workshop “Party politics of foreign and security policy in Europe” will be held in the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (4-6 October 2017). This workshop, which has been organized by Wolfang Wagner and Tapio Raunio, deals with the issue of party politics in foreign affairs. Drawing together a group of international scholars, the workshop asks: does or should party politics really matter less in foreign affairs than in domestic policy?

Here you’ll find additional details on the seminar. Here the program of the workshop, with paper givers and abstracts.

The “NASP International Workshop on Political Parties and Foreign Policy” will be held in the University of Genoa (16 November 2017). The seminar, which has been organized by our Fabrizio Coticchia, will also celebrates retiring Professor Luciano Bardi.

Here you’ll find all the details on the events.

Venus in Arms will attend both the workshops. See you there.

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To read and watch in August

As you prepare the nicest “out-of-office” reply, a few reading and watching suggestions.

If you’re into serious PoliSci/IR reading, a few great books came out earlier this year. We mention two, one on intrastate and the other on inter-state wars: Laia Balcells’ Rivalry and Revenge. The Politics of Violence during Civil War discusses civilian victimization in civil wars with empirics from the Spanish Civil War. Graham Allison’s Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? (reviewed by NYT here).

More into fiction? Omar el Akkad’s American War brings readers to a fictional Second Civil War in the US, a dystopian analysis of effects of climate change and political radicalization (reviewed here). The Man Booker Prize Longlist just came out. We’ll go for Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West (reviewed in The Guardian here), on migration and magic. All this while we patiently wait for the third installment of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy, the Mirror and the Light, which might not be published earlier than 2019.

Summer movies: the easy one is Dunkirk, where the latest Batman’s director Christopher Nolan brings you to the shores of the French coastal city that witnessed the most famous evacuation in the history of war. IR theory-lovers that appreciated how well the security dilemma was depicted in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) will be inevitably attracted by the sequel War for the Planet of the Apes, directed by Mark Reeves.

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Culture, interests, multidimensional threats, and Italian defence policy

We are pleased to talk about a paper that has been just published on the Italian Review of Political Science. The article, which is part of an interesting Special Issue on Italian foreign policy, focuses on the Italian military post-Cold War dynamism, aiming at assessing the role played  by interests and culture in addressing multidimensional threats to national security.

The paper (Stick to the plan? Culture, interests, multidimensional threats, and Italian defence policy“) is co-authored by (our) Fabrizio Coticchia and Michela Ceccorulli.

Here the link to the paper (gated)

Here below you can find the abstract:

The international context seems to be increasingly exposed to multidimensional and transnational challenges, ranging from irregular migration and piracy to the violation of basic human rights. Rather than excluding a potential role for the military, many European states rely on it to face a complex security scenario. What are the reasons behind this activism? Taking Italy as a case study, this article works out two main arguments (ideational factors and interests relating to the so-called military–industrial complex) and tries to intercept their weight in the national debate leading to the decision to intervene militarily (or not) in Sri Lanka (2004–05), Haiti (2010), and in the Central Mediterranean (2015–). Ultimately, this effort contributes to understanding the role of the military instrument in Italy, a state particularly exposed to the new challenges ahead, and offers tools for research to be potentially applied in other countries that make similar use of armed forces to deal with non-conventional security threats.

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Il caso F35. Una prospettiva diversa.

I temi della Difesa sono spesso relegati agli angoli dalla discussione pubblica in Italia. Gli approfondimenti sono tendenzialmente scarsi e il livello complessivo di attenzione di media e opinione pubblica è generalmente limitato. Eventi drammatici, spesso in contesti di crisi, contribuiscono ad incrementare un interesse collettivo che permane però volatile, destinato ad affievolirsi in fretta.

Un tema che ha suscitato invece una considerevole (e costante) attenzione è stato quello della controversa acquisizione del caccia JSF F-35. Le ragioni di tale “ribalta” sono state molteplici: i costi del mezzo in uno scenario di crisi, il dibattito politico, le campagne dei movimenti pacifisti.

Sul tema, segnaliamo con piacere un recente articolo del nostro Fabrizio Coticchia, dal titolo: “A Controversial Warplane Narratives, Counternarratives, and the Italian Debate on the F-35“.

Il paper è uscito in early view nella rivista “Alternatives“. Qui il link al pezzo (gated)

L’articolo (ne avevamo parlato di una sua versione precedente qui) esamina, da una prospettiva interdisciplinare, il contenuto delle narrazioni e della contro-narrazioni adottate da partiti e movimenti pacifisti. I suoi risultati (basati su interviste, analisi del discorso e analisi del contenuto) evidenziano l’evoluzione dei plot al centro del dibattito e la capacità delle contro-narrazioni (grazie alla capacità della campagna e ad un contesto partitico mutato) di introdurre i propri frame nella discussione.

L’articolo è parte di un progetto di ricerca più ampio, che si concretizzerà in una monografia, scritta da Fabrizio Coticchia e Andrea Catanzaro, dal titolo: “Al di là dell’Arcobaleno: narrazioni strategiche, politica di difesa e movimenti pacifisti in Italia’”, Vita e Pensiero (di prossima pubblicazione).

In calce l’abstract del paper

The literature on strategic narratives has started to pay growing attention to the concept of “narrative dominance,” stressing the role played by counternarratives in hindering a wider acceptance of a specific message. However, limited consideration has been devoted to counternarratives, which have seldom been assessed in a systematic way. The aim of this article is to fill these gaps by examining the underrated case of Italy. The article investigates the main content of narratives and counternarratives developed by parties and peace movements regarding the decision to acquire the F-35. The article, which is based on primary and secondary sources, adopts a multidisciplinary approach, combining security studies and social movement studies.

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No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities

We are organizing a panel at the next SGRI conference (Trento, June 29-July 1).

As reported in there website: The annual SGRI Conference is an opportunity for scholars throughout Italy to come together and discuss topics that are relevant to international relations. The 2017 Conference will be held for the sixth time in Trento from June 29th to July 1st and will be organized by IPLab (International Politics Laboratory), a joint venture involving the Bruno Kessler Foundation and the University of Trento.

Here you’ll find a list of the all panels.

Here below the details of “our” panel (“No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities“):

Chair: Giampiero Cama (University of Genova)
Discussants: Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna) & Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genova)

Date: TBD
Room: Sala Grande

According to the European Union Global Strategy “terrorism, hybrid threats, economic volatility, climate change and energy insecurity” are significantly endangering Europe (EUGS, 2016). The EUGS emphasizes the need for an “appropriate level of ambition and strategic autonomy”, enhancing common efforts especially on cyber, counterterrorism, energy and strategic communications. In other words, Member States should “move towards defence cooperation as the norm”, providing a greater contribution to collective security, working closely with its allies and partners, such as NATO. The panel aims at collecting empirical papers that, through different methodological perspectives, try and understand how current transformations (political, such as Brexit and Trump election but also technological, such as the “rise” of drones) are impacting traditional European and national security practices.

The panel explores how Member States, as well as the EU, have faced so far the above- mentioned challenges, examining in details the following key-areas: (a) shared assessments of internal and external threats (e.g., Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, including the role of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and satellite communications); (b) the evolution of digital capabilities to secure data, networks and critical infrastructure; (c) the transformation of (national and European) counter-terrorism; civil-military relations in operations; (d) the development of European procurement (especially regarding full- spectrum land, air, space and maritime capabilities); (e) the military doctrines at the national and regional level.

Confirmed Papers: 

  1. Edoardo Baldaro (Scuola Normale Superiore – Pisa), The EU in the Sahel: Assessing Strengths and Limits of the European Integrated Approach to Conflict
    Nowadays the EU is facing renewed security threats coming from its instable Eastern and Southern borders. State fragility and civil conflicts in the peripheries are considered as factors that can endanger European internal security and cohesion, asking for concrete initiatives and responses by European institutions. The European Union Global Strategy (EUGS)introduces a new ‘integrated approach to conflict and crisis’, in order to propose innovative and shared solutions concerning conflict-management and crisis-relief.Adopting an ideational and social constructivist approach to the study of European foreign policy, this article aims to explore the “fragile state” and “resilience” concurring policy paradigms informing this new European strategic concept. Analysing the EU’s initiatives in the Sahel, one of the regions where the EU elaborated and tested its renewed approach, the paper underlines ideational and practical weaknesses of the European action, focusing the attention on three dimensions: 1) inter-agency efficiency and cooperation; 2) EU – member states coordination; 3) effects on local governance and environment. We finally argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers from cognitive problems and lacks internal cooperation.

    In the conclusion I argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers of cognitive and normative problems and pays a lack of internal cooperation, all factors that can still put into question the EU’s approach to fragility and conflict in the South.

  2. Eugenio Cusumano (Leiden University), Migrant Rescuing as Organised Hypocrisy: EU Maritime Missions Offshore Libya Beyond Humanitarianism and Border Control
    In October 2014, the Italian Navy maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operation offshore Libya Mare Nostrum was replaced by the EU border agency Frontex operation Triton, followed in 2015 by the Common Security and Defence Policy mission EUNAVFOR Med ‘Sophia’. Both Triton and EUNAVFOR have increasingly advertised their  involvement in SAR operations. As the two missions focused on reducing illegal entries to Europe rather than SAR, their commitment to migrant rescuing was not matched by consistent action. This paper conceptualizes the mismatch between humanitarian rhetoric and activities primarily meant to reduce migrant flows as a form of organised hypocrisy. Based on a decoupling between talk and action, organised hypocrisy allowed EU maritime missions to reconcile contradictory pressures from their external environment, such as EU willingness to reduce maritime migrations and the normative imperative to act against the loss of life at sea
  3. Artem Patalakh (University of Milan Statale), Soft Power Revisited: How Attraction Works in International Relations
    The paper puts forward a constructivist interpretation of how Joseph Nye’s soft power works in International Relations (IR). In particular, it focuses on the functioning of attraction, soft power’s main pronounced mechanism. On the basis of a theoretical literature review, the author identifies three primary issues that require further specification in Nye’s account, namely a clear disentanglement between hard and soft power, a psychological mechanism behind attraction and the relationship between agentic and structural forces in the soft power relationship. To address these issues, the author locates soft power in the constructivist IR paradigm, viewing power in its broadest terms (as including all the four “faces” of power). Then, the author applies French and Raven’s typology of power bases to build a framework that classifies attraction into three types, each with a particular psychological mechanism: “rational” attraction (which means that actor A is positively evaluated by actor B of the basis of its actions that do not aim at other IR actors), “social” attraction (which implies that A is positively evaluated based on how it treats other IR actors) and “emotional” attraction (which happens if B is positively evaluated by A, because B is useful for A to fulfill its identity, its perceived position among other IR actors). Having said this, the author uses insight from social psychology to provide theoretical explanations for each type of attraction, illustrating them with relevant examples from contemporary international politics.

  4. Mirco Elena (USPID)

 

 

See you soon in Trento…

 

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NASP International Workshop on Conflicts&Institutions

Venus in Arms is really pleased to announce the second edition of the “International Workshop on Conflicts&Institutions“. The workshop will be held in Genoa (21 June 2017)

The University of Genoa organized last year the conference “Conflicts & Institutions: Research, Projects and Workshops” (Genoa, 16-17 June 2016).

Here you can find all the info on the workshop.

As stressed in the website:

In continuity with that event, and within the NASP framework, we have invited leading scholars in conflicts studies, democratization, peacebuilding and international security. The main goal is still to specify the links and the connections between the ongoing crisis and the current conflicts to examine the relation between institutions and conflicts. At the same time, the Project “Conflicts & Institutions” aims at creating a network of scholars able to elaborate common research projects and proposals.
The current project has been designed and coordinated by Giampiero Cama (University of Genoa), Andrea Ruggeri (University of Oxford) and Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genoa).

Within the one-day event of lectures and seminars there will be a workshop specifically devoted to young researchers of the NASP Young Investigator Training Program in Political Studies, supported by ACRI.

Program (preliminary timetable)*

21 June 2017 (Aula Mazzini, via Balbi 5, University of Genoa)

09.30 Workshop Registration
10.00 Workshop – Welcome address
10.30-11.30 Key-note speech (I) The Transformation of Civil WarsStathis Kalyvas (Yale University)
11.30-12.00 Coffee Break
12.00-13.00 Key-note speech (II) Accountability Avoidance and State ViolenceSabine Carey (University of Mannheim)

13.30-15.00 Lunch Buffet

15.00-17.00 Research Seminar on Conflicts&Institutions – NASP Young Investigator Training Program in Political Studies
Chairs and discussants
Giampiero Cama (University of Genoa)
Sabine Carey (University of Mannheim)
Stefano Costalli (University of Florence)
Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genoa)
Chiara Ruffa (Swedish National Defense College)
Stathis Kalyvas (Yale University)
Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna)
Andrea Ruggeri (Oxford University)
Other speakers TBC

17.00 Coffee Break – End of Workshop

* The final program will be available soon.

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Workshop “Conflitti e instabilità in Nord Africa e Sahel. Il rapporto tra crimine organizzato, terrorismo e sovranità”

Segnaliamo questo interessante workshop organizzato al Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche (DISPO) dell’Università di Genova. Il Seminario si svolgerà mercoledì 12 Aprile 2017 16-18 (Aula 19). 

Qui trovate altre informazioni sull’evento.

Il workshop ha l’obiettivo di esaminare l’arco di instabilità che caratterizza la sponda meridionale del Mediteranno, con particolare riferimento alla Libia e al Sahel. L’obiettivo sarà quello di illustrare la recente evoluzione dei conflitti locali, il ruolo di organizzazioni criminali e terroristiche, e la complessa relazione tra gli stati dell’area ed i paesi europei in rapporto ai temi della sicurezza. Il workshop cerca di esaminare in modo approfondito tali argomenti grazie alla vasta conoscenza in materia degli autori, i quali da anni svolgono ricerca sul campo.

Nel workshop interverranno:

Luca Raineri Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna e Francesco Strazzari NUPI e Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Introduce il seminario Giampero Cama, DISPO, Università di Genova. Modera Fabrizio Coticchia DISPO, Università di Genova.

L’incontro si svolge all’interno del ciclo di seminari “Guerra, Pace e Sicurezza alle porte del Mediterraneo” che si pone lo scopo di approfondire i temi relativi all’evoluzione della sicurezza internazionale attraverso una serie di workshop e convegni con accademici, politici, giornalisti, esperti e practitioner del settore. Tali eventi, direttamente collegati al corso “Guerre, Conflitti e Costruzione della Pace”, sono aperti a tutti gli studenti.

Ci vediamo a Genova

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Call for papers – SISP Annual Convention 2017

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the next SISP (Società Italiana di Scienza Politica) Annual Convention.

The conference will be hosted by the University of Urbino (14-16 September 2017)

Here you’ll find all the info on the convention. You should register at MySISP.

You can submit your abstract before May 29th. Among panels (which can be found in the MySISP section) we suggest the following (also because you’ll find Venus..):

Section “International Relations”

Panel 8.2 “Political parties and Foreign Policy. Theories, approaches, and empirical research in the field of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA)

Chairs: Giampiero Cama, Fabrizio Coticchia

According to Kaarbo (2015), many of the International Relations (IR) theories still ignore “decades of research in foreign policy analysis” on how domestic political and decision-making factors affect actors’ choices and policies. Several authors attempted to integrate Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) and Role Theory and National Role Conceptions (NRC), stressing how FPA can provide insights into the mass—elite nexus and intra-elite conflicts, while the NRC literature could incorporate the use of ideas and identity in foreign policymaking. Despite a significant attention towards the role of Italian (and European) national identity and its defense policy, such attempt has been seldom addressed. On the contrary, FPA is still marginal within the Italian (and even European) theoretical debate while the few analyses on political actors, parties and foreign and security issues have developed theoretical approaches explicitly related to FPA. Concerning Italy, some authors provided a comprehensive analysis of post-Cold War foreign policy, stressing the role of ideas and discourse in the interplay between strategic actors and strategically selective context. Other have focused on the role-concept that Italy developed in the first years after its reunification, emphasizing its inconsistency and the “perverse” dynamic between internal weakness and international recognition. However, scarce interest has been devoted (by the Italian as well as by the European literature) to the relationship between political parties, coalitions, foreign and defense policy. Therefore, a greater “attention to human decision makers”, which is conceived the fundamental contribution of FPA to IR (Hudson 2005), could be extremely relevant for the development of the debate, also in comparative perspective (Europe and beyond).
The panel aims at addressing such need, exploring FPA contributions from different theoretical and geographical perspectives. Thus, we invite papers that investigate: the interactions between the domestic structure of European countries and the international context; the material and ideational factors as determinants of state behaviour; the formation of domestic preferences (by looking at political elites and significant domestic groups that are involved in the decision-making process); domestic constraints to the executive’s power in foreign policy; the personalization of politics and coalition foreign policy; the impact of party ideology on foreign policy, etc.

 

Section “Research Methodology”

(Italian) Panel 11.2 La ricerca empirica nelle Relazioni Internazionali. Metodi e prospettive a confronto

Negli ultimi due decenni la ricerca empirica nell’ambito delle Relazioni Internazionali ha acquisito notevole forza. I temi di ricerca spaziano, andando a intersecarsi con la politica comparata, l’economia, l’analisi delle politiche pubbliche. Allo stesso modo, i metodi utilizzati dai ricercatori nei loro studi si sono diversificati e raffinati. Riteniamo sia importante un momento di riflessione sul rapporto fra teoria e ricerca empirica, così come un confronto fra ricercatori che lavorano prevalentemente con metodi quantitativi e ricercatori che lavorano prevalentemente con metodi qualitativi, per evitare la formazione di compartimenti stagni e lavorare alla complementarietà degli approcci. Proponiamo dunque una tavola rotonda che metta a tema il percorso svolto fino a ora dalla ricerca empirica nelle Relazioni Internazionali, proponga riflessioni sulle direzioni future e favorisca un confronto costruttivo fra esperti di metodi diversi.
I partecipanti alla tavola rotonda che hanno già confermato la propria disponibilità sarebbero i seguenti:
Stefano Costalli (Università di Firenze) – Chair
Fabrizio Coticchia (Università di Genova)
Federica Genovese (University of Essex)
Francesco Moro (Università di Bologna)
Chiara Ruffa (Swedish Defense University)
Andrea Ruggeri (University of Oxford)

 

See you in Urbino.

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