UCL Anthropology


Anthropology and/of International Relations

10 June 2019, 10:30 am–7:00 pm

Anthropology and/of International Relations

Anthropology and/of International Relations: Transdisciplinary Dialogues on Security, Mobility and Contentious Politics

Event Information

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Bernardino Leon-Reyes & Alexander Stoffel


B05, Darwin Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

Anthropology has historically limited its scope to “small places”. However, as Arjun Appadurai and George Marcus have advanced, in a world of transnational dynamics of power and ideas, this “locality” becomes analytically and politically untenable. On the other hand, as scholars as Didier Bigo or Rob Walker have highlighted, International Relations, in its pursuit of a parsimonious systematic theory, has for long disregarded the complexities of local social phenomena—reproducing unwarranted universals such as “the state”, “the migrant”, or “anarchy”, inter alia. This conference will look at the potential points of convergence and divergence between anthropology and International Relations (IR).

For that purpose, UCL’s Anthropology and/of International Relations reading and research group, in collaboration with the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN), will host a one-day long conference to foster a dialogue about the fortes and blind points of both disciplines. We are interested in contributions that inquire the ways in which anthropology can inform contemporary issues in IR and security studies, as well as/or interrogations about the horizons that IR theory can open in anthropology, particularly in reference to the study of (in)security, mobility, (un)welcoming, revolutions, nationalism and identity.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Emma McCluskey: Emma McCluskey is Research Associate and Teaching Fellow at KCL’s Department of War Studies. Her research interests include refugees and migrants in the European Union, International Relations theory, International Political Sociology, and ethnographic approaches to Critical Security Studies.

Dr. Leonie Ansems de Vries: Leonie Ansems de Vries is a lecturer in International Relations at King's College London and Chair of the Migration Research Group. She is the author of 'Re-Imagining a Polítics of Life: From Governance of Order to Politics of Movement'.

Dr. Sara Salem: Sara Salem is an Assistant Professor at LSE’s Department of Sociology and an editor at the journal ‘Historical Materialism’. Her work explores the connections between postcolonial theory and Marxism, with special attention to the context of Egypt and the period of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century.

Organized by: Bernardino Leon-Reyes and Alexander Stoffel