Introducing the Post-Structural Politics Interview Series: Martin Coward on Network Metaphors, Atmospheric Assemblages

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We at PPWG present the first of (what we hope will become) a series of video interviews with people who have thought differently about things international.

Network Metaphors, Atmospheric Assemblages: An Interview with Martin Coward

Our first interview, conducted with Dr. Martin Coward (University of Manchester), features Martin’s longstanding interest in the materiality of violence and security, evidenced in his 2008 book, Urbicide: The politics of urban destruction. While this book is about the deliberate destruction of public spaces during conflict, its method and stance already speaks to Martin’s allegiance to the materiality of security, and to how matter is implicated in violence and destruction. Martin’s recent article in the European Journal of International Relations, ‘Against network thinking: A critique of pathological sovereignty’, offers more about his investments — ethical and practical — in turning toward assemblages and away from networks for thinking about violence, security and sovereignty. In our interview with Martin, he takes on the future of poststructural international studies, the problems with network metaphors, and the promise of thinking about affective assemblages.

About the PPWG Interview Series

As mentioned, this is the first of what we intend to become a series of interviews relevant to the PPWG membership. From the start, we’ve wanted these interviews to be a collective effort open to the PPWG membership at large. The impetus for this effort is to reflect on the past couple of decades of critical international thought (and over 15 years of PPWG), showcase interesting work and spur conversations beyond the constraints of publishing. If you are a BISA member and interested in conducting an interview, send us a short (1-page) prospectus. We might be able to provide very modest funding for your efforts. If you live in the southern UK, we could connect you with a filmmaker and cover those fees. Connect with us at

Look out for our next interview, with Dr. Debbie Lisle, coming soon!