A look back at the Post-Structural Politics Working Group convenors

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Here we look back at the past convenors of the Post-Structural Politics Working Group.

Jenny Edkins (co-founder)

Convenor: 2001-2006

Jenny works on international politics and is particularly interested in possibilities of rendering dominant contemporary views of what the world should or must be like ineffectual through detailed explorations of existing alternatives.

Her research focuses on personhood and political community. Within this she examines the workings of sovereign power, the instrumentalisation of life and the possibility of alternatives through detailed studies of famine, security, humanitarian crises, traumatic memory, missing persons, the photograph and the face.

Maja Zehfuss (co-founder)

Convenor: 2001-2006

Maja works on a range of topics including war, the politics of ethics, the idea of humanity, vulnerability, memory and the question of international and poststructural though.

Her research examines how the problematic of ethics is produced, enacted and negotiated in war. This work focuses in particular on questions of targeting and training, the ‘culturally sensitive war’ and on instances in which soldiers have refused to fight. It aims to offer a critique of the just war tradition and thereby to open up space for more productive ways of thinking about ethics in relation to war.

Angharad Closs Stephens

Convenor: 2006-2011

Angharad’s interests all stem from developing critical approaches to the study and politics of nationalism.

Her research therefore combines several lines of inquiry which include the politics of security and the governing of differences, citizenship and coexistence, how ideas of space/time impact our understandings of politics, as well as the connections between politics and aesthetics.

Nick Vaughan-Williams

Convenor: 2007-2009

Nick’s work is situated at the intersection of International Relations, critical security studies, and contemporary social and political theory.

His research is focused on sovereignty, subjectivity, the spatial dimensions of politics and security, in particular, the changing nature of borders and bordering practices in global politics. He is also in the process of developing research interests around the politics of resilience, critical infrastructure protection, and the role of citizens in the risk management cycle.

Martin Coward

Convenor: 2009-2012

Martin works on questions of war, violence, (in)security, identity and community.

His research to date has largely focused on the phenomenon of urbicide – the killing of cities. In addition to this he examines the manner in which global urbanisation is recasting conflict and geopolitics, looking at genocide, ethnic-nationalism, contemporary warfare and terrorism.

Emily Jackson

Convenor: 2011-2013

Emily’s work centres around critical security studies, social control, gender studies, community engagement and participation, as well as political and sociological theory.

Her research generally concerns the social and political impacts of pre-emptive security practices and anticipatory governance; particularly on urban communities and youth.

Elspeth Van Veeren

Convenor: 2012-2014

Elspeth’s work focuses on the practices, technologies, and cultures that mobilise publics for and against war.

Most often working at the intersection of American politics and foreign policy, her research explores how (in)security relates to processes of identity and state formation, and how these ideas are shaped and informed by the material and visual.

Elisa Wynne-Hughes

Convenor: 2015-16

Elisa Wynne-Hughes is a Lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics. Her research is motivated by a concern to better understand the social construction, positioning and governance of subjects through everyday (popular culture) practices, most recently examining the politics of Western tourism in Cairo. Building from this research she is writing a politicised guidebook, ‘The Political Planet, Cairo’, to encourage more inclusive tourism visions and policies. She is also working on projects that examine how popular representations of street harassment in Cairo reinforce international and Egyptian security policies that target ‘bad’ Arab/Muslim males as (sexually) threatening. Finally, she is examining the tactics of transnational stop street harassment groups, to analyse the potentially emancipatory and exclusionary potentials of their everyday governance and security strategies. She teaches International Security, Popular Culture and World Politics and the International Politics of the Middle East.

Tahseen Kazi

Convenor: 2015-19

Tahseen Kazi is a Limited Term Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics and International Studies in Georgia Southern University. Her research is on the formation of sovereign and non-sovereign political authority as a product of critique. Her work brings together thought on subjectivity and subject-formation, liberal governmentalities, postcolonialism and resistance. Tahseen is presently working on a book-length project on the liberal ways of authority formation, and their alternatives.

Aggie Hirst

Convenor: 2017-19

Aggie Hirst is Lecturer in IR Theory and Methods at King’s College London. Her research interests include international and political theory, political violence, war and wargaming, and US foreign policy. She is currently working on two projects, one exploring the US military’s use of videogames as pedagogical tools, and the other addressing the  limitations of existing critiques of positivism in IR.

Patrick Hughes

Phd Convenor: 2019-20

Patrick is a PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast. His doctoral project, which has the working title of “Brexit: The fantasy of the frictionless border”, draws on a postcolonial/queer perspective, which he has already made use of in his prior research examining illegal queer migration into South Africa. Patrick also has a developing interest in mess and material semiotics.