Call for Papers - Geopolitics in a Globalised World

Vincenzo Della Sala's picture
July 29, 2023
------------------, Italy
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Borderlands, Diplomacy and International Relations, European History / Studies, Political Science

Call for Papers

Geopolitics in a Globalised World

Workshop, 28 July – 29 July 2023

University of Trento


The end of the Cold War was heralded by many scholars and policy-makers as the beginning of a new international order, in which the logic of power politics and spheres of influence would give way to the shared interests generated by the increasingly intensive and extensive flows of ideas, capital, goods and services. The need to control and extend influence over territory was a remnant of the nineteenth century and not consonant with a world where markets could deliver the same rewards with fewer costs and positive sum results for all. Not only had history reached its end point, so had geography, seemingly. Experts claimed that the world was “flat”, with a future that belonged to Europe with its post-modern integration project and that an international order based on grand strategies and struggles for influence would give way to one increasingly shaped by what has come to be known as the liberal international order.

Whether order in the international system was constructed along such a clear geopolitics-globalization binary is open to debate. But it certainly is the case that debates in international relations and political science have focused on the extent to which the control of territory was central to our understanding of politics, and not only with respect to the European Union. The discussion about how to manage the emergence of China, Turkey’s continued incursions into Syria to quell Kurdish desire for sovereignty, increasing economic nationalism are just a few indications that the tension between wanting to be part of an open global economy and order and the desire to control territory was evident long before Russia’s war in Ukraine. Geopolitics and attendant notions of grand strategy, spheres of influence and great power politics probably never went away; but it has been the case that both international relations and policy-makers are trying to make sense of how to understand a world that has both extensive supply chains and increasing economic nationalism; one with transnational flows of capital, goods, ideas and even people but also calls to close borders; one with contrasting images of an international community and spheres of influence.

The aim of this workshop is to explore how we understand international order in the face of this tension between globalization and geopolitics. Its aims are two-fold. First, it wants to explore the extent to which heuristic constructions such as globalization and geopolitics are useful for us to understand order in the contemporary international system. Are the conceptual tools that point us in the direction of interdependence and cooperation more useful than those that highlight fear and uncertainty in the struggle to extend spheres of influence? How do we break free from these constraints? The second aim is to explore different issues and challenges where this tension might be more evident. These range from climate change, energy security, food, water and the managing of borders. Proposals are welcome that explore these issues as well as others are welcomed as are proposals for papers that are focused on the theoretical and conceptual issues raised by a possible tension between geopolitics and an interdependent global order.


Workshop participants will be expected to send a draft paper by 15 July. Papers discussed at the workshop will be presented as part of a proposal for publication as a special issue of a journal.

The workshop will be held at the University of Trento and will conclude an early career researcher summer school on the same topic.

Travel and accommodation costs along with most meals will be covered by the workshop.

Conference Organisers: Viktoria Akchurina (Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy) and Vincent Della Sala (University of Trento).

If you are interested in attending, please send a short abstract and bio to by 31 March 2023.


Contact Info: 

Vincent Della Sala
University of Trento
Trento, Italy