The ‘International’: Entanglement of Language, History and Global IR

Alireza Shams Lahijani's picture
Call for Papers
October 14, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Intellectual History, Linguistics, World History / Studies

Date: 23 November 2018

Deadline for proposals/papers: 14 October 2018

Location: London School of Economics & Political Science, United Kingdom

The Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and the Post-Graduate Network of the British International Studies Association (BISA) invites proposals for a one-day workshop on investigating the concept of the “international” at the LSE on 23 November 2018.
Building on the International Relations’ linguistic turn’s focus on language and semantic influence in international relations, we seek papers and proposals that problematize the assumption of a unitary and fixed concept of the “international” that highlights the need to study this fundamental concept across multitude of languages, cultures and historical periods.  We are also interested in the possibility of reconstituting the international from a standpoint of methodology.

This workshop is open to all papers and proposals that engage with the “international” or similar concepts, from different disciplines, prisms, methodologies and standpoints. In particular, we are interested in papers that focus on the international as an ontological concept, where the international plays a role in theorizing the world. However, we are also open to perspectives that treat it as an analytic or a hermeneutic means of ordering the globe through theory and/or practice. 

We encourage papers on a broad range of topics and issues, including, but not limited to the following:

  • The role of language in defining and building the concept of the international
  • The diffusion or contestation of different conceptions of the international
  • The relationship between the use of the “international”, “global”, etc. as an analytical concept and as a concept or term used by historical actors
  • The relationship between normative and descriptive visions of the international
  • The connection between the construction of space, time and agency and the international
  • The entangled histories of different disciplines, such as history, anthropology and sociology and how they have considered the “international”
  • Different methodological and conceptual approaches for understanding the “international”, “global” and/or cognate concepts
  • How the "international", "global", etc. have been understood from historically oppressed, silenced, marginalised or neglected perspectives
  • The diverse experiences and theorisations of the "international” on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, identity, etc.

The workshop is mainly targeted to postgraduate students and early-career researchers (i.e. PhD students across various stages, and post-doctoral researchers), with some senior scholars attending as lead discussant or speakers.

Please send us your title and abstract by no later than 14 October 2018 to and

Travel grants are available. Should you require one, please indicate so in your application alongside an estimate of travel expenses and a short statement. Decisions on who to award grants will be made by the organizers in conjunction with the BISA PGN committee. Travel grant eligibility is dependent on BISA membership. Priority will be given to those living outside London.

Contact Info: 

Alireza Shams Lahijani and Marc Winrow, LSE