For many decades ‘relational’ critics of various kinds have challenged mainstream IR scholarship and its ability to engage with ‘relations’ in the international and global spheres of life. In this talk Prof Kurki asks: how are attempts to reconfigure how we think about relations in IR tied to questions around relationality in the natural and physical sciences more widely?
Building on a project that rethinks the cosmological premises of IR scholarship, this talk will address questions such as: 1) how might we think through the proposition made in the physical sciences that we live in a relational universe?; 2) what might this mean for how we think about relations in IR and indeed ‘society’, ‘nature’, or the ‘international?; and 3) what concrete political challenges arise for future IR scholarship that thinks through international relations in a relational universe?
Milja Kurki is Professor and Director of Research in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, and co-editor of the journal International Relations. Her books include Causation in International Relations (Cambridge, 2008), Democratic Futures (Routledge, 2013) and, most recently, International Relations in a Relational Universe (Oxford, 2020). Dr. Kurki also co-edits a textbook on international relations theory, International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, with Tim Dunne and Steve Smith.