14 Nov

“The political production of ethical war” published in Critical Studies on Security

My newest article “The political production of ethical war: rethinking the ethics/politics nexus with Laclau” has been published in Critical Studies on Security as part of a special issue of Maja Zehfuss’s War and the Politics of Ethics.

Abstract: Taking Maja Zehfuss’s War & the Politics of Ethics as a starting point, this paper thinks through the ethics/politics nexus from the perspective of ‘Essex School’ poststructuralist discourse theory. Specifically, it asks how ethics – or, rather, morality, the temporary, contingent and context-dependent normative framework that regulates what is commonly seen as good or bad within a given society – is produced. From a discourse theoretical perspective, notions of the moral good are the result of political struggles over meaning. Here Laclau and Mouffe’s conception of hegemony can provide significant insight into how this process works, that is, how some claims about what is morally right become widely accepted as the (only) right thing to do while others fail to do so. The paper illustrates the theoretical argument with a brief case study of the changing articulation of the threat and use of military force in the German security discourse after unification. This case is of particular interest because Germany’s allegedly deeply engrained antimilitarist culture should, from a conventional constructivist perspective at least, stand in the way of any arguments about ethical war ever becoming accepted. Nevertheless, this is precisely what happened.

Keywords: ethics, morality, war, politics, the political, discourse, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Critical Security Studies, German foreign policy, out-of-area debate

The article is available here: https://doi.org/10.1080/21624887.2019.1690861

Free author copies are available here: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/DEJB4IYRYYKZRUSJNIGN/full?target=10.1080/21624887.2019.1690861

A pre-print is available here.

04 Nov

New Book Series “Global Populisms”

I am excited to report that I have been invited to join the editorial board of the forthcoming book series “Global Populisms,” edited by Amy Skonieczny (San Francisco State University) and Amentahru Wahlrab (University of Texas at Tyler). The series will be published by Brill. It approaches approaches populism from an interdisciplinary perspective. That includes studies that examine the inter- and transnational aspects of populism, which have only begun to be explored in a systematic fashion.

Further information on the series is available here: https://brill.com/gpop

02 Aug

“Forget Populism!” Published in Global Discourse

Happy to say that my article “Forget Populism!” has been published in Global Discourse. In it I challenge the highly misleading argument, widespread among the media, policymakers and (some) academics, that populism as such is a danger to democracy, Europe, the West, the liberal international order, or all of the above. Even a superficial reading of the actual academic research on populism reveals that anti-elitism and a demand to take the people’s will seriously (the most important distinguishing features of populism) can be an expression of both illegitimate demagoguery and legitimate criticism of an actual lack of democracy. As a consequence, populism as such is neither good nor bad, and pretending otherwise is a recipe for bad science and misguided political action. If journalists, policymakers and academics want to contribute instead of hamper efforts to counter dangerous actors like Donald J. Trump, Viktor Orbán or the German Alternative für Deutschland, they need to stop playing down the danger by calling them populist and instead use terms that make clear what they stand for, such as racist, corrupt and/or authoritarian.

Doi: 10.1332/204378919X15628418445603


14 May

Symposium on Laclau and IR/IPE published online in New Political Science

The symposium “The contribution of Laclau’s discourse theory to International Relations and International Political Economy,” which I co-edited with Dirk Nabers, has been published online as part of issue 2/2019 of New Political Science.

Further information and some pre-prints are available here.

A free eprint for the introduction is available here, one for my contribution on securitization here. Please contact me directly if you cannot get access (stengel@ips.uni-kiel.de).

15 Apr

Article on Securitization as Discursive (Re)Articulation published online

I am happy to say that my article “Securitization as Discursive (Re)Articulation: Explaining the Relative Effectiveness of Threat Construction,” part of our symposium on Laclau and IR/IPE in New Political Science, has been published online.

It is available here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07393148.2019.1596682

A pre-print is available here.

05 Apr

Symposium on Laclau and IR/IPE accepted for publication in New Political Science

I am excited to say that our symposium (co-edited with Dirk Nabers) on Ernesto Laclau, IR and IPE has been accepted for publication in New Political Science, the official journal of APSA’s Caucus for a New Political Science!

The symposium features contributions by Dirk Nabers on crisis, Eva Herschinger on war, Joscha Wullweber on money, Lasse Thomassen on representation and populism, Fränze Wilhelm on global order and myself on securitization. The symposium will be published in the June issue this year.

Further information is available here: http://frankstengel.com/laclau-symposium/

17 Jan

German Foundation for Peace Research funds workshop on post- and decolonial perspectives in peace and conflict research

The German Foundation for Peace Research (Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung) has decided to fund a workshop on “Debating Postcolonialism: Assessing the Contribution of Postcolonial Perspectives to Peace and Conflict Research”. The workshop, which I co-organize with Hartwig Hummel (University of Düsseldorf) and Lotta Mayer (University of Heidelberg) on behalf of the Theory Section of the German Association for Peace Research, will take place on 1-2 February 2019 at the University of Düsseldorf.

14 Jan

Edited volume on “Populism and World Politics” published

I am happy to say that my co-edited volume (with Dirk Nabers and David B. MacDonald) on “Populism and World Politics: Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions” has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan.

This volume is the first to analyze populism’s international dimension: its impact on, and interaction with, foreign policy and international politics. The contributions to this volume engage conceptual theoretical issues and overarching questions such as the still under-specified concept of populism or the importance of leadership and the mass media for populism’s global rise. They zoom in on populism’s effect on both different countries’ foreign policies and core international concerns, including the future of the liberal world order and the chances for international conflict and cooperation more generally.

The volume includes chapters by:

  • Jan Zeemann on the possibility of an emancipatory global populist project
  • María Esperanza Casullo on the importance of leadership for populist movements
  • Precious Chatterje-Doody and Rhys Crilley on global media and populism
  • Dirk Nabers and myself on sedimented practices in Donald J. Trump’s election campaign
  • Brian Budd on Kellie Leitch’s failed campaign in Canada
  • Grant Burrier on the impact of populist presidencies on trade and defense policies in Latin America
  • Daniel Wajner on the impact of classical populism, neoliberal and progressive neopopulism on Latin American foreign policies
  • David B. MacDonald on the foreign policy of Winston Peters’s New Zealand First party
  • Thorsten Wojczewski on Modi’s populist project in India
  • Robert Patman on populist challenges to liberal world order
  • Shane Markowitz on populism as a socio-material phenomenon in the context of genetically modified organisms
  • and Amy Skonieczny on the 2016 US presidential election’s effect on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The book is available online here: https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9783030046200 or here: https://rd.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-04621-7

If you do not have access, please feel free to send me an e-mail.

27 Nov

Chapter on “International/Global Political Sociology” accepted for publication

I am delighted to say that my co-authored chapter (with Dirk Nabers) on “International/Global Political Sociology” has been accepted for publication in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies.

Here is the full reference:

“Global/International Political Sociology”, in: Renée Marlin-Bennett (ed.), The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press forthcoming, with Dirk Nabers, doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190846626.013.371.

For a pre-print, please feel free to contact me via e-mail. I’d be happy to send you a copy.