Happy to say that the special issue of Global Discourse “Visualizing Violence aesthetics and ethics in international politics” with my coauthored article (with David Shim) on gender, war and social media is online. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/2wVq7g7
Aside from ourselves, the issue features contributions by Brent Steele, Jessica Auchter, Axel Heck, Frank Möller, Anna Geis & Gabi Schlag and Juha Vuori, as well asreplies by Rune Saugmann, Charlotte Heath-Kelly, Alexander Spencer, Debbie Lisle, Michelle Bentley, Kyle Grayson and Laura Shepherd. Great lineup!
My co-authored chapter on non-state actors and foreign policy (with Rainer Baumann) has finally been published online. The official version is available here, for a pre-print see my Publications page.
Here’s the summary:
The rise of non-state (international, private, and transnational) actors in global politics has far-reaching consequences for foreign policy theory and practice. In order to remain able to explain foreign policy also in the 21st century, foreign policy research needs to take into account the growing importance of nonstate actors. A good way to do this would be to engage the literature on globalization and global governance. Both fields would benefit from such an exchange of ideas because their respective strengths could cancel out each other’s weaknesses. Foreign policy research on one hand has a strong track record explaining foreign policy outcomes, using a broad range of theoretical concepts but almost completely ignores non-state actors. This is highly problematic for at least two reasons: Firstly, foreign policy is increasingly made in international organizations and intergovernmental and transnational governance networks instead of national institutions like foreign ministries. Secondly, also the latter increasingly open up to, and involve, non-state actors in their policymaking procedures. Thus, if foreign policy research wants to avoid becoming marginalized in the future, it needs to take into account this change. However, especially systemic approaches like neorealism or constructivism have difficulties adapting to the new reality of foreign policy. Not only do they explicitly stress the importance of states at the expense of non-state actors, which are only of marginal interest to them, as is global governance. Moreover, they also conceptualize states unitary actors which forecloses the possibility of examining the involvement of non-state actors in states’ decision-making processes. Agency-based approaches such as Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) fare much better, at least in principle. FPA scholars stress the improtance of disaggregating the state and looking at the individuals and group dynamics that influence their decision making. However, while this commitment to opening up the state allows fro a great deal more flexibility vis-à-vis different types of actors, FPA research has so far remained state-centric and only very recently turned to non-state actors. On the other hand, non-state actors’ involvement in policymaking is the strongsuit of the literature on globalization and global governance, which has spent a lot time and effort analyzing various forms of “hybrid” governance. At the same time, however, this literature has been rather descriptive, so far mainly systematizing different governance arrangements and the conditions under which non-state actors are included in governance arrangements. This literature could profit from foreign policy research’s rich theoretical knowledge in explaining policy outcomes in hybrid governance networks and IOs.
Foreign policy researchers should take non-state actors seriously. In this regard three avenues in particular are relevant for future research: (1) comparative empirical research to establish the extent of non-state actors’ participation in foreign policymaking across different countried and governance arrangements (2) explanatory studies that analyze the conditions under which non-state actors are involved in states’ foreign policymaking processes and (3) the normative implications of increased hybrid foreign policymaking for democratic legitimacy.
My article with David Shim on the visual representation of ISAF on the German armed forces’ Facebook page has been published online. The paper examinse the gendered visual representation of the ISAF operation on the German armed forces’ official facebook page.
Studies on the mediatization of war point to attempts of governments to regulate the visual representation of their involvements in armed conflict – the most notable example being the practice of ‘embedded reporting’ in Iraq and Afghanistan. This article focuses on a different strategy of visual meaning-making, namely, the publication of images on social media by armed forces themselves. Specifically, we argue that the mediatization of war literature could profit from an increased engagement with feminist research, both within Critical Security/Critical Military Studies and within Science and Technology Studies that highlight the close connection between masculinity, technology and control. The article examines the German military mission in Afghanistan as represented on the German armed forces’ official Facebook page. Germany constitutes an interesting, and largely neglected, case for the growing literature on the mediatization of war: its strong antimilitarist political culture makes the representation of war particularly delicate. The article examines specific representational patterns of Germany’s involvement in Afghanistan and discusses the implications which arise from what is placed inside the frame of visibility and what remains out of its view.