15 Dec

BMBF Funds Project on “Knowledge Production in German Peace and Security Policy”

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has announced that it will fund the collaborative project “Knowledge Production in German Peace and Security Policy (KNOWPRO)” as part of its funding initiative to strengthen peace and conflict research, with ca. 1.5 million EUR.

Focussing on Afghanistan and Somalia as case studies, the project examines the knowledge that forms the basis for decisions (not) to intervene in armed conflicts. More specifically, the project is interested in what becomes accepted as objective knowledge about a given conflict in a certain context (e.g. a ministry or academic discipline) and how. Taking a sociological understanding of knowledge formation as its starting point, we expect that what counts as factual knowledge about a given issue will vary with context and depend not just on its objective truth but on different factors, including power, (lack of) expertise, bureaucratic politics, sedimented discursive practices, etc. To examine this proposition, the project compares knowledge production in three relevant areas: basic science, scientific policy advice, and government ministries and agencies. The project (a) explores to what extent knowledge differs between these three spheres, (b) develops a theoretical framework integrating discourse theoretical and sociological factors that explain which knowledge becomes accepted as the truth in a certain context, and (c) develops practical guidelines to improve knowledge transfer and decision making. The project combines quantitative corpus linguistic and interpretive methods of discourse analysis with qualitative interviews and ethnography in a mixed-methods design.

Co-PIs: Sophia Hoffmann, Dirk Nabers, Klaus Schlichte, Frank A. Stengel

Funding period: April 2022-March 2026

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.

09 Aug

Article “Social Media, Gender and the Mediatisation of War” now online

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.
The official version is available on the Taylor & Francis website, together with a response by Laura J. Shepherd.

Abstract:
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.