Early Career Researchers Workshop (ECW) 2024

ECW 2024 will be organised before EISA PEC 2024 conference, on 27 August 2024, in Lille, France.

Early Career Researchers Workshops (ECW) are linked to the next EISA Pan-European Conference taking place in August.

ECWs are one-day workshops organised by and for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers who finished their PhD less than three years prior to the application deadline. Eight to twelve participants use the workshop to present and discuss their work. Early career workshops offer a collegial, supportive and safe environment for PhD candidates and Early career scholars to present their work and test their ideas and research findings. The EISA supports each selected workshop with a budget of 4 000 EUR.

All ECW participants are part of the PEC conference,  therefore need to register and pay the registration fee.


It is with great pleasure that we announce the Early Career Researcher Workshops that have been selected for 2024:

  • Knowledge Production in/on International Crises: Questioning Logics and Technologies of Crisis
  • Clash of Civilizations? The Return of Cultural Geopolitics and its Challenge to Liberal Hegemony
  • Navigating the Stars: Towards a New Research Paradigm for Astropolitics in International Relations
  • Motion Technologies: Socio-technical Practices For Securing Bodies In Movement


If you are interested in joining and participating in one of these workshops or you want to have more information on the content of each workshop, please contact the workshop convenors for more information as soon as possible. Contact details are found below.

All workshop participants are also expected to participate in and register for the main EISA PEC conference.

ECW1: Knowledge production in/on international crises: Questioning logics and technologies of crisis

Organised by:

  • Nijat Eldarov (University of Copenhagen)
  • Lin Alexandra Mortensgaard (University of Copenhagen)

Contact: nijat.eldarov@ifs.ku.dk; lamo@diis.dk


The end of industrial modernity and the Cold War resulted in the proliferation of new threats beyond state survival from military attacks. As such, it has often been argued that the crisis has become an ontological condition of our times. Concepts such as “risk society” (Beck 1992), or “crisis society” (Price 2022) burgeoned and drew attention to the ever-growing obsession with producing and simulating knowledge about hard-to-predict crises of our age. These discussions have been revived in recent years, as the climate crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, and geopolitical tensions have prompted notions such as polycrisis (Tooze 2022). Considering these socio-political developments, exploring the knowledge on crisis and crisis on knowledge becomes an utmost necessity.

This workshop explores contemporary international crises such as the migration/refugee crisis, climate change and ecological crisis, geopolitical tension, global health crisis, and renewed nuclear weapons instability through the lens of knowledge production. With inspiration in ongoing conversations in the disciplinary borderlands of International Relations, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology of Knowledge and New Materialism the workshop asks: How do we know what we know about these crises, who (gets to) produce knowledge of such complex political phenomena, and how are technoscientific solutions interpellated in these knowledge generating processes? With this focus, we hope to explore not only how international crises come to be defined as such, but also how they appear beneath their macro logics, and the extent to which their various conceptualizations allow for adjustments, new knowledge and surprise (Gross 2010). In this way, we welcome contributions focused both on the politics of science, knowledge and knowledge technologies (Oreskes 2022), as well as contributions exploring nonknowledge, ignorance and unknowns (Aradau 2017; Aradau & Perret 2022; Daase & Kessler 2007).

We welcome papers that work with the crisis both negatively and affirmatively. As such, we treat crisis not only as facilitating an often exclusionary form of governance or capital accumulation regimes, but also as a foundation of speculative, more-than-human, nonmodern ontologies which aim to work with and through the world, rather than against. The workshop is therefore also open to discussions on the nature of knowledge production beyond critique, taking inspiration from emerging discussions in political science on the post-critical turn (Latour 2004; Anker & Felski 2017; Anderson 2009; Austin, Bellanova & Kaufmann 2019).

We will focus on questions like:

  • How is knowledge production on crises enacted and with what effects?
  • What is the role of nonknowledge, secrecy, ignorance, surprise, and errors in the governance of crises?
  • What narratives, discourses, and practices are produced on crisis concepts like resilience, polycrisis, preemption, management?
  • How is crisis contested through counter-discourses and other modes of contestation?
  • How is the ‘international’ produced through crisis (non)knowledges?
  • How are crises, technoscience, and knowledge production related?
  • How do crises shape the nature of critical knowledge production?

The workshop welcomes participants from critical security studies, new materialist, STS, poststructuralist, feminist, queer, de/post-colonial, (neo-/post-)Marxist perspectives, among others. We encourage applications from underrepresented groups, understudied frameworks, and interdisciplinary collaborations.


Abstract submission deadline: 29 April 2024

Results announcement date: 3 May 2024


ECW2: Clash of Civilizations? The Return of Cultural Geopolitics and its Challenge to Liberal Hegemony

Organised by:

  • Karin Narita (University of Sheffield)
  • Benedek Kovacs (Queen Mary University of London)

Contact: k.narita@sheffield.ac.uk; b.kovacs@qmul.ac.uk


Recent years have heralded the ‘return of geopolitics’ amidst the rise of various illiberal, authoritarian political forces. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for example, has shockingly illustrated the regime’s willingness to rewrite borders when political developments in the neighbourhood go against its national interest. Yet the ongoing invasion is not simply a matter of cold-blooded calculation. It is a project of geopolitical fantasies. Russia’s regime envisions itself at the centre of a Russian-speaking world and a broader Eurasian civilization, in which it has special rights and responsibilities. In fact, such cultural and civilizational imaginaries are (re)emerging all around the world: visions of Judeo-Christian civilization among national conservatives in Europe and America, notions of an Iberosphere connecting Spain and Latin America through colonial and Catholic aesthetics, and the anti-secular politics of neo-Hindutva. These imaginaries aim to radically reconfigure or transgress international and regional orders on the basis of culture.

The idea that we live in a post-ideological age marked by clashing cultures or civilizations is certainly not new. But the emergence of explicitly ‘civilizational states’ has made those conflicts more tangible and intense. Some scholars believe that the end of the Cold War and the rise of liberal hegemony created the conditions for an identitarian backlash by levelling peoples’ sense of place and mission in the world. Others have pointed to the reassertion of illiberal ideologies. Critiques of, and resentment towards, globalisation and liberal internationalism are at the centre of cultural geopolitics. Many of today’s cultural geopoliticians draw on the ideas of radical conservative thinkers from the twentieth century.

To be sure, scholars of postcolonialism and critical geopolitics have rightly pointed out that liberal norms are themselves a particular ideological construction upholding Euro-Atlantic hegemony. From that perspective, non-Western states are caught between the symbolic and material disempowerment of liberalising pressures and the need to reassert their independence against perceived cultural encroachment. Disillusionment with the post-Cold War order from within and without the liberal core seems to have created a discursive-ideological space for identitarian geopolitics.

This workshop aims to explore the cultural geopolitics and civilizational imaginaries of the day. We invite empirical and theoretical submissions from scholars interested in post- and anti-liberal world orders, their conceptual, intellectual, and sociological histories, and the international political projects that encapsulate those visions. The workshop seeks to identify common themes and questions, discuss theoretical and analytical approaches, and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Participants are invited to reflect on the following questions:

  • Which cultural or civilizational visions of international order are on the rise today?
  • What are the genealogies and conceptual histories of those worldviews?
  • What is distinct about them?
  • In what ways is cultural geopolitics associated with the right?

How to apply

 To apply for the workshop, please submit an abstract (max. 250 words) for a work-in-progress paper or thesis chapter by 1 May to both conveners. Applicants will be notified of the results of their application on 3 May.

Participants will be asked to submit their draft paper or chapter (max. 8000 words) by 16 August. Each participant will be assigned to a small subgroup of 6 people and should be prepared to discuss their work in an intimate, roundtable format.

All participants are expected to participate in the EISA-PEC main conference and must be registered for the conference to attend the workshop. Accommodation costs for 2 nights (up to €95 per night) will be reimbursed for workshop participants to cover their early arrival at the conference. Lunch and dinner costs on 27 August will also be reimbursed for participants.


Abstract Submission Deadline: 1 May 2024

Results announcement date: 3 May 2024

ECW3: Navigating the Stars: Towards a New Research Paradigm for Astropolitics in International Relations

Organised by:

  • Jana Fey  (Strasbourg, France)
  • Tegan Harrison (Cardiff University)

Contact: jana.fey@isunet.edu; harrisont8@cardiff.ac.uk


This workshop is situated at the nexus of several emerging issues in the politics of outer space. As our societies and global infrastructures become ever more dependent on outer space for numerous services (space applications, e.g. satellites) we are at the same time, experiencing renewed geopolitical tensions, not least between Russia, China and the West but also in the spheres of technology and international space law. Advances in Artificial Intelligence, communications and space exploration have raised a new set of questions (e.g. the use of dual-use satellites) and problems (e.g. space debris) for international relations (IR), questions that are not adequately addressed by increasingly outdated international space law and which remain understudied in IR. Outer space, particularly Low Earth Orbit (LEO) has once again become a site where we witness the manifestation of political intentions. However, the advent of NewSpace, i.e., the commercialization of the space industry, adds new players to the equation. Given the influence of private ventures like SpaceX and Blue Origin, we ought to investigate how the commercialization of space shapes the boundaries of its political landscape. At the same time, the NASA Artemis (USA) and CNSA Chang’e (China) programmes both aim to establish permanent lunar settlements and are rallying the support of different nations amongst an intensification of geopolitical tensions on Earth.

Previous scholarship in IR has contextualized outer space politics within the nuclear arms race during the Cold War; a period of bilateral engagement and military competition. The turn of the century however, introduced a range of stakeholders beyond the notion of states. With the influence of private ventures and a renewed public interest in space, we must ask different questions about the new normal in space politics:

  • What are the contemporary challenges in outer space and how can scholars of International Relations study these methodologically, theoretically, and/or empirically?
  • What scope for governance and regulation of outer space do diverse national space laws and contemporary institutions (such as the UN and EU) offer, and what institutions do we need and envision for the future?
  • How do we ensure that diverse modes of knowing about the world are reflected in space policy?

The aim of the workshop is to firmly position Astropolitics on the agenda of IR while elevating the voices of early career and postgraduate researchers. As postgraduate students and early-career researchers at the intersection of space and IR we propose to use this Early Career Workshop as an opportunity to promote research activity in this area, with the long-term aim to establish an Astropolitics standing and/or regular section at EISA PEC. We are committed to promoting interdisciplinary approaches to space, taking the theme of the workshop beyond questions of national security and foregrounding the need to interrogate the consequences of increasingly space faring societies. The politics of outer space sits at the intersection of various academic fields and research traditions and we welcome papers that contribute to an interdisciplinary research agenda.


Abstract Submission Deadline: 2 May 2024

Results announcement date: 9 May 2024


ECW4: Motion Technologies: Socio-technical Practices For Securing Bodies In Movement

Organised by:

  • Ruben van de Ven (Leiden University)
  •  Chaeyuen Bae (Leiden University)

Contact: r.r.van.de.ven@fsw.leidenuniv.nl; c.bae@fsw.leidenuniv.nl


In security practices, bodies in motion—both people and objects—are tracked, archived, and circulated. Pedestrians are profiled in local shopping malls, ships tracked at world seas, facial expressions analysed in cramped interrogation rooms, gestures assessed at public television, status updates swiped at social media, code revisions monitored at software platforms, and steps counted at insurance companies.

In this workshop, we want to bring together scholars from different disciplines to explore the politics of such motion technologies. We deem it no longer sufficient to think of movement as denoting the displacement of people from one space to another, which finds its most essential form in the figures of the diaspora and the migrant. Contemporary techniques and technologies for analysing and disseminating movements push us to instead think of movement as a (dis)continuous traversal of space, in terms of pathways (Huysmans, 2022). We therefore want to shift away from a static and binary understanding of the subject of security—such as the insider/outsider—and foster a more liminal understanding of those being surveilled.

We are interested in contributions that raise questions on:

  • the (micro-)temporalities of movements, examining how motions are governed in terms of discontinuities and rhythms; going beyond an understanding of movement in terms of continuous flows of people or goods, instead building a more fine-grained comprehension of the moving subject.
  • ⁠the prediction and pre-emption of motion as a means to institute suspicious or risky bodies, such as contributions that inquire the statistical or affective generation of foresight; or how motion technologies corporealise targetable bodies (Wilcox, 2016), recognising these technologies in terms of their materiality and embodiment.
  • how motion technologies not only block, but also enable, shape and cramp (Walters & Lüthi, 2016) movements. This includes contributions that explore a politics of space and friction, advancing the discussions on the control over motion beyond a rhetoric of borderzones and boundaries in terms of fences and walls.
  • ⁠the perpetually changing (‘updating’) algorithms through which security technologies operate. Contemporary security technology is no static object, as over-the-air updates can continuously change their algorithmic functioning, forcing us to study matter-in-motion.
  • how motion technologies are not always effective and seamless, but fail and are contested.

⁠We are interested in studies of all practices involved in motion technologies: their development, their deployment, their retirement, and the blurry boundaries in-between.

We invite early career researchers who engage with varied methods in studying such questions. Here, we wish to also discuss methodological challenges and alternatives to study motion technologies, or how to make sense of their matter in motion. We welcome both written contributions, as well as those engaging in multimodal methods, such as (audiovisual) ethnography, technography, and artistic practice.

We welcome contributions that draw from law, anthropology, sociology, STS (ANT/post-ANT), critical security studies, media studies, feminist technoscience, software studies, political geography, critical migration studies, gender studies, and performance art.

How to participate:

To be accepted to the workshop, please send in an abstract (max. 270 words) for a (draft) paper, thesis chapter, or “thinking piece” to both convenors: Ruben van de Ven, PhD candidate in International Political Sociology, Institute of Political Science, Leiden University (r.r.van.de.ven@fsw.leidenuniv.nl) and Chaeyuen Bae, PhD candidate in International Political Sociology, Institute of Political Science, Leiden University (c.bae@fsw.leidenuniv.nl).

All workshop participants are expected to participate in the EISA-PEC main conference, and have to be registered for the conference before attending the workshop. Accommodation costs (up to two nights) will be reimbursed for workshop participants to cover the early arrival at the EISA conference.

Deadline: 1 May 2024


Abstract Submission Deadline: 1 May 2024

Results announcement date: 10 May 2024

Important Dates


Call for Early Career Workshop Proposals


Deadline for applications


Workshops acceptance emails sent


Announcement of succesful workshops on EISA website


Call for Abstracts by organisers


Registration deadline


Workshop programmes published