Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT)

Counter-Conduct in Global Politics

10-12 September 2013, Fulton Building, University of Sussex

 In Autumn 2013, 41 academics, including early career and doctoral researchers, came together at Sussex for the first ever workshop to study the possibilities and inherent challenges of the idea of ‘counter-conduct’ arising out of Michel Foucault’s studies of government as the ‘conduct of conduct’ (1982, 2007). The workshop was convened by Dr. Louiza Odysseos (IR, Sussex), Dr. Carl Death (Politics, Manchester) and Dr. Helle Malmvig (DIIS, Denmark) and funded by the Poststructuralist Politics Working Group (PPWG) of the British International Studies Association and Sussex’s Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT). The workshop participants represented 28 universities and other research institutions in the UK, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Turkey, as well as from further afield in the US, Australia, and South Africa.

The participants presented over thirty highly original papers (see programme hyperlink to pdf attached) on how understandings of ‘counter-conduct’ facilitated or challenged existing theorisations and empirical studies of resistance by focusing on subjects’ ethical and political self-formation; how these further aided studies of the critical everyday; how the ‘inner-life’ of resisting subjects aided explicitly collective, political and economic forms of resistance; how to ensure analytical and empirical rigour in our concrete studies of counter-conduct, etc. Case studies included, inter alia, everyday crossings of migrants on the Thailand-Myanmar border; practices of self-formation amongst soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces; squatting and criminalization in Amsterdam; the London riots of 2011; resisting the neoliberalisation of the global city in South Africa, to give but a few examples. 

Following the vibrant and positive working environment of the workshop, a journal issue is in press for Global Society 30(2) 2016 as well as panel discussions at the International Studies Association Annual Conventions.