11 & 12 November 2022, University of Hamburg
While German politics has proclaimed a ‘turning point’ in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, German political science is still processing. Therefore, this year’s Thementagung of the German Political Science Association (DVPW) is intended to trigger a targeted self-reflection of the discipline on the one hand – did the IB sleep through the war? – and to provide a stage for academic analyses of the war on the other.
The current war in Ukraine came as a surprise to most observers - at least with regard to the scope of the invasion and the original ambitions of the Russian government. It also surprised (most) researchers in International Relations (IR) - in Germany probably even more than in other Western countries. The fact that in 2022’s Europe a great power could once again unleash a classic, expansive territorial conflict with massive military deployment and thus – at least in its own calculations - pursue rational goals, caught many ice cold.
In the course of the ongoing warfare and in view of the attempts to end it through diplomatic interaction, the central role and range of social science IR theories has become particularly clear.
Against this background, the question will be discussed whether and how the canon of IR theories is applicable and retrievable for the major questions of war and peace, both in the long term and in crisis situations. There is no doubt that current developments in Europe, including their global implications, pose the discipline with the question of whether or how IR research should and can respond to them.
Our organising committee, consisting of scholars from various universities, has therefore decided to organise a conference on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We will discuss the empirical and theoretical consequences of the invasion and ultimately invite self-reflection in the discipline of International Relations. Whether and how we might need to rethink and research war and the use of military force in the 21st century will be among the core questions of the conference. A broad spectrum of submissions of papers and panels dealing with all questions of war and peace is therefore desired. This deliberately includes a reflexive and discipline-critical perspective on possible strengths or weaknesses of past research. Without wanting to narrow down the spectrum of possible submissions here, we could imagine such submissions on the following topics in particular:
Organising Committee: Prof. Antje Wiener PhD, Prof. Dr. Gunther Hellmann, Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff und Prof. Dr. Carlo Masala, Dr. Maren Hofius, Jannis Kappelmann