Call for papers for 'Security in a time of 'Polycrisis' conference, 18-19 May 2023

The Centre for Global Security Challenges and European Journal of International Security Conference invite papers that address the theme of the conference in security research.

The term ‘polycrisis’ has gained prominence over recent years as a way of articulating the sum of multiple, intersecting crises of our contemporary world.

Interlocking environmental disasters, a global pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the potential for nuclear conflict are happening within entrenched and often entrenching structures of militarism, exploitation and inequality.

We live, according to this discourse, in an age of potential plural catastrophe. This age of polycrisis emphasises the importance of understanding how these multiple crises intersect and affect each other. 

‘Security’ as a logic through which to comprehend and respond to this circumstance has been increasingly stretched while also becoming inescapable. As a concept, security rests on drawing the lines between security/not security and security/insecurity.

These lines have been critiqued for producing and reproducing imperial, gendered, racist, violent and exclusionary structures. But does an age of polycrisis dissolve even the ability to make the distinctions on which security as an organising logic relies?

The Centre for Global Security Challenges and the European Journal of International Security are organising a two-day, in-person conference at the University of Leeds on 18-19 May to engage with these issues. We invite papers that address the theme of the conference in security research (broadly understood) across multiple topics and locations and we welcome diverse approaches and methods and particularly invite Early Career Scholars to present. 

Questions that could be addressed include (but are not limited to):

  • To what extent do interlocking systemic crises pose a novel kind of risk or threat?
  • How do multiple crises, e.g. in public health, environmental degradation, organised conflict or transnational population movements, intersect and/or affect each other?
  • How to think critically about the implications of accepting the logics of crisis and catastrophe, and our responses? 
  • How to study the everyday, translocal, interational and global manifestations of intersecting crises and their relation to existing inequalities and divisions? 
  • How might centring non-western, feminist and other traditionally marginalised approaches address this context?
  • Is ‘security’ able to deal with the current context? Is it part of the problem?

Please send an abstract of no more than 200 words by 28 Feb 2023. Some financial support for ECRs and staff on short-term contracts will be available (please indicate if you’d like to be considered for this on your submission). Email with any questions and to submit abstracts.