Christian Bueger


Symposium on Practice Theory, Relationalism and Constructivism published

In a Symposium of International Studies Quarterly Online we discuss in what way constructivist International Relations theorizing is advanced or challenged by the rise of international practice theories and relationalism. The starting point is a theory note by David McCourt, who argued that practice theories and relationalism are the new IR constructivisms. In my response to that claim, I argue that practice theories have their own conceptual and methodological approaches and it hence doesn’t make any sense to subsume them under constructivism. Other contributors include Ted Hopf, Oliver Kessler, Stacie Goddard, Alex Montgomery, Cecelia Lynch, Ty Solomon and Swati Srivastava.


Handbook on International Political Sociology published

The Handbook of International Political Sociology edited by Xavier Guillaume and Pinar Bilgin has been published. The handbook provides a survey through the multi-dimensional field of international political sociology, explores core issues, theories and methods as well as the connections to cognate disciplines. It will become a useful resource for students and scholars and further strengthen the field. In my own chapter I discuss the practice turn and its methodological implications.  Preview the book here.


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New edition of Handbook of Security Studies published

HandbookThe 2nd edition of the Routledge Handbook of Security Studies has just been published. The 41 chapters give an overview of the stat of the art of Security Studies, discuss theoretical approaches, as well as distinct security challenges. In my contribution to the handbook, titled “Security as Practice”, I introduce and discuss how practice theories have been developed within the sub-discipline. I pay particular attention to theories developed from Bourdieu’s work, the security communities of practice approach, as well as relationalist and actor-network theory inspired work. The pre-print of the chapter is available via my academia page.


The Future of the CGPCS: New Blog Post

In a new blog post published with Piracy-Studies.org – The Research Portal for Maritime Security I discuss the future of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). The CGPCS is the core global governance mechanism by which the fight against Somali piracy is coordinated and I have studied it extensively in the frame of the CGPCS lessons learned project. In the blog I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of three options that have been articulated by the international community: Extend the work to cover either other regions, or other threats, or further streamline it. Please read the full blog here.


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First Issue of European Journal of International Security published

EISToday the first issue of the brand new European Journal of International Security (EJIS) went online.

EJIS is the new flagship journal of the British International Studies Association published with Cambridge University Press. The editorial team consists of colleagues from the GW4, with Tim Edmunds (Bristol) in the lead. Together we have been working for a year to get the journal up and running. Continue reading


Forum on Practice Turn published

coverThe forum discussing the future of the practice turn in International Relations has just been published by the International Studies Quarterly (ISQ) Blog and is available here. The forum takes our 2015 ISQ article titled “The Play of International Practice” as the starting point and then centers on the question what the promises of practice theoring in IR are. The forum includes contributions by Emanuel Adler and Vincent Pouliot, Rebecca Adler-Nissen and Ole Jacob Sending as well as a response by Frank Gadinger and me.


Paper on practice turn in IR now in print.

coverWhat are the promises of practice theory for the study of global politics? The paper titled “The play of international practices” co-authored with Frank Gadinger explores this question. It is now out in International Studies Quarterly 59(3). It is available as open access here. This is the abstract:

The core claims of the practice turn in International Relations (IR) remain ambiguous. What promises does international practice theory hold for the field? How does the kind of theorizing it produces differ from existing perspectives? What kind of research agenda does it produce? This article addresses these questions. Drawing on the work of Andreas Reckwitz, we show that practice approaches entail a distinctive view on the drivers of social relations. Practice theories argue against individualistic-interest and norm-based actor models. They situate knowledge in practice rather than “mental frames” or “discourse.” Practice approaches focus on how groups perform their practical activities in world politics to renew and reproduce social order. They therefore overcome familiar dualisms—agents and structures, subjects and objects, and ideational and material—that plague IR theory. Practice theories are a heterogeneous family, but, as we argue, share a range of core commitments. Realizing the promise of the practice turn requires considering the full spectrum of its approaches. However, the field primarily draws on trajectories in international practice theory that emphasize reproduction and hierarchies. It should pay greater attention to practice approaches rooted in pragmatism and that emphasize contingency and change. We conclude with an outline of core challenges that the future agenda of international practice theory must tackle.


New book chapter on ANT available as pre-print

Our introductory text to Actor-Network Theory is available as pre-print. The chapter titled “Actor-Network Theory. Objects and Actants, Narratives and Networks” is authored jointly with Jan Stockbruegger. It is forthcoming in “Technology and World Politics: An Introduction”, edited by Daniel R. McCarthy (Abingdon: Routledge) which is a textbook for advanced graduate students. In the chapter we provide a succinct introduction to Actor Network Theory (ANT) and how it has been discussed in International Relations. Arguing that ANT offers “empirical theory” we review a range of classical ANT studies and discuss what concepts they develop. We continue in exploring what one can “do” with ANT to study international relations and global politics. The chapter is available through my Academia page, and can be accessed here.


‘The Play of International Practice’ now online as first view

coverA new  article co-authored with Frank Gadinger which introduces international practice theory and offers some much needed clarification of its premises is now available as online first with International Studies Quarterly.  The article is available as open access and can be downloaded here. The article is the outcome of a multi-year collaboration and summarizes a number of the core insights of our recently published book “International Practice Theory” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014). Here is the article’s abstract:

“The core claims of the practice turn in International Relations (IR) remain ambiguous. What promises does international practice theory hold for the field? How does the kind of theorizing it produces differ from existing perspectives? What kind of research agenda does it produce? This article addresses these questions. Drawing on the work of Andreas Reckwitz, we show that practice approaches entail a distinctive view on the drivers of social relations. Practice theories argue against individualistic-interest and norm-based actor models. They situate knowledge in practice rather than “mental frames” or “discourse.” Practice approaches focus on how groups perform their practical activities in world politics to renew and reproduce social order. They therefore overcome familiar dualisms—agents and structures, subjects and objects, and ideational and material—that plague IR theory. Practice theories are a heterogeneous family, but, as we argue, share a range of core commitments. Realizing the promise of the practice turn requires considering the full spectrum of its approaches. However, the field primarily draws on trajectories in international practice theory that emphasize reproduction and hierarchies. It should pay greater attention to practice approaches rooted in pragmatism and that emphasize contingency and change. We conclude with an outline of core challenges that the future agenda of international practice theory must tackle.”