Christian Bueger

New article explores communities of practice and global ocean governance

In a new article that has just been accepted by Global Studies Quarterly, Maren Hofius, Scott Edwards and I address a major question of recent ‘community of practice’ theories. Community of practice is one of the major strands of international practice theory. Yet, it has often been of limited use, since it narrowly investigates isolated community. Pushing the debate forward we ask: If the world is populated by communities of practice, how do these interact?

We propose a new analytical framework through which we can study this interaction. To illustrate its value we discuss instances of ocean governance. We show how ocean summits, special representatives and maritime domain awareness are spaces and actors that facilitate interaction.

How can assemblage thinking help to understand contemporary governance?

In a new book chapter that came out today, Tobias Liebetrau and I show how one can use assemblage theory to understand complex polycentric governance processes. The chapter provides an easily accessible introduction to assemblage thinking and shows it can be used as an analytical framework. We discuss empirical examples from maritime security and cyber security that show how we can better understood governance tools, such as best practices and public-private partnerships.

The chapter is part of a volume, edited by Frank Gadinger and Jan Aart Scholte which provides a concise introduction of different theoretical approaches to polycentric governance. It is published with Oxford University Press and available for free here.

Lecture on maritime security @IMLI

Today, I had the pleasure to give a lecture to the students of the specialized course in International Maritime Security Law at the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), Malta.

In my lecture I addressed the role of the European Union as a global maritime security provider. I reviewed the evolution of the EU’s maritime security thinking starting out from early counter-piracy operations in the 2010s and the expansion of capacity building programs on a global level.

I also discussed the ongoing update of the EU’s Maritime Security Strategy and the new priorities it sets out, including in the fields of capability development, maritime domain awareness and critical maritime infrastructure protection.

Roundtable and book launch on international practice theorizing

On the 10th of May we are discussing the state and future of international practice theorizing at an event in Copenhagen.

Practice theorizing has become one of the most important approaches in political science and international relations. This roundtable reflects on the state of the debate in the light of the recently published book “Conceptualizing International Practices” (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

The book edited by Alena Drieschova, Christian Bueger and Ted Hopf, engages in conversations around key concepts, like power, change, normativity, or knowledge. It shows the value of theorizing politics and the international through practice.

Theorizing practices: Taking the next steps
Roundtable and book launch, 10.5.2023, 14.30-16.00
Department of Political Science, CSS, Øster Farimagsgade 5, Building 4, Room 4.2.26

Speakers: Christian Bueger (chair), Alena Drieschova (Cambridge University), Jon Austin, Rebecca Adler-Nissen (Department of Political Science), Bente Halkier (Department of Sociology), and Nora Stappert (Faculty of Law). All are welcome.

Some observations from the Singapore maritime security conference

Over the last couple of days, I had the pleasure to attend the International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC) organized by the Singapore navy.

The conference is a bi-annual heads of navy meeting accompanied by a defense exhibition (Imdex), a fleet show, as well as side events organized by the maritime security program by RSIS. The conference might not have an iconic name, but is the most important gathering of navies and maritime security experts in the region. It was my second time attending.

Here are 5 observations from the event:

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Conference in Singapore

From the 3rd to the 5th of May, I will have the pleasure to attend the International Maritime Conference, organized by RSIS and the Singapore navy.

I am also scheduled to attend a series of side events focused on different aspects of maritime security in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific. The conference provides an ideal opportunity to gauge where the maritime security debate in the region is heading.

Maritime security in Geneva

The Leadership in International Security Course is the flagship executive training by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). I am delighted to teach a session on maritime security in the course on May, 2nd.

Maritime security is a vital component of contemporary security politics, and it is great that the GCSP includes it in the course. In the session, I will summarize the key insights from our forthcoming book Understanding Maritime Security (with Tim Edmunds).

Practice gathering in Germany

What’s the state of the practice debate in international relations, and how does it fit into the broader landscape of the discipline? This is one of the key question that will be discussed at a workshop in Erfurt on 25.-28.3.).

The event organized by Frank Gadinger (Duisburg) and Oliver Kessler (Erfurt), follows up on two books published last year: “Praxis as a Perspective on International Relations”, edited by Gunther Hellmann and Jens Steffek, as well as “Conceptualizing International Practices. New Directions for the Practice Turn in International Relations” edited by Alena Drieschova, Ted Hopf, and I. Both revisit what can be done with practice theoretical thinking.

At the workshop, I am presenting a short essay titled “Making a difference with praxiography”. I am arguing that we need to leave the comfort zone of traditional theory+methods+empirics research and investigate how we can add to, interfere with, or intervene in practices. I propose a way of thinking about this centered on praxiography, the study of problematic situations, the deliberate making of useful epistemic objects, as well as three modes of engaging with practice. Contact me if you want to read the essay (by email or social media).

At the International Studies Association conference

This week I am attending the annual conference of the International Studies Association, which is the largest association bringing together scholars working in International Relations (IR) research. Joining thousands of participants from around the globe, I will be presenting our most recent work.

Together with a range of colleagues we have curated a set of interlinked panels titled “OceanicIR”. Across several panels we are investigating how IR can provide important answers to global ocean politics. In one of these panels, I am presenting a paper together with Tobias Liebetrau on the different ways that the subsea cable is considered as a political problem. I am also participating in two roundtables, discussing the relation of IR and the sea, as well as the question of Arctic sovereignties.

I am also attending a workshop on infrastructures, which precedes the conference. The workshop reflects on how infrastructures impact on global politics. Here I am presenting the overall work of the Copenhagen Ocean Infrastructure Research Group that I am leading since last year.