Christian Bueger

Performativity and Agency Workshop in Frankfurt

From 21-22. of February I am participating in a workshop titled “Performativity and Agency in International Politics”. The workshop organized by a team from the Goethe University brings together an interesting crowd of researchers working on performative theories, ranging from expressions of post-structuralism, international practice theories to STS and ANT work. I am presenting a new paper titled “Performing piracy: A note on the multiplicity of agency. Or, Pirates in an Adventure with Social Theorists”. Below is the abstract of the paper. Send me an email if you are interesting in reading the draft.

“This is a study of pirate agency. Starting from an understanding of agency as an effect of ‘agencements’, I offer a reconstruction of six of such formations. Relying on different experiences with Somali piracy, ranging from watching movies, playing computer games, participating as observer in various meetings, taking field notes, talking to interlocutors to reading academic literature, I show how different agencements produce different forms of agency. Throughout this reconstruction we meet different pirates, the pirate who refuse to be a pirate, moral bandits, enemies and villains, criminals, entrepreneurs, and pirates as ‘symptoms’. These are forms of agency that are effects of the relations and practices of distinct agencements. Various ‘actors’, ‘objects’ and ‘practices’ produce these relations: journalists, moviemaker, actors and directors, game developer and graphic artists, diplomats, military officers and international bureaucrats, as well as various scientists across the disciplinary spectrum, including economists, peace researcher, anthropologists, political theorists, historians, computer scientists, or political scientists are all in the business of producing pirate agency. They engage in a diverse set of rhetorical and material activities, such as calculating, modelling, drawing, negotiating, writing or history telling and engage with a broad host of objects, artefacts and inscriptions, such as movies, graphs, formulas, games, policy documents, or legal texts. The analysis presents a primer for the study of multiplicity of agency and its production. “

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