The idea that international relations research is more productive if it starts out from objects, rather than subjects and their intentions, is increasingly gaining a foothold in the discipline. On June 16th and 17th the Global Governance Centre of the Graduate Institute hosted a workshop in Geneva that assembled some of the key advocates of the turn to objectual international relations. The discussion concerned in particular the relationship between expertise and object and for instance the question in what way epistemic practices are required for objects of global governance to emerge.
At the workshop I presented some ideas on the relationship between epistemic infrastructures and global governance objects. I argued that such infrastructures are vital in the production and maintenance of objects. I drew on empirical examples from the evolution of ‘piracy’ as an object of international governance and how contemporary maritime domain awareness approaches are increasingly rendering the object as multiple.