Research Seminar Prof. Iver B. Neumann

The International Relations Department at WVPU is pleased to announce the next date of the Politics and IR Research Seminar Series, which is providing a platform to WVPU's IR faculty and invited academic guests to discuss new scholarly output and receive comments and feedback from colleagues and students. For students this is an excellent opportunity to gather firsthand experience with ongoing academic debates and research, as well as academic working methods. The format is a classic one: 45 minutes presentation followed by a 30-45 minute Q&A session.

The Politics & IR Research Seminar Series will continue on Wednesday, September 11th 2:00-3:30pm with Prof. Iver B. Neumann presenting his current research: What does a state see as a crisis and how does it turn one to its advantage?

This talk, which builds on work done jointly with Ole Jacob Sending, applies the growing International Relations literature on state performance and performativity to the question of how practitioners categorize different kinds of crises. The aim is to add value to the crisis literature by paying more attention to how performances are staged for multiple audiences, how statehood is produced as a collective (as opposed to an individual) body, and how and why one and the same state actor performs statehood in different ways. Drawing on interviews and participant observation, we discuss how one state apparatus, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), performs statehood during different types of crisis. The MFA has institutionalized crisis management in three very different ways, depending on whether the MFA defines the crisis as a security crisis, a humanitarian crisis or a civilian crisis. Different crises have different audiences, are performed in different repertoires, and produce three different aspects of the state that we name, respectively, caretaking, do-gooding and sovereign. Bringing the performativity literature to the study of crises gives us a better understanding of the statecraft that goes into using crises as opportunities to make visible and strengthen the state as a presence in national and global social life. Conversely, our focus on the specificity of various state performances highlight how the performance literature stands to gain from differentiating more clearly between the straightforward performing of practices, and the performing of state identity by means of same practices on the other.


Wednesday, September 11th - 2:00-3:30pm - room 0.16

As space is limited, please register at