• Geopolitics in Europe: power, crisis and the return of territory

CFP: Geopolitics in Europe: power, crisis and the return of territory

Section at the European International Studies Association’s 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations

23 – 26 September 2015, Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy


Gonzalo Pozo (KCL) and Ian Klinke (Oxford)



European geopolitics has long enjoyed an intimate relationship with forms of political violence, from 19th century imperialism to 20th century territorial revanchism. Yet, post-Cold War Europe is often cast as a curiously post-geopolitical continent, a place where geopolitics no longer matters. Struggles over territorial space seem to happen elsewhere.


The Russian annexation of Crimea is only the most recent reminder that the politics of territory has not been banned from Europe. This comes as no surprise to those who have noted that whilst the European Union may have dissolved borders throughout the Schengen era, it has long hardened and militarised its outer border in attempt at keeping the global poor outside its fortress of wealth. Classical geopolitics may remain a taboo in the corridors of Brussels power, but it has made a revival in national capitals throughout the EU. Moreover, the Eurozone crisis has installed a new hierarchical geography of core and periphery in which the economies of the North limit the sovereignty of the South. As territorial conflict returns to haunt the continent, territorial borders are also being questioned by peaceful nationalisms, from Glasgow to Barcelona. In short, political power in Europe continues to be exercised over and resisted through territorial space. Perhaps more surprisingly, the recent uprising in Ukraine has also shown that street level violence can still be sparked in the name of ‘Europe’.


Bringing the fields of International Relations and Political Geography into dialogue, this section seeks to attract critically minded work from a whole range of theoretical backgrounds to reflect on the geopolitics of contemporary Europe.


Submissions will address issues such as:


–       Territorial conflict, separatism and centrifugal nationalism

–       The return of great power rivalry and the spectre of a new Cold War

–       The status of classical geopolitical thought in Europe

–       The political economy of crisis Europe

–       Geopolitical fantasies of the European Union as a global actor

–       The European border regime, economic migration and the current refugee crisis

–       The role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Europe


Submissions will be made through the conference website, but in the meanwhile please get in touch with a title and short (200w) abstract.

Ian Klinke (ian.klinke@ouce.ox.ac.uk) and Gonzalo Pozo (gonzalo.pozo-martin@kcl.ac.uk).

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