David Chandler

David Chandler
University of Westminster · Department of Politics and International Relations

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177
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Publications

Publications (177)
Article
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The Anthropocene as a new epoch brings into question the traditional modes of conceptualising International Relations. We believe that it does this by forcing students and practitioners of International Relations to think through how the discipline works as a set of ideas and practices, in fact, as a way of understanding the nature of problems and...
Article
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Against the backdrop of the contemporary crisis of faith in modern reasoning, work on islands and with island cultures has come to the fore in the development of alternative, non-Eurocentric, non-modern, ways of being and knowing. Much attention has surrounded a wide range of critical work associated with the 'ontological' or the 'relational' turn,...
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In this article we critique resilience’s oft-celebrated overcoming of modern liberal frameworks. We bring work on resilience in geography and cognate fields into conversation with explorations of the ‘asymmetrical Anthropocene’, an emerging body of thought which emphasizes human-nonhuman relational asymmetry. Despite their resonances, there has bee...
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In dominant Eurocentric policy imaginaries, a resilient community is able to self-govern and to autonomously manage risk through becoming more adaptive and responsive to potential threats, mitigating harms and maintaining societal equilibrium; ‘bouncing back’ rapidly to normal conditions. This paper seeks to move the discussion forward, suggesting...
Presentation
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BOOK LAUNCH ‘Anthropocene Islands: Entangled Worlds’ 15th June 2021. 5.30-6.30pm BST (UTC+1) Join chair Maggie J. Whitten Henry and authors Jonathan Pugh and David Chandler at the International Small Islands Studies Association conference. Open to all. Zoom link: Bit.ly/AnthropoceneIslands-BookLaunch Purchase book or download for free. https:...
Book
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Complete Book of 'Anthropocene Islands: Entangled Worlds' The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come increasingly to the fore. For a long time, islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophi...
Chapter
Full-text available
The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come increasingly to the fore. For a long time, islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophic climate change and the afterlives of empire and coloniali...
Chapter
Full-text available
The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come increasingly to the fore. For a long time, islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophic climate change and the afterlives of empire and coloniali...
Chapter
Full-text available
The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come increasingly to the fore. For a long time, islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophic climate change and the afterlives of empire and coloniali...
Chapter
Full-text available
The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come increasingly to the fore. For a long time, islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophic climate change and the afterlives of empire and coloniali...
Chapter
Full-text available
The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come increasingly to the fore. For a long time, islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophic climate change and the afterlives of empire and coloniali...
Chapter
Full-text available
The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come increasingly to the fore. For a long time, islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophic climate change and the afterlives of empire and coloniali...
Article
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We respond to the generous and constructive commentaries on our article, ‘Anthropocene Islands: There Are Only Islands After the End of the World’. In particular, we engage and think with the contributions as part of the process of forming a critical research agenda using the initial article as a springboard or platform for discussion – rather than...
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Many Anthropocene scholars provide us with the key take home message that they are writing 'after the end of the world'. Not because they are writing about apocalypse, but because they are engaging the Anthropocene after the profound crisis of faith in Western modernity which has swept across academia in recent decades. Here the dominant problemati...
Chapter
This introductory chapter is organised in three sections. Firstly, we introduce the concept of the Anthropocene as not merely a question of pressing problems, such as climate change and extreme weather events, but also a matter of the tools and understandings that are available to us: in other words it is a matter of how we know—of epistemology—and...
Chapter
The concept of resilience has rapidly spread throughout the policy world, driven by the desire to use systems theories and process understandings to develop new security approaches for coping, bouncing-back and adaptive improvement in the face of shocks and disturbances. However, this chapter argues that under the auspices of the Anthropocene, the...
Book
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This textbook introduces advanced students of International Relations (and beyond) to the ways in which the advent of, and reflections on, the Anthropocene impact on the study of global politics and the disciplinary foundations of IR. The book contains 23 chapters, authored by senior academics as well as early career scholars, and is divided into f...
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The Indigenous have become central to contemporary critical and governmental imaginaries as the West tries to cope with planetary crises imbricated in the legacies of modernity and settler colonialism. As such, Indigenous methods and practices are increasingly constructed as offering futural possibilities for 'becoming' rather than belonging to the...
Chapter
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This chapter seeks to analyse the discomfort with pessimism in the Anthropocene and to suggest that perhaps we should not rush to celebrate the more affirmative frameworks of critique, which are beginning to supplant it. It is organised in three sections. The first section draws out the importance of understanding the distinct mode of contemporary...
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Once on the periphery of international debate, today small islands are seen by many as key to unlocking new ways of thinking about climate change and developing new practices of adaptation in the epoch of the Anthropocene. These approaches differ starkly from modernist, linear, causal frameworks that construct islands as vulnerable objects that req...
Article
Twenty years of international statebuilding have made little impact on the ‘stateness’ of Kosovo. This article puts this failure in the broader context of the shift from the liberal internationalist assumptions of the late 1990s to the pragmatic realism of today. It does this through the lenses of E H Carr’s classic work The Twenty Years’ Crisis, U...
Article
The concept of societal resilience has rapidly spread throughout the policy world, driven by the desire to use systems theories and process understandings to develop new security approaches for coping, bouncing-back, and adaptive improvement in the face of shocks and disturbances. However, this article argues that under the auspices of the Anthropo...
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The ambiguities of abstraction were at the heart of critical approaches to the problems of modernity. Abstraction, so fundamental to the modernist episteme, was seen to have alienated humanity from itself and from its entangled relations with its environment, constituting a fundamental rift between the subject and the world. This article analyses h...
Article
While modernist or ‘top-down’, ‘command-and-control’ approaches to climate and migration worked at the surface or ontic level of the redistribution of entities in time and space, resilience approaches call for a different approach to mobility. These discourses construct mobilities that are more transformative; in fact, ones that question traditiona...
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This closing article focuses on the problematic of the politics of adaptation and suggests that resilience appears to be increasingly exhausted as a governmental or analytical framing. The article is in three sections. The first provides an overview of the problems facing adaptation today, especially where ‘top-down’ or ‘engineering’ approaches to...
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This collection of essays brings together scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds, based on three continents, with different theoretical and methodological interests but all active on the topic of complex systems as applied to international relations. They investigate how complex systems have been and can be applied in practice and what diff...
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This chapter explores hacking as a mode of resilience, which calls into being a new approach to international policy practice, where awareness of embedded relationships enables the empowerment of communities, not merely to respond to disasters but to creatively engage with emerging problems or threats. This approach is often methodologically contra...
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This article engages with the imaginary that the great age of hope as critique is finally at an end. For hope's detractors, the Anthropocene is imagined to be a gain in ethical and political possibilities at the price of the eclipse of both the modernist imaginary (with its optimistic telos of universal knowledge and progress) and its romantic crit...
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This article considers the challenge to governance posed by new Anthropocene discourses of planetary boundaries. The first section introduces the problematic of the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch and also as symptomatic of the end of modernist ontological and epistemological assumptions of the divide between culture and nature. The Anthropo...
Article
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In recent decades, island studies scholars have done much to disrupt static notions of the island form, increasingly foregrounding how islands form part of complex networks of relations, assemblages and flows. In this paper, we shift the terms of debate more explicitly to relationality in the Anthropocene. We consider the implications and challenge...
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This article analyses intervention and statebuilding as shifting towards a posthuman discursive regime. It seeks to explore how the shift to ‘bottom-up’ or post-liberal approaches has evolved into a focus upon epistemological barriers to intervention and an appreciation of complexity. It attempts to describe a process of reflection upon interventio...
Book
The Anthropocene captures more than a debate over how to address the problems of climate change and global warming. Increasingly, it is seen to signify the end of the modern condition itself and potentially to open up a new era of political possibilities. This is the first book to look at the new forms of governance emerging in the epoch of the Ant...
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This article critiques the shift towards valorizing indigeneity in western thought and contemporary practice. This shift in approach to indigenous ways of knowing and being, historically derided under conditions of colonialism, is a reflection of the “ontological turn” in anthropology. Rather than seeing indigenous peoples as having an inferior or...
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This article is a collective response to ‘Planet Politics’ by Anthony Burke et al., which was published in this journal in 2016, and billed as a ‘Manifesto from the End of IR’. We dispute this claim on the basis that rather than breaking from the discipline, the Manifesto provides a problematic global governance agenda which is dangerously authorit...
Chapter
For many commentators, the construction of civil society in post-conflict states was considered a precondition for the development of consolidated peaceful and democratic institutions. Nowhere was this more the case than within Bosnia-Herzegovina, where ethnic and nationalist identification indicated a deeply politically segmented society. To chall...
Chapter
This chapter reflects upon the shift away from linear understandings of peacebuilding, which assumed that Western ‘blueprints’ could be imposed upon non-compliant elites. By the end of the 2000s it was increasingly suggested, in both the policy and academic literatures, that there should be a shift towards ‘non-linear’ understandings. Rather than f...
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As considered in the previous chapter, by the 2010s, there had been a shift towards critical understandings of international peacebuilding approaches which argued that local culture held the key to the impasse of peacebuilding interventions. In this ‘bottom-up’ approach, peace, reconciliation, and a ‘culture of law’ were understood to be secondary...
Chapter
This book, on the twenty years’ crisis of peacebuilding, seeks to trace the rise and fall of international peacebuilding, understood as a field of external policy intervention with the intention of assisting post-conflict or conflict-prone states to build a sustainable peace on the basis of liberal institutional frameworks of constitutionalism, mar...
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The ‘twenty years’ crisis’ of peacebuilding from 1997 onwards cannot be grasped without an understanding of the rise of peacebuilding in the decade of the 1990s. In this decade, the framework of international sovereignty and of non-intervention rapidly corroded, opening up a new international agenda based on the blurring of the domestic and interna...
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Peacebuilding-as-statebuilding was informed by the institutionalist approach: the belief that external experts can help to provide the institutional scaffolding which would form the preconditions for successful peacebuilding. This approach of external institution-building was developed in Bosnia first, then expanded to Kosovo and East Timor and, to...
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This concluding chapter summarises the transformation in the conceptual understanding of international peacebuilding over the last two decades; analysed through the framework of ‘The Twenty Years’ Crisis’. It suggests that the conceptual shifts within and beyond the impasse of the 2000s can be usefully interrogated through their imbrication within...
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Practically as soon as international protectorates had been established in the late 1990s in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and East Timor, peacebuilding discourses sought to roll back from international responsibilities. Peacebuilding was not to be associated with protectorates for peace but with a new process, that of statebuilding – strengthening ‘s...
Chapter
As highlighted in the introductory chapter, for many commentators, the lack of success of international peacebuilding efforts has been explained through the pragmatic discourse of ‘liberal peace’, where it is assumed that ‘liberal’ Western understandings and assumptions have influenced policymaking leading to counterproductive results. At the core...
Book
This book is the first to chart the rise and fall of peacebuilding. Charting its beginnings, as an ad-hoc extension of peacekeeping responsibilities, and formalisation, as a UN-supported international project of building liberal states. Twenty years later, the grounding policy assumptions of peacebuilding - that democracy, the rule of law and free...
Chapter
Introduction Neoliberal, new institutionalist and social constructivist understandings have increasingly come to dominate the critical debate over rule of law interventions over the last decades. In these approaches, liberal regimes of international intervention seen as relying on top-down frameworks of markets, liberal democracy and the rule of la...
Article
This article analyses security discourses that are beginning to self-consciously take on board the shift towards the Anthropocene. It first sets out the developing episteme of the Anthropocene, highlighting the limits of instrumentalist cause-and-effect approaches to security, which are increasingly becoming displaced by discursive framings of secu...
Book
Resilience is increasingly discussed as a key concept across many fields of international policymaking from sustainable development and climate change, insecurity, conflict and terrorism to urban and rural planning, international aid provision and the prevention of and responses to natural and man-made disasters. Edited by leading academic authorit...
Article
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The Anthropocene marks a new geological epoch in which human activity (and specifically Western production and consumption practices) has become a geological force. It also profoundly destabilises the grounds of Western political philosophy. Visions of a dynamic earth system wholly indifferent to human survival liquefy modernity’s division between...
Article
In modernity, failure was the discourse of critique, today, it is increasingly the discourse of power: failure has changed its allegiances. Over the last two decades, failure has been enfolded into discourses of power, facilitating the development of new policy approaches. Foremost among governing approaches that seek to include and to govern throu...
Chapter
This chapter examines contemporary critiques of human rights, focusing on the downside of human rights claims — what is commonly understood by advocates of human rights to be the ‘misuse’ or ‘abuse’ of human rights. It first considers how human rights claims conflate ethical and legal claims because the subject of rights is not a socially constitut...
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This article examines the transformation in the narratives of the international governance of security over the past two decades. It suggests that there has been a major shift from governing interventions designed to address the causes of security problems to the regulation of the effects of these problems. In re-articulating the goals of internati...
Chapter
It is taken as a truism that today we live in a globalized and interconnected world, but what has been less analyzed are the implications that this has for liberal modernist understandings of political and ethical responsibility. Particularly problematic today is the distinction between public political responsibility and personal moral responsibil...
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Advocates of Big Data assert that we are in the midst of an epistemological revolution, promising the displacement of the modernist methodological hegemony of causal analysis and theory generation. It is alleged that the growing ‘deluge’ of digitally generated data, and the development of computational algorithms to analyse them, has enabled new in...
Article
I would like to thank Philip Hammond and Julian Reid for their thoughtful reviews. For Reid, the ‘life’ focus of resilience thinking is just another liberal/ neoliberal governmentality, enabling the reproduction and extension of biopolitical rule, thus my book provides interesting insights, but is not necessarily essential for the making of such cl...
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We are witnessing nothing less than a revolution in international policy-thinking, with a shift from imagining that international policy-makers can solve development/security problems through the export or transfer of policy practices or their imposition through conditionality, to understanding that problems should be grasped as emergent consequenc...
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This article examines the transformation in the conceptual understanding of international intervention over the last two decades. It suggests that this conceptual shift can be usefully interrogated through its imbrication within broader epistemological shifts highlighting the limits of causal knowledge claims: heuristically framed in this article i...
Article
This is a reply to: Tsouvalis, Judith. 2016. “Latour’s object-orientated politics for a post-political age.” Global Discourse 6 (1–2): 26–39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23269995.2015.1011915
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Roland Paris is one of those authors whose work is always enjoyable, as he exploits so well the gap between the policy world and academia. His best work reveals a high level of policy insight often before many of his colleagues in academia have caught up. His secret is an ability to analyse the shifting understandings at policy level and to then ar...
Article
This article seeks to analyse the shift away from the moral certainties of the Cold War epoch and of humanitarian interventions in the 1990s, to suggest that ‘evil’ plays a very different role in politics and international relations today. In current constructions of the world – as much more global, complex and non-linear – the past certainties of...
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This article takes the form of a debate between two theorists who work with the concept of postliberalism. Following an introduction reflecting upon what is at stake in this debate, each contribution is organised in three sections. Firstly, as an opening gambit, both authors outline their basic understanding of the concept of postliberalism. Second...
Article
Resilience, as a framework informing governance, relies on an ontology of emergent complexity. This article analyses how complexity operates not only as a critique of liberal modes of ‘top-down’ governing but also to inform and instantiate resilience as a postmodern form of governance. In so doing, resilience approaches develop upon and transform n...
Article
Over the last decade there has been a shift towards critical understandings of ‘liberal peace’ approaches to international intervention, which argue that local culture holds the key to the effectiveness of peace interventions. In this ‘bottom-up’ approach, peace, reconciliation, and a ‘culture of law’ then become secondary effects of sociocultural...
Article
This chapter engages with Foucault’s critical exploration of shifts and transformations in liberal frameworks of governmental rationality to consider how our understanding of the human subject has been transformed within development discourses. The focus is upon today’s human-centred approaches, in which individual autonomy or freedom is the centra...
Chapter
This chapter explores the problematic politics of assemblage thinking, firstly articulating how assemblage politics challenges constituted power and liberal frameworks of representation and secondly, analysing how this form of onto-political understanding is increasingly dominant in our academic understandings and political practices.
Article
This article seeks to draw out the ideological nature of discourses of resilience, and traces their rise in international statebuilding approaches. It suggests that this shift to resilience follows disillusionment with liberal internationalist understandings that Western or international actors could resolve problems of development, democracy and p...
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This article seeks to analyse the rise of 'resilience ethics', in terms of the shift in ethical approaches away from the hierarchical liberal internationalist constructions of the 1990s and towards broader and more inclusive understandings of ethical responsibility for global problems. This shift in ethical attention away from the formal internatio...
Article
Today’s dominant discourses of international development increasingly focus on human agency as the measure of development in terms of individual capabilities. The individualised understanding of development takes a ‘human-centred’ or ‘agent-orientated’ view of the barriers to development. This article seeks to critically engage with the view of the...
Article
In the ‘human’ world we believed that we could transform necessity into freedom through our own creativity and agency, understanding the laws of the external world and mastering them through the development of culture, science and technology. In the ‘post-human’ world, we are told by new materialists, actor-network theorists and post-humanists that...
Article
In discourses of resilience, there is a clear assumption that governments need to assume a more proactive engagement with society. This proactive engagement is understood to be preventive, not in the sense of preventing future disaster or catastrophe but in preventing the disruptive or destabilizing effects of such an event. In this sense, the key...
Article
We offer a provocation – that we should stop appending ‘Critical’ to ‘Security Studies’. Critical security as an academically and politically contested terrain is no longer productive of emancipatory alternatives. In making this claim, we seek to reflect upon the underlying dynamics which drove the boom in critical security studies in the 1990s and...
Article
This article reflects upon the shift away from linear understandings of peacebuilding, which assumed that Western ‘blueprints’ could be imposed upon non-compliant elites. Today, it is increasingly suggested, in both policy and academic literatures, that there should be a shift towards non-linear approaches. Rather than focusing upon Western policy...
Article
In liberal modernity, the democratic collective will of society was understood to emerge through the public and deliberative freedoms of associational life. Today, however, democratic discourse is much more focused on the formation of plural and diverse publics in the private and social sphere. In these ‘non-linear’ approaches, democracy is no long...
Article
In current discussions, many commentators express a fear that ‘broad’ human security approaches are being sidelined by the rise of the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) and the ‘narrow’ focus on military intervention. An alternative reading is sketched out here, which suggests that debates over ‘narrow’ or ‘broad’ human security frameworks have und...
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This article argues that, since the end of the Cold War, the understanding of democratic norm promotion has shifted through three conceptually distinct and chronologically distinguishable stages: the early 1990s view that democratic norms would be universalized with the Cold War victory of liberal ideals and the spread of new global norms of good g...
Chapter
The attenuation or hollowing out of territorial politics has created a crisis of traditional frameworks of political community. Territorially defined and constructed political communities are suffering from a generic lack of cohering values and sentiments, expressed in regular discussions of the meaning and relevance of different national values, s...
Article
For many commentators the lack of success in international statebuilding efforts has been explained through the critical discourse of ‘liberal peace’, where it is assumed that ‘liberal’ Western interests and assumptions have influenced policymaking leading to counterproductive results. At the core of the critique is the assumption that the liberal...
Article
This concise and accessible new text offers original and insightful analysis of the policy paradigm informing international statebuilding interventions. The book covers the theoretical frameworks and practices of international statebuilding, the debates they have triggered, and the way that international statebuilding has developed in the post-Cold...