Call for papers: panel for EISA Pan European Conference in Barcelona

Historical epistemology of international relations

A historical epistemologist would wonder, what sets of beliefs, knowledges, imaginations, and practices brought together make it possible to think of a certain human, at a specific moment in history, as a subject of power. Posing such a question invites a reflection on the experience of experiencing (in history). Understanding the experience of experiencing presumes in turn an understanding of history as evental, as a narrative of possible orders of governance, power and rule, never predetermined, always emergent, subject to knowledge.

This panel seeks to explore how can the history of international relations be thought of as the history of collective experiences of experiencing away from established traditions of theoretical knowledge. Exploring such experiences requires a logic of enquiry that seeks to reconstruct how orders emerge, how power is practiced, and how governance proceeds. Rather than assuming a theoretical approach as the basis for analysis, it prepares the ground for theorisation. In other words, a historical epistemological approach to international relations seeks to constitute empirical spaces. The challenge, however, is how to shake the analysis off from established traditions of knowing about order, power, and governance.

The panel invites papers inspired on the following provocations:

–       Is it possible to think of a historical epistemological approach to international relations as operating a pre-theoretical mode of reasoning?

–       How could contestation be thought of through historical epistemologies of international relations?

–       What form of historicity of International Relations would result from epistemologising the history of international relations?

–       How could experience be theorised after generating empirical spaces through historical epistemologies?

If interested, please email abstracts with your contact details by 7 February to Luis Lobo-Guerrero ( and Oliver Kessler (