Some IR and IPE scholars have noted that objects and things, i.e. material objects of international life, have been ‘missing’ in the dominant research frameworks. This presentation seeks to build upon this interest in material objects but cautions against a view of objects as singular or fully present. Where are these things and how do they shape political agency and outcomes? What is an object when conditions of secrecy and deception prevail? How do objects mediate politics under circumstances where a public lacks direct or reliable information about those objects? This discussion addresses these questions by exploring some recent controversies surrounding the use of armed drones in conflict situations. In so doing it aims to generate a working typology of object kinds that might be useful for research in diverse areas of IR and beyond.
William Walters is a Professor at Carleton University, with a cross-appointment in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Sociology/Anthropology.
This event is part of the 2012-2013 IPEN Lunchtime Seminar Series, an informal lunchtime series in which faculty and graduate students present work in progress.