Term One 

 1st of November 2018 at 6 p.m – The Stevenson Trust for Citizenship Seminar

Title: When Normal Isn’t Normal: The 2018 US Mid-term elections

Professor Christopher Carman

Venue:  Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre.

Abstract: We are living with information overload. Sometimes we revel in it and sometimes we just turn it off. In a world where more information flows than we can ever successfully navigate, is it even possible to sift through it to know what is true and relevant to the choices we must make as citizens?

7th of November 2018 at 4pm – Sociology Seminar Series

Title: Data Challenges, Poverty Dynamics and Economic Growth. Insights from Assets in Rural Africa.

Dan Brockington, University of Sheffield , d.brockington@sheffield.ac.uk

Venue: 513 Boyd Orr

Abstract: Recent economic growth in many African countries is widely welcomed, but it is not clear how inclusive that growth is, particularly of rural populations. In a general context of poor data, household consumption data appear to suggest that poverty rates have not declined much with growth, suggesting that growth is not inclusive. But this finding may depend on the measure of poverty used. We argue that existing measures of poverty in debates about the inclusivity of economic growth use indices of consumption, not assets, and are therefore incomplete. We present new data based on recent re-surveys of Tanzanian households first visited in the early 1990s. These demonstrate a marked increase in prosperity from high levels of poverty. We consider the implications of this research for further explorations of the relationship of economic growth and agricultural policy in rural areas, and for attempts to cope with Africa’s ‘statistical tragedy’.

Bio: Director of SIID, previously Professor of Conservation and Development at the University of Manchester. He trained as an anthropologist at UCL, where he wrote his PhD under Kathy Homewood’s supervision, and then worked at the Geography Departments of the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford before moving to Manchester and Sheffield respectively. Most of Dan’s research has been in Tanzania, where he has worked on livelihood change, natural resource governance, microfinance and institutional performance, however he has also worked in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India. His broader interests include work on global overviews of the social impacts of protected areas, media and conservation and continental-wide examinations of the work of conservation NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently he has worked on celebrity and development, based largely on work in the UK. He is happiest conducting long term field research in remote areas of East Africa but also learns much from studying organisations and the occasional plush fundraising event.His books are: Fortress Conservation (2002), Nature Unbound (With Rosaleen Duffy and Jim Igoe, 2008),  Celebrity and the Environment (2009) and Celebrity Advocacy and International Development (2014). https://danbrockington.com/

15 November 2018 at 11am – Economic and Social History  Seminars

Title: Disruptive Technologies and Misconceived Strategies: The Collapse of the Chilean Nitrate Industry, 1919-33.

Rory Miller (University of Liverpool)

Venue: Seminar Room, Lilybank House, Bute Gardens.  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.

15 November 2018 at 3.30pm – Politics Seminars

Title: Post-Truth, Responsibility, Dystopia

Dr. Ilan Zvi Baron (Durham University)

Venue: Adam Smith Building, Room 712

21 November 2018 at 4pm – Sociology Seminar Series

Title: Mountains before mountaineering, environment before environmentalism: valuing landscape in early modern Europe

Dawn Hollis, St Andrews, dljw@st-andrews.ac.uk

Venue: 513 Boyd Orr

Abstract: Traditional narratives of European mountain history assert that before the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century developments of ‘the sublime’ and of modern mountaineering, people tended to avoid and fear mountains. This paper will deconstruct this narrative by sharing just a few of the many rich stories of early modern (c.1500-1700) mountain engagements: German diplomats climbing Persian mountains on Christmas Day, Scottish pilgrims rescuing monks from falling off mountain paths in the Holy Land. It will also suggest that the early modern European view of mountains was, in fact, one which centred around the idea of high-altitude landscapes as a vital part of an inter-connected environment. In short, this paper will tell of the mountain adventures which occurred before modern mountaineering, and the appreciation for environment expressed through mountains before modern environmentalism.

Bio: Dawn Hollis is Leverhulme Postdoctoral Research Fellow at St. Andrews where she received her PhD in History. Her research is largely focused upon the human experience of mountains and mountainous landscapes in a variety of past contexts and periods. She explores the construction of mountaineering as a modern sport and the impact of Scriptural and classical associations upon early modern understandings of the mountain landscape. Her particular interests also include the current-day historiographical discourses surrounding the question of premodern mountain engagement, and in investigating their origins, nuances, and problematic impact upon our scholarly understanding of past landscape experience. She is working on a Leverhulme-funded project ‘Mountains in ancient literature and culture and their postclassical reception’, with a focus on the writings of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century travellers to the classical world and considering the numerous influences upon their reactions to mountain sites of ancient and contemporary significance.

22  November 2018 at 5.15pm – Socialist Theory and Movements Seminar Series 

Title: Accumulating jurisdiction from early modern empires to Trump: the social property relations of extraterritorial diplomacy

Maia Pal, Oxford Brookes University

Venue: Room 311, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, East Quadrangle

 Abstract: Extraterritoriality today consists in the application of a state’s sovereign rights beyond its jurisdiction and legal territory. Extensions of US sovereignty have been characteristic of US hegemony since the 1980s. Before then, from the 19th to the early 20th centuries, extraterritoriality was a crucial strategy of expansion and ordering led by imperialist powers and contributed to shaping so-called ‘semi-sovereign’ states. Summarising parts of my current book project, the presentation will go further back to the early modern period, when extraterritoriality was considered as exclusively tied to the emergence of permanent ambassadors and the negotiation of shared privileges between monarchs, princes, merchants and other diplomatic actors. As such, it is understood to play a key role – albeit one not sufficiently debated – in explaining the emergence of modernity, sovereignty and territoriality. Considering the continuous rise and fall of this process as an instrument of international relations, it is important to further question and trace its lineage to the early days of capitalism and state formation. The framework developed emphasises the role of social property relations in changing the social bases of ambassadors, in both contexts of the European transitions to capitalism and their imperial strategies. These processes are identified as jurisdictional accumulation. The talk will focus on the social property relations and class struggles driving jurisdictional accumulation, namely diverging uses of the aristocracy and the role of merchants and consuls in early modern diplomacy. It also asks the question of method and how one is to conduct a Marxist historical sociology of an ‘international’ legal process.

Bio: Maïa Pal is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford Brookes University. She is currently working on a monograph entitled Jurisdictional Accumulation: an Early Modern History of Law, Empires, and Capital (CUP) and on a co-edited volume, The Extraterritoriality of Law: History, Theory, Politics (Routledge).

In partnership with the Human Geography Research Group.

28 November 2018 at 4pm – Sociology Seminar Series

Title: Thinking Anthropocene futures: science fiction and the sociological imagination

Lisa Garforth, Newcastle lisa.garforth@ncl.ac.uk

Venue: 513 Boyd Orr

Abstract: As sociology grapples with the challenge of the Anthropocene we will need to expand and adapt the imagination that we often claim defines our discipline. In this talk I’ll argue that a dialogue with science fiction (SF) offers valuable resources for that project. The genre of technoscientific societies (Csicsery-Ronay The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction), literary SF has a distinctive capacity to critique the present, imagine alternatives, and explore the texture of social experience in transformed worlds. Its readers engage actively and speculatively with scientific and technological ideas and their ethical and political implications. The nexus between sociology and the science fictional then can offer new and valuable insights into social life – as it is now and as it might be.

Bio: Lisa Garforth is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Newcastle University. Her recent monograph Green Utopias: Environmental Hope Before and After Nature (Polity in 2017) brings together research on green utopianism, environmental futures and utopian theory. Building on her work as Co-I on the AHRC project Unsettling Scientific Stories, she is currently examining science fiction and its readers in relation to cultural imaginaries, political contestations and social epistemologies in the Anthropocene.

29 November 2018 at 11am – Economic and Social History Seminars

Title: Providers, profiteers and pontius pilates: The medicalization of abortion and its impact on post-WWII Britain.

Gayle David (University of Edinburgh)

Venue: Seminar Room, Lilybank House, Bute Gardens. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.

29 November 2018 at 3.30pm – Politics Seminars

Title: The Misinformed Citizen: Computational Approaches for Examining the Quality of Online News

Dr. Rebekah K. Tromble (Leiden University).

Venue: Boyd Orr Building, Room 507LT

4th December 2018 at 5.15pm – Socialist Theory and Movements Seminar Series

Title: Geographies of politics and the police: Post-democratization, SYRIZA and the politics of the “Greek debt crisis”

Lazaros Karaliotas Glasgow Geography

Venue: Seminar Room in Lilybank House, Bute Gdns, University of Glasgow

Abstract: This paper explores the entangled dynamics of de-politicization and re-politicization in the midst of the “Greek debt crisis”. It critically revisits Jacques Rancière’s political writings to argue that, despite common criticisms to the contrary, his oeuvre foregrounds the impurity of democratic politics. Rancière, the paper argues, offers critical heuristic tools in understanding and engaging with the ways in which processes of post-democratization and democratic politics intersect, become entangled, and are mutually constituted. Simultaneously, however, it also challenges Rancière’s almost exclusive emphasis on political subjectification to argue for a plural understanding of the modalities and spatialities of democratic politics. Reading the politics of the “Greek debt crisis” through this lens, the paper unpacks how post-democratization has unfolded through an uneven and contested geography articulated at multiple scales. In parallel, it also maps the diverse and impure modalities of democratic politics in crisis-ridden Greece: from the staging of disagreement through the squares movement in 2011 to the articulation of everyday commoning and solidarity movements to SYRIZA’s meteoric rise to government. In so doing, the paper demonstrates how post-democratization and democratic politics are being shaped in constant relationship and tension.

Lazaros Karaliotas is Lecturer in Urban Geography at the University of Glasgow. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Manchester and has been a post-doctoral research fellow at the Universities of Glasgow and Manchester. His work is situated at the intersection of debates around the urban and the political. More specifically, he draws from urban political economy, discourse theory and the political writings of Jacques Rancière to explore the dominant ordering of urban spaces as well as its contestation by urban uprisings and movements. He is the Book Reviews and social media editor for Urban Studies.

5 December 2018 at 4pm – Sociology Seminar Series

Title: Everyday bordering and hierarchies of belonging in the context of the ‘Windrush Scandal’ and the Brexit continuum.

Dr Georgie Wemyss, University of East London g.wemyss@uel.ac.uk

Venue: 513 Boyd Orr

Abstract:  I draw on the arguments of our forthcoming book, Bordering  (Yuval Davis, Wemyss and Cassidy, Polity forthcoming 2019) in examining how everyday state bordering has become a major technology of control of both social diversity and discourses on diversity, in ways that re-construct hierarchies of belonging in multicultural societies.  I explore  the ‘Brexit continuum of everyday bordering’ whereby since 2012, the British government has explicitly aimed to create and (since the EU referendum) to  extend a ‘hostile environment’ for ‘illegal’ workers via state bordering practices in the everyday contexts of, for example, marriage, employment, accommodation, health and education. These challenge the vision of a convivial multicultural society and have a deep impact on the lives of not only ‘irregular’ migrants but also , other migrants, members of racialized minority groups as well as all other members of the society – in different ways as exposed earlier 2018 via the ‘Windrush scandal’. Whilst everyday state bordering  carried out by ordinary citizens as employers, landlords or health  workers  is increasingly central to government immigration policy, UK government discourses continue to construct ‘the UK  border’  as an external, territorial  boundary, obscuring the impacts of   border guarding responsibilities onto ordinary citizens. I build on research from the EUBORDERSCAPES  project to   consider the evolving  impacts of everyday state bordering on shifting hierarchies of belonging through examining  situated , intersectional  bordering  encounters in the areas of employment, accommodation, health and education.

Bio: Dr Georgie Wemyss is Senior Lecturer and Co-director of CMRB ( Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging) at the University of East London. She is the author of The Invisible Empire: white discourse, tolerance and belonging (Routledge). From 2013 to 2016 she was working on the EUBorderscapes research project. Recent publications from that project include:   “People think that Romanians and Roma are the same”: everyday bordering and the lifting of transitional controls. Ethnic and Racial Studies. ‘Beauty and the Beast’: Everyday Bordering and Sham Marriage Discourse. Political Geography.  ‘Everyday Bordering, Belonging and the Re-Orientation of British Immigration Legislation’. Sociology.  She produced the film Everyday Borders. https://vimeo.com/126315982 ”

6 December 2018 at 11am – Economic and Social History Seminars

Title: Economic crises, central banks’ balance sheet policy and long-term intervention in industry: comparing Italy, France and Britain, 1920-1960.

Valerio Cerretano (University of Glasgow)

Venue: Seminar Room, Lilybank House, Bute Gardens. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.

6 December 2018 at 3.30pm – Politics Seminars

PhD Student Presentations

Gavin Stewart: Cicero, Judgment and International Political Theory

Dingming Yu: How Is Climate Change Framed in People’s Daily

Venue: Adam Smith Building, Room 712

11 December 2018 at 5.15pm – Socialist Theory and Movements Seminar Series

A New Politics From the Left

Hilary Wainwright

Discussant Andrew Cumbers,  University of Glasgow

Venue: Adam Smith Building room 916.

Hilary Wainwright will be discussing her new book A New Politics From the Left published by Polity Press.  Millions passionately desire a viable alternative to austerity and neoliberalism, but they are skeptical of traditional leftist top-down state solutions. In this urgent polemic, Hilary Wainwright argues that this requires a new politics for the left that comes from the bottom up, based on participatory democracy and the everyday knowledge and creativity of each individual. Political leadership should be about facilitation and partnership, not expert domination or paternalistic rule.  Wainwright uses lessons from recent movements and experiments to build a radical future vision that will be an inspiration for activists and radicals everywhere.

Hilary Wainwright is an academic and long-standing radical activist who co–edits Red Pepper and is a Fellow of the Transnational Institute.

Andrew Cumbers is Professor of Regional Political Economy at the University of Glasgow and author of Reclaiming Public Ownership (London, Zed Books, 2012).