Workshop on Humanitarianism and Political Space

Liquid sovereignty, (de)colonized knowledge and the reshaping of humanitarianism

Time: Tue, 18 December 2018 09:00
Place: PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo

Attendance is by invitation only
Workshop on Humanitarianism and Political Space
Photo: Todd Huffman

​Political space is embedded in systems of truth claims that are asserted through normalizing language and culture. Academic debate on the reconfiguration of political space and citizenship, or Post-Westphalian transformation, has produced the term 'liquid sovereignty', which describes changes in political spatiality towards a greater plurality in form and more fluidity in boundaries. Examples of such changes are transformations in the conditions of membership in political associations; reconfiguration of the ethics of care and the prospect of humanitarianism; shifts to mobility and networks of transversal relations; pluralisation of sovereignty beyond and beneath the state; erosion of territorial control; competition between contending 'projects of belonging' in rapidly evolving political spaces; privatization of a growing array of public functions and services; the move away from Western-centric models of power; the increasing significance of virtual social and political spatiality; blurring of boundaries between war and peace through new technologies and modes of conflict; and the globalisation of civil society action and resistance. 

Key themes of the workshop are:

1) the emergence of plural and fluid forms of political space;

2) the emergence of new norms, practices and institutionalizations of membership and belonging (citizenship and other forms of inclusion/exclusion); and

3) how humanitarianism operates and is shaped within changing political spatiality.

We also ask:  

1) how knowledge is being produced in the intersection of funding sources and sites of knowledge/power in each of these areas, and

2) how concepts, methods, and discursive practices are changing in each of these areas.


If you would like to know more about this event, please contact Åshild Kolås:  ashild@prio.org