Emancipatory Realism

This research project, led by a DDMI Associate Kamila Stullerova, explores the impact of Ken Booth’s work on the discipline of International Relations. It concerns particularly the fields of International Relations Theory, Strategy, and Security Studies. Ken Booth’s focus on emancipatory aspects of security revolutionized the field with its emphasis on the idea that all people, as individuals, deserve secure lives. The unique perspective combines the fundamental materiality of Security Studies – the individual’s body possibly exposed to existential threat – with ethical ordering of the world as individual’s collective emancipation. It forms the foundations for what is globally recognized as the Aberystwyth School of Critical Security.

Emancipatory Realism: Ken Booth and the Discipline of International Relations (March 2013)

The main starting point for the project was the conference ‘Emancipatory Realism: Ken Booth and the Discipline of International Relations’  held in Aberystwyth in March 2013. The workshop assembled an international group of leading as well as more junior scholars to reflect on Ken Booth’s contribution to the discipline. Topics covered ranged widely from IR theory, strategic studies, security in its ethical and emancipatory aspects, nuclear weapons, evolutionary biology, terrorism, to human rights and global critical security studies. The presentations and discussion are available below. Based on the contributions to the conference, Kamila Stullerova and Tim Dunne are currently editing a book which promises to move the Emancipatory Realism project ahead in new directions.

The original workshop was organised by Jan Ruzicka and Kamila Stullerova, both lecturers in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University. It was kindly supported by the Aberystwyth University’s Research Fund, British International Studies Association, Sage Publications, the Department of International Politics, and the David Davies Memorial Institute.

1. Panel One: Real People and International Relations

2. Panel Two: On Emancipation 

3. Panel Three: Feminist and Non-Western Perspectives

4. Panel Fourth: Power and Change 

5. Concluding Adresses