CfP EISA section 35 „Political Violence and Resistance“

Call for papers and panels for EISA section 35 „Political Violence and Resistance“

We would like to invite submissions of individual paper or of panel proposals for a section on „Political Violence and Resistance“ at the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations organized by the European International Studies Association, to be held from 23-26 September 2015, in Giardini Naxos, Sicily.

Section convenors:

Nicole Deitelhoff, Goethe University Frankfurt,

Donatellea della Porta, European University Institute Florence,

Section Outline

The resort to political violence and resistance is tackled in diverse fields of study and from various disciplinary angles, among them prominently social movement research and security studies in International Relations. Still, cross-fertilization between these different perspectives is in its infancy. As a consequence, the meaning of political violence (or of resistance for that matter) varies significantly across study fields and effectively hampers comparative analyses across fields. Such analyses are essential to better understand what triggers political violence in the first place and how different causes interact to bring about violence, including reactions to resistance, competition among resistance groups, social milieus or specific trans- and international dynamics. Similarly, the consequences of political violence in political struggles need to be better understood. When is the resort to political violence an effective means of resistance? And who defines political acts as violence in the first place?

The section aims to further cross-fertilization by bringing together scholars from political sociology, history and International Relations to discuss the meaning, causes and consequences of political violence and resistance.

We invite conceptual and empirical contributions to the following but also related issues:

Political violence in different disciplines and settings

This panel’s aim is to illuminate the different concepts and empirical forms of political violence across fields, ranging from transnational social movements to clandestine groups such as terrorist cells or rebel groups.

Radicalization and violence

Radicalization has become a central topic of political debates on resistance and political violence lately. However, its meaning is widely contested as is its relationship to political violence. Is violence inherent to radicalization or is it just one potential dimension? Does radicalization only affect the level of political means or equally of political ends? The panel aims to highlight different understandings of radicalization and their implications for political strategies in response to resistance.

Who goes first:  Interaction between resistance and authorities

Resistance groups often claim that their use of violence is a necessary reaction to the form of repression they have experienced by political authorities. The panel investigates into the relationship between resistance and repression across different constellations, ranging from policing strategies vis a vis transnational protest movements to local repression by state authorities.

Transnational dynamics of resistance

While the whole section focuses on forms of trans- or international resistance, this panel wants to shed light on the specific role of transnational dynamics for political violence. Specifically, it aims to analyze whether different forms of transnational cooperation between resistance groups or between resistance groups and state sponsors make it more or less likely for these groups to resort to forms of political violence.

Radicalization and de-radicalization

While radicalization is the catchword of political discourses on resistance and political violence, de- radicalization is often missing in the picture. Do the same factors that account for radicalization also explain de-radicalization or does this constitute a different causal path? The panel invites conceptual and empirical contributions from different fields to uncover the relationship between these two pathways.

All proposals have to be submitted via ConfTool by January 15, 2015. 

For information on the submission procedures and all other technicalities please consult:

For all other questions feel free to contact the section convenors directly.