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Humanities and International Relations Graduate Conference

Friday 14 June 2024
Schouwburgstraat 2
2511 VA The Hague
Auditorium, A0.06

In our rapidly evolving and interconnected world, the study of International Relations has expanded beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries. Leiden University’s MAIR program, with its emphasis on humanities-oriented and multidisciplinary perspectives, contends that understanding the complexities of world affairs requires the ability to think critically and draw insights from a wide variety of fields of inquiry, perspectives, sources, and analytic frames. We invite you to join us for the first  ‘Humanities and International Relations Graduate Conference’ on June 14, 2024 at the Campus in The Hague (Schouwburgstraat 2, 2511 VA, The Hague).

Conference Theme

Reimagining International Relations: Humanities and Multidisciplinarity as Key Approaches

Hosted by the MA in International Relations (MAIR) Program, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University

Co-sponsored by the Leiden University Center for International Relations (LUCIR) and the History and International Relations Section, Leiden Institute for History


Conference Schedule

09.00 – 09.15 Opening Remarks and Institutional Welcome

Salvador Santino Regilme, Associate Professor and Program Chair MA International Relations, Leiden University
Isabelle Duyvesteyn, Professor and Program Chair of BA International Studies, Leiden University

09.15 – 10.30 Plenary Panel ‘Humanities-Based IR? Current State, Future and Directions

Chair: Lindsay Black, Associate Professor, Leiden University
Salvador Santino Regilme, Associate Professor, Leiden University
John-Harmen Valk, University Lecturer, Leiden University
Liberty Chee, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, Ca’Foscari University of Venice
Sebastian J. Strohmeyer, Alumnus and Consultant, Christ and Company
Malena Lopez Bremme, Alumna, MA International Relations, Leiden University

10.30 – 11.00 Break

Coffee & Tea

11.00 – 12.30 Concurrent Panel Session 1

1) Humanitarianism and Rights – Auditorium A.0.06
Panel Chair: Salvador Santino Regilme

  • Interrogating Britain in Yemen: Humanitarianism and Counterterrorism in the (Inter)National interest? by Saif Sarwar (Head of Growth, The Online School)
  • To be or not to be selfless: the theatricality of humanitarian assistance by Foucault Séchet (Student MA International Relations, Leiden University)
  • Rethinking American Democracy Promotion Policies in the MENA Region by Emilie Joe Brandt (Student MA European Politics and Society, Leiden University)
  • Individual legal responsibility: a milestone in the internationalisation of fundamental rights in armed conflicts by Basak Naz Simsek (Student Research Associate and PhD, Bielefeld University)
  • Visualizing the war on drugs: coca, satellites and the view from above by Nicolas Rodriguez (Lecturer, Leiden University and Amsterdam University)

2) Religion, Culture, and World Politics – Room A2.04
Panel Chair: John-Harmen Valk

  • Contemporary Indian screen cultures and the myth of national security: how Hindi cinema propagates the statist narrative by Roshni Sengupta (Associate Professor, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies India)
  • Sovereignty starts in the mind: The confluence of religion, mnemonical security and the global cause for Tibet by Calvin Nixon (Alumnus MA International Relations, Leiden University)
  • Crossroads of Faith and Power: Conversion of the Byzantine Pammakaristos Monastery to Fethiye Mosque in the Ottoman Constantinople by Rahime Aksa Boyraz (Student MA Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East, Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Towards a Pluralistic Philosophical Basis for Global Peace: A Comparative Study of ‘Grotian World’, ‘Kantian Peace’ and ‘Confucian Great Unity’ by Max Junbo Tao (PhD Candidate Department of Philosophy, University of Hong Kong)

3) China and World Politics Room A2.05
Panel Chair: Lindsay Black

  • Material Domination or Benevolent Leadership: On Chinese Perceptions of Hegemony by Tjalle Broeksma (MAIA candidate, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe)
  • Navigating the Complexity in National Identity from the Chinese Context by Peiran Nie (Student MA, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe)
  • “Connecting the Clouds”: Infrastructural Development and Dutch Economic Interests in China, 1899-1937 by Mingran Cao (PhD Candidate, Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University)
  • Southeast Asia’s Foreign Policy Behavior in the Chinese-American Rivalry by Cecilia-Louise von Ilsemann (PhD candidate History and International Studies, Institute for History, Leiden University)

12.30 – 13.30 Break

13.30 – 15.00 Concurrent Panel Session 2

1) Technology and IR – Auditorium A.0.06

Panel Chair: Andrew Gawthorpe

  • The Great Divergence of Temperature Scales 1596-1872: How International Relations Effected on Global Science Enlightenment by Zhang Dongning (PhD candidate Institute of Chinese Historical Geography, Fudan University)
  • Looking Eastward or a Protectionist Future? – the EU’s Semiconductor Strategy in the Sino-U.S. Rivalry by Saurav Narain (Consultant and researcher, Invictus B.V.)
  • How national security assessments impact critical technology procurements: Evidence from a European survey by Pelle Berkhout (PhD candidate, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University)
  • Technological Governance and Diplomacy: A Case Study of Chips Diplomacy by Shiqing Xiao (Student MA International Relations, Leiden University)

2) Colonization/Decolonization – Room A2.04

Panel Chair: Karen Smith

  • Reactions of Jewish Intellectuals of Hungary to Early Zionist Movement (1897-1918) by Veysel Can Karakas (PhD candidate, ELTE-Atelier Interdisciplinary History Program)
  • Uncovering the ‘Black Pages’ of the Past: The Absence of European State Apologies for Slavery in the ‘Age of Apology’ by Bart-Jan Zandee (Student MA International Relations, Leiden University)
  • Confronting the Colonial Past in a Changing World: A Non-Ideal Perspective on Transitional Justice Efforts for Colonialism, the Slave Trade and Slavery by Phebe Brunsveld (Student MA International Relations and Student Assistant MAIR, Leiden University)
  • The Prioritization of European Desires over African Development: An Analysis on Contemporary Development and Migration Policy between the EU and Africa by Massimo Guglietta (MAIA Candidate, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe)

3) The West and the World – Room A2.05

Panel Chair: Salvador Santino Regilme

  • "Cows for Cars? Considering its environmental and economic outcomes, should the EU-Mercosur deal be implemented?" by Jane Margaret Holland and Ines Steinmetz (Students MA International Relations, Leiden University)
  • Can Euroscepticism help to understand Anti-Europeanism in the United States? by Richard J. Lange (Doctoral Researcher, Heidelberg Center for American Studies, Heidelberg University)
  • Betrayal or adherence to national interests? Russia's foreign policy in relation to the Yugoslav Wars in 1991-1995 by Nikolai Shatalin (Postgraduate student, Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Multipolar Visions: A Comparative Analysis of China’s and the European Union’s Neighborhood Policies and their Implications on Interregional Dynamics by Thomas van Oeveren (Student Leiden University)
  • United States-Israel Alliance by Stan De Feyter (Student MA International Relations, Leiden University)

15.00 – 15.15 Break

Coffee & Tea

15.15 – 16.45 Concurrent Panel Session 3

1) War, Political Violence, and Transnational Conflicts Room A2.04
Panel Chair: Chiara Libiseller

  • Institutionalized Repression: Explaining Mass Atrocity against Muslims in Xinjiang by Brechtje van der Spijk (Student MA International Relations, Leiden University)
  • Beyond Borders: Fleeing from Ecocide and War in Syria by Malena López Bremme (Student MA International Relations, Leiden University)
  • Environmental Peacebuilding: The Future of Diplomacy by Eleonora Lucia Cammarano (Student MA Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe)
  • Securitisation and Sovereignty: Diplomacy, Counterterrorism, and the Future of International Order by Saurav Narain and Ajatshatru Bhattacharya (Researchers, Invictus Corporation)
  • Ah, ye admonitions and warnings: nuclear coercive diplomacy in wartime from Vietnam to Ukraine by Jack Kennedy (Graduate Student, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe)

2) Justice, Representation, Resilience – Room A2.05
Panel Chair: Hitomi Koyama

  • The absurd quest for vulnerability: Unveiling the political in International Relations Theory through aesthetics by Annick van Rinsum (Podcast and theatre maker)
  • Arbiters of their own destiny? National minorities and fair representation by Claire D'Alessio (MA Student John Hopkins University SAIS Europe)
  • De-democratisation past and present: Lessons from Weimar Germany by Hanna Lena Maria Gesang (Student Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe)
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