Monthly Digest is a resource provided by Security in Context that provides a list of recent publications, calls, conferences and other items relevant to the critical global, security, and international political economy studies audience. In addition to new items, our digest may contain relatively recent entries, so please double check dates on any calls or conferences. All descriptions taken from their original sources unless otherwise indicated. If we’ve missed something, or you have items you’d like to contribute for future digests, please email us at:


The Powers of Dignity: The Black Political Philosophy of Frederick Douglass

Nick Bromwell, Duke University Press, 2021

In The Powers of Dignity Nick Bromell unpacks Frederick Douglass's 1867 claim that he had “elaborated a political philosophy” from his own “slave experience.” Bromell shows that Douglass devised his philosophy because he found that antebellum Americans' liberal-republican understanding of democracy did not provide a sufficient principled basis on which to fight anti-Black racism. To remedy this deficiency, Douglass deployed insights from his distinctively Black experience and developed a Black philosophy of democracy. He began by contesting the founders' racist assumptions about humanity and advancing instead a more robust theory of “the human'' as a collection of human “powers.” He asserted further that the conscious exercise of those powers is what confirms human dignity and that human rights and democracy come into being as ways to affirm and protect that dignity. Thus, by emphasizing the powers and the dignity of all citizens, deriving democratic rights from these, and promoting a remarkably activist, power-oriented model of citizenship, Douglass's Black political philosophy aimed to rectify two major failings of US democracy in his time and ours: its complacency and its racism.” - Duke University Press

Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing

Sarah Brayne, Oxford University Press, 2021

Sarah Brayne’s book provides a first-hand account of how a massive law enforcement agency leverages big data technologies to expand surveillance in the name of objective, predictive policing. Brayne argues that the use of big data and algorithms by police widens the scope of the criminal justice system, results in massively increased surveillance, and reinforces stereotypes and discrimination.

Resisting Militarism Direct Action and the Politics of Subversion

Chris Rossdale, Edinburgh University Press, 2021 (paperback)

“In the past 15 years, anti-militarist activists in the UK have auctioned off a tank outside an arms fair, superglued themselves to Lockheed Martin’s central London offices and stopped a battleship with a canoe. They have also challenged militarism on an everyday level in many other ways. This book tells the story of their resistance. It explores why anti-militarists take part in such actions, considers the politics of different tactics and examines the tensions and debates within the movement.” - Edinburgh University Press

Empire's Endgame Racism and the British State

Gargi Bhattacharyya, Adam Elliott-Cooper, Sita Balani, Kerem Nisancioglu, Kojo Koram, Dalia Gebrial, Pluto Press, 2021

“In Empire's Endgame, eight leading scholars make a powerful intervention in debates around racial capitalism and political crisis in Britain. While the 'hostile environment' policy and Brexit referendum have thrown the centrality of race into sharp relief, discussions of racism have too often focused on individual behaviours. Foregrounding instead the wider political and economic context, the authors trace the ways in which the legacies of empire have been reshaped by global capitalism, the digital environment and the instability of the nation-state.” - Pluto Press

Remote Warfare: New Cultures of Violence

Rebecca Adelman and David Kieran, University of Minnesota Press, 2020

“From the story arc of Homeland to redefining the idea of a “warrior,” thirteen essays consider the new nature of surveillance, similarities between killing with drones and gaming, literature written by veterans, and much more. Timely and provocative, Remote Warfare makes significant and lasting contributions to our understanding of drones and the cultural forces that shape and sustain them.” - University of Minnesota Press


Visions of Peace Amidst a Human Rights Crisis: War on Drugs in Colombia and the Philippines 

Salvador Santino F Regilme, Jr, Journal of Global Security Studies, 2021

Peace is one of most widely used yet highly contested concepts in contemporary politics. What constitutes peace? That broad analytic inquiry motivates this article, which focuses on the contentious discourses of peace within a society besieged by widespread trafficking and use of illegal drugs. Focusing on the illegal drug problem in Colombia and the Philippines, the central puzzle of this paper constitutes two fundamental questions: How do state leaders justify their respective “war on drugs”? How do they construct and discursively articulate ideals of peace in the context of the illegal drug problem? This paper compares the post-9/11 Colombian war on drugs (2002–2010) vis-à-vis the Philippine war on drugs under the Duterte administration (2016–2019), particularly in terms of how their presidential administrations articulate “peace” in the context of resolving the drug problem. The paper examines the varying discourses of peace, investigates how those local discourses relate to global discourses on peace and illegal drugs, and underscores how and under which conditions those peace discourses portray the material distributive conflicts in those societies. The core argument states that the Uribe and Duterte administrations primarily deployed the notion of peace as a justificatory discourse for increased state repression, intensified criminalization of the drug problem, and the reluctance of the state in embracing a public health approach to the proliferation of illegal drugs.

Opinion – The Arab Uprisings Ten Years On

Zaynab El Bernoussi, 2021

Dr Zaynab El Bernoussi (International University of Rabat, and Security In Context member) commemorates 10 years since the Arab Uprisings and reflects on intrinsic human worth, marginalization of the youth, and accepting epistemological diversity.

Volume 39 Issue 1– Black Feminism and Settler Colonialism Roundtable

Society & Space, 2021

A roundtable on 'Black feminism and settler colonialism' by Society & Space journal, which is currently free to access.

Destructive creations: social-spatial transformations in contemporary Baghdad

Omar Sirri, LSE Middle East Centre paper series, 2021

This working paper examines social-spatial transformations in contemporary Baghdad by zooming in on two of the city’s most frequented consumer districts, Karada and Mansour. By way of ethnographic fieldwork, it foregrounds the entanglements between violence, property and consumption. Baghdad’s transformations over nearly two decades are not simply a product of urban violence; nor are they only a result of the privatisation of formerly public property; nor are they merely a consequence of changes in everyday consumer patterns. Rather, the city’s transformations stem from the co-constitution of all three forces. In Baghdad, violence, property and consumption are inextricably linked. Their enmeshment has in turn spawned social-spatial transformations benefitting the political-economic interests of an elite few at the expense of the urban commons.

South Africa’s COVID19 Responses: Unmaking the Political Economy of Health Inequalities

Madalitso Zililo Phiri, Observer Research Foundation, 2021

South Africa’s Covid-19 responses are marred by policy paradoxes. How does a country with one of the most sophisticated health systems in Africa account for the highest number of Covid-19 fatalities? This brief argues that contemporary approaches to South Africa’s social, domestic, and foreign policy responses should be viewed through the theoretical lenses of racial capitalism—a racially hierarchical political economy constituting war, militarism, imperialist accumulation, expropriation by domination, and labour super exploitation. Departing from current paradigms, the brief advocates the unmaking of health inequalities through the abandonment of a racialised neoliberal globalisation by putting decommodification of healthcare at the centre stage of policymaking and recovering the idea of the global commons.

What do you call it when Jeremy Corbyn walks into a Seder? Jewishness, Gustav Landauer (1870–1919) and ethical subject-formation

Clive Gabay, Thesis Eleven, 2021

Then UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance at a Passover Seder organised by the radical leftist group, Jewdas, in April 2018, led to a brief but vitriolic controversy involving Anglo-Jewish umbrella organisations concerning who qualifies to speak as a Jew. This article uses this controversy to engage with Judith Butler’s attempt to address this question, suggesting that in decentring Zionist claims to Jewish subjectivity she fails to take account of how different Jewish subjectivities are formed, and thus ends up proposing a ‘good Jew/bad Jew’ binary that dissolves Jewishness into universal humanism. Drawing on the work of the German-Jewish mystical anarchist Gustav Landauer (1870–1919), the article proposes a different way of understanding subjectivity that retains ontological inherency as a plausible precondition for ethical solidarity. As such, the article’s argument has implications not merely for a reworked understanding of Jewish subjectivity but for the politics of subject formation more broadly.

Symposium: Resisting Militarism

Elena Loizidou, Rachel Zhou,  Erica Chenoweth,  Anna Stavrianakis, and Chris Rossdale, Disorder of Things, 2021

A symposium on Chris Rossdale’s Resisting Militarism: Direct Action and the Politics of Subversion (Edinburgh, 2019) from a number authors Elena Loizidou, Rachel Zhou, Erica Chenoweth, Anna Stavrianakis, and Chris Rossdale, himself. 

Unpacking the Arab Part of Identity, Spring, and World

Amro Ali,  Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2021

This article examines the fluid, pluralist, and problematic positioning of the Arab label (Arab person, Arab world, Arab spring etc) on its own merit and towards Kurdish, Coptic, and Amazigh identities, among other identities, in the region.

Anti-Muslim hate on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean: Lebanon, the Hijab, and modernity/coloniality

Ali Kassem, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2021

Informed by the theorization of the modernity/(de)coloniality studies collective, this paper thinks alongside hijabi women in Lebanon – a small Arab Mediterranean country – and their lived experiences in “mainstream Lebanese society”. Drawing on six-months of qualitative fieldwork through in-depth interviews and focus groups with photo-elicitation, the paper documents and analyses lived experiences of discrimination, exclusion and erasure. Identifying dehumanization, civility and progress, and a present potent wider rejection of Islam in Lebanon, it argues for a framing of participant’s shared experiences as anti-Muslim racism under modernity/coloniality and highlights the need to de-exceptionalize the region and the analytical tools mobilized to understand it.

Advanced Publication: Lebanon's Social Movement

Lea Bou Khater, Karim Makdisi, Jamil Mouawad, Nikolas Kosmatopolous, Hannes Baumann, South Atlantic Quarterly, 2021

A collection of essays on Lebanon’s protest movement from Lea Bou Khater, Karim Makdisi, Jamil Mouawad, Nikolas Kosmatopolous, Hannes Baumann.

Drone Warfare and the Obama Administration’s Path-Dependent Struggles on Human Rights and Counterterrorism

Tom De Groot and Salvador Santino Jr. Fulo Regilme, Interdisciplinary Political Studies, 2021

Why did the use of drone strikes proliferate during the first term of the Obama administration? This paper espouses two key preliminary and exploratory arguments. First, deploying theoretical insights from historical institutionalism, we argue that the Obama administration, despite its initial resistance to the existing counterterror agenda, found it extremely difficult to reverse the war on terror narrative and the institutions that emerged therefrom in US domestic and foreign politics. This continuation provided strong incentives to maintain militaristic approaches to counterterrorism, considering President Obama’s inclination to continue the use of military power against terrorists. Second, upon realising the stickiness and institutional endurance of post-9/11 security agencies, Obama’s opposition to war on terror-oriented policies motivated the administration to wage a supposedly more morally justifiable and effective counterterror strategy with the use of armed drones.

Returning the megaphone to the people: the Theatre of the Oppressed as artivism in the public space for a new critical citizenry in Morocco

Sara Borrillo, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 2021

‘We return the megaphone to the people’. This is how the activist Hosni al-Mukhlis describes the aim of the Theater of the Oppressed group that he founded in Casablanca in 2012. He was one of the main leaders of the 20 February Movement in 2011 and today he is involved in what he defines as 'a new social and political pedagogy through art’. Based on interviews and participant observation with Moroccan activists, this article focuses on the Theater of the Oppressed group as an example of the wave of socio-political activism involving artistic practices that emerged after the Arab uprisings in some MENA countries. The paper situates this artivism within the context of political disenchantment and social exclusion experienced in the wake of the failure of the 20 February Movement vis à vis the Moroccan authoritarian politics. The article argues that the Theater of the Oppressed can be interpreted as artivism that generates political transformations, opens critical spaces in the public sphere and promotes emancipatory trajectories for those involved in its mobilizing projects, in functioning as political praxis pursuing a renewed proximity between activists and ordinary people, as well as the creation of a new collective imagination and a critical citizenry.

Conferences/Calls for Papers or Abstracts

Call for Chapter Proposals Global Agenda for Social Justice 2022

Society for the Study of Social Problems

Deadline: April 1, 2021

Since 2004, the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) has published eight volumes of the Agenda for Social Justice. Work is now beginning for the ninth iteration of the publication—Global Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions 2022, which is designed to inform the public-at-large about the world’s most pressing social problems and to propose feasible, evidence-based public policy solutions.

Call for papers 2022 Special Issue Youth and Transitional Justice

The International Journal of Transnational Justice

Deadline: 1 June 2021

The International Journal of Transnational Justice is seeking contributions from young scholars, practitioners and activists as we seek to amplify the voices of young contributors in shaping this Special Issue around Youth-led movements and transnational justice.


Scholar Collaboration Program 

Canadian Journal of Law and Society

The Scholar Collaboration Program (SCP) connects emerging scholars from the Global South and marginalized communities to established scholars with publishing expertise in areas such as post-colonial studies, critical legal studies, feminist legal studies, legal anthropology, critical criminology, and literary approaches to law. The goal of this collaborative initiative is for emerging scholars to hone their publishing skills and to polish manuscripts that show promise. 

Call for Applications: 8 Academy in Exile Fellowships 2021 in Berlin and Essen

Forum Transregionale Studien

Deadline: 15 March 2021

Academy in Exile invites scholars at risk to apply for 24-month fellowships at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen. Eligible are scholars from any country, who have a PhD in the humanities, social sciences, or law, and who are at risk because of their academic work and/or civic engagement in human rights, democracy, and the pursuit of academic freedom. 

Urban Studies Foundation: International Fellowships

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Applications are invited to the USF International Fellowship scheme for urban scholars from the Global South. The Fellowship covers the costs of a sabbatical period at a university of the candidate’s choice in the Global North or South for the purpose of writing-up the candidate’s existing research findings in the form of publishable articles and/or a book under the guidance of a chosen mentor in their field of study. Funding is available for a period ranging between 3-9 months, and the proposed research may comprise any theme pertinent to a better understanding of urban realities in the Global South.

MESA Global Academy - Scholarships

Deadline: April 15, 2021

The MESA Global Academy is excited to announce a call for applications for scholarships for the academic year 2021-2022. The Global Academy will award up to 12 scholars in the field of Middle East Studies a $5,000 grant to further their research and collaboration with MENA-focused scholars in North America. The Global Academy will support up to six scholars working in the area of governance, accountability, and the rule of law, and six scholars working on fairness and economic equality. The Global Academy conceives of these two areas in interdisciplinary terms, and invites scholars to apply from the humanities and social sciences, from comparative literature, history, and Islamic studies to political science, anthropology, economics, and beyond. Please see below for descriptions of the topic areas.


“Between Oblivion and Forever: A Critique of Nuclear Reason” Jairus Grove

UH Manoa Political Science Department

A lecture by Jairus Grove, Associate professor of International Relations at the UH Manoa Political Science Department, titled “Between Oblivion and Forever: A Critique of Nuclear Reason”.

Reckoning with the Syrian Uprising a Decade On — A Forum with Lisa Wedeen & Yasser Munif

Northwestern's Center for International and Area Studies and the Evanston Public Library

March 15, 2021

The Syrian uprising began in March of 2011. The peaceful, grassroots protests that broke out across the country that spring were met with ferocious repression, which in turn led to the militarization of the conflict and a staggering level of violence. How can we make sense of this colossal tragedy a decade on? What lessons can be drawn from the Syrian uprising and the ghastly fate it met? Join Northwestern's Center for International and Area Studies and the Evanston Public Library for this discussion with Lisa Wedeen and Yasser Munif, the authors of two recent books that grapple with these and related questions.

CSRR Transnational Rights and Security in an Era of Populism Lecture Series

15 Feb 2021 — 5 Apr 2021

A lecture series on Transnational Rights and Security in the era of Populism. The series consists of different lectures: 

February 15, 2021, 12:00PM

Dr. Sherene Razack

Race, Women and the Global War on Terror

March 10, 2021, 12:00PM

Professor Asli Bâli

Race and Empire: Legal Theory Within, Through, and Across National Borders

April 5, 2021, 12:00PM

Dr. Wendell Hassan Marsh

A Genealogy of African Islamic Modernity

Missions and States: Saving or Serving Seafarers: A lecture by Laleh Khalili

Mon, 8 Mar 2021, 15:00 GMT

Drawing on ethnography aboard containerships steaming Arab seas, the archives of various missions to seafarers serving Arabian Peninsula ports, local and global union cases on their behalf, and other literary and archival documents in Arabic and English, I will consider the role of Christian missions in serving the needs of seafarers in ports where the states have banned union representation or other forms of aid to workers. The compatibility of the individuating politics of missionary salvage and the state’s insistence on limiting forms of collective stands in tension with the sheer necessity of support for workers whose mobility and transience through ports makes forms of militant mobilising, but also basic day-to-day survival, a battle.

Job Openings

Assistant Professors in Political Science

Dublin City University - School of Law and Government

Deadline: March 12, 2021

As part of the launch of a new BSc in Global Challenges, to be delivered jointly with the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, the School is seeking to recruit two Assistant Professors to begin no later than 1 August 2021.  The successful applicant will have a demonstrated research expertise in the substance of the programme, including, climate change, global inequality, gender inequality, fake news, social integration and conflict resolution.  In addition, experience in quantitative methods for political science would be very welcome.  A research fit with the teaching needs of the programme will be a factor in short-listing and selection.

Dublin City University - School of Law and Government

Newcastle Politics: two Lecturers in International Politics, two Lecturers in the Politics of Race and Ethnicity

Deadline: 12 March 2021

Newcastle University Politics department is seeking to appoint two Lecturers in International Politics and two Lecturers in the Politics of Race and Ethnicity

 Field Analyst – Middle East

Conflict Armament Research

Conflict Armament Research seeks an experienced field researcher to support

investigations into the illicit supply of weapons, ammunition, and other related

materiel, including chemical and explosive precursors, in the Middle East and

Mediterranean regions. 

Data Analyst

Conflict Armament Research

Conflict Armament Research seeks a skilled Data Analyst to contribute to its research

and analytical products in support of its counter-diversion investigations.

 Analyst – Enhanced Investigation Unit

Conflict Armament Research

Conflict Armament Research seeks Enhanced Investigation Unit Analyst to support and conduct investigations into human, financial, and logistical networks behind illicit transfers of weapons and closely related conflict resources.


Antoine Bousquet, Jairus Grove, Nisha Shah: Special Issue on Becoming Wa‪r‬

SAGE Political Science & International Relations

Guest host Michael Richardson speaks to the editors of the Special Issue on Becoming War (Vol. 51, No. 2-3). Drawing on their introductory article and all the contributions to the special issue, Antoine Bousquet, Jairus Grove, and Nisha Shah explain why they believe a new approach to the study of war is required today. The discussion explores the main philosophical principles and methodological dispositions behind their advocacy of a “martial empiricism” and its focus on the domains of war that are mobilisation, design and encounter.

Third World Nationalism Series

New Books Network

This is a Special Series on Third World Nationalism. In the wake of a rise in nationalism around the world, and its general condemnation by liberals and the left, in addition to the rise of China and Russia, New Books Network have put together this series on Third World Nationalism to nuance the present discourse on nationalism, note its centrality to anti-imperial, anti-colonial politics around the world, the reconfiguration of global power, and its inextricability from mainstream politics in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Biden and Russia: Re-building the US’ reputation after Trump with Dr Ruth Deyermond

King’s College London: War Studies
Dr Ruth Deyermond, Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies and expert on the post-Soviet and post-Cold war US-Russia relationship, joins to discuss whether Biden can re-build the US’ damaged reputation and fulfil the promises set out in his inauguration speech.


SOUTH SOUTH: An online community comes together to give a shout for the Global South

February 23 - March 7

SOUTH SOUTH - an online community dedicated to art from the Global South - is hosting its debut exhibition titled, ‘SOUTH SOUTH VEZA’. It will feature over 50 galleries from more than 40 cities spread across 30 countries and five continents. Galleries including El Apartamento (Havana), Dastan’s Basement (Tehran), First Floor Gallery (Harare), Gypsum (Cairo) and Rele Gallery (Lagos) and not-for-profit partners RAW Material Company (Dakar), Green Papaya Art Projects (Manila) and Casa do Povo (São Paulo).

Chicago Police Torture Archive

The Chicago Police Torture Archive is a human rights documentation of former police Cmdr. Jon Burge’s violence against more than 100 Black people, from the 1970s to the 1990s. The centerpiece of the site is profiles of police torture survivors, most of whom were represented by the People’s Law Office, which donated its case files to this project.

This database is exposing decades of Israel’s shady arms deals

Israel has been exporting arms to the world’s most repressive governments. A new project aims to hold it accountable by tracking these confidential sales.

Article or Event Link
Mar 1, 2021



Join Our Newsletter and Get the Latest
Posts to Your Inbox

No spam ever. Read our Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.