16th EISA Annual Conference, Potsdam, 5-9 September 2023

Call for papers: Panel

European governance of the Anthropocene

Panel to Section ST09: International Relations in the Anthropocene (Section Chairs: David Chandler and Delf Rothe)


Governing the Anthropocene requires to take into account various entanglements, rely on a more systemic approach, thinking in networks, and taking into account that there is no effect of a policy or action that does not also have a side-effect. This thinking is at odds with a policy field tradition that is used to separating fields, with e.g. healthcare, nature protection and economics being separated portfolios. The first goal of the panel is thus to discuss conceptions, possibilities and practices of governing democratically in the Anthropocene, that is, of governing complexity. The second goal is to tackle a lack in current research: While the Anthropocene as a challenge is debated in International relations and Political Theory alike, this is not yet the case for the debates on Europe and the European Union. This lack is surprising, since the EU as a polity is decidedly engaged in a number of relevant policy fields and strategic approaches, namely climate change, security, new technologies or artificial intelligence, and it is also regularly claiming for more resilience – but so far, these fields of EU politics are not discussed in connection to the Anthropocene debates and approaches. This might, however, be in fit with the European Union very much incorporating and practicing a rationalist modern ideal of governing, relating on expertise and bureaucracy. To be able to govern in the Anthropocene, then requires to overcome these.

The panel is part of EISA Section ST 09, International Relations in the Anthropocene. It aims at opening this debate, inviting papers that discuss the European governance of the Anthropocene with regard to questions such as

  • How is governance of the Anthropocene (to be) conceptualized, and how is it practiced in contemporary Europe and the contemporary EU?
  • How are policy fields such as climate change, artificial intelligence or security governed in the EU and/or Europe? Which strategies are deployed?
  • Which patterns of governance can we detect, and how do they refer (or not) to governing complexity, networks and systems?
  • Which possibilities does the EU offer for new types of entangled and more systemic governance in the Anthropocene?
  • Which concepts, theories and historical ideals of European integration – e.g. federalism – can serve as inspiration?

Please do create an account in the EISA system HERE
Contact and submit your abstract to panel convenor Claudia Wiesner

*Deadline for submission 7 March 2023*