You are here

SGRI 2018 Conference

The brave new world of IR? 

Technological changes, geopolitical shifts and the challenge to mainstream approaches

Bologna, 12-13 October, 2018

The annual Conference of the Italian Standing Group on International Relations is a two-day session that brings together scholars, researchers and PhD students from Italian academia to discuss issues related to global politics, European Studies, foreign policy, regional dynamics and international theory. The 2018 Conference will be held for the second time in Bologna. The event is sponsored by the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Bologna, within the framework of the MIUR Progetto di Eccellenza 2018-2022, and co-organized by IP Lab with the support of the School of International Studies (SIS) of the University of Trento and of the  Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

This year's topic is about technology and geopolitics.

Over the last two decades, the world has experienced significant changes in both technology and geopolitics. Technological advancements – such as the emergence of robotics and unmanned systems – are transforming the way war is fought in new conflict zones, while geopolitical shifts and the rise of emerging powers have changed the patterns of negotiation and cooperation among states in key issue-areas (like energy, foreign policy and defense). In this new framework, regional orders in the MENA region and in the Asia-Pacific are still under definition, as witnessed by the presence of proxy wars and new security challenges. For their emphasis on traditional arguments and assumptions, mainstream approaches to IR seem unable to fully explain those transformations. To understand current changes, IR scholars should adapt their methodology –further integrating qualitative and quantitative analyses on international phenomena – and open up their theoretical models to insights coming from other fields of knowledge: this led to increasing attention given to economics, but also more distant disciplines such as cognitive psychology and engineering. Efforts made in this direction may enhance our understanding of key dynamics taking place in a truly globalized world.

The annual SGRI Conference is an opportunity for scholars throughout Italy to come together and discuss topics that are relevant to international relations.

Previous conferences have examined:

  • X - International Politics Facing Technological and Social Upheavals (Trento 2017) Program 
  • IX - Exploring Foreign and Security Policy in International Relations (Trento 2016) | Program 
  • VIII - Disentangling Subsystem Dynamics. The Search for Peace and Cooperation  (Trento 2015)| Program
  • VII - Security and Cooperation in a Changing International System (Trento 2014) | Program 
  • VI - Regional Orders in the XXI Century (Trento 2013) | Program 
  • V - International Relations’ Theory 20 years after bipolarity (Trento 2012) Program 
  • IV - Politics, Economics and Strategy: Continuity and Change in the International System (Milan 2009) Program
  • III - The Transformation of the International System after the End of the Cold War (Bertinoro 2008) Program
  • II - The Lack of a Culture of Defense in Italy (Bologna 2007) Program 
  • I - Common Foreign and Security Policy and the role of the European Parliament (Parma 2004)

SGRI - Standing Group di Relazioni Internazionali | Società Italiana di Scienza Politica