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Prince Philip House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London

Wednesday 25 January 2023
16:00 - 18:00

Book Launch


  • Evaluates the resilience of international society's primary institutions in an era of change and normative contestation

  • Revisits Bull's "The Anarchical Society" to launch a new wave of English School theorizing on the problem of order

Refreshments will be served


About this book

This book asks if it is time to “reboot” the fundamental institutions of global international society. The volume revisits Hedley Bull’s seminal contribution The Anarchical Society by exploring the interconnected nature of change, contestation and resilience for maintaining order in today’s uncertain and complex environment. The volume adds to Bull’s theorizing by recognizing that order demands change, that contestation should be welcomed, and that resilience is anchored in local and agent-led forms of ordering. The contributors to Part One of the book focus on theoretical and conceptual issues related to order in the global international society, whilst the contributors to Part Two of the book focus on the primary institutions as listed by Hedley Bull with the addition of a chapter on the market adding a distinctive commentary on new and important dynamics of change, contestation and resilience of the existing institutions. 

Thursday 26 January 2023
9:00 - 10:00

Registration and morning refreshments.

***Please note we will be using many different means to capture our conversations in the course of the day - from a padlet, and digital comms, to rapporteurs and professional facilitator***

10:00 -11:00

Plenary Keynotes

Welcome from Elena Korosteleva, IGSD Director, and PI COMPASS+

Chair: Zach Paikin, Research fellow, CEPS

Arthur Keller, Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS, France), on Planetary Limits to Growth and Complex Systemic Risks

Trine Flockhart, Department of Political Science and Public Management, Southern Denmark University (Denmark), on Challenges of Diversity Governance

Followed by Q&A

11:00 -13:00

Colloque 1: Local perspectives on resilience: why communities matter, and how to support them?

Over the past two decades, the concepts of community resilience and local ownership have proliferated in policy-making. However, the way these concepts have been applied in practice and in policy programmes is widely criticised by the scholarly community for rigid thinking and premeditated solutions (Joseph 2013; Petrova and Delcour 2019; Korosteleva and Flockhart 2019). This roundtable discussion aims to explore the potential of the concept ‘community resilience’ as a new ‘ways of being, knowing, and doing’ (Escobar 2018:19), which is situational, context-specific, local, relational, and emergent. By referencing research findings from Central Eurasia, the roundtable aims to identify what makes communities resilient, i.e. unpack local identities, philosophies, perceptions of the good life, local resources and support infrastructures, and social capital more broadly. What motivates people to stay resilient in times of crisis, war, adversity; and how the international community can support them.

Questions to address:

  • What makes communities resilient?
    • How can communities achieve ontological security and a sense of good life through resilience? How can communities be resilient in the context of scarcity and precarity?
  • What do communities need to nurture their resilience?
    • Horizontal links and grassroots activities - how can they be supported and sustained in circumstances of repression, war and other forms of crises? How can international actors support local resilience? What are the policy-relevant lessons from your research/practice?
  • How thinking about resilience changed over time and how to keep our thinking about community resilience up-to-date?
    • How does resilience need to be re-thought from the bottom-up and situated perspectives in the context of de-globalisation, scarcity of resources and salience of the local? Why are neoliberal interpretations of resilience flawed? What are the alternatives?

Chair: Irina Petrova, Assistant Professor, UCL SSEES

13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 16:00

Colloque 2: Regional challenges to sustainable governance and how to tackle them through resilience-nurturing

‘Community’ is precisely where change is constituted and where ordering takes place in the pursuit of set goals. In a complex life, if change were to affect one element of the ordering domain, it would necessitate adaptation in the other two, to remain ‘fit for purpose’ and responsive to a constantly changing environment. Central to a responsive ordering domain - a community of relations - is resilience as a governing modality and a foundational principle of the local, enabling a complex system to self-organise in the most adaptive ways in response to change. These communities, drawing on common traditions, philosophy, intergenerational knowledge, and aspirations for the good life, may exceed state borders and develop intra- and inter-regional dynamics (e.g. CA) around common challenges, or fight against injustice (e.g. Ukraine, Belarus & Georgia conjointly but not as a state). This roundtable addresses the issues on how best to respond to emerging regional challenges, including ‘geo-political instability’, which is a cause for ‘irreversible climate breakdown’ and planetary calamity, among other consequences, as noted by Johan Rockstrom, UN rapporteur on climate change.

Questions to address:

  • Does it make sense to talk about resilience on a regional level? Why?
    • If resilience as self-governance is locally situated, how does/may it work on a regional level? How can the knowledge about local ‘communities of relations’ help capture the dynamics of relations on a regional level? What can we learn from wider regional dynamics about resilient societies, going beyond state borders?
  • How does resilience work in practice on the regional level across Central Eurasia?

    • Are there any best practice examples to share about nurturing resilience on a regional level? Can resilience be seen as ‘borderless’? Is there any evidence to show how regions can overcome adversity and crisis through resilience on a regional scale? How can our understanding of local communities in the region help to nurture resilience upwards - from the local to the global?
  • From your research/policy experience, in which ways can more resilient regional orders contribute to a more sustainable global environment?

Chair: Asya Kudlenko, IGSD Research Fellow, University of Warwick

16:00 - 18:00

Colloque 3. Rethinking international support and global governance in a pluriversal world: how to make it more resilient?

As an analytic of governance, resilience serves at least three purposes: it helps to re-capture the role of the local where change is constituted, in shaping the global. It also aids our understanding of what it means ‘to be resilient’ by focusing on its constitutive elements of visions of the good life, support infrastructures, resources and institutions. Finally, it also nudges us in the direction of accepting the emerging, non-linear and a complex pluriversal arrangement of ‘the global’—the multi-order world (Flockhart 2016) — which consists of ‘several types of international orders, each with its own vision for a good life and each nested within a global international society and an overall, albeit thin, vision for the [shared] conception of the good life’ (2021, 18). With this new understanding in place, how can we rethink global governance today, to make it more resilient? What should be done for it to be ‘fit-for-purpose’, and cooperative, respecting and accommodating emerging ordering domains, and working beyond states and Western-centric core-periphery structures and bias? How to achieve a ‘single complex system for harmonious coexistence, in which various sub-global international societies expand and interact until they form a global one’ (Buzan 2018)?

Questions to address:

  • From your research/experience, what does it mean to be ‘resilient’ on a global level?
    • Does 'fit-for-purpose' mean to be 'resilient'? What needs to change for global structures to be more responsive to change? What can/should we learn from resilience as an 'analytic of governance' (or governance of uncertainty) in a VUCA-world?
  • How can we reconcile diversity of resilient orders on a global scale?
    • How to ensure a learning loop between resilience as self-governance, and resilience as diversity-governance? How can we nurture a more responsive environment of this learning premised on a bottom-up and horizontal systems' response?
  • How can we support resilience as self- and diversity-governance in the context of scarcity and precarity?
    • What kind of behavioural change is needed to accept the primacy of 'community of relations’ as a foundation for a more sustainable and complex global life? What kind of new structures, including on the global level, are needed to support it?

Chair: Elena Korosteleva, PI COMPASS+ and Director, Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD), University of Warwick


Concluding remarks