Critical Explorations of Crisis: Politics, Precariousness, and Potentialities


How, on what basis, by whom and in what context is crisis proclaimed? What does crisis mean for social justices, security, and rights in particular contexts for various groups due to gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, class, and body-ableness? And to what extent does crisis language open up avenues for agency, counter-politics, and various moral/ethical calls for change?
These are some of the questions that will be discussed during a symposium, organised by the Pufendorf IAS Theme CRISIS, on October 21-22.


- With this symposium we want to critically explore ’CRISIS’ and open up interdisciplinary and multifaceted dialogues in regard to the conceptualization of crisis in regards to politics, precariousness, and potentialities, says Theme member Vasna Ramasar.

The symposium will take place on October 21-22 and is open for researchers and schoolars from all disciplines. In connection to the symposium the Theme will arrange a PhD workshop on the 18th of November. 

Symposium programme and registration

Call for abstract for the PhD workshop

The CRISIS Theme revolves around critical explorations of crisis. The Theme’s work focuses on the alarming reports about crises such as hurricanes and floods; political instability and unpredictability; soaring civilian casualties due to armed conflict; scenes of desperate refugees and migrants; persisting poverty; and outbreaks of aggressive diseases. Such discourses, images and practices weave our world together and this trend is sustained by global media narratives reporting on crisis across the world. Yet, crises also refer to the pressing realities that those affected by experience, many of which cause societal rupture and destruction. A crisis, materialized or perceived, provides for rapid shifts in the socio-political and economic landscapes of the world and brings to the surface the inherently gendered dimensions of any given crisis. Gender, masculinity, power, and socioeconomic privileges are critical factors to take into account when studying crisis, not only to understand the ramifications of a crisis, but also to unfold definitions of a crisis and attempts of resolving it. 

The Crisis Theme is a response to urgent calls for political action and ethical calls for more inclusive and efficient models for crisis prevention, mitigation and restoration, all indicate the importance of critically exploring crisis from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Theme undertakes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary examinations of the conceptualization of crisis, the reciprocity between various types of crises, and the gender dynamics by which a crisis is configured.