The importance of technology in global affairs is visible to the naked and uninitiated eye. Yet International Relations (IR) still lacks a more systematic and critical attention to the role of technological infrastructures in contemporary global governance dynamics. Here, we seek to prompt IR scholars to move 'large technical systems' (LTSs) from the contours of IR narratives to a centre stage, as they hold the potential to respond to pressing challenges for IR scholarship. Employing LTSs to respond to recent publications on the challenge that 'global governance' poses to IR, we highlight that an STS-IR encounter can, first, revitalise 'grand questions' at the heart of IR and, second, help coping with the complexity of global governance. While this encounter does not offer a ready-tailored panacea for the troubles of IR, a more systematic inquiry into LTSs is a powerful step beyond theoretical and methodological impasses, towards greater inter-disciplinary collaboration.
Global governance is in flux. Scholarship on the practice of global governance has reimagined it as a realm of disputes and confrontation, rather than one of interest-alignment within multilateral interstate forums. A profound sense of governance deficit is provoking critical reflection both within the corridors of power and among practitioners and scholars. A call within academic circles for renewed reflection on global governance as a practice-oriented scholarship has elicited varied responses from the international relation (IR) fraternity. In taking stock of the state of the art of 'global governance theory', a number of scholars have advocated for its revival to be grounded in the kind of critical reflection often absent from mainstream IR discussion. Others contest any meaningful demarcation between IR and global governance scholarship. This forum responds to a number of converging developments. Situating contributions broadly within the notion of an interregnum, it is a first cut towards a more innovative global governance research and practice-oriented agenda. We focus, in particular, on reframing the problematique of global governance from one dominated by multilateral interstate geopolitics, towards a critical reappraisal of both structure and political economy in light of the evident complexity of global governance systems.
Leading Cities is a global review of the state of city leadership and urban governance today. Drawing on research into 202 cities in 100 countries, the book provides a broad, international evidence base grounded in the experiences of all types of cities. It offers a scholarly but also practical assessment of how cities are led, what challenges their leaders face, and the ways in which this leadership is increasingly connected to global affairs.
Arguing that effective leadership is not just something created by an individual, Elizabeth Rapoport, Michele Acuto and Leonora Grcheva focus on three elements of city leadership: leaders, the structures and institutions that underpin them, and the tools used to drive change. Each of these elements are examined in turn, as are the major urban policy issues that leaders confront today on the ground. The book also takes a deep dive into one particular example of tool or instrument of city leadership – the strategic urban plan.
This book examines the role of technology in the core voices for International Relations theory and how this has shaped the contemporary thinking of 'IR' across some of the discipline's major texts. Through an interview format between different generations of IR scholars, the conversations of the book analyse the relationship between technology and concepts like power, security and global order. They explore to what extent ideas about the role and implications of technology help to understand the way IR has been framed and world politics are conceived of today. This innovative text will appeal to scholars in Politics and International Relations as well as STS, Human Geography and Anthropology. Carolin Kaltofen is Research Associate in Science Diplomacy in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London, UK. Madeline Carr is Associate Professor in International Relations and Cyber Security in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London, UK. Michele Acuto is Professor of Global Urban Politics in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia.--