Anthropology meets International Relations

International workshop studied chances and challenges at the interface of social anthropology and IR

In cooperation with the Chair in International Organisation for the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” at Frankfurt University, PRIF hosted an international workshop on 29 and 30 November 2012 called ”Anthropology meets International Relations: Potentials, Prospects and Pitfalls”. The aim was to provide a forum for dialogue and debate for both political scientists interested in anthropology, and anthropologists working on topics of international relations in Germany and Europe, and to assess the possible value added by interdisciplinary research at this interface.


In their introductory remarks, Christopher Daase and Jonathan Spencer (University of Edinburgh, UK (lower picture)) approached this question from the angle of the two disciplines. More than 40 participants from 10 countries engaged in lively discussions in the following one and a half days and made it a great success. They addressed the potential of interdisciplinary research in theoretical and methodological terms as well as with regard to the choice of research fields. Focal points were inter alia: Which theories are particularly useful to travel across disciplinary boundaries, and which theories may emerge from this nexus? How can researchers who cross the disciplinary boundaries design their studies? Which research questions and social phenomena call for and benefit most from an interdisciplinary approach between IR and anthropology?


In view of the stimulating debates and most positive feedback from participants, further workshops are envisaged for the coming years to scrutinize the possibilities and limitations of interdisciplinary research.


Contact in PRIF: Dr Sabine Mannitz


You can find the programme of the conference as a pdf-download here.