EISA PEC Section Chairs Mert & Horn Invite Contributions – Future as Method Beyond Dys/Utopia

The 15th EISA Pan-European Conference on International Relations (PEC) will be held in Athens at Panteion University, 1–4 September 2022 and framed by the conference theme Pandaemonium: Interrogating the Apocalyptic Imaginaries of Our Time. About forty standing and regular sections cover a variety of research fields in international relations. Ayşem Mert, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre, and Associate Professor of Environmental Politics, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University together with Laura Horn, Associate Professor, Economic Policy, Institutions and Change, Power, Identity and Critique, Language & Learning, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, invite contributions to their section:



Two emergencies will shape international relations in years to come: the Covid-19 global public health emergency, as well as the climate and ecological emergency. Social and political responses to these emergencies were radically different, even though these crises relate to each other in complex and densely overdetermined conjunctures that draw on transformations in interrelated scientific, economic and cultural spheres. What is regarded as possible public policy, acceptable risk, or responsible behaviour has been transformed. The greatest fears and political desires of citizens have changed, and accordingly, what we expect from decision-making and hope for the future of our societies.

Around each one of these emergencies several utopian, dystopian, and even apocalyptic socio-political, economic and ecological imaginaries have developed both in fiction and in science. These emergent imaginaries of the future and new fantasmatic orders connecting the global to the micropolitical will undoubtedly underlie the political changes in the coming years and should be systematically studied.

 Imaginaries of a post-pandemic world order, in which climate crisis is an ongoing phenomenon provides International Relations with a new concern but also what we argue to be a new methodological possibility. “Taking the future seriously” without consorting to positivist and rationalist approaches that eventually build reductionist models in order to imperfectly predict the future, is increasingly popular among IR scholars who study fiction, popular culture, metaphors and policy narratives. Writing new and open imaginaries, with the existing trends as a guideline, has also been done on a few occasions. Our goal is to learn from various studies of future imaginaries that have been produced in the last five years, e.g. the psychoanalytic, posthuman, critical political economy, and Anthropocene approaches, and connect the various emergent strands of the discipline. This allows for a new research agenda that at once addresses the complexity of global political relations and the ways in which trans/inter/anti-disciplinary research can help us decipher a future-oriented thinking towards a future that is open-ended and desirable.


Individual paper submissions are welcome, as well as panel proposals.

Themes to be explored could be e.g.

  • Critical fantasy studies as method
  • Green utopias, the Anthropocene, and more-than-human IR
  • Pændemonium in the IR classroom? Reflecting on future pedagogies
  • Futurism as Method: Utopias and Dystopias in Global Environmental Politics
  • Ends of Disciplinarity
  • Decolonising futures; rewriting the present
  • Do global governance and institutions have a future?
  • Climate emergency and democracy in the 22nd century
  • 1000 blooming genders - imagining the future of social reproduction
  • Futures of care and compassion
  • Futures and IR beyond binaries

We’re open to your suggestions!

Abstract submission at https://eisa-net.org/eisa-pec-2022-abstract-submission-is-open/.

Abstracts should not be longer than 1800 characters (ca 250-300 words) max.


For questions, please send an email to aysem.mert@statsvet.su.se and lhorn@ruc.dk.

Section Chairs

Laura Horn

Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Business
Associate Professor, Economic Policy, Institutions and Change
Associate Professor, Power, Identity and Critique
Associate Professor, Language & Learning

Profile (Roskilde Univ.)

Email: lhorn@ruc.dk