Disruption by design: planetary programming in the aftermath of geopolitics


How have design and engineering become forms of political intervention rather than a means of political intervention? What happens when disruption rather than good governance has become the metric of institutional success?  This Review of International Studies Forum examines a change in politics no longer defined by governance and what is governable, but a series of unending beta-tests hedged upon the creation of new geopolitical frontiers and lifeforms. From the compulsory exchange of biometric information for faster shipping options, to the fabrication of mountains to increase rainfall in the desert, to the moves beyond this planet to dominate orbital space, asteroids and even Mars, the conversation launched here will interrogate forms of authority and legitimacy being fashioned around concepts and visions of disruptive futures, rather than demonstrations of capability in the present. What does it mean that the management and mobilization of populations are being displaced by practices of statecraft devoted to ‘unprecedented innovation’?  And what happens when the grand will to engineer fails, and debts of efficiency, extraction, and extinction accrue? 

This event will be organised as a keynote lecture by Nicole Sunday Grove (University of Hawaii-Manoa) with interventions by Louise Amoore (Durham University), Neel Ahuja (University of California-Santa Cruz) and Charmaine Chua (University of California – Santa Barbara). Talks will be pre-recorded and available here on 30 October 2020. A live Q&A with the contributors will take place on 5 November 2020 from 17h30-19h00 (BST).

    • 5:30 PM 7:00 PM