ICU Rotary Peace Center is organizing a Peace Seminar inviting Dr Felix Roesch, a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Coventry University, UK. We look forward to many of your participation.
Rotary Peace Seminar: Dancing Conflicts Away. Politics of Dance at the Congress of Vienna and the Rokumeikan
– Speaker: Dr Felix Roesch, a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Coventry University, UK
– Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018
– Time: 16:30-17:40
– Place: H-170
– Language: English
In the 19th century, the global fabric experienced profound transformations that still underpin international politics today. Foreign policy making moved from the hands of a transcultural elite to national functionary elites, in whose process embodied modes of international sociability were replaced by seemingly more rational ones. However, this move constricted foreign policy makers in their ability to alleviate international conflicts, as embodied practices help to deal with the ambiguities of international politics by allowing to negotiate different perspectives and exploring common potentialities. This shift in foreign policy making from embodied practices to “rational” discourses is traced through the decline of dance as a practice of policy making. Until the beginning of the 19th century, dances were repeatedly performed as a way to establish the outlines of a new international system, to propose new practices and rituals, to remind of rules that apply in a particular system, to challenge existing rules, or to communicate between one international system and another. Consequently, dancing helped the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) to end the Coalition Wars and establish with the Concert of Europe a peaceful system of conflict resolution. At the end of the century, however, dance was no longer deemed an appropriate form of international sociability, which is why intentions to demonstrate Japan’s progress in westernizing the country with the Rokumeikan (1883-1887) eventually failed. Rather than being accepted into the European dominated international system, Western envoys ridiculed the efforts of the Japanese elite to master Western ballroom dances.
Felix Rösch is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Coventry University/UK. He works on encounters of difference in transcultural contexts and on international political thought at the intersection of classical realism and critical theories. Amongst others, he has published with the Review of International Studies, Politics, Ethics & International Affairs, European Journal of International Relations, and International Studies Perspectives. His most recent books include The Concept of the Political (2012), Émigré Scholars and the Genesis of International Relations (2014), and Power, Knowledge, and Dissent in Morgenthau’s Worldview (2015). He tweets @DrFelixRoesch.
The lecture will be held as part of a graduate course “Religion, Conflict and Human Security (QPPS602)” but is open to anybody.