The project team convened a panel ‘Ritual Specters of Deterrence and Diplomacy: History, Memory and Theory’ at the ISA-Northeast 2023 Annual Convention, ‘Specters of International Relations: Emotions, Aesthetics, and Memory in the Past, Present, and Future of IR’ in Providence, Rhode Island, USA on 3-4 November 2023. The panel explored the historical scripts of deterrence (Thomas Fraise), aesthetics of China’s nuclear deterrence (Cameron Hunter), memory-political deterrence (Maria Mälksoo and Karl Gustafsson, Stockholm University), a micro-moves approach to deterrence (Minseon Ku, Dartmouth College and Brian Finch, The Ohio State University), and the impact of novel nuclear weapons on the US-Russia nuclear deterrence (Spenser Warren, Indiana University Bloomington).
Cameron Hunter recently attended a session run by the Georgetown University Wargaming Society (GUWS). GUWS is a student-led organisation that aims both to be fun and to make professional wargaming skills more accessible – not only at Georgetown but across the DC Metro area. GUWS provides a forum for trying unfamiliar games, meaning Cameron benefitted from learning new concepts and approaches to wargames design. The Society is also characterised by lively debate accompanying play, as opponents and allies discuss design philosophy and the political topics modelled on the board. Regrettably, this time Cameron was not able to return to KU with the laurels of victory – thankfully this did not spoil an enriching day.
Cameron Hunter, Postdoctoral Researcher on the RITUAL DETERRENCE Project, was recently inducted into a Washington-based group of nuclear experts. With the goal of ensuring knowledge of nuclear weapons issues does not disappear, the Center For Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has run the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) since 2003. PONI’s Mid-Career Cadre brings together nuclear specialists from technical, policy and military backgrounds that have at least 7 years of experience in the field. As part of the Cadre’s activities, Cameron will be involved in discussions throughout the nuclear communities of the US and its allies.
Prof. Maria Mälksoo participated at the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence 2023, titled as ‘A Silver Medal is Not Good Enough: Mobilising Ourselves to Deter Another War in Europe’. The conference was organised by the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in Tallinn, Estonia on 26-27 September 2023. Prof. Mälksoo moderated the opening session of the conference, titled as ‘Defending Every Inch – Time for Some Proper Weightlifting’.
Maria Mälksoo gave one of the keynote talks at the 2nd Post-Socialist Memory Cultures in Transition Conference at Tallinn University, Estonia, on 22 September 2023. Her talk was entitled ‘Translation Troubles: Russia’s War on Ukraine and the Lessons of World War II in International Memory Politics’. She also spoke at the roundtable ‘Rhetorics of Colonialism and Russia’s War in Ukraine’.
Maria Mälksoo participates at the 16th EISA Pan-European Conference on International Relations (EISA PEC2023) at the University of Potsdam, Germany, on 5-9 Sept 2023. She presents her co-authored paper (with Jorg Kustermans) ‘Ritual and the limits of the everyday’ in the panel ‘The Practice Turn in IR and Its Critics’, convenes the roundtable on her edited volume Handbook on the Politics of Memory (Edward Elgar, 2023), participates in two roundtables (‘Let’s talk about war!’; ‘Wartime Heterarchy — Exploring the Nodes and Layers of the West-Russia-China relations’) and speaks at the main plenary session ‘Democratizing the construction of future orders’.
Maria Mälksoo participates at the workshop on nuclear weapons in NATO’s deterrence policy, organised by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 29-30 Aug 2023.