Event date/place: 1-4 July, 2020. Brussels.

Deadline for abstract submission: 13th January, 2020. 

Following the costly counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, Western states have become increasingly reluctant to deploy large numbers of their own troops as part of their military interventions aboard. They have instead focused on working ‘by, with, and through’ local and regional forces. We refer to this approach as Remote Warfare. This form of engagement is a subject of growing academic and policy orientated debate. However, considerable gaps still exist in its study. For instance, existing studies of Remote Warfare remain dominated by Anglo-American perspectives. This is an oversight given the EU’s role in training missions around the world.

This interdisciplinary workshop, organised by the Remote Warfare Programme and Tom Watts from Royal Holloway, University of London, aims to address some of these gaps within this debate. It has two primary aims: (1) to further the development of Remote Warfare as a framework for studying contemporary practices of Western military intervention; and (2) to examine the ‘strangeness and familiarity’ of European approaches to Remote Warfare.

Paper proposals no longer than 300 words are invited around the themes listed below. Proposals are also welcomed on specific practices of Remote Warfare within the context of European states.

  • Are there different approaches to Remote Warfare in the transatlantic security community? If so, what explains these differences? Is there such a thing as a European/British/American/French approach to Remote Warfare? How do these differ? How can we theorise and explain any differences?
  • How do European practices of Remote Warfare effect the experiences and practices of contemporary warfare? Do European practices of Remote Warfare effect human security in the areas of the world where such operations are conducted? What are the consequences of Remote Warfare for communities on the ground? How does Remote Warfare shape the experiences of Western military personnel? What does the uneven experience of ‘remoteness’ tell us about the geographies and temporalities of warfare today, and the changing relationship between the military, politicians and the public?
  • How can Remote Warfare be developed as a concept? What is the relationship between Remote Warfare and Hybrid Warfare, Liquid Warfare, Proxy Warfare, and Surrogate Warfare? Are the debates on Remote Warfare merely ‘old wine in new bottles’? If not, what- if any- are the unique contribution of Remote Warfare scholarship to academics, policymakers and practitioners?

Proposals and questions should be sent to both of the workshop organisers Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen (Oxford Research Group) at [email protected] and Tom Watts (Royal Holloway, University of London) at [email protected].

You can find more information about the rest of the workshops at this event here: https://eisa-net.org/ewis-2020/


Image credit: gula08/Flickr.