GIR Colloquium | Awkward Powers in International Relations, Abbondanza and Wilkins
Friday 23 April, 1:15pm – 2:30pm, Room 441 (A02) & via Zoom* For enquiries contact Prof Justin Hastings
This presentation introduces the new concept of “Awkward Powers”. By undertaking a critical re-examination of the state of International Relations theorising on the changing nature of the global power hierarchy, it draws attention to a number of countries that fit awkwardly into existing but outdated categories such as “great power” and “middle power”. We argue that conceptual categories pertaining to the apex of the international hierarchy have become increasingly unsatisfactory, and that new approaches focusing on such “Awkward Powers” can both rectify shortcomings on power theorising whilst shining a much-needed theoretical spotlight on significant but understudied states. Drawing from a broad range of empirical case studies, we seek to provide a better appreciation of the de facto international power hierarchy in the 21st century.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Gabriele Abbondanza specialises in international relations, with an emphasis on Australian and Italian foreign and security policy; national power; and regional, middle, and great power theory. His PhD examined national power and its measurement, and was awarded by the University of Sydney in 2019. He is currently involved in a number of research projects on the above fields, as well as on the new concept of “Awkward Powers”. In 2021, he is also Associate Fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), a global top-20 international relations think tank. Prior to joining academia, Gabriele worked with Italian political foundations and Australian broadcasting companies, with which he still maintains a constructive relationship.
Dr Thomas Wilkins specialises in Security Studies and Strategic Studies, with a particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. He wrote his Ph.D thesis on the topic of Coalition Warfare at the University of Birmingham and as an Exchange Visitor at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
* Zoom URL: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/86434526358