Entanglements and Detachments in Global Politics

International Relations is concerned with the connections that constitute lived political realities. The present moment is marked by an unprecedented awareness of the intra-relations and ruptures at the core of social and political life. The ongoing global pandemic, anti-racist protests and struggles against environmental degradation have laid bare the need for connected understandings of global politics. The 2020 Annual Conference of Millennium: Journal of International Studies was a call to push existing approaches to global (dis)connectivity, heterogeneity and shared vulnerabilities further by attuning to the entanglements of societies, species and environments, as well as acknowledging the ways of being that are foreclosed when entangled realities materialize.

Editors Alice Engelhard, Andy Li, and Enrike van Wingerden invited theoretical, ethical and empirical engagements with entanglements and detachments, as well as understudied connections and disconnections. Through the notion of ‘entanglement,’ we invited conversation on the messy, layered connections that constitute our worlds. ‘Detachment’ explored the limits of entanglement, by pointing to the disparity between different lifeworlds, species, objects and subjects not only as outcomes of opposing power structures or connections yet to be drawn but also as separations. By thinking together about entanglements and detachments, conference participants reflected on the ethics of (dis)connecting, or connecting differently, with other forms of life and matter in global politics.

Conference contributions were published as part of a special issue of Millennium: Journal of International Studies 49, no. 3 (2021).