GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate

Academic Degrees & Titles

James Brassett is Associate Professor of International Political Economy and the Director of Graduate Studies in PAIS. His first book is entitled Cosmopolitanism and Global Financial Reform, Routledge, 2010 and his research has been published in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, and Review of International Political Economy. James was awarded the prize for the best article in Review of International Studies for 2009 by the British International Studies Association. And he is currently working on a monograph entitled Trauma and Global Ethics: The Politics of Vulnerability. James has held visiting fellowships at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Queensland.

Invited Speaker: University of Lund, Departmental Seminar, 2010.; Political Studies Association, Plenary Speaker: Roundtable on Cosmopolitanism After 9-11, 2009.;University of Toronto, Workshop on Metaphors of Globalization, 2006.

Peer Reviewer: American Journal of Political Science, Ethics and International Affairs, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Review, International Theory, Review of International Studies, and Security Dialogue.

Research Area(s)

I am currently engaged in research on four inter-related themes which all fall under the heading of The Politics of Global Ethics:

  1. The re-emergence of cosmopolitan thinking across the social sciences and policy making circles.
  2. The implications of post-structural thought for the contemporary theory and practice of cosmopolitan ethics.
  3. The (im)possibility of ethical resistance(s) to globalisation via reforms of global governance and various proposals from within global civil society.  
  4. Imaginative forms of ethical resistance including comedy, film, graffitti and music.

Specific Research Interest(s)

I am interested in how the experience of trauma can contribute to an understanding of the subject of global ethics. On the one hand, the vulnerability and contingency brought to light by traumatic experience provides (at the very least) a set of fundamental questions to the traditional notion of a reasoning individual. In IPE, for instance, much work has been done on the way social structures shape or determine possibilities for individual existence. However, there has been less attention paid towards how chance events and individual experiences of trauma can shape attitudes towards and capacities to understand/act within capitalism. In the case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) this can have implications for employment, consumerism and the long term planning (via savings, pensions, investments and home buying) that now forms such a large part of market subjectivity. On the other hand, the study of PTSD can bring to light important themes and puzzles for the study of global ethics. One important theme relates to the way that PTSD affects understandings of 'being' and 'being-with'. It is often argued that trauma carries a Janus faced quality; PTSD sufferers either experience deep insecurity in relation to others which can manifest in terms of isolationism, or, with or without the aid of counselling, people who have experienced trauma may find that they have a new perspective on life and, importantly, the lives of others; the experience of trauma can foster a deep sensitivity towards the pain and suffering of others. Finally, the research will be geared towards a very practical policy problem, namely: the provision of counselling support in the wake of major global catastrophes like 9-11, the Tsunami, 7-7 and Hurricane Katrina. Key questions include: how are events produced as traumatic? Who is involved in the production of that 'problem'? And how do different 'policy stakeholders' interact to determine 'solutions' to the 'problem'?

Teaching(s)

I am not currently teaching this year. In my first four years at Warwick I have convened the undergraduate course 'States and Markets: An Introduction to International Political Economy' as well as the postgraduate course 'The Politics of International Trade'. In addition I have acted as MA Course Director for the core course of 'International Relations Theory'. And finally, I have both developed and directed a full year MA course on 'The Politics of Global Ethics'.

Suggested Fields of Inquiry

  1. The re-emergence of cosmopolitan thinking across the social sciences and policy making circles.
  2. The implications of post-structural thought for the contemporary theory and practice of cosmopolitan ethics.
  3. The (im)possibility of ethical resistance(s) to globalisation via reforms of global governance and various proposals from within global civil society.  
  4. Imaginative forms of ethical resistance including comedy, film, graffitti and music.

Overview of Publications

Books

Cosmopolitanism and Global Financial Reform: A Pragmatic Approach to the Tobin Tax, Routledge/RIPE Series in Global Political Economy, 2010..

Journal articles

'Crisis Is Governance: Sub-Prime, the Traumatic Event, and Bare Life', forthcoming in Global Society, with Nick Vaughan-Williams.

'Performing the Sub-Prime Crisis: Trauma and the Financial Event', forthcoming in International Political Sociology, with Chris Clarke.

'The Politics of Legitimate Global Governance' in Review of International Political Economy, forthcoming, with Eleni Tsingou.

'Cosmopolitan Sentiments After 9-11: Trauma and the Politics of Vulnerability', in Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, 3: 12-29.

'International Political Economy and the Question of Ethics', Review of International Political Economy, forthcoming, with Chris Holmes.

'Deliberation and Global Civil Society: Agency, Arena, Affect', Review of International Studies, 2010, 36(2): 413-430, with William Smith.

'A Pragmatic Approach to the Tobin Tax Campaign: The Politics of Sentimental Education', European Journal of International Relations, 2009, 15(3): 447-476.

'British Irony, Global Justice: A Pragmatic Reading of Chris Brown, Banksy and Ricky Gervais', Review of International Studies, 2009, 35(1): 219-245.

'Deliberation and Global Governance: Liberal, Cosmopolitan and Critical Perspectives' in Ethics and International Affairs, 2008, 22:1, pp. 69-92, with William Smith.

'Cosmopolitanism vs. Terrorism? Discourses of Ethical Possibility Before and After 7/7' in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 2008, 36(2): 121-147.

'Ethics in World Politics: Cosmopolitanism and Beyond?' in International Politics, 2007, 44(1):1-18, with Dan Bulley.

'Contingent Borders, Ambiguous Ethics: Migrants in International Political Theory', in International Studies Quarterly, 2005, 49(2): 233-253, with Owen Parker.

'Building the Normative Dimension(s) of a Global Polity', in Review of International Studies, 2003, 29(SI): 29-55, with Richard Higgott.

Edited Journal Special Issues

Review of International Political Economy, Special Issue on 'Legitimacy and Global Governance', co-edited with Eleni Tsingou, Issue includes Steven Bernstein, Furio Cerutti, Robert Keohane, Kishore Mahbubani, Daniel Mugge, Lena Rethel and Jan Aart Scholte.

New Political Economy, Special Issue on 'The Political Economy of the Sub-Prime Crisis: the economics, politics and ethics of response', forthcoming 2010. Issue includes Jacqueline Best, Paul Langley, Adam Leaver, Johnna Montgomerie, Len Seabrooke, Tim Sinclair, Grahame Thompson, and Duncan Wigan.

Review of International Studies, Special Section on 'Deliberation and Global Governance', co-edited with Dr William Smith, forthcoming 2010. Section includes James Bohman, Garrett Brown, Eva Erman, Randall Germain, Richard Higgott, and Peter Newell.

British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Special Section on 'The Political Economy of the Subprime Crisis', co-edited with Lena Rethel and Matthew Watson, 2009, 11(3). Section includes Colin Crouch, Shaun French, Colin Hay, Alan Finlayson, Andrew Leyshon and Matthew Watson.

International Politics, Special Issue on 'Ethics in World Politics', co-edited with Dr Dan Bulley, 2007, 44(1). Issue includes Stuart Elden, Toni Erskine, Kim Hutchings, Andrew Linklater, William Smith, Nick Vaughan-Williams, and Maja Zehfuss.

Other Publications

'After Walker', forum on Rob Walker's book After the Globe, Before the World, in Contemporary Political Theory, forthcoming.

'The Political Economy of the Sub-Prime Crisis: The Economics, Politics and Ethics of Response' in New Political Economy 15(1), with Lena Rethel and Matthew Watson.

'Introduction to the Political Economy of the Sub-Prime Crisis' in British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 11(3), with Lena Rethel and Matthew Watson.

'Richard Rorty' in Jenny Edkins and Nick Vaughan Williams (eds.) Critical Theorists and International Relations, Routledge, forthcoming.

'The Ethics of Global Governance and the Global Governance of Ethics' in Hayden, P. (ed.) The Ashgate Research Companion to Ethics and International Relations, Ashgate, 2009.

'Cosmopolitanism vs. Terrorism? Discourses of Ethical Possibility Before and After 7/7', Revised and Reprinted in Angharad Closs-Stephens and Nick Vaughan

Williams (eds.) Terrorism and the Politics of Response. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, forthcoming.

'Mutiny or Mirror? Politicising the Limit/Ethics of the Tobin Tax' in Kornprobst, M. et al. (eds.) Metaphors of Globalization: mirrors, magicians or mutinies. Palgrave: Macmillan, 2006.

'Global Justice/Global Democracy: A Critical Analysis of the UK Campaign for the Tobin Tax', 2007, United Nations Research Institute fior Social Development (UNRISD), Geneva.

'Just Deconstruction? Derrida and Global Ethics' in Hayden P. and El-Ojeili, C. (eds.) Confronting Globalization: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2005, with Federico Merke.

Work in Progress

Trauma and Global Ethics: The Politics of Vulnerability, book length monograph in preparation.

'IPE and Political Theory: A Polanyian Approach to Global Ethics', with Chris Holmes

'Experiments in Global Governance: Sustainability Roundtables and the Politics of Deliberation,' with Ben Richardson and Will Smith.

'Sentimentality and Trauma: Reconstructing Sympathy'

'Performative Ecologies of Resilience and Trauma: A Critical Analysis of UK Resilience', with Nick Vaughan Williams