So far, we have organised the following activities:

15 May 2024, 11:00 - 12:45 - Book Launch 'Performing Sovereign Aspirations: Tamil Insurgency and Postwar Transition in Sri Lanka'

The book launch was presented by the author Bart Klem, an Associate Professor in Peace and Development Studies at Gothenburg University, Sweden. The event included an interdisciplinary discussion. The book 'Performing Sovereign Aspirations: Tamil Insurgency and Postwar Transition in Sri Lanka' is available (open access) via the CUP website.

This book yields a compelling analytical narrative that shows how political institutions are enacted and witnessed, rather than cataloguing them in the strictures of the law. Additionally, it provides food for thought for broader conceptual debates concerning armed conflict and insurgency. For more information please click here.

14 March 2024  - Revisiting Security in Open Societies: (In)Security from Above, Below, or Everywhere? - Event of Security in Open Societies & Contesting Governance Platform

This event aimed to provide a platform for researchers in security studies from various disciplines to continue the discussion initiated during last year's edition of 'Contesting Security in Open Societies.' We delved into identifying disciplinary differences and exploring potential opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange within Utrecht University. During the event, participants engaged in discussions on common themes, reflect on their own disciplines, and explore the possible added value of an interdisciplinary approach. For more information, please visit this page.

28 February 2024 - The price of Data exchange – responsibilities and harms in the digitized migration context

In an era marked by unprecedented digital advancements and humanitarian efforts, the complexities surrounding data collection, sharing, and its implications for vulnerable populations, especially migrants, demand our immediate attention. Therefore, this thought-provoking roundtable discussion was centered on the critical theme of data exchange practices, data responsibilities and harms in the migration context. For more information please click here.

01 December 2023 - Symposium Travelling Technologies

During this symposium, various scholars presented their work related to technological advancements in security. More specifically, this symposium delved into the dimension of 'travelling' within AI innovation, experimentation and deployment across policing and warfare operations. For more information, please visit this page.


30 November 2023 - Public lecture: The Rise of Algorithmic Policing in the United States

Public lecture by Roberto J. González, a professor of Anthropology at San José State University. This session shed light on the rise of algorithmic policing in the United States. For more information, please visit this page.

9-11 November 2023, Conference 2023: The Lausanne Moment 100 Years On: Interdisciplinary Interventions, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki

The Lausanne Project in collaboration with the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies University of Macedonia are organizing an international conference to be held in Thessaloniki, Salonica, Selanik, a city that inspired and then endured the coming of this new historical era characterized by a shift from cosmopolitanism to competing nationalisms.. For more information please click here.

31 October 2023 - Gaza in Context 

In light of the ongoing and escalating violence in Gaza, we invited students and staff to partake in an academic debate that aims to contextualize the Israel-Palestine conflict. The debate featured an interdisciplinary panel of speakers with diverse backgrounds, offering insights into the conflict characterized by occupation and colonial rule. For more information, please click here.

06 October 2023 - Book Launch Marlene Schäfers

We organized a book launch, hosted by author Marlene Schäfers, an Assistant Professor in Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University. She launched her book ‘Voices that Matter’, a fine-grained ethnography exploring the sociopolitical power of Kurdish women’s voices in contemporary Turkey. For more information, please click here.

28 September 2023 - Launch Network of Interdisciplinary Policing Studies

During this network launch of the Interdisciplinary Policing Studies (NIPS), existing UU research on policing across disciplines was showcased. Various scholars from other networks at other universities and organisations were also invited to discuss the role of academia in policing studies. For more information, please visit this page.

27 June 2023 - Contesting Governance Network Event

During this network event (with borrel), we played a game which was designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue in academia in an interactive and playful way. For more information, please click here.

16 June 2023 - Book Launch 'The Vigilant Citizen' 

Dr. Thijs Jeursen presented his book ‘The Vigilant Citizen; Everyday Policing and Insecurity in Miami.’ Dr. Hayal Akarsu and Dr. Rianne Dekker acted as discussants. For more information, please click here.

14-15 June 2023 - Conference 'Interrogating the Geopolitical: Ethnographic Engagements'

This conference brought together scholars from political geography, law, and anthropology to interrogate the methodological problems of studying geopolitics from a “bottom-up” perspective. For more info, please visit this page.

6 June 2023 -  Religion and Armed Groups in Comparative Perspective

The Contesting Governance project group ‘Governance and Citizenship in Protracted Conflict’ organized a workshop on Religion and Armed Groups in Comparative Perspective, in the role of religion in the governance practices of armed groups was discussed.

30 May 2023 - Transparency and Accountability in Military Operations

The Public International Law and Human Rights Honours Programme Clinic hosted an impact event in which specialists shared interdisciplinary insights on Transparency and Accountability in Military Operations. For more info, please visit this page

25 May 2023 – Contesting Environmental Governance

In this seminar, Prof. dr. Liesbeth van de Grift (HUM) and Dr. Jeroen Oomen (GEO) discussed rural socio-ecological environments, state bureaucracies, and (the risks of) climate engineering technologies. For more, please click here

9 May 2023 - PhD Network Event

During this network event we welcomed PhD researchers to explore their research areas from an interdisciplinary perspective by playing the COLLAB game and get acquainted with the work of the Contesting Governance platform. For more information, please click here.

8 May 2023 - Roundtable conversation on the University and the fossil fuel industry

In this roundtable co-organized with the Energy in Transition Community, we discussed the relations between the university and fossil fuel industry in Utrecht and the Netherlands. For more information can be found here.

21 March 2023 - Security Workshop

Together with the Security in Open Societies (SOS) Platform we co-organized a workshop to bring together researchers across UU working on ‘security’ and explore how security is defined, applied, and researched across disciplines and faculties. Read more about this workshop on this page. 

6 March 2023 - Presentation by Dr. Sara de Jong

Dr. Sara de Jong, visiting scholar from the University of York invited by platform member Prof. dr. Bruce Mutsvairo, presented her paper Invisible Men: the injured lives of Afghan interpreters, with Dr. Aditi Saraf as a discussant. 

15 February 2023 - RAW project kicks off RE-AIM Summit

The Realities of Algorithmic Warfare (RAW) project co-hosted the ‘Realities Algorithmic Warfare: Use, Impact and Regulation’ break-out session at the RE-AIM Summit in The Hague. For more information, see here.

In December 2022, we kicked off the Contesting Governance Platform’s new Interdisciplinary Playground series, by playing the board game COLLAB, a board game designed to foster interdisciplinary dialogue designed by Silja Klepp and Johanna Barnbeck. The Interdisciplinary Playground series is designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue. It consists of play/ games-based activities that are intended to capture members’ experiences of interdisciplinary collaboration, help members reflect on the assumptions at the heart of their disciplines, learn more about the structures and priorities of other disciplines and get to know each other. 

12 December 2022 - Who Controls our Army?: A conversation about war, civilian harm and the bombardment on Hawija’

Core team member Dr. Lauren Gould, together with Jip van Dort and Marrit Woudwijk, published the book ‘Hawija: The Destructive Realities of our War against IS’. During this event in Tivoli Utrecht, they engaged in a debate with the societal partners who contributed to the book, including ex-parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut, civilian harm expert Erin Bijl from Pax, Coordinating Policy Advisor Civil Harm Bob van Dijk from the Dutch Ministry of Defence, and the Nuhanovic Centre for War Reparations. 

13 September 2022 – Policing and Peacebuilding in Côte d’Ivoire, looking deeper at the rural areas

This seminar was organized by the Transformative Policing Research Group, who invited speaker Dr. Maxime Ricard, from the Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'École Militaire (IRSEM) and Dr. Roisin Burke from Utrecht University as discussant. 

In 2022, we organized a seminar series on the Russia-Ukraine war:

  • 16 March 2022 -  (Dis)information and challenges of documenting hostilities -  dr. Mariëlle Wijermars, (Assistant Professor in Cyber-Security and Politics at Maastricht University), Dmytro Chupryna and  Emily Tripp, (from NGO Airwars) and Karolina Aksamitowska (Lecturer in Law at Tallinn University).
  • 7 June 2022 – Receiving Ukrainian refugees: Political Discourse in Central Europe – prof. Izabela Grabowska (Kozminski University; Center for Research on Social Change and Human Mobility); dr. Veronika Nagy (LEG).

June 8 2022 - Realities of Algorithmic Defence Symposium

The Intimacies of Remote Warfare hosted the Realities of Algorithmic Defence Symposium to discuss with military commanders, academics, startups, and NGOs the current state of development, deployment, and regulation of autonomy in defence systems. 

28 June 2022 - Contesting Governance Network Event 

The Contesting Governance Platform hosted its first network event in the summer of 2022 to enable platform members and potential new associates to get to know each other during interactive speed date rounds.

In 2021 we organized two series of seminars to bring together UU scholars on various themes:

We also organized a Transformative Policing Seminar Series on Contemporary Trends in Policing, touching upon conceptual debates and pressing societal matters across disciplines.

  • 20 April 2021 –The Limits of Legal Formalism with Prof. Alex S. Vitale (Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College) on his recent book ‘The End of Policing’. Followed by a discussion by Dr. Veronika Nagy (LEG).
  • 19 May 2021 – The New Security Imperialism with Prof. Catherine Besteman (Professor of Anthropology at Colby College) on her book ‘Militarized Global Apartheid’. Followed by a discussion by Prof. Ajay Bailey (GEO).
  • 8 June 2021 – Memory Politics and Security in Northern Ireland with Dr. Kevin Hearty (Research fellow at the School of Law, Queen’s University in Belfast). Followed by a discussion from Dr. Iva Vukusic (HUM).

In collaboration with Studium Generale we organized a seminar series on ‘9/11: 20 years later’. This series discussed the legacy of the 9/11 attacks. Was it indeed a turning point in history, as is often said? And if so, to whom?

  • 8 September 2021 – 9/11 as a global turning point – with Prof. Beatrice de Graaf. Watch the recording here

  • 6 October 2021, 8 pm – The Price of Security – with dr. Tessa Diphoorn. Watch the recording here

  • 3 November 2021, 8 pm – What it Means to be Blacklisted – with Prof. Marieke de Goede. Watch the recording here

  • 8 December 2021, 8 pm – The Global War on Terror in the Neighbourhood – with dr. Luuk Slooter. Watch the recording here

28 October 2020 - Rules and Laws in Protracted Conflict: Concurrence, Negotiation, and Friction

The Protracted Conflict Group organized an international, online seminar with thirteen scholars around the world, exploring the ways in which order is developed in situations of protracted conflict, whether informally as rules or formally in laws - or perhaps as something else entirely. More information on this seminar can be found in this blog post