My research interests center on issues of international security governance, regional practices and organizations, social International Relations theory, and interpretive research methodologies and methods. I have field work experience at a number of regional IOs, having conducted interviews and archival work at the Organization for American States (Washington, DC), the ASEAN Secretariat (Jakarta, Indonesia), and the African Union Commission (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).
My research has been published in European Journal of International Relations, Journal of Global Security Studies, and the Routledge Security and Governance series, and is forthcoming in International Affairs.
I am currently working on three related projects:
I. Habits of Peace: Practices of Regional Diplomacy
Book Project: My doctoral research, and now book project, asks: how can we understand long-term peace among illiberal states? I argue that regional practitioners think and act from established cognitive predispositions, and that their agency is circumscribed as a result. Regional cooperation – and patterns of ‘long peace’ – are the product of habituated practices of conflict management. I rely on more than 90 interviews with diplomats across a number of regional organizations to posit the particular and perhaps unique diplomatic habits of distinct regional communities. I demonstrate the consequence of these practical aspects of regional cooperation through single and paired comparison case studies. This is a methodological point of departure from existing literatures that tend to rely on indirect official statements and single cases. I am currently revising my doctoral dissertation into a book manuscript entitled, Habits of Peace: Conflict Management Practices in Southeast Asia and South America.
An abridged version of the theory, methodology, and Southeast Asian case is published as Aarie Glas (2017), “Habits of Peace: Long-Term Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia“ European Journal of International Relations Vol. 23(4): 833–856.
Three on-going projects extend this line of research:
A. In the first, I expand my regional focus and apply my theoretical framework to explore the African Union as a community of practice. In, “African Union Security Culture in Practice: African Problems and African Solutions” (forthcoming, International Affairs, Accepted May 2018), I examine the particularities of the AU ‘security culture’ to explain the apparent incongruity between the AU norm of African Problems and African Solutions and the organization’s dependence on extra-regional actors. I contend that to understand this central norm, we should conceptualize the AU as a community of practice wherein norms are internalized and practiced in particular ways. What appears incongruous to those external to the community is reconciled in and through practice by its members.
B. In the second, an article-in-progress entitled “People-Centrism in Regional Communities: Rhetorical Convergence in ASEAN and ECOWAS,” Emmanuel Balogun (Webster University) and I explore the turn to “people-centered” regional governance at both the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The adoption by both organizations, at the same time, is itself puzzling. Using a practice-oriented framework, we contend that while both organizations have institutionalized the same norm for similar reasons, the community of practitioners at each understand and enact it different ways. This variation is explained by the particulars of each regional community of practice.
C. The third, “Inside and Outside the ASEAN Way: Stigma and Practice in Southeast Asia,” remains a work in progress. A very early draft was presented at ISA 2018. Here, I explore intra-ASEAN stigmatization practices and how central ASEAN norms, e.g. non-intervention, are increasingly contested in practice within ASEAN.
II. Multilateral Practices and Global Governance
Along with Matthew J. Hoffmann (Toronto), Robert Denemark (Delaware), and Clifton van der Linden (Toronto), I am engaged in a project that explores the constitutive effects of the practice of multilateral treaty-making in the global context.
Our 2018 article, “Understanding Treaty-Making as Constitutive Practice” (Journal of Global Security Studies, 3(3): pp. 339-357), makes use of diplomatic history and social network analysis (SNA) to argue that multilateral treaty-making is a taken-for-granted practice of the international system is constitutive of both competent state actors and the international system itself.
This flirtation with issues of global governance builds on my long-held interest in the institutions and structures of the post-WWII global order. On this, see my short Chapter with John Kirton (Toronto), “Global Governance from America, Canada and the Responsible Rest“, in Debating a Post-American World (2012), part of the Routledge Security and Governance series.
III. Interpretive Methods and Methodologies
I am also working on a research agenda that explicitly interrogates the interpretive and qualitative methods at the heart of my research. In particular, I am interested in the role of researchers in the production of knowledge and in exploring the role of power and positionality within all stages of the research process.
In a co-authored paper, “Towards Active Reflexivity: Positionality and Practice in the Production of Knowledge” (under review), with Jessica Soedirgo (Toronto) we explore these issues directly. I have presented on similar issues, including “Reflections and Reflexivity: Outsiders in Elite Interviews“ a paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. USA. September 2016, and “Habits and Multilateral Practice: Methodological Issues and Insights,” a presentation to The Methods Studio: An Advanced Workshop in Interpretive Methods Short Course at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in 2013.
I also teach qualitative and interpretive methods and methodologies, so please check out a recent syllabus!