RC04 - Visual Politics


Dr. Sruthi Muraleedharan, Shiv Nadar University
sruthi.muraleedharan@snu.edu.in | +91 9061774816

Assistant Professor    
Department of International Relations and Governance Studies
Shiv Nadar University
NH91, Tehsil Dadri, Greater Noida
Uttar Pradesh 201314



Dr. Rune Saugmann, Tampere University
runesaugmann@landminer.dk | +358 0531 87614

Post-doctoral fellow
Academy of Finland
Tampere University
Kalevantie 4
Tampere 33100



Dr. Jack Holland, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, j.holland@leeds.ac.uk

Prof. Patrick James, University of Southern California, United States, patrickj@usc.edu

Dr. Karin Liebnart, University of Vienna, Austria, karin.liebhart@univie.ac.at

Dr. Aidan McGarry, Loughborough University, United Kingdom, a.mcgarry@lboro.ac.uk

Prof. Andreas Pribersky, University of Vienna, Austria, andreas.pribersky@univie.ac.at

Dr. David Shim, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, david.shim@rug.nl

Dr. Elspeth Van Vareen, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, e.vanveeren@bristol.ac.uk



Recognised as research committee in 2020.

The “visual” or “aesthetic” turn in global politics refers to an international and interdisciplinary enterprise motivated by the acknowledgment of the centrality of visuals in our contemporary political and social realities. It concerns both the use of visuals in the narration of politics beyond words (e.g., through photography, documentary cinema, and so on) and the study of visual phenomena as part of political facts, events and representations. Since its gradual development in the late 1990s and its expansion in the following decade, scholarly research dedicated to visual politics includes various disciplinary and analytical approaches – such as security studies; international relations; political sociology; or comparative politics. It also includes a large yet specialized spectrum of fields and research topics – including but not limited to new technologies; discourses, representations and forms of warfare; peace and conflict; foreign policy; refugee crises; health issues; international organizations; diplomacy; affects and emotions; identity politics; nationalisms. More than considering visuality as a key-resource to understand the world and its organizing dynamics, the originality of visual politics also relies on the methods used and developed by its scholars. Favoring qualitative methods and often committed in in-depth fieldwork and reflexivity, visual scholars can use fieldwork photography, image analysis, participatory research, documentary cinema and autoethnography.



The research committee will serve the following objectives:

  • Promote, expand and critically discuss research in visual international politics through publication and teaching, both regarding peers and students;
  • Contribute to the support of early-career scholars whose research and/or teaching relates to visual politics;
  • Question the epistemological bias (e.g., colonial politics) in visual scholarship and contribute to the field’s inclusivity and global representativeness;
  • Contribute to fill the lack of institutionalization of visually engaged research in political science;
  • Represent the disciplinary diversity of the community of visual political scientists bringing together a wide range of politics, political sociology and international relations scholars;
  • Create an international and inclusive platform for exchanges, collaborations and debates among scholars whose research emphasizes the visual in political phenomena around the world;
  • Provide a forum for in-depth and creative exploration of various approaches, particular methods, fields and visual phenomena;
  • Centralize and circulate information, opportunities and contacts among visual scholars in political science or related disciplines;
  • Promote acceptance and understanding of a wide range of methods, approaches and paradigms that constitute visually oriented research in political science or related disciplines;
  • Supporting the IPSA to become a resource for all approaches and empirical fields that engage with images, politics and the international;
  • Provide a framework between scholars and organizations concerned with research and teaching in political and other social sciences emphasizing global politics.