Dr Lara Montesinos Coleman

ISRF Early Career Fellow 2014-16

Dr Lara Montesinos Coleman

ISRF Early Career Fellow 2014-16

Lara holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Oxford (2000) and MScs in International Relations (2003) and Research Methods (2005), from the University of Bristol, where she also completed my PhD (2011). She joined the International Relations Department at Sussex in 2012.

Her research, which lies at the intersections between IR, anthropology and political philosophy, revolves around four main themes: dissent and resistance, the politics of knowledge, feminist theory, and the political sociology of development and violence.

Discipline, Dissent and Dispossession

Dominant accounts of resistance to “neoliberal globalization” too often read resistance off theories of global order or presume situated struggles to be manifestations of a global resisting subject. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the variegated texture of dissent, or to how anti-systemic struggles are routinely nullified – drawn into the very processes of order-building they profess to contest – through a nexus of interventions organized around apparently emancipatory values. This project seeks to establish a deeper understanding of what is at stake in the interplay between anti-systemic struggles and the more widely-dispersed modes of political control that may be directed toward and through practices of dissent. In particular, it will explore how specifically neoliberal strategies of control inscribe certain types of dissenting subjects and practices, closing political space and cementing dispossession in the name of economic necessity. It is the thesis of this project that such an investigation requires a novel approach. Driven by a concern with the limitations of disciplinary problematics for understanding the political stakes of actual practices of resistance, the project seeks to develop an analytic that involves theorizing through attention to practices of struggle themselves. This will imply very situated work, engaging with the politics of singular struggles through ethnographic methods while simultaneously disengaging in order to undertake a critical, genealogical analysis of wider modes of thought and practice at play in intersecting strategies of discipline and dissent. Extending the focus of previous research, which has explored how peasant and worker struggles in Colombia have been neutralized through abstract notions of rights and absorbed into discourses of corporate responsibility, the proposed project will address a broader range of struggles articulated around rights, territory and nature in the context of extractive and agroindustrial megaprojects.

Research Outcomes

  • Coleman, L. M., & Rosenow, D. (2016) Security (studies) and the limits of critique: why we should think through struggle. Critical Studies on Security, pp. 1-19
  • Coleman, L. M. (2015) Ethnography, Commitment, and Critique: Departing from Activist Scholarship. International Political Sociology9(3), pp. 263-280
  • Coleman, L. M. (2015) Struggles, over rights: humanism, ethical dispossession and resistance. Third World Quarterly36(6), pp. 1060-1075

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at lars.cornelissen@isrf.org.