Fact and Fantasy: the contemporary politics of science in international relations

Hosted by the Department of International Relations

Auditorium, Centre Building


Patrick T Jackson

Patrick T Jackson

Professor of International Studies, School of International Service, American University

Laura Sjoberg

Laura Sjoberg

British Academy Global Professor of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway

Dr Sophie Rosenberg

Dr Sophie Rosenberg

Fellow, Department of International Relations, LSE


Dr Katharine Millar

Dr Katharine Millar

Assistant Professor of International Relations, LSE

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, in conversation with Laura Sjoberg, will discuss the contemporary politics of science in International Relations. In this conversation they will explore the meaning and deployment of "facts" within international politics. What do we make of "alternative facts", such as the seeming rise of conspiracy theory, and frequently partisan polarisation of science? What should or shouldn't be considered science? Along the way, the speakers will also reflect on Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, and what ostensibly fantastic popular culture might tell us about truth in the present. 

Meet our speakers and chair

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Professor of International Studies in the School of International Service at American University Washington DC. He previously taught at Columbia University and New York University. He was formerly Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Relations and Development, and is currently Series Editor of the University of Michigan Press' book series Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics. The first edition of his book The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics (Routledge, 2016) won the ISA-Northeast’s Yale H Ferguson Award, and the ISA Theory Section’s Best Book of the Year award. Professor Jackson's research interests include culture and agency, international relations theory, scientific methodology, the role of rhetoric in public life, civilisations in world politics, the sociology of academic knowledge, and popular culture and IR. 

Professor Laura Sjoberg is British Academy Global Professor of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Her research addresses issues of gender and security, with foci on politically violent women, feminist war theorising, sexuality in global politics, and political methodology. 

Dr Sophie Rosenberg is a Fellow in the International Relations Department at LSE. She received her PhD as a Gates Cambridge Scholar from the University of Cambridge and has held academic roles at Cambridge and Oxford. Her research focuses on human rights, states' responses to mass atrocities, and the link between the epistemic domain, social media, and political violence.   

Dr Katharine Millar is Assistant Professor of International Relations at LSE. Her broad research interests lie in examining the gendered cultural narratives underlying the modern collective use of force.

More about this event

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) at LSE is now in it's 95th year - one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. We are ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2022 tables for Politics and International Studies.

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