Performing piracy: a note on the multiplicity of agency

SAFE SEAS Principal Investigator Professor Christian Bueger has recently published an article in the Journal of International Relations and Development on ‘pirate agency’ as a primer for the study of the multiplicity of agency and its production with pirates representing a paradigmatic case of international agency.

The article offers a renewed understanding of agency and how its multiplicity can be empirically reconstructed. We frequently speak of states or international organisations as actors, without actually having understood what kind of agency these forms imply and what they depend upon. What are the resources and relations that are required to produce distinct types of agency?

Starting with a note on theoretical suppositions and a brief outline of the relationalist concept of agency as product of ‘agencements’, the article then engages in an empirical study of pirate agency that outlines six different forms, while the conclusion discusses some of the consequences this reconstruction for IR theory more broadly.

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