“Friends, Foes and Familiar Strangers:

Reassessing Actorness in Times of the Global (Dis)Order”

Kraków, Poland, 17-19 September 2018


The turbulent global security environment, as it is approaching the end of the second decade of the 21stcentury, keeps reflecting, confronting and accommodating a diverse range of traditional and non-traditional threats and challenges. Many traditional security issues have undergone a remarkable transformation in their structures and substances due to cultural shifts, technological drivers, ideological alterations, social upheavals and economic fluctuations. Often they provoked anxiety and antagonisms among numerous actors actively pursuing their interests on domestic, local, regional and global levels. They created mounting tensions that led to civic resistance, unrest, revolution, and civil war as well as – in their most extreme forms – to crime, terrorism and humanitarian catastrophes. Similarly, instability in the international arena, triggered by numerous variables (structural, ideological, cultural, institutional) exacerbates the tense situation in many regions, sometimes leading to military confrontation and armed hostilities between state- and non-state actors.  Local, regional and global actors also have been confronted by a range of non-traditional challenges, including environmental pollution and global climate change, the rise in the sea level,  poverty, social deprivation, digital exclusion etc. In addition, the incorporation of new technologies into global governance has raised questions concerning the roles played by the variety of actors in non-traditional domains, such as cyber communications, artificial intelligent systems, remote surveillance and the use of space.  Each of these traditional and non-traditional challenges has direct or indirect impact on international security.

The 2ndJagiellonian Interdisciplinary Security Conference (2JISC) seeks to stimulate interdisciplinary debate on contemporary actorness in the complex security environment. “Friends”, “Foes” and “Familiar Strangers” (S. Milgram) are the archetypes of dominant patterns of behaviour and performance in contemporary turbulent global security system. They serve as referent objects of security in its dynamic, “liquid” form, going beyond conventional roles and established institutional schemes. They facilitate security actors’ differentiation according to their status and roles performed in selected security fields. They also stimulate discussion about varieties of actorness in domestic, national and global dimensions of security policy.


On behalf of the Organising Committee:

Artur Gruszczak, General Chair

Piotr Bajor, Secretary

Paweł Frankowski, Programme Chair