My research at the intersection of international security and global governance focuses on security regionalism, multilateral diplomacy, and the role of meaning-making practices in world politics. As an IR scholar and a Southeast Asianist, through my developing research programme on multilateralism in the Asia-Pacific, I strive to produce original findings that derive from in-depth study of this region and local practitioners, but that can inform broader debates in the discipline as well as our understanding of more traditional (Western-centric) objects of study. I have published in English and French in International Studies Quarterly, PS: Political Science & Politics, The Pacific Review, L'Espace politique, and Monde Chinois, among others. In addition to 1. a book manuscript in preparation adapted from my doctoral dissertation on security community-building in the context of ASEAN, I am developping two other major projects on 2. practices of multilateral diplomacy in Southeast Asia and 3. competing crisis narratives about the rules-based international order.
Mes recherches situées à l'intersection de la sécurité internationale et de la gouvernance globale portent sur le régionalisme sécuritaire, la diplomatie multilatérale et le rôle du discours dans la construction sociale de la politique mondiale. Mes travaux ont été publiés en anglais et en français dans International Studies Quarterly, The Pacific Review, Pacific Affairs, L'Espace politique, and Monde Chinois, entre autres. Outre 1. un livre en préparation sur la construction d'une communauté de sécurité dans le contexte de l'ASEAN, je travaille actuellement à la réalisation de deux autres projets principaux sur 2. les pratiques diplomatiques en Asie Sud-Est et 3. le rôle des récits de crise dans l'évolution de l'ordre international.
1. Enacting Security in the Asia-Pacific: Discourse in the Making of an ASEAN Community
I am adapting and expanding my doctoral research into a book manuscript titled Enacting Security in the Asia-Pacific: Discourse in the Making of an ASEAN Community. The book develops an original discourse-based framework for the study of security community-building as a way to better our understanding of the polysemy of this process in the 21st century and its effects on the resilience of international/regional institutions. I use the case of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a basis to highlight the omnidirectional and contested character of security community-building in practice.The book covers the whole spectrum of issues that make up the regional security governance agenda, from transnational crime to the South China Sea disputes as well as the Rohingya crisis. It looks at how actors from the main "tracks" of Asia-Pacific multilateralism (official, expert/informal, and non-governmental) advance distinct and competing positions on the meaning of security and the boundaries of the regional community, thus simultaneously unsettling and reproducing ASEAN's identity as a security community "in the making". The time is ripe for looking at ASEAN's characterization as a "talk shop" from a new angle that makes room for the productive power of discourse in world politics.
- n.d. Enacting Security in the Asia-Pacific: Discourse in the Making of an ASEAN Community, book mss. in preparation.
This project has already led to two peer-reviewed articles in major journals in IR.
- 2020. "The Polysemy of Security Community-Building: Towards a “People-Centered” Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)?", International Studies Quarterly 64(3): 588–599.
- 2017. "From Ambiguity to Contestation: Discourse(s) of Non-Traditional Security in the ASEAN Community," The Pacific Review 30(4): 549-565.
2. Multilateral Diplomacy as Practice: Identity, Contest and Change in Asia-Pacific Regionalism
Multilateralism increasingly occurs on a regional basis and in venues not primarily controlled by the West. As a result, what counts as appropriate diplomatic practice is the terrain of increasing contestation. This is the core focus of this research program, which studies the impact of contestation over diplomatic practice on the resilience of multilateral institutions. At the empirical level, I focus on the Indo-Pacific and the case of ASEAN in particular as a prime example of this emerging but understudied trend in regional and global governance. This project is the next step in my broader research program on the evolution of multilateral governance in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific, which builds on areas of inquiry arising from doctoral and post-doctoral research. It draws on recent debates in the International Relations literature on the role of discourse and practice in the social construction of world politics, and makes empirical, theoretical, and methodological contributions to the study of global governance, multilateralism, and diplomacy. Its main objective is to develop a new framework to better account for the role of contestation in the resilience of multilateral institutions beyond the West. I will achieve this objective by conducting a detailed analysis of key instances of contestation in the recent evolution of ASEAN, supported by semi-directed interviews with practitioners of Indo-Pacific multilateralism.
- n.d., with Aarie Glas. “Debunking the ‘ASEAN Way’: The Contested Meaning and Practice of Diplomatic Norms in Southeast Asia", under review.
***This article won the 2019 Best Paper Award and 2019 Best New Scholar Award from the ISA Asia-Pacific Region.
- n.d. "Returning Discourse to the Practice Turn: The Contested Practice of Diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific Community", conference paper in preparation.
3. Competing Narratives on the Rules-Based International Order In and Beyond the "Indo-Pacific"
I am developping a new project on the battle of narratives surrounding the "crisis" of the rules-based international order. The first step in this project resulted in a policy paper for the Defence and Security Foresight Group (an expert network in which I co-lead the Asia-Pacific Team), which I am currently in the process of adapting for submission to a scholarly journal.
- 2020. “Unpacking the Crisis of the Rules-Based International Order: Competing Hero Narratives and Indo-Pacific Alternatives.” DSFG Working Paper. Online: https://uwaterloo.ca/defence-security-foresight-group/sites/ca.defence-security-foresight-group/files/uploads/files/dsfg_workingpaper_martel_rbio.pdf
- n.d. “Unpacking the Crisis of the Rules-Based International Order: Competing Hero Narratives and Indo-Pacific Alternatives," journal article in preparation.
In addition to these major projects, I am currently working on a number of additional, collaborative projects on:
The Productive Role of Crisis in Institutional Resilience
- n.d. with Anne-Laure Mahé, “(Re)Conceptualizing Institutional Resilience in World Politics: Insights from the Global South”, under review.
Canadian Contributions to the Study of International Relations in the Global South
- n.d. with J. Andrew Grant and Nadège Compaoré, "Embracing the Diversity of Canadian IR: A Genealogy of Canadian Contributions on the Social Constructedness of World Politics", R&R, International Studies Perspectives.
Gender, Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific
- n.d. with Jennifer Mustapha, Sarah Sharma and Isabelle Côté. “Contrasted Meanings and Practices of Gender, Peace, and Security in the Asia-Pacific: A Multi-Scalar Regional Analysis,” journal article (in preparation).
Interpreting Maritime Disputes in the Asia-Pacific
Territorial disputes among states remain prevalent, particularly in the Asia-Pacific. While they are often reduced to a manifestation of competing material interests among states, this project looks at the South China Sea disputes and other bilateral conflicts in Southeast Asia from a different, interpretative perspective. It shows that participation to territorial disputes also serve as an important mechanism through which the identity of the state is performed and reproduced in practice. It points to the persistence of conventional modes of state territoriality through the emergence of innovative bordering practices, which serve as a way for actors to delineate, reproduce, and sometimes extend the contours of the national body in the name of the state beyond other understandings of where its boundaries ought to be.
Finally, a previous research project looked at the securitization of drug trafficking and other forms of transnational crime in Southeast Asia. Publications deriving from this project are:
- 2019. [“Security challenges in Southeast Asia and beyond”] « Enjeux de sécurité en Asie du Sud-Est et au-delà » in Granger, Serge and Dominique Caouette (ed.), L’Asie du Sud-Est à la croisée des puissances. Montreal: Presses de l’Université de Montréal.
- 2015. [“Countering Cross-Border Trafficking in Southeast Asia: Subregional Cooperation as a Catalyst for Security Regionalism”] « Lutte anti-trafic transfrontalière en Asie du Sud-Est : la coopération subrégionale comme tremplin pour le régionalisme en matière de sécurité », L’Espace Politique 24(3). DOI: 10.4000/espacepolitique.3181
- 2015. [“Borders in East Asia: Imprecisions, Contradictions, Reclamations”] « Les frontières en Asie orientale : imprécisions, contradictions, revendications » in Arnaud Pautet and Eric Frécon (dir.), L’Asie orientale. Paris: Ellipses.
2015. [“(Dis)Organized Crime in East Asia”] « Le crime (dés)organisé en Asie orientale » in Arnaud Pautet et Eric Frécon (dir.), L’Asie orientale. Paris: Ellipses.
- 2013. “The recruitment of female ‘mules’ by transnational criminal organizations: securitization of drug trafficking in the Philippines and beyond,” Social Transformations: Journal of the Global South 1(2): 13-41.
You can find the complete list of my publications in my C.V., following this link.