Lene Hansen

18 03 2024

 Professor Lene Hansen of the University of Copenhagen likely needs no introduction to most listeners of this podcast. She has worked within what would be called the Copenhagen school or securitization theory, emphasizing within that school the overlooked lens of gender. Her work on discourse analysis is famous for being a key contribution to the development of especially interpretive methods in the 2000s and 2010s, and her more recent work in visual IR and visual/image analysis. She talks about growing up on an island, Langeland or Long Island, off the coast of Denmark, riding horses and playing sports while also being a great student (as she said she ‘had to be’ with parents who were teachers at the school), attending uni first at the University of Southern Denmark then the University of Copenhagen. Taking a course from Ole Waever on IR and French philosophy got her interested thereafter in poststructural IR and doing research on European security architectures.  She talks about an impactful visiting professor position at Yale University in the late 1990s, as well as some of the background to her famous works like the 2000 Millennium article on gender in securitization and Security as Practice the 2006 book. She concludes reflecting on how she approaches writing, selecting images to analyze, and how she relaxes and recharges  through exercise and cooking.

As this episode was getting ready to launch, it was announced that Professor Hansen just won the 2024 ISA Susan Strange award! This award 'recognizes a person whose singular intellect, assertiveness, and insight most challenge conventional wisdom and intellectual and organizational complacency in the international studies community'. MANY congratulations Professor Hansen!