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Michael Heller and Natalie Koch

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Terry Marsden, Claire Lamine and Sergio Schneider

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Silvana Bartoletto

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Silvana Bartoletto

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Anjeline de Dios and Lily Kong

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Gerald Chan

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Monika Büscher, Malene Freudendal-Pedersen, Sven Kesselring and Nikolaj Grauslund Kristensen

The growing field of mobilities research focuses on the flows and movements of people, artefacts, capital, information and signs on different social and geographical scales. Scholars in mobilities research are working on the physical movement of people and goods, digitalised (social) relations and communication between individuals, groups, organisations and institutions, the experience and embodiment of space in motion and dwelling, and many other subjects. Mobilities research examines the systems and practices of mobilities from different theoretical, epistemological and methodological perspectives, but with a common ontology of mobilities as the constitutive element of societies, politics and economies (Urry 2000; Sheller and Urry 2016; Sheller 2017; Jensen et al. 2019). This Handbook reflects the variety and diversity of the field in respect of research methods and applications for mobilities research, while also illuminating the multiple dimensions of mobilities, from transport to tourism, cargo to information as well as physical, virtual and imaginative mobilities. In these contexts, the motivation to make methods mobile springs from a deep appreciation of how ‘the reality is movement’ (Bergson 1911, p. 302). The new mobility paradigm (Sheller and Urry 2006) not only broadened the perspective by including social and cultural practices in the study of mobilities, but also added a new epistemological, creative, normative, public dimension to doing research. Mobile methods provide new insights by mobilising an analytical approach to the constitutive role of (im)mobilities (Büscher et al. 2010; Fincham et al. 2010). This may literally mobilise researchers in ethnographic go-alongs, as many of the authors in this Handbook describe (for example, Wilson, Chapter 12 in this volume), or metaphorically mobilise research by self-tracking (Duarte, Chapter 6 in this volume), following the mobile positioning of mobile phones (Silm et al., Chapter 17 in this volume) or through cultural analysis (Perkins, Chapter 15 in this volume), and it may mobilise research subjects in planning (Bennetsen and Hartmann-Petersen, Chapter 22 in this volume) or through phronesis (Tyfield, Chapter 33 in this volume). Mobilising research means employing the understanding of how research objects, subjects field sites and collaborators are mobile and in movement rather than geographically fixed or static. With the mobilities paradigm, interdisciplinary research and qualitative methods have come to the fore, compared with earlier traditions of mobility and transportation research (see, for example, Yago 1983; Vannini 2015). Researchers and research users engage with mobile methods, to investigate the emergent nature of reality and the way in which social and material phenomena are socially constructed and made durable in and through the intra-actions of many human and non-human agencies (Barad 2007).

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Nengye Liu

Henry Kissinger, in his book World Order, describes order as: “The concept held by a region or civilization about the nature of just arrangements and the distribution of power thought to be applicable to the entire world” (Kissinger, 2015: 9). The United States of America, together with its Western allies, constructed the existing rules-based order that has governed the world since the Second World War. International law is at the core of the rules-based international order (Scott, 2017). However, who determines the law-making agenda and the allocation of resources to law-making is crucial for the development of international law (Boyle and Chinkin, 2007). That is to say, shifting power within the international community may eventually materialize in changing international law. It is therefore very interesting to observe the rise of Asian powers, especially China, and its implications for the future of global governance

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Edited by Chih Y. Woon and Klaus Dodds