Critical Imaginations in International Relations

Critical Imaginations in International Relations

This exciting new text brings together in one volume an overview of the many reflections on how we might address the problems and limitations of a state-centred approach in the discipline of International Relations (IR). The book is structured into chapters on key concepts, with each providing an introduction to the concept for those new to the field of critical politics – including undergraduate and postgraduate students – as well as drawing connections between concepts and thinkers that will be provocative and illuminating for more established researchers in the field. They give an overview of core ideas associated with the concept; the critical potential of the concept; and key thinkers linked to the concept, seeking to address the following questions: How has the concept traditionally been understood? How has the concept come to be understood in critical thinking? How is the concept used in interrogating the limits of state centrism? What different possibilities for engaging with international relations have been envisioned through the concept? Why are such possibilities for alternative thinking about international relations important? What are some key articles and volumes related to the concept which readers can go for further research? Drawing together some of the key thinkers in the field of critical International Relations and including both established and emerging academics located in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, this book is a key resource for students and scholars alike.

Postcolonial Maghreb and the Limits of IR

Postcolonial Maghreb and the Limits of IR

This book explores narratives produced in the Maghreb in order to illustrate shortcomings of imagination in the discipline of international relations (IR). It focuses on the politics of narrating postcolonial Maghreb through a number of writers, including Abdelkebir Khatibi, Fatema Mernissi, Kateb Yacine and Jacques Derrida, who explicitly embraced the task of (re)imagining their respective societies after colonial independence and subsequent nation-building processes. Narratives are thus considered political acts speaking to the turbulent context in which postcolonial Maghrebian Francophone literature emerges as sites of resistance and contestation. Throughout the chapters, the author promotes an encounter between narratives from the Maghreb and IR and makes a case for the kinds of thinking and writing strategies that could be used to better approach international and global studies.

International Relations in a Relational Universe

International Relations in a Relational Universe

It is time for International Relations (IR) to join the relational revolution afoot in the natural and social sciences. To do so, more careful reflection is needed on cosmological assumptions in the sciences and also in the study and practice of international relations. In particular it is argued here that we need to pay careful attention to whether and how we think 'relationally'. Building a conversation between relational cosmology, developed in natural sciences, and critical social theory, this book seeks to develop a new perspective on how to think relationally in and around the study of IR. International Relations and Relational Cosmology asks: What kind of cosmological background assumptions do we make as we tackle international relations today and where do our assumptions (about states, individuals, or the international) come from? And can we reorient our cosmological imaginations towards more relational understanding of the universe and what would this mean for the study and practice of international politics? The book argues that we live in a world without 'things', a world of processes and relations. It also suggests that we live in relations which exceed the boundaries of the human and the social, in planetary relations with plants and animals. Rethinking conceptual premises of IR, Kurki points towards a 'planetary politics' perspective within which we can reimagine IR as a field of study and also political practices, including the future of democracy.

International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis

International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis

International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis is an innovative assessment of the uses of theory in making sense of international politics, opening up new pathways to thinking about the basics of the study area. Insights drawn from an interdisciplinary corpus of critical scholarship are synthesized and brought to bear on key concepts such as sovereignty, the state, peace, law, justice, ethics, and supranationality. The mainstream characteristically dismisses the narrativity that accompanies these concepts as derivative, tending to treat meaning attributable to them as static. The work shows how problematic this disdain of mimesis (exchange, reproduction, imitation) is and how this mindset effectively incapacitates conventional theorizing in both predicting phenomena and providing a normative vision. Integrating the study of international politics into debates in the wider academia over meaning and mimesis, this ambitious work is fluent and accessible at the same time, with exceptional lucidity in presenting difficult philosophical notions. A series of radical positions advanced in the book on theory and methodology not only address and call to account the mainstream imagination on international politics but also outline the implications of this critique for a host of specific issue areas, including peace research, normative theories, international law, and European studies.

Deviance in International Relations

'Rogue States' and International Security

Deviance in International Relations

Rogue states' have been high on the policy agenda for many years but their theoretical significance for international relations has remained poorly understood. In contrast to the bulk of writings on 'rogue states' that address them merely as a policy challenge, this book studies what we can learn from deviance about international politics.

The Republican Legacy in International Thought

The Republican Legacy in International Thought

The first major treatment of the republican way of thinking about law, politics, and society in the context of international thought.

Spheres of Influence in International Relations

History, Theory and Politics

Spheres of Influence in International Relations

Current events happening around the world, especially the ‘humanitarian interventions’ by NATO and the West within the context of the so-called Arab Spring, make the understanding of the role of spheres of influence in international politics absolutely critical. Hast explores the practical implications and applications of this theory, challenging the concept by using historical examples such as suzerainty and colonialism, as well as the emergence of a hierarchical international order. This study further connects the English School tradition, post-war international order, the Cold War and images of Russia with the concept of the sphere of influence to initiate debate and provide a fresh outlook on a concept which has little recent attention.

Critical Theories, International Relations and 'the Anti-globalisation Movement'

The Politics of Global Resistance

Critical Theories, International Relations and 'the Anti-globalisation Movement'

This book provides a definitive account of resistance movements across the globe. Combining theoretical perspectives with detailed empirical case studies, it explains the origins, activities and prospects of the 'anti-globalization' movement.

Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics

Western Representations of China's Rise

Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics

ÔChina threat or China opportunity, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Western imaginations of China come under close scrutiny in this book, in a new, philosophical depth seldom attempted before. Dr Pan displays in full force his analytical skills and his mastery of knowledge, both East and West. Contrary to conventional approaches, he takes a step back to exercise a powerful reflective process to watch the China watchers, with illuminating results. Dr PanÕs book deserves wide and careful reading.Õ Ð Professor Gerald Chan, University of Auckland, New Zealand ÔThe rise of China is largely seen as either a threat or an opportunity. Chengxin Pan exposes both of these representations as expressions of Western fears and desires for certainty and predictability. His call for a more reflective and culturally sensitive understanding of China offers an important contribution to one of the big political debates of our time.Õ Ð Professor Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland, Australia ÔThis is a brilliant and insightful treatment of Western representations of China, with a theoretical framework suggesting they come not only from China itself, but also the West. Although it is not the first treatment of this topic, it is innovative in considering the ÒChina threatÓ and ÒChina opportunityÓ: both aspects of the rise of China are of crucial importance for our times. With provocative conclusions, it is a truly path-breaking contribution to the literature. I recommend it highly!Õ Ð Emeritus Professor Colin Mackerras, Griffith University, Australia ÔPan has produced a book which not only challenges some basic assumptions about the nature of ChinaÕs ÒriseÓ, but more importantly forces us to rethink the very basic starting points of how we know what we know about China.Õ Ð Professor Shaun Breslin, University of Warwick, UK How is the rise of China perceived in the West? Why is it often labelled as ÔthreatÕ and/or ÔopportunityÕ? What are the implications of these China imageries for global politics? Taking up these important questions, this groundbreaking book argues that the dominant Western perceptions of ChinaÕs rise tell us less about China and more about Western self-imagination and its desire for certainty. Chengxin Pan expertly illustrates how this desire, masked as China ÔknowledgeÕ, is bound up with the political economy of fears and fantasies, thereby both informing and complicating foreign policy practice in Sino-Western relations. Insofar as this vital relationship is shaped not only by ChinaÕs rise, but also by the way we conceptualise its rise, this book makes a compelling case for critical reflection on China watching. Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics is the first systematic and deconstructive analysis of contemporary Western representation of ChinaÕs rise. Setting itself apart from the mainstream empiricist literature, its critical interpretative approach and unconventional and innovative perspective will not only strongly appeal to academics, students and the broader reading public, but also likely spark debate in the field of Chinese international relations.

Sovereignty and the Limits of the Liberal Imagination

Sovereignty and the Limits of the Liberal Imagination

This volume examines and critiques several of the classical theoretical foundations of domestic and international organization, concentrating on the contestable conceptions of community, order, justice, freedom, responsibility and wealth developed by the major political theorists of the modern epoch. Nelson argues that the accepted discourses of world politics are constructed by way of particular interpretive negotiations of what sovereign power is and what it must be made to accomplish in domestic and world politics. Providing a Foucaultian analysis of modern power and the liberal subject, the work traces the history of modern inquiries into sovereignty to a time when the state was being severed from a Christian eschatology, a time when political theorists sought ways of lending meaning and purpose to emerging conceptions of ‘the political.’ Modern theories of sovereignty, Nelson argues, embody the remainders of a deep worry over the precarious nature of legitimacy, the contingency of power, and the frailty of any political form. The theoretical traditions of liberalism and the Enlightenment dispense with anxiety over the politics of legitimacy by repressing the historical, constricting the political, and fashioning political rationalities suited to increasingly intimate and ever-expansive forms of liberal governance. This book aims to explore how modern theories of sovereignty elicit and effect governable subjects and forms of political community that have proven crucial to intensifying and expansive powers of the liberal state. An inquiry into modern theories of sovereignty and statecraft and a critical interrogation of how political theories are invoked by the traditions of international relations across the modern era, this volume will be of interest to all scholars of political theory, political philosophy and international relations.