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Acharya, Amitav. ’Global International Relations (IR) and Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for International Studies
2014, nternational Studies Quarterly, 58(4), pp. 647–659
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Abstract:

The discipline of International Relations (IR) does not reflect the voices, experiences, knowledge claims, and contributions of the vast majority of the societies and states in the world, and often marginalizes those outside the core countries of the West. With IR scholars around the world seeking to find their own voices and reexamining their own traditions, our challenge now is to chart a course toward a truly inclusive discipline, recognizing its multiple and diverse foundations. This article presents the notion of a “Global IR” that transcends the divide between the West and the Rest. The first part of the article outlines six main dimensions of Global IR: commitment to pluralistic universalism, grounding in world history, redefining existing IR theories and methods and building new ones from societies hitherto ignored as sources of IR knowledge, integrating the study of regions and regionalisms into the central concerns of IR, avoiding ethnocentrism and exceptionalism irrespective of source and form, and recognizing a broader conception of agency with material and ideational elements that includes resistance, normative action, and local constructions of global order. It then outlines an agenda for research that supports the Global IR idea. Key element of the agenda includes comparative studies of international systems that look past and beyond the Westphalian form, conceptualizing the nature and characteristics of a post-Western world order that might be termed as a Multiplex World, expanding the study of regionalisms and regional orders beyond Eurocentric models, building synergy between disciplinary and area studies approaches, expanding our investigations into the two-way diffusion of ideas and norms, and investigating the multiple and diverse ways in which civilizations encounter each other, which includes peaceful interactions and mutual learning. The challenge of building a Global IR does not mean a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, it compels us to recognize the diversity that exists in our world, seek common ground, and resolve conflicts.

Comment: This article seeks to explain the concept of ‘global IR’. In order to create a Global IR, it is necessary to accept the plurality of thought which can be found across the Globe. Can be used an in introductory course to IR to demonstrate the prevalence of eurocentrism in the study of International Relations.

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Acharya, Amitav. A New Agenda for International Studies
, Acharya, A. (2014) “Global International Relations (ir) and Regional Worlds: A New Agenda for International Studies,” International Studies Quarterly, 58(4), pp. 647–659.
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, Contributed by: Thorwen Uiterwaal
Abstract:

The discipline of International Relations (IR) does not reflect the voices, experiences, knowledge claims, and contributions of the vast majority of the societies and states in the world, and often marginalizes those outside the core countries of the West. With IR scholars around the world seeking to find their own voices and reexamining their own traditions, our challenge now is to chart a course toward a truly inclusive discipline, recognizing its multiple and diverse foundations. This article presents the notion of a “Global IR” that transcends the divide between the West and the Rest. The first part of the article outlines six main dimensions of Global IR: commitment to pluralistic universalism, grounding in world history, redefining existing IR theories and methods and building new ones from societies hitherto ignored as sources of IR knowledge, integrating the study of regions and regionalisms into the central concerns of IR, avoiding ethnocentrism and exceptionalism irrespective of source and form, and recognizing a broader conception of agency with material and ideational elements that includes resistance, normative action, and local constructions of global order. It then outlines an agenda for research that supports the Global IR idea. Key element of the agenda includes comparative studies of international systems that look past and beyond the Westphalian form, conceptualizing the nature and characteristics of a post-Western world order that might be termed as a Multiplex World, expanding the study of regionalisms and regional orders beyond Eurocentric models, building synergy between disciplinary and area studies approaches, expanding our investigations into the two-way diffusion of ideas and norms, and investigating the multiple and diverse ways in which civilizations encounter each other, which includes peaceful interactions and mutual learning. The challenge of building a Global IR does not mean a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, it compels us to recognize the diversity that exists in our world, seek common ground, and resolve conflicts.

Comment: Discusses a new approach to IR by advocating for a Global IR. An alternative to the western concepts of states and agency. Also includes alternative approaches for main IR theories such as realism, liberalism and constructivsim.

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Bimha, Primrose, Z. J. The Status of African Women in Foreign Policy
2021, Bimha, P, Z.J. (2021). The Status of African Women in Foreign Policy. E-International Relations.
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Abstract: ‘The Status of African Women in Foreign Policy’ focuses on the necessity of reducing the underrepresentation of African women in foreign policy, the barriers that hinder this development, and solutions to overcome those. According to Bimha, filling the gender gap, or solving the underrepresentation of women, will constitute the end of discrimination against women. Moreover, she argues, this is necessary to repair the currently male-dominated nature of international relations and will complement to reformation process of gender stereotypes, namely, “men as decision-makers and women as subjects of war-related decisions”. However, Bimha recognizes that certain barriers that this underrepresentation are alive. She notes that, although the number of female representatives is increasing, these women are often assigned to less significant posts. The impact of IR & politics being male-dominated The heads of state often make diplomatic appointments. If a head of state, which is often male, is conservative, he is less likely to appoint female diplomats, as they are often very progressive and transformation-oriented. This is also apparent in party-bias, a phenomenon where party leaders prefer to promote male candidates over female candidates. , even though female candidates have not been proven to attract fewer votes than male candidates. The underrepresentation of women in politics is a vicious cycle, with males in the male-dominated field of IR theory and politics preferring the appointment of men over the appointment of women. This is reinforced by sociocultural standards and expectations, as African women are still mostly associated with the domestic sphere. However, little attention is paid to IR theory and politics being male-dominated, even though it is apparent that this does have a big impact on the underrepresentation of women in the field. The underrepresentation of feminism in the IR curriculum and its consequences In the ‘Introduction Course International Relations’ at Utrecht University, different IR theories have been discussed. While extensive attention has been paid to especially realism and liberalism, which are both male-dominated IR theories, feminism has been discussed for exactly 3 minutes and 48 seconds during the lecture on IR theories and has not been discussed in the seminars to the same extent as the other IR theories. This is a great although a small example of feminism theories being vastly underrepresented in the IR curriculum. Therefore, Bimha argues that the international relations curriculum should be reformed into a more gender-sensitive one with an increased focus on feminism and female contributions in the field. The importance of spreading awareness of IR and politics being male-dominated can be illustrated by a small comparison with another article on women in international relations. The other article reviewed appoints the underrepresentation of women in the IR field to them being a minority group and therefore behaving differently, or them focussing on topics that are not considered important in mainstream IR. These arguments may seem plausible to people who lack the understanding that the field of IR is male-dominated. But students who are aware of this unequal representation may ask the following questions: who steers mainstream IR research? What causes women to be a minority in the field of IR? Who keeps that disbalance intact? Thinking about these questions and critically reviewing the conclusions of reports on women in international relations is a crucial step in academics. However, the ability to perform this critical thinking is subject to one’s understanding of the field. Therefore, awareness of and the spread of knowledge on the IR field being male-dominated, thereby reinforcing the vicious cycle of women being underrepresented, is incredibly important and should be part of the IR curriculum.

Comment: The article is a must-read for international relations students. An eye-opener for students who lack knowledge of, or the understanding of, the importance of feminism in IR theory and politics. Bimha excellently explains the sociocultural discrimination African female academics and politicians disproportionally face in their careers and explains the importance of overcoming these barriers and closing the gender gap. The article outlines the importance of feminism and why feminism should be taught more thoroughly in the IR curriculum.

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Chen, Ching-Chang. The absence of non-western IR theory in Asia reconsidered
2010, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, 11(1), pp. 1–23.
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This paper critically examines an ongoing debate in International Relations (IR) as to why there is apparently no non-Western IR theory in Asia and what should be done to ‘mitigate’ that situation. Its central contention is that simply calling for greater incorporation of ideas from the non-West and contributions by non-Western scholars from local ‘vantage points’ does not make IR more global or democratic, for that would do little to transform the discipline's Eurocentric epistemological foundations. Re-envisioning IR in Asia is not about discovering or producing as many ‘indigenous’ national schools of IR as possible, but about reorienting IR itself towards a post-Western era that does not reinforce the hegemony of the West within (and without) the discipline. Otherwise, even if local scholars could succeed in crafting a ‘Chinese (or Indian, Japanese, Korean, etc.) School’, it would be no more than constructing a ‘derivative discourse’ of Western modernist social science.

Comment: Ching-Chang Chen discusses how to shift the western focus in IR to a non-western one. His article makes an important point in that simply calling for greater incorporation of ideas beyond the west will not make IR more global - we need to move beyond tokenistic inclusion towards transforming the Eurocentric foundations of the discipline. Moreover, the article argues that scholarship to produce Asian IR theorising has maintained the treatment of the East and West as oppositional entities, and thus reinforces the structural dominance of Western theories in IR. The author calls for decolonisation as necessary for the democratization of IR which must take place not only in the periphery, ie in Asian countries, but also in the core. This article is suitable for an introductory course on global/postcolonial IR and can be used as a basis for the debate on decolonising the typically western discipline of IR.

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Chowdhry, Geeta. The Geographies of Exclusion and the Politics of Inclusion: Race-based Exclusions in the Teaching of International Relations
2009, International Studies Perspectives, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 84-91
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, Contributed by: Caterina
Abstract: In this essay, we argue that race has yet to be integrated as an analytical category shaping the study and teaching of international relations. We suggest that although the issues of race and gender are systematically coded into central concepts in the discipline, they are made invisible through a ‘‘series of ontological and epistemological maneuvers.’’ Focusing on two concepts central to the discipline—sovereignty and the nationstate—we suggest that race can be better integrated into the teaching of international relations by focusing on the ways in which these maneuvers structure the geographies and politics of exclusion and inclusion in international relations. We conclude that raising questions about the ways in which race is taught in the academy is in itself critical—what we teach, how we teach, and who teaches are all questions that need repeated airing for achieving interpretative autonomy as well as a transformative politics.

Comment: This paper is useful to read as complementary to IR literature regarding the scarce presence of non-Western, non-male authors.

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Grovogui, Siba. Postcolonial Criticism: International reality and modes of inquiry
2002, Power, Postcolonialism and International Relations: Reading Race, Gender. Eds Geeta, C. and Nair, S.
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Comment: Chapter found in the book Power, Postcolonialism and International Relations : Reading Race, Gender and Class. The book uses postcolonial theory to examine the implications of race, class, and gender relations for the structuring of world politics. The book includes chapters from several non-Western scholars. Whereas alternative narratives provided by non-Western could shed new light on specific issues in IR, Grovogui criticizes the study of IR itself. He focuses on the lack of Western IR scholars’ openness to postcolonial ideas about IR. The chapter provides a reflection on IR theories and concepts as they are mostly constructed by Western scholars.

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Gülşah Çapa, Zeynep. Decolonising International Relations?
2017, Third World Quarterly, 38(1), pp. 1–15. doi: 10.1080/01436597.2016.1245100.
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How do we ‘decolonise’ the field of International Relations? The aim to decolonise has become a widely discussed and mentioned subject across the social sciences and humanities. The article aims to discuss what 'decolonisation' might mean in the context of the field of International Relations.

Comment: This is a good introductory article for a course on the history of international relations and decolonising international relations history. It provides a good starting point for the debate on decolonising IR and knowledge production in the field of IR. Rather than a "roadmap" on how to go about decolonising the field, the article includes an exploration into the possibilities and potentialities of decolonising, thus it opens up the field to less conventional means of thinking and producing knowledge.

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Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo J. The Entrapment of Africa within the Global Colonial Matrices of Power
2013, Journal of Developing Societies, 29(4), pp. 331–353.
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, Contributed by: Rens Collet
Abstract: This article deploys world-systems analysis and the concept of coloniality to examine the experience of the African people within the modern world-system since 1492, a date that figuratively marks the birth of the modern world-system and its shifting international orders. Africa’s experience is contextualized within six international orders: the post-1492 order, the Westphalian order that emerged in 1648, the post-1884–1885 Berlin consensus, the post-1945 United Nations normative order, the Cold War epoch that ended in 1989, the current neoliberal dispensation as well as the post 9/11 anti-terrorism and securitization. While Africans have actively contested Euro–North American hegemony throughout these periods, they have not yet succeeded in breaking the strong global technologies of coloniality that continue to prevent the possibilities of African agency. This is why this article ends with a call for deepening the decolonization and deimperialization of the international order in the twenty-first century.

Comment: Useful for offering alternate perspective to Wallerstein's world system theory. Theorizes not about the detrimental effects of colonialism, put also offers a more constructivist approach to analyzing Africa's current position in the world system.

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Nicholas Grant. Winning Our Freedoms Together: African Americans and Apartheid, 1945-1960
2017, University of North Carolina Press
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Publisher’s Note: In this transnational account of black protest, Nicholas Grant examines how African Americans engaged with, supported, and were inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement. Bringing black activism into conversation with the foreign policy of both the U.S. and South African governments, this study questions the dominant perception that U.S.-centered anticommunism decimated black international activism. Instead, by tracing the considerable amount of time, money, and effort the state invested into responding to black international criticism, Grant outlines the extent to which the U.S. and South African governments were forced to reshape and occasionally reconsider their racial policies in the Cold War world. This study shows how African Americans and black South Africans navigated transnationally organized state repression in ways that challenged white supremacy on both sides of the Atlantic. The political and cultural ties that they forged during the 1940s and 1950s are testament to the insistence of black activists in both countries that the struggle against apartheid and Jim Crow were intimately interconnected.

Comment: Discusses the perseverance of black activism from an international perspective and its relation to foreign policy. Requires prior knowledge of the US and South Africa during the Cold War as well as knowledge of anticommunism and apartheid during this period.

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Nkiwane, Tandeka. Africa and International Relations: Regional Lessons for a Global Discourse
2001, International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique, 22(3), pp. 279–290.
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, Contributed by: Sascha Jongsma
Abstract:

Case studies, theories, and examples from Africa are exceedingly rare in international relations. Indeed, examples from Africa are, at best, valued for their nuisance potential. This article argues that the study of international relations is limited by this interpretation of Africa, and by a larger ignorance of African contributions. Key debates on the African continent surrounding the central concepts of mainstream international relations, including the state, power, and self-determination, are interrogated with a view to expanding their use in contemporary international relations. The examples of apartheid South Africa, the African debate on political economy and development, and African perspectives on questions raised by the liberal paradigm, are used to illustrate the importance of the region to the more global discourses. In examining the important contribution of African scholarship to debates central to international relations, this article highlights the necessity for engaging African scholars in the broader discourses of international relations.

Comment: Discusses the contribution to international relations that can be made by Africa and African scholars. Can be used in a course on demainstreaming IR, or postcolonial IR, arguing that the production of knowledge in the context of dominant and imperial relations of power has led to an inaccurate perception of African contributions to the discipline of IR. Important text showing that contributions of African cases, African debates, and African scholarship will enhance theory-building in the field and challenge many of the assumptions held by some theorists.

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Nkiwane, Tandeka. C. Africa and International Relations: Regional Lessons for a Global Discourse
2001, Political Science Review 22, no. 3: 279–290
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, Contributed by: Eva Brom
Abstract: Case studies, theories, and examples from Africa are exceedingly rare in international relations. Indeed, examples from Africa are, at best, valued for their nuisance potential. This article argues that the study of international relations is limited by this interpretation of Africa, and by a larger ignorance of African contributions. Key debates on the African continent surrounding the central concepts of mainstream international relations, including the state, power, and self-determination, are interrogated with a view to expanding their use in contemporary international relations. The examples of apartheid South Africa, the African debate on political economy and development, and African perspectives on questions raised by the liberal paradigm, are used to illustrate the importance of the region to the more global discourses. In examining the important contribution of African scholarship to debates central to international relations, this article highlights the necessity for engaging African scholars in the broader discourses of international relations.

Comment: The text criticizes the Western way of thinking of liberalism and can be used as a counterpoint to mainstream liberalism making it a good basis for a debate.

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Parashar, Swati. What wars and ‘war bodies’ know about international relations
2013, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 26(4), pp. 615–630.
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, Contributed by: Caroline Mathilda Rohr
Abstract: What happens when the ‘international’ as a distinct social space is approached from the perspective of war rather than war from the perspective of the ‘international’? Tarak Barkawi’s question (Millennium, 39:3, 2011, 701–706) is best answered by attempts to understand war not as part of inter/intra-state relations but as a socio­ cultural, trans-historical institution that impacts on the ‘everyday’ lives of men, women and children. In this article I argue that war is not a disruption of the ‘everyday’, an abstraction that has a definite beginning and end, something we enter into and exit. Instead, it can be captured in daily and mundane lived experiences of people and in powerful emotions that constitute ‘self’, community and the ‘other.’ Drawing upon my research on wars in South Asia, I particularly reflect on how war shapes the banal and the fervent and how cultural and political narratives of ‘war bodies’ perform the ‘international’ in a variety of ways. Most significantly I want to draw attention to how international relations as a scholarly discipline is so deeply engaged with war and yet seems to have an estranged relationship with it.

Comment: Her work focuses on South Asian conflict from a feminist theory perspective. She focuses on the lived experiences of 'war bodies' and how including these factors can change narratives prominent in International Relations. Parashar criticises mainstream IR for being ideological in their focus on macro narratives of war, as other important factors are included in their inquiry, since it is argued they are not concerned by war. The main argument in this article is that the nature of war should not be accepted as an ontological reality. This article can be used in conflict studies as well as international relations, and provides an application of IR theories.

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Shimizu, Kosuke. The Genealogy of Culturalist International Relations in Japan and Its Implications for Post-Western Discourse
2018, All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace, 1(7), pp. 121–136
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, Contributed by: Cassandra Dube
Abstract: This paper aims to introduce a neglected methodology from Japanese international relations (IR) – the culturalist methodology – to Anglophone specialists in IR. This methodology is neglected not only by an Anglophone audience but also by Japanese IR scholars. I argue here that despite this negligence, the culturalist methodology has great potential to contribute to contemporary post-Western international relations theory (IRT) literature by posing radical questions about the ontology of IR, as it questions not only the ontology of Western IR, but also the IR discourses developed in the rest of the world. Consequently, in understanding and imagining the contemporary world, I clarify the importance of perceptions based on what, in Japan, are commonly called ‘international cultural relations’ (kokusai bunka) and ‘regional history’ (chiikishi). I also indicate how our perceptions of the world are limited by the Westphalian principles of state sovereignty and non-intervention among ‘equal’ nations on the basis of state borders. While historical understanding is widely recognised as an important approach to contemporary IR, its scope is limited by its universalised principles.

Comment: This article concerns Japanese Culturalist methodology in international relations. It encourages letting go of western mainstream international relations and examininf a culturalist viewpoint in order to challenge the western view on international relations, intervening in the debate on different IR theories. It is a suitable paper for a course on the history of decolonial IR.

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Zondi, Siphamandla. Decolonising International Relations and Its Theory: A Critical Conceptual Meditation
2018, Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies, 45(1), pp. 16–31.
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Abstract: One of the main implications of the push for transition from the monoculture of Eurocentric scientific knowledge towards the ecology of knowledge is to force us to pose the question: what does a decolonial turn in International Relations (IR) entail? This article grapples with this question in light of growing demands for a decolonial turn in knowledge and power. The aim is to meditate on this question with a view to open up new avenues for a structured conversation on decolonising IR and its theory. This imperative to decolonise is linked to the question of epistemic justice with implications for the epistemological structure underpinning IR, methodological frameworks for the study of IR, theoretical outlines and the teaching of the discipline. Epistemic justice is a necessity alongside historical justice for those on the margins of a world system constructed with the help of imperialism, systematic enslavement and colonialism. This article discusses the question of the decolonial turn in IR in the hope of stimulating debates on the views of the margins regarding the present state and the future of this area of knowledge, and thus move us closer to an ecology of knowledge and power.

Comment: This text can be used as an introduction to decolonization in IR to show opposed views to the mainly Eurocentric research. It is not very specific in its elaboration but underlines the need for a revision of the field of IR and its concepts. Rather, the article suggest a broad frame of the debate as a starting point to discussions about how we might go about shifting the geography of reason within International Relations from a Eurocentric one towards a "pluriversal multilogue of epistemologies".

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