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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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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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Amin, Samir. ‘Underdevelopment and Dependence in Black Africa: Historical Origin’
1972, Journal of Peace Research, 9(2), pp. 105–120
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Abstract:

Keeping in mind the variety of social, cultural and economic conditions distinguishing African Societies, the author divides the continent into three macro-regions: (1) Africa of the colonial economy (enlarged West Africa) (2) Africa of the concession companies (Congo Basin) (3) Africa of the labor reserves (East and South Africa).The dialectics between colonial policies and social formations and modes of production in ternal to the regions are seen as a major determinant in shaping the history of underdevelopment in Black Africa. On this basis, four historical periods are analyzed : (1) The pre-mercantilist period (2) The mercantilist period (3) The preparatory phase for colonization (4) The colonization period. Concluding the discussion of the colonization period, the author points to the necessity of viewing African socities as dependent, peripheral ones, shaped according to the needs of dominant, capitalist societies.

Comment: The paper distinguishes three macro-regions within the African continent, as well as distinguishing four separate periods of African history. The paper can be used as an early study of the effects of colonialism.

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Annette Joseph-Gabriel. Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire
2019, University of Illinois Press
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Publisher’s Note: Black women living in the French empire played a key role in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. Thinkers and activists, these women lived lives of commitment and risk that landed them in war zones and concentration camps and saw them declared enemies of the state. Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal the anticolonialist endeavors of seven women. Though often overlooked today, Suzanne Césaire, Paulette Nardal, Eugénie Éboué-Tell, Jane Vialle, Andrée Blouin, Aoua Kéita, and Eslanda Robeson took part in a forceful transnational movement. Their activism and thought challenged France's imperial system by shaping forms of citizenship that encouraged multiple cultural and racial identities. Expanding the possibilities of belonging beyond national and even Francophone borders, these women imagined new pan-African and pan-Caribbean identities informed by black feminist intellectual frameworks and practices. The visions they articulated also shifted the idea of citizenship itself, replacing a single form of collective identity and political participation with an expansive plurality of forms of belonging.

Comment: Useful for discussing concepts of citizenship and belonging in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. Prior knowledge of these themes is required for an in-depth discussion of the book. However individual chapters can constitute a good starting point for questions of gender, race, and postcolonialism without prior advanced knowledge.

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Annette Joseph-Gabriel. Suzanne Césaire: Liberation beyond the Great Camouflage
2020, University of Illinois Press
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Abstract: Suzanne Césaire's essays in Tropiques make an important intervention in imagining a new Martinican and ultimately Pan-Caribbean identity during World War II. This study examines Césaire's joint politics and poetics of liberation in the context of dissidence in Martinique. A close reading of her essays alongside previously uncited personal correspondence reveals Haiti to be central to her vision for a Caribbean cultural renaissance after the death and destruction of the war.

Comment: Useful for discussions on belonging, citizenship, and nation-building, and expanding knowledge of Suzanne Césaire. Prior knowledge of key concepts of political history is needed, as well as some knowledge of French decolonization. Can be used to expand knowledge of French education in the former colonies.

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Anyidoho, Nana Akua. Women, Gender and Development in Africa
2020, The Palgrave Handbook of African Women's Studies
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Abstract: Gender denotes the social prescriptions associated with biological sex in regard to roles, behaviour, appearance, cognition, emotions, and so on. Social relations of gender or gender relations encompass all relationships in which gender subjectivities play a role, including those among people, and between people and the institutions, systems, and processes of development. The chapter describes three features of gender relations that are generally consistent across societies – gender ideologies and mythsgendered division of labor; and unequal power relationships – and discusses their implications for development. The chapter further explains the centrality of gender to the development enterprise and discusses various approaches to integrating gender analysis in development processes.

Comment: Overview of three features of gender relations: ideologies and myths, gendered division of labor, unequal power relationships. Explains why subjectivity and social and historical context matter in gender development and interventions with Africa as Global South example.

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Araújo, Marta, Maeso, Silvia. Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge: Debates on History and Power in Europe and the Americas
2014, Eurocentrism, racism and knowledge : debates on history and power in europe and the americas and the americas. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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Publisher’s Note:

This collection is an interdisciplinary effort drawing on the work of international scholars and political activists. It addresses key questions in the critique of Eurocentrism and racism regarding debates on the production and sedimentation of knowledge, historical narratives and memories in Europe and the Americas. By conceiving Eurocentrism as a paradigm of interpretation, and race as the key principle of the modern order, the authors bring the relation between knowledge and power to the centre of debate. The book invites to consider institutionalized violence as pervading the regulation of the heterogeneity of (post-)colonial territories and peoples, and to see the politics of knowledge production as a struggle for power seeking profound change. At the heart of this collective endeavour is the long history of international and domestic liberation politics and thought, as well as academic and political reaction through formulas of accommodation that re-centre the West.

Comment: This edited volume is useful for providing an overview of the debates surrounding eurocentrism and the consequent systems of knowledge that have been produced as a result. As such, the book demonstrates the persistent coloniality within academia. It is also useful for its interdisciplinary approach. Moreover, in engaging specifically with the concept of eurocentrism, this book provides the means through which to remember the historical role played by the West and specifically Europe, while also allowing the reader to be critical of new forms of imperialism and domination, such as neocolonialism and neo-developmentalism, in Africa, Asia and the Americas, which are driven by the same Eurocentric approach. As such, it is useful for a course on political history, history of the Americas and modern day global relations.

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Bajpai, Ravi Dutt. Civilizational Perspectives in International Relations and Contemporary China-India Relations
2018, Civilizational Perspectives in International Relations and Contemporary China-India Relations. in "The ‘Clash of Civilizations’ 25 Years On: A Multidisciplinary Appraisal" eds Orsi, D. E-International Relations Publishing
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, Contributed by: Alex Lopez Postma
Abstract: This paper explores the assumptions of civilizational identities purely based on cultural, religious or geographical distinctions and their limitations. It reviews the ‘civilizations’ discourse in IR and discusses the concept of ‘civilization states’ in the context of China and India. It analyzes the key components of civilizational overlaps and exchanges between these two countries and the invocation of their ‘civilization-state’ identity in their contemporary bilateral relations. Rejecting Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ hypothesis in understanding ‘civilization-states’ like China and India, I conclude that it is critical to understand how states perceive their civilizational heritage, which both facilitates and impedes bilateral exchanges and the conduct of international relations.

Comment: Offers a critique of the basic assumptions in IR. Argues that any purposeful analysis of the China-India bilateral relationship and their worldviews is not possible without studying their inter-civilizational links. This text could be used to discuss cultural generalizations and cross cultural links. Suitable for a course on postcolonial IR.

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Bernal-Meza, Raúl. Contemporary Latin American thinking on International Relations: theoretical, conceptual and methodological contributions
2016, Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 59(1). doi: 10.1590/0034-7329201600105.
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Abstract: This article analyses recent productions of Latin American thinking on international affairs. The reviewed cases and examples are interrelated, for they are explanatory and interpretative abstractions of processes and practices in the international field, characterized by a description of formulations, concepts and methodological contributions. The common feature of these dimensions is the will of their formulators to explain their national and regional political realities from their own perspectives. Recent contributions offer potential for generalizations from national cases. They account for new realities that may impact on the international and regional system of international affairs.

Comment: Discusses perspectives from the South on IR theory. Interesting to discuss in comparison with classical IR theory from the North.

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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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