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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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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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Mamdani, Mahmood. An African Reflection on Tahrir Square
2011, Globalizations, 8(5), pp. 559–566.
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Abstract:

This essay understands the significance of Tahrir Square as a radical shift both n the way of doing politics, from armed struggle to popular struggle, and in the definition of political identity, from religious to territorial. It seeks to understand the historical significance of the shift by placing it in the context of technologies of colonial rule (both the Ottoman millet system and British indirect rule) and post-colonial attempts to rethink and reform this mode of rule. The result is a historical reflection that begins with Steve Biko and the Soweto Uprising in 1976, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha and John Garang in post-colonial Sudan, and closes with Sayyid Qutb and the significance of Tahrir Square.

Comment: This text provides an alternative understanding of the events at Tahrir Square and a way of 'doing politics' that is beyond the western norm. By locating the events of Tahrir Square within the vein of politics started by the Soweto Uprising in South Africa in 1976, the author provides a novel way through which to understand popular uprisings. This text can be used to historicise more recent historicise uprisings, in a course on political history and decolonising

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Mukimbiri, Jean. The Seven Stages of the Rwandan Genocide
2005, Mukimbiri, J. (2005) “The Seven Stages of the Rwandan Genocide,” Journal of International Criminal Justice, 3(4), pp. 823–836.
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Added by: Hannah Savage
Abstract:

Drawing upon a book by J.M. Lecomte on the genocide of the Jews by the Nazi Germans, the author examines the seven stages in the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda. These stages, which do not necessarily follow one another in time but may overlap, can be classified in the following way: (i) definition of the target group on the basis of some criteria; (ii) registration of the victims; (iii) designation or outward identification of the victims; (iv) restriction and confiscation of goods; (v) exclusion from professions, working activities and means of transportation, among other things; (vi) systematic isolation; (vii) mass extermination.

Comment: This is an easy text discussing the Rwandan Genocide. It is suitable for an introductory-level course on the Rwandan Genocide; genocide studies; episodes of mass violence or ethnic conflict.

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Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo. J. Coloniality of Power in Postcolonial Africa: Myths of Decolonization
2013, Dakar: CODESRIA (Codesria book series).
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Publisher’s Note:

This book interrogates the African postcolonial condition with a focus on the thematics of liberation predicament and the long standing crisis of dependence (epistemological, cultural, economic, and political) created by colonialism and coloniality. A deployment of historical, philosophical, and political knowledge in combination with the equiprimordial concepts of coloniality of power, coloniality of being, and coloniality of knowledge yields a comprehensive understanding of African realities of subalternity.

Comment: This book takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the 'African postcolonial condition'. The author aims to understand the role of colonialism of power in shaping the complex history of the African postcolonial present. It is an indispensable source for understanding the broad and deeply-seated long-term impacts of colonialism in Africa, demonstrating the inability or stagnation of African development, regarding such things as nation-building, economic development and democratisation, as a result of the continued entrapment of Africa within colonial matrices of power.

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Rajni Kothari. POLITICS IN INDIA
1972, Kothari, R. (1972) Politics in india. Repr edn. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.
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, Contributed by: Dina K
Publisher’s Note:

Acclaimed to be by far the most sophisticated general study on Indian politics. Politics in India unfolds, here with insight and acumen and the vastness and confusion of the Indian political scene is elaborately discussed. This book is the first comprehensive treatment of the Indian political system examined from different vantage points and drawing together the contribution of various disciplines into a common framework.

Comment: This renowned book is an important one for any scholar of history of politics, society and IR in India, having set the foundations for Indian academic perspectives on the Indian national systems of government. The ground-breaking analysis was the first to assess post-colonial Indian politics, culture and societal norms, as well as democracy from a broader perspective, distinct from the previously uncontested Western hegemony within social sciences. The book theorises on the concepts of power and modernisation, and challenges the academic hegemony of the 1970s. The redefinition of such concepts from an Indian perspective had important effects on West-centric disciplines, especially in light of India’s colonial history.

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Sebhatu, Rahel Weldeab. Applying postcolonial approaches to studies of Africa-EU relations
2020, Applying postcolonial approaches to studies of Africa-EU relations. In "The Routledge handbook of EU-Africa relations". eds Haastrup, T., Mah Luís and Duggan, N. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge (Routledge international handbooks).
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Abstract:

This chapter outlines the importance of postcolonial approaches for the study of Africa-EU relations. It contextualises such approaches in negotiation practices and outcomes of the EU proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). Though academic literature on Africa-EU relations tends to define such relations as being asymmetrical, the politics around the negotiations of the EPAs through postcolonial lenses reveals contestations around the assumptions of such asymmetries. The very constitution of the EU was also a product of colonial legacy. The pursuits of European colonisers stretched throughout the world, but unlike the Americas and Asia, Africa held a special place in the efforts to construct European economic integration. Since the 1990s, Africa-EU relations have been based on neoliberal principles, with the EU considering trade and market liberalisation as central to poverty reduction while African leaders have also equated it with development.

Comment: This chapter can be used in a course on European Integration and the European project, and how it interacts with the legacy of colonialism, as well as on projects of regionalism elsewhere.

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