Critical Imaginations in International Relations

Author: Aoileann Ní Mhurchú
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317585348
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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.

Sexualities in World Politics

Author: Manuela Lavinas Picq
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317589998
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As LGBTQ claims acquire global relevance, how do sexual politics impact the study of International Relations? This book argues that LGBTQ perspectives are not only an inherent part of world politics but can also influence IR theory-making. LGBTQ politics have simultaneously gained international prominence in the past decade, achieving significant policy change, and provoked cultural resistance and policy pushbacks. Sexuality politics, more so than gender-based theories, arrived late on the theoretical scene in part because sexuality and gender studies initially highlighted post-structuralist thinking, which was hardly accepted in mainstream political science. This book responds to a call for a more empirically motivated but also critical scholarship on this subject. It offers comparative case-studies from regional, cultural and theoretical peripheries to identify ways of rethinking IR. Further, it aims to add to critical theory, broadening the knowledge about previously unrecognized perspectives in an accessible manner. Being aware of preoccupations with the de-queering, disciplining nature of theory establishment in the social sciences, we critically reconsider IR concepts from a particular LGBTQ vantage point and infuse them with queer thinking. Considering the relative dearth of contemporary mainstream IR-theorizing, authors ask what contribution LGBTQ politics can provide for conceiving the political subject, as well as the international structure in which activism is embedded. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of gender politics, cultural studies and international relations theory.

Critical Environmental Politics

Author: Carl Death
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134684134
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The aim of this book is to review central concepts in the study of environmental politics and to open up new questions, problems, and research agendas in the field. The volume does so by drawing on a wide range of approaches from critical theory to poststructuralism, and spanning disciplines including international relations, geography, sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, and political science. The 28 chapters cover a range of global and local studies, illustrations and cases. These range from the Cochabamba conference in Bolivia to climate camps in the UK; UN summits in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg to climate migrants from Pacific islands; forests in Indonesia to Dutch energy governance reform; indigenous communities in Namibia to oil extraction in the Niger Delta; survivalist militias in the USA to Maasai tribesmen in Kenya. Rather than following a regional or issue-based (e.g. water, forests, pollution, etc) structure, the volume is organised in terms of key concepts in the field, including those which have been central to the social sciences for a long time (such as citizenship, commodification, consumption, feminism, justice, movements, science, security, the state, summits, and technology); those which have been at the heart of environmental politics for many years (including biodiversity, climate change, conservation, eco-centrism, limits, localism, resources, sacrifice, and sustainability); and many which have been introduced to these literatures and debates more recently (biopolitics, governance, governmentality, hybridity, posthumanism, risk, and vulnerability). Features and benefits of the book: Explains the most important concepts and theories in environmental politics. Reviews the core ideas behind crucial debates in environmental politics. Highlights the key thinkers – both classic and contemporary – for studying environmental politics. Provides original perspectives on the critical potential of the concepts for future research agendas as well as for the practice of environmental politics. Each chapter is written by leading international authors in their field. This exciting new volume will be essential textbook reading for all students of environmental politics, as well as provocatively presenting the field in a different light for more established researchers.

International Relations Meaning and Mimesis

Author: Necati Polat
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 041552153X
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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.

Writing the Self and Transforming Knowledge in International Relations

Author: Erzsebet Strausz
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351402641
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book emerges from within the everyday knowledge practices of International Relations (IR) scholarship and explores the potential of experimental writing as an alternative source of ‘knowledge’ and political imagination within the modern university and the contemporary structures of neoliberal government. It unlocks and foregrounds the power of writing as a site of resistance and a vehicle of transformation that is fundamentally grounded in reflexivity, self-crafting and an ethos of care. In an attempt to cultivate new sensibilities to habitual academic practice the project re-appropriates the skill of writing for envisioning and enacting what it might mean to be working in the discipline of IR and inhabiting the usual spaces and scenes of academic life differently. The practice of experimental writing that intuitively unfolds and develops in the book makes an important methodological intervention into conventional social scientific inquiry both regarding the politics of writing and knowledge production as well as the role and position of the researcher. The formal innovations of the book include the actualization and creative remaking of the Foucaultian genre of the ‘experience book,’ which seeks to challenge scholarly routine and offers new experiences and modes of perception as to what it might mean to ‘know’ and to be a ‘knowing subject’ in our times. The book will be of interest to researchers engaged in critical and creative research methods (particularly narrative writing, autobiography, storytelling, experimental and transformational research), Foucault studies and philosophy, as well as critical approaches to contemporary government and studies of resistance.

Military Intervention in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Susannah O'Sullivan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317209672
Format: PDF
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This book contributes to an increasingly important branch of critical security studies that combines insights from critical geopolitics and postcolonial critique by making an argument about the geographies of violence and their differential impact in contemporary security practices, including but not limited to military intervention. The book explores military intervention in Libya through the categories of space and time, to provide a robust ethico-political critique of the intervention. Much of the mainstream international relations scholarship on humanitarian intervention frames the ethical, moral and legal debate over intervention in terms of a binary, between human rights and state sovereignty. In response, O’Sullivan questions the ways in which military violence was produced as a rational and reasonable response to the crisis in Libya, outlining and destabilising this false binary between the human and the state. The book offers methodological tools for questioning the violent institutions at the heart of humanitarian intervention and asking how intervention has been produced as a rational response to crisis. Contributing to the ongoing academic conversation in the critical literature on spatiality, militarism and resistance, the book draws upon postcolonial and poststructural approaches to critical security studies, and will be of great interest to scholars and graduates of critical security studies and international relations.

Madness in International Relations

Author: Alison Howell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136810269
Format: PDF, ePub
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Madness in International Relations provides an important and innovative account of the role of psychology and psychiatry in global politics, showing how mental health governance has become a means of securing various populations, often with questionable effects. Through the analysis of three key case studies Howell illustrates how such therapeutic interventions can at times be coercive and sovereign, at other times disciplinary, and at still other times benevolent, though not benign. In each case a ‘diagnostic competition’ is traced, that is, a contestation over how best to diagnose and treat the population in question. The book examines the populations of Guantánamo Bay, post-conflict societies and western militaries, identifying how these diagnostic competitions ultimately rest on shared assumptions about the value of psychology and psychiatry in managing global security, about the value of achieving security through mental health governance, and ultimately about the medicalization of security. This work will be of great interest to all scholars of International relations, critical theory and security studies.

Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations

Author: Jennifer M. Welsh
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191533009
Format: PDF, ePub
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Should states use military force for humanitarian purposes? What are the challenges to international society posed by humanitarian intervention in a post-September 11th world? This path-breaking work brings together well-known scholars of law, philosophy, and international relations, together with practitioners who have been actively engaged in intervention during the past decade. Together, this team provides practical and theoretical answers to one of the most burning issues of our day. Case studies include Somalia, Rwanda, the Balkans, and East Timor, as well as the recent US intervention in Afghanistan. The book demonstrates why humanitarian intervention continues to be a controversial issue not only for the United Nations but also for Western states and humanitarian organizations.

The Persistence of Nationalism

Author: Angharad Closs Stephens
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136691995
Format: PDF
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This is a book about the difficulties of thinking and acting politically in ways that refuse the politics of nationalism. The book offers a detailed study of how contemporary attempts by theorists of cosmopolitanism, citizenship, globalism and multiculturalism to go beyond nationalism often reproduce key aspects of a nationalist imaginary. It argues that the challenge of resisting nationalism will require more than a shift in the scale of politics – from the national up to the global or down to the local, and more than a shift in the count of politics – to an emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism. In order to avoid the grip of ‘nationalist thinking’, we need to re-open the question of what it means to imagine community. Set against the backdrop of the imaginative geographies of the War in Terror and the new beginning promised by the Presidency of Barack Obama, the book shows how critical interventions often work in collaboration with nationalist politics, even when the aim is to resist nationalism. It claims that a nationalist imaginary includes powerful understandings of freedom, subjectivity, sovereignty and political space/time which must also be placed under question if we want to avoid reproducing ideas about ‘us’ and ‘them’. Drawing on insights from feminist, cultural and postcolonial studies as well as critical approaches to International Relations and Geography, this book presents a unique and refreshing approach to the politics of nationalism.

The Value of Resilience

Author: Chris Zebrowski
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131740162X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Value of Resilience represents one of the first systematic studies of resilience in the field of security studies. At the turn of the twenty-first century, resilience has become a ‘buzz-word’ within fields as diverse as network engineering, ecosystems management, child psychology and military training programmes. Resilience has emerged as a solution to the common problematic of radical contingency experienced across these fields. At its most general level resilience is understood as the capacity to absorb, withstand and ‘bounce-back’ quickly and efficiently from a perturbation. It is considered to be both a natural property and a quality which can be improved within a broad array of complex systems. Rather than treating resilience as either a unified concept or technique of governance, this book analyses resilience as an emergent security value. Utilizing a biopolitical analytic, it demonstrates that the value of resilience has appreciated alongside transformations in the order of power/knowledge enacted by political economies of security. Zebrowski argues that resilience was not lying in wait for the march of science to provide the conditions for its recognition. Nor was it concealed by the distortions of ideology which lifted with the culmination of the Cold War. There is nothing natural about resilience. By drawing attention to the complex historical processes and significant governmental efforts required to make resilience possible, this book aims to open up a space through which the value of resilience may be more critically interrogated. It will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, security studies and conflict resolution.