In this article, we critique the Eurocentric character of security studies as it has developed since World War II. The taken-for-granted historical geographies that underpin security studies systematically misrepresent the role of the global South in security relations and lead to a distorted view of Europe and the West in world politics. Understanding security relations, past and present, requires acknowledging the mutual constitution of European and non-European worlds and their joint role in making history. The politics of Eurocentric security studies, those of the powerful, prevent adequate understanding of the nature or legitimacy of the armed resistance of the weak. Through analysis of the explanatory and political problems Eurocentrism generates, this article lays the groundwork for the development of a non-Eurocentric security studies.
Despite a growing awareness about the importance of emotions to global politics, the discipline of International Relations is still working towards adequate theorisations and investigations of their role. This is particularly noticeable in the fact that there has been little sustained, scholarly examination of the effects of various emotions on the shape and orientation of the US foreign policy reaction to 9/11. This essay seeks to begin to address both of these gaps by examining the role that dynamics of humiliation and counter-humiliation have played in contemporary global politics. In particular, it develops a theoretical understanding of humiliation and then applies this framework to explain how dynamics of humiliation have impacted post 9/11 American global policy. It concludes that we cannot fully understand the sources, and the effects, of post 9/11 contemporary politics (especially US global policy) without taking into account the dynamics of humiliation.1
Over the past decade, health has become an increasingly important international issue and one which has engaged the attention of the foreign and security policy community. This article examines the emerging relationship between foreign and security policy, and global public health. It argues that the agenda has been dominated by two issues - the spread of selected infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS) and bio-terror. It argues that this is a narrow framing of the agenda which could be broadened to include a wider range of issues. We offer two examples: health and internal instability, including the role of health in failing states and in post-conflict reconstruction; and illicit activities. We also argue that the relationship between global public health, and foreign and security policy has prioritised the concerns of the latter over the former - how selected health issues may create risks for (inter)national security or economic growth. Moreover the interests of the West are prominent on this agenda, focusing (largely though not exclusively) on how health risks in the developing world might impact upon the West. It is less concerned with the promotion of global public health.
This article seeks to contribute to opening up a space of possibility for the state to become something other than a competitive entity in and through a critical (re)problematisation of 'international competitiveness' as a governmental problem. In more specific terms, it inquires into how international competitiveness was constituted as such a problem in the first place; how both the meaning of international competitiveness and the terms of the 'competitiveness problem' have been transformed by globalisation talk and multilateral efforts at neoliberal global governance; and how the discourse of international competitiveness works to (re)produce the state as a competitive entity on a continuous basis.
During the last decades 'causation' has been a deeply divisive concept in International Relations (IR) theory. While the positivist mainstream has extolled the virtues of causal analysis, many post-positivist theorists have rejected the aims and methods of causal explanation in favour of 'constitutive' theorising. It is argued here that the debates on causation in IR have been misleading in that they have been premised on, and have helped to reify, a rather narrow empiricist understanding of causal analysis. It is suggested that in order to move IR theorising forward we need to deepen and broaden our understandings of the concept of cause. Thereby, we can radically reinterpret the causal-constitutive theory divide in IR, as well as redirect the study of world politics towards more constructive multi-causal and complexity-sensitive analyses.
My lecture has three main themes:First, the nature and extent of the turn to history and narrative in the study of international relations.Second, the contribution of narrative history to IR theory, not as an adjunct or empirical resource, but as a theoretical perspective in its own right. Narrative historians of international relations may not adhere to an explicit theory of international relations but they do practice an implicit philosophy of history, a philosophy as sophisticated and theoretically fertile as any other IR theoretical approach.
International Relations (IR) textbooks often make reference to an idealist paradigm in interwar IR. This article argues that an idealist paradigm did not exist, and that interwar references to idealism or utopianism are contradictory and have little to do with defining a paradigm. Not only is there no idealist paradigm in IR at this time, but authors from the interwar period that have since been dismissed as idealists rarely share the attributes assigned to idealism or utopianism by later writers. If IR scholars are serious about understanding the history of their discipline then they will have to stop applying misleading and anachronistic terms like idealism.
International state-building has become central to international policy concerns and has marked a clear neo-Wilsonian shift in international thinking, spurred by the leadership of the United States and the European Union. Today's approaches insist on the regulatory role of international institutions and downplay the importance of locally-derived political solutions. This privileging of 'governance' over 'government' is based on the assumption that the political process can be externally influenced through the promotion of institutional changes introduced at the state level and pays less attention to how societal pressures and demands are constitutive of stable and legitimate institutional mechanisms. This article questions this approach and analyses the transformation in the assessment of the importance of the societal sphere. It considers how this shift has been shaped by current understandings of war and conflict, and how the prioritisation of governance has fitted with critical and post-positivist trends in academic thinking in international relations and security studies. The discussion is illustrated with examples drawn largely from the Balkans and the international regime in Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular.
This article examines the nature of the destruction of built environments. Such destruction should be seen as a distinct form of violence: urbicide. This violence comprises the destruction of shared spatiality which is the condition of possibility of heterogeneous communities. Urbicide, insofar as it is a destruction of heterogeneity in general, is thus a manifestation of a 'politics of exclusion'. However, this account of the destruction of the built environment is not only an insight into a distinct form of political violence. Rather, an account of urbicide also offers a metatheoretical argument regarding the scholarly study of political violence: namely that destruction of built environments contests the anthropocentric frame that usually dominates the study of violence.
International Relations have increasingly projected an image of the world where territoriality has lost its organising force. The global movements of people, information, capital and pollution are seen as signs of increasing deterritorialisation. Climate change is one of these issues 'beyond borders' that due to its global framing has been established within the international. This article is an investigation into the political geography of the carbon cycle. We approach the tension between the representations of climate space as global and deterritorial on the one hand, and political practices that reterritorialise the climate on the other. We trace the political transformation of the global carbon cycle into 'national sinks' and argue that the two tendencies of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation of climate space mirror the spatial assumptions of IR; the national inside and global outside.
Legitimacy is currently a salient topic in the International Relations (IR) literature. In an era of globalisation, discrepancies have emerged between political ideals and the realities of the global distribution of power. One significant aspect of this debate concerns the role and influence of transnational non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This article examines the issue of transnational NGOs' legitimacy in international society. It is suggested that accusations of NGOs' 'illegitimacy' often rest on a comparison between 'legitimate' state power sanctioned by liberal democratic norms, and 'illegitimate' non-state power. More pressing than the fact of non-governmental sector's 'non-state' character, however, is the question of how to put effective limits on power per se in international society.
If future relations between the Middle East/Islamic world and the west are to be based on a solid foundation, then the fate of the still ongoing Turkish experience may be not just influential, but decisive.(1)
Relatively early in the attempts to gender the discipline of International Relations (IR), it was argued by some feminist scholars that it was easier to raise feminist concerns in International Political Economy (IPE) than in IR. However, it has subsequently proved very difficult to articulate these concerns within mainstream IPE, as 'the neo-realist and neo-liberal frameworks, with their common focus on state-centric issues of co-operation and conflict and their positivist and rationalistic methodologies, do not lend themselves to investigating gendered structures of inequality...'. In contrast, more overlap has been discerned between feminist perspectives and methodologies and the less influential 'globalist' (also known as critical/transdisciplinary or heterodox) approaches to IPE than with the dominant statist approaches. This article takes this position as its starting point and will focus on the relationship between gendered analyses and critical IPE (as it will be known here). It therefore does not engage with the undoubtedly important question of how far it is possible or desirable to have a gendered analysis that is not linked to feminism, as within both feminist and critical approaches to IPE an emancipatory agenda is entirely legitimate and even an integral part of those approaches. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT
It has become rather commonplace to read that, what is referred to as 'traditional, western IR theory', is problematic when taken to the African continent. At best, we are told, IR theory misrepresents or misunderstands African reality, at worst it participates in an exercise of neo-colonial theoretical hegemony. In this article I will seek both to assess this 'Africanist critique' and to mount something of a qualified defence of IR theory. However, I argue that in exploring the relevance of IR theory to Africa we need to distinguish between neorealism - the real target of the critics' fire - and other strands of IR theory. Once we do this we can see that other theoretical standpoints within IR are relevant. Moreover, I argue that while trying to question neorealism, the critics in fact maintain neorealism's conceptualisations of the state and anarchy, simply inverting the picture. I argue that this represents a theoretical step backwards. Problematic issues in IR theory do not simply appear when one moves one's focus to Africa, they are there to begin with.
Post World War I, Marcus Garvey's Pan-African movement managed to coalesce, however briefly and imperfectly, an extra-territorial sovereign authority in the form of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Through the recollection of this project the article seeks to disturb the predominant uni-linear narrative in IR debates of the transformation of sovereignty that posit a recent shift from territorial exclusivity to multi-level governance encapsulated in the emergence of the European Union. By narrating a string of transformations of sovereignty that led to Garvey's UNIA the case is made that such transformations have not directly followed one universal logic but have been multi-linear in character, and further, extra-territoriality has been a defining principle of sovereignty in the modern epoch and by no means peculiar to the contemporary European milieu. Through exploring the generative relationship between capitalist, nationalist and racialist forms of sovereignty the article contributes theoretically and empirically to a historical sociology adequate to capture the multiple, yet related, transformations of sovereignty in the modern epoch.
David Campbell has been at the forefront of showing how deconstruction, and the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, can help us to think international relations differently. Like Derrida himself, Campbell has eschewed the goal of an ethical theory in favour of an ‘ethos of political criticism’ concerned to question and go beyond our assumptions and limits. In order to continue such an ethos of criticism, to push our understanding of ethics in international relations further still, it is surely important to question the assumptions and limits Campbell himself imposes. It is with this in mind that I wish to take a particular political intervention by Derrida in 1993 and read it against Campbell’s Derridean analysis of the Bosnian conflict which began in 1992.
Recent research on the Internet and terrorism confirms the Internet's enabling features for terrorist activities, including its ease of access, anonymity, and international character. While the Internet can serve as a tool for nefarious purposes, little research has focused on whether and how the Internet can be used to prevent conflict and, ultimately, terrorist activities. This research focuses on one group that might be considered a resource base for violent action: diasporas from failed states. Research shows a strong correlation between marginalisation and violence. On the other hand, fostering a shared identity, inclusive of liberal values, and promoting carefully framed discussion and debate may reduce psychological incentives to engage in violent activities. This article examines the case of one digital diaspora - a diaspora organised on the Internet - to explore these hypotheses. Specifically, the case of Somalinet suggests potential for the Internet to promote liberal values, channel frustration into verbal debates thus diffusing tension, and create communities that counter the marginalisation conducive to violence.
This article considers the rise and fall of the first institution of international academic cooperation on international relations, the International Studies Conference (ISC), which was established in 1928 and continued activities into the 1950s. Its formation preceded by decades the present ISA as well as the international organisation of political scientists. The demise of the ISC was a result of the failings of the ISC itself, the influence of UNESCO especially its Department of Social Sciences, and the challenge posed to the ISC by the formation of the International Political Science Association.
This article analyses the way in which international administrations exercising governmental power in post-conflict territories justify their political authority in the absence of democratic legitimacy. Looking at the administrations in Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor, the article focuses on their establishment, their mandates, and their government practices and identifies five different sources of authority: consent, delegation, the maintenance of peace and security, the promotion of human rights and democracy, and the provision of government. However, all of these sources are contested. In particular the practices of international administrations, their lack of accountability and their limited effectiveness in providing government, undermine their authority. The article concludes by highlighting some possible avenues for enhancing the authority of international administrations.
Recent years have seen the growth of approaches critical of traditional state-centred examinations of international relations, arguing instead for analyses that recognise actors and methods previously held largely silent within the mainstream International Relations (IR) discourse. This article argues that children are a group of actors worthy of similar recognition. Despite the fact that 'childhood studies' are comparatively well established in a number of academic disciplines, similar recognition has been later in coming to the study of IR. This article aims to address this perceived gap in the literature by first of all outlining the ways in which the discourse surrounding the child in IR has so far developed. This leads into an examination of how the child may potentially best be conceptualised within the mainstream discourse and the implications of the inclusion of children as a 'site of knowledge' through which the international system may be more clearly understood.