Bourdieu in International Relations: Rethinking Key Concepts in IR, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Bourdieu in International Relations

Rethinking Key Concepts in IR, 1st Edition

Edited by Rebecca Adler-Nissen


230 pages

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Paperback: 9780415870757
pub: 2013-02-19
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pub: 2012-09-04
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This book rethinks the key concepts of International Relations by drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu.

The last few years have seen a genuine wave of publications promoting sociology in international relations. Scholars have suggested that Bourdieu’s vocabulary can be applied to study security, diplomacy, migration and global environmental politics. Yet we still lack a systematic and accessible analysis of what Bourdieu-inspired IR might look like. This book provides the answer. It offers an introduction to Bourdieu’s thinking to a wider IR audience, challenges key assumptions, which currently structure IR scholarship – and provides an original, theoretical restatement of some of the core concepts in the field. The book brings together a select group of leading IR scholars who draw on both theoretical and empirical insights from Bourdieu. Each chapter covers one central concept in IR: Methodology, Knowledge, Power, Strategy, Security, Culture, Gender, Norms, Sovereignty and Integration. The chapters demonstrate how these concepts can be reinterpreted and used in new ways when exposed to Bourdieusian logic.

Challenging key pillars of IR scholarship, Bourdieu in International Relations will be of interest to critical theorists, and scholars of IR theory.


'The authors aptly show how some of the key conceptual building blocks of IR theory, such as power, governance, and practice, as well as major empirical areas of research like norms, identity, community, and sovereignty can profit from a Bourdieu-based perspective…Because of Bourdieu’s important intellectual tradition and the competence with which the contributors to this volume have distilled this tradition for IR, this book will undoubtedly have a long life and help bring Bourdieu-based IR theory closer to the mainstream.' - Emanuel Adler, University of Toronto, Canada.

'The book represents a valuable contribution to the ongoing engagement with sociological ideas and methods within IR and, in particular, the study of practice. It will occupy an important place in this literature due to its main objective: to provide an entry point for researchers and students of world politics to engage with the complex and analytically useful ideas of Bourdieu. There is a need for a book of this sort because different IR scholars have incorporated Bourdieu into their research problems, but no other volume currently exists to bring the experience of these efforts together for a wider audience.' - Claudia Aradau, King's College London, UK.

'The different chapters are well-conceived not simply in terms of introducing Bourdieu, but in elucidating how his creative conceptual tools can inform various thematic problems in IR' - Matthew Eagleton-Pierce, University of Exeter, UK

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Introduction Iver B. Neumann, NUPI Preface Emanuel Adler, University of Toronto Introduction Rebecca Adler-Nissen, University of Copenhagen 1. Bourdieu’s concepts Vincent Pouliot, McGill University and Frédéric Mérand, University of Montreal 2. Methodology Vincent Pouliot, McGill University 3. Knowledges Trine Villumsen, University of Copenhagen 4. Power Stefano Guzzini, Danish Institute for International Affairs 5. Strategy Frédéric Mérand and Amélie Forget, University of Montreal 6. Security Didier Bigo, King’s College London/Sciences Po Paris 7. Culture Michael C. Williams, University of Ottawa 8. Gender Vivienne Jabri, King's College London 9. Norms Charlotte Epstein, University of Sydney 10. Sovereignty Rebecca Adler-Nissen, University of Copenhagen 11. Integration Niilo Kauppi, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Strasbourg 12. Citizenship Virginie Guiraudon, Center for European Studies, Sciences Po, Paris

About the Editor

Rebecca Adler-Nissen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

About the Series

New International Relations

The field of international relations has changed dramatically in recent years, with new subject matter being brought to light and new approaches from in and out of the social sciences being tried out. This series offers itself as a broad church for innovative work that aims to renew the discipline.


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General