From International Relations to Relations International: Postcolonial Essays, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

From International Relations to Relations International

Postcolonial Essays, 1st Edition

Edited by Philip Darby


164 pages

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This book brings postcolonial critique directly to bear on established ways of theorizing international relations. Its primary concern is with the non-European world and its relations with the North. In advancing an alternative conception of "relations international", the book draws on alternative source material and different forms of writing. It also features short stories, an interview and explores the role of poetics and performance.

The suzerainty of the disciplinary writ is challenged on three primary grounds. Firstly on its Eurocentrism, which leads the discipline to pass lightly over the distinctive life experiences of most of the world’s people. Secondly, on the discipline’s failure to engage in any systematic way with other bodies of knowledge about the international, as for example international political economy, postcolonialism and development. Lastly, it confronts the ‘top down’ nature of the politics of the discipline, and that seldom addresses everyday life.

From squatter towns to the evasions of the poor, from law through to literature, this work raises a number of problems for International relations. It challenges a colonial mindset, de-centres the west and opens the field to new approaches that are far more inter-disciplinary than international relations generally allows. It is a provocative contribution for students and scholars of IR and Postcolonial studies alike.

Table of Contents

Introduction Phillip Darby 1. Teaching an Unorthodox IR course Devika Goonewardene 2. Reworking the Ruling Knowledge Bank about International Politics Ashis Nandy 3. Narrating the Nation and International Law Tony Anghie 4. Development and World Order Phillip Darby 5. Glimpses of African Life Sekai Nzenza 6. On Misplaced IR Carlos Morreo 7. Performing Pedagogy: Memory and the Aesthetic turn David Martin 8. The Neglected Shadow Self Christine Deftereos 9. Sea Level: Towards a Poetic Geography Paul Carter

About the Editor

Phillip Darby is director of the independent Institute of Postcolonial Studies based in Melbourne and is a principal fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

About the Series

Postcolonial Politics

‘Postcolonial Politics’ is a series that publishes books that lie at the intersection of politics and postcolonial theory. That point of intersection once barely existed; its recent emergence is enabled, first, because a new form of ‘politics’ is beginning to make its appearance. Intellectual concerns that began life as a (yet unnamed) set of theoretical interventions from scholars largely working within the ‘New Humanities’ have now begun to migrate into the realm of politics. The result is politics with a difference, with a concern for the everyday, the ephemeral, the serendipitous and the unworldly. Second, postcolonial theory has raised a new set of concerns in relation to understandings of the non-West. At first these concerns and these questions found their home in literary studies, but they were also, always, political. Edward Said’s binary of ‘Europe and its other’ introduced us to a ‘style of thought’ that was as much political as it was cultural as much about the politics of knowledge as the production of knowledge, and as much about life on the street as about a philosophy of being, A new, broader and more reflexive understanding of politics, and a new style of thinking about the non-Western world, make it possible to ‘think’ politics through postcolonial theory, and to ‘do’ postcolonial theory in a fashion which picks up on its political implications.

Postcolonial Politics attempts to pick up on these myriad trails and disruptive practices. The series aims to help us read culture politically, read ‘difference’ concretely, and to problematise our ideas of the modern, the rational and the scientific by working at the margins of a knowledge system that is still logocentric and Eurocentric. This is where a postcolonial politics hopes to offer new and fresh visions of both the postcolonial and the political.

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