International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis

1st Edition

By Necati Polat


198 pages

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Paperback: 9780415870740
pub: 2013-04-16
Hardback: 9780415521536
pub: 2012-04-16
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pub: 2012-05-31
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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.


International Relations Meaning and Mimesis is a virtuoso work re-theorizing international relations through one of its key textual tropes. It will be widely read for the inspiration and many fresh insights that it offers.

Michael Dillon, Emeritus Professor of Politics, Lancaster University, Professor of Politics, Sehir University, Istanbul & Fellow of the London Graduate School.

The writing is enviously clear, presenting material that is often difficult and dense in ways that are highly accessible without sacrificing the complexity of issues under consideration, particularly valuable from the perspective of teaching post-graduate courses.

Ritu Vij, University of Aberdeen.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. International 3. Peace 4. Difference 5. Law 6. Integration

About the Author

Necati Polat is Professor in the Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, where he teaches international political theory, international law, human rights and the philosophy of social science.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General