Narrative Global Politics: Theory, History and the Personal in International Relations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Narrative Global Politics

Theory, History and the Personal in International Relations, 1st Edition

Edited by Naeem Inayatullah, Elizabeth Dauphinee


212 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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This volume harnesses the virtual explosion of narrative writing in contemporary academic international politics. It comprises a prologue, an epilogue, and sixteen chapters that both build upon and diversify the success of the 2011 volume Autobiographical International Relations.

Here, as in that volume, academics place their narratives in the context of world politics, culture, and history. Contributors explore moments in their academic lives that are often inexpressible in the standard academic voice and which, in turn, require a different way of writing and knowing. They write in the belief that academic IR has already begun to benefit from a different kind of writing—a stylae that retrieves the "I" and explicitly demonstrates its presence both within the world and within academic writing. By working within the overlap between theory, history, and autobiography, these chapters aim to increase the clarity, urgency, and meaningfulness of academic work.

Highlighting the autoethnographic and autobiographic turn in critical international relations, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars in international relations, IR theory and global politics.


'Scholars, blessed with the luxury of time to think and razor sharp minds with which to do it, often fail to deliver insights in a manner allowing critical ideas to come alive. Inayatullah and Dauphine have crystalized a new direction in academic writing. This turn is far from simply stylistic, and begins the process of resuscitating the important cultural beast that is academic writing. In fact, as we see, they allow that beast to dance with grace and clarity.' - Jane-Marie Law, Associate Professor, Religious Studies and Asian Studies, Cornell University, USA

'Narrative Global Politics offers a series of poignant and insightful essays that seek to locate the authors’ own bodies and experiences in their work and in their world. These essays offer a glimpse of how we might begin to understand the web of identity, relationships, place, and power in which we exist. Both tender and discerning, Narrative Global Politics vividly explores the scholarly and personal work of "being in relation.' - Catherine Taylor, Associate Professor, Ithaca College, USA

'Narrative Global Politics is an intervention in international relations that gives new meaning to the feminist mantra ‘the personal is political.’ In a series of absorbing and often poignant essays, scholars and artists write about themselves and global politics. In the process, they simultaneously work toward and make a compelling case for new ways of understanding and acting on the self and the world.' - Lori Leonard, Associate Professor, Development Sociology, Cornell University, USA

'This is global politics rendered at its riveting best, a distinct art form incessantly peeling layers of the political. The hackneyed is out and a whole new aesthetic inaugurated.' - Siddharth Mallavarapu, Associate Professor & Chairperson, Department of International Relations, South Asian University

'Narrative Global Politics fills an important niche in the complex economy of (academic) desire. It not only stages new and illuminating encounters with others and ourselves, but also allows us to dive deeper into the narrative making of the ‘social’ and the ‘self,’ and its inexhaustible mystery.' - Erzsebet Strausz, Teaching fellow, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwickm UK

Table of Contents

1. Permitted Urgency: a prologue, Naeem Inayatullah and Elizabeth Dauphinee 2. The Reluctant Immigrant: applicant to Modernity from afar Randolph B. Persaud 3. Dissolutions of the Self Véronique Pin-Fat 4. Simultaneous Translation: finding my core in the periphery Manuela L. Picq 5. The Intimate Architecture of Academic Stories: the politics of Political Science Paulo Ravecca 6. The Banality of Survival Aida A. Hozić 7. Letters to Yvonne: words and/as worlds Sam Okoth Opondo 8. Your East Africa, My Pacific Northwest: a commercial view of Tanzania from an unfamiliar vantage Donnell Alexander 9. Loss of a Loss: Ground Zero, Spring 2014 Jenny Edkins 10. Contradictions, Nicholas Onuf 11. ‘Was will das Weib?’: from scholar-activism to film-making Ruth Halaj Reitan 12. What Might Still Sputter Forth Kevin C. Dunn 13. AUTO/BIO/GRAPH Paul Kirby 14. The Smell of Wood: Recuperating loss in a country of forgetting Charmaine Chua 15. Immobility, Intimacy, Movement: translating death, life, and border-crossings Richa Nagar 16. Suicide, the Only Political Act Worthy of the Name Dan Öberg 17. Dancing Modernity: an epilogue Cory Brown

About the Editors

Naeem Inayatullah is Professor at Ithaca College, USA.

Elizabeth Dauphinee is Professor at York University, Canada.

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 / History & Theory