Current international relations (IR) theories and approaches, which are almost exclusively built in the West, are alien to the non-Western contexts that engender the most hard-pressing problems of the world and ultimately unhelpful in understanding or addressing the needs surrounding these issues. Our supposedly revolutionary new concepts and approaches remain largely insufficient in explaining what happens globally and in offering lessons for improvement.
This deficiency can only be addressed by building more relevant theories. For theory to be relevant in accounting for contemporary international relations, we argue, it should not only apply to, but also emanate from different corners of the current political universe. In other words, diversity and dialogue can only come about when periphery scholars do not just "meta-theorize" but also "theorize." Aydinli and Biltekin propose a new form of theorizing through this collection of work, one that effectively blends peripheral outlooks with theory production. They call this form "homegrown theorizing," or original theorizing in the periphery about the periphery. Arguing that disciplinary culture is oblivious to the diversity that might be achieved by theorizing based on indigenous ideas and/or practices, this book intends to highlight that potential, showing diversity in the background of the authors, because wherever one looks at the world from, paints the picture that is being seen. Therefore, we bring together scholars from Eastern Europe to South Africa, from Iran to Japan to cover the extant diversity in ideas.
This work will be essential reading for all students and scholars concerned with the future of international relations theory.
Table of Contents
PART I: Homegrown Theorizing in Perspective 1. Widening the world of IR: A typology of homegrown theorizing 2. Would 100 global workshops on theory building make a difference? 3. Homegrown Theorizing: Knowledge, Scholar, Theory PART II: Theorizing at "Home" 4. Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges 5. The genealogy of culturalist international relations in Japan and its implications for post-western discourse 6. Chinese Concepts and Relational International Politics 7. Reshaping International Relations: Theoretical Innovations from Africa PART III: Innovative Encounters 8. Unpacking the Post-Soviet: A Political Legacy of the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School 9. Transcending Hegemonic International Relations Theorization: Nothingness, Re-Worlding, and Balance of Relationship 10. Conceptual Cultivation and Homegrown Theorizing: The Case of/for the Concept of Influence PART IV: Conclusion 11. Why do we need homegrown theories?