Show Summary Details
International Relations TheoriesDiscipline and Diversity

International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity (5th edn)

Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith
Page of

Printed from Oxford Politics Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 June 2024

11. p. 197Poststructuralismlocked

11. p. 197Poststructuralismlocked

  • David Campbell
  •  and Roland Bleiker


This chapter examines how and why poststructuralism engaged International Relations (IR) from the 1980s to today. It begins by analysing the interdisciplinary context of social and political theory from which poststructuralism emerged, along with the misconceptions evident in the reception of the poststructuralist approach among mainstream theorists. It then considers what the critical attitude of poststructuralism means for social and political inquiry and draws on the work of Michel Foucault to highlight the importance of discourse, identity, subjectivity, and power to the poststructuralist approach. It also discusses the methodological features employed by poststructuralists in their readings of, and interventions in, international politics. The chapter concludes with a case study of images of famines and other kinds of humanitarian crises that illustrates the poststructural approach.

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription