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Chapter

Cover Global Politics

5. New Waves of Theorizing in Global Politics  

This chapter evaluates new modes of theorizing in global politics. These are based on long-standing concerns in social and political theory and all of them involve identity politics in one way or another—a form of politics in which an individual’s membership of a group, based on certain distinctive characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexuality, acquires significant political salience and is implicated in hierarchies of power. It follows that identity itself involves issues of both who an individual is, and who that individual is not. This involves not just self-identification or self-definition, but is also mediated by the perceptions of others. In some cases there are connections with social movements concerned with issues of justice and equality in both domestic and global spheres. In almost all cases the specific issues of concern, and their theorization, have come relatively late to the agenda of global politics and so may be said to constitute a ‘new wave’ of theorizing in the discipline. The chapter looks at feminism, gender theory, racism, cultural theory, colonialism, and postcolonial theory.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

11. Poststructuralism  

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.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

1. Changing Analytical Approaches to the Study of Politics in the Developing World  

Vicky Randall

This chapter discusses the main broad analytical approaches or frameworks of interpretation that have been used in studying politics in the developing world. It first considers two contrasting broad approaches that long dominated political analysis of developing countries. The first was a politics of modernization that gave rise to political development theory, then to revised versions of that approach. The second was a Marxist-inspired approach that gave rise to dependency theory and, subsequently, to neo-Marxist analysis. The chapter also examines globalization theory and critical responses to globalization as neoliberal ideology, which have been associated with the ‘anti-globalization movement’ and have included arguments about orientalism and ‘post-development’ theory. Finally, it explores the strategies, categories, and more specific methods of analysis that have been typically deployed to assess the politics of developing countries.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

11. Global Politics in the Anthropocene  

This chapter studies how the scope of global politics has been extended over the last half century or so to include the impact of human industrial activity on the environment. The environmental movement and ‘green theory’ have grown out of concerns with the deleterious impact of this activity and the capacity of the planet to carry the burden of ‘business as usual’ in a world driven by the imperatives of endless growth. Many now believe that the impact on the earth’s systems is so significant that the present geological period should be recognized as the ‘Anthropocene’. Climate change is probably the most prominent issue associated with the Anthropocene at present, but it is not the only one. The chapter examines a range of issues in global environment politics, starting with the reconceptualization of the present period. It then moves on to an account of the environmental movement, the emergence of various ‘green’ ideologies and theories, and the politics of science. This is essential background for considering the role of the state and its sovereign powers in the context of global environmental politics.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

4. Critical Approaches to Global Politics  

This chapter investigates critical approaches to global politics. While liberal and realist theorists probe each other’s ideas for faults and weaknesses, neither have challenged capitalism and its implications for social, economic, and political order. Marxism, on the other hand, which developed around the mid-nineteenth century, has provided very different perspectives and presents a significant challenge for mainstream approaches to global order in both theory and practice. Post-Marxist Critical Theory, along with historical sociology and world-systems theory, emerged in the twentieth century, giving rise to schools of thought which continue the critique of capitalism and the social and political forces underpinning it. Meanwhile, ideas arising from social theory, such as the extent to which perceptions of reality are socially conditioned and indeed ‘constructed’, achieved greater prominence following the end of the Cold War, an event which prompted many scholars to start asking new questions about global politics and the assumptions on which traditional theories rested. Constructivism, postmodernism, and poststructuralism remain concerned with issues of power and justice but provide different lenses through which these issues may be viewed in the sphere of global politics.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

1. International Relations and Social Science  

Milja Kurki and Colin Wight

This chapter focuses on the major debates within International Relations (IR) theory with regard to the philosophy of social science. The philosophy of social science has played a key role in the formation, development, and practice of IR as an academic discipline. Issues concerning the philosophy of social science are frequently described as meta-theoretical debates. Meta-theory primarily deals with the underlying assumptions of all theory and attempts to understand the consequences of such assumptions on the act of theorizing and the practice of empirical research. The chapter first provides an historical overview of the philosophy of social science in IR before discussing both the implicit and explicit roles played by meta-theoretical assumptions in IR. It then considers the contemporary disciplinary debates surrounding the philosophy of social science and concludes by analysing how theoretical approaches to the study of world politics have been shaped by meta-theoretical ideas.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

8. Critical Theory  

Steven C. Roach

This chapter examines the various assumptions of critical theory espoused by the Frankfurt school, with particular emphasis on how the Frankfurt school’s critiques of authoritarianism and repression influenced the critical interventions by International Relations (IR) theorists. The chapter focuses on two major strands of critical International Relations theory: normative theory and the Marxist-based critique of the political economy. After providing an overview of the Frankfurt school and critical IR theory, the chapter explores critical theorists’ views on universal morality and political economy. It then discusses Jürgen Habermas’s ideas in international relations and presents a case study of the Arab Spring. It concludes by analysing the concept of critical reflexivity and how it can show knowledge and social reality are co-produced through social interaction, and how this interaction can, in turn, produce practical or empirical knowledge of the changing moral and legal dynamics of prominent global institutions.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

2. International law and international relations theory  

This chapter discusses international law (IL) and international relations (IR) theory. It studies legal theory in order to better understand what law is, and how IL compares with domestic law. The chapter then introduces the major schools of IR theory, with a focus on how they conceptualize IL and its role in enabling and constraining the conduct of international politics. The disciplinary estrangement between IR and IL began to ease at the end of the 1980s. By that time there were already important strands within IR, including the English School, that were seeking to explain the prevalence of cooperation in an anarchical international system. New generations of IR scholars began theorizing the role of IL in structuring international politics, particularly from the perspectives of liberalism and constructivism, as well as from a range of critical approaches.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

12. Conclusion Justice and the Future of Global Politics  

This concluding chapter draws together some of the themes running throughout this book to address some key issues of justice and the future of global politics. In addition to outlining the concept of global justice, it deals with two contrasting normative approaches to issues in global politics, namely, cosmopolitanism and communitarianism, taking particular note of the debates that emerged in the post-Cold War period and which have been especially important for the analysis of human rights. The chapter looks at how these approaches map onto opposing strands of thought within the English school, namely, solidarism and pluralism. It then moves on to some specific issues in contemporary global politics involving the application of normative theory—citizenship, migration, and refugees. Finally, the chapter considers issues of intergenerational justice with respect to the normative links between past, present, and future and the responsibilities these entail.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

10. Feminism  

Helen M. Kinsella

This chapter examines international feminism, focusing on whether feminist international relations theories are necessary for understanding international politics, what basis feminist international relations theories provide for understanding international politics, and how feminist international relations theories have influenced the practice of international politics. The chapter proceeds by explaining feminism and feminist international relations theory as well as feminist conceptions of gender and power. It also discusses four feminist international relations theories: liberal feminist international relations, critical feminist international relations, postcolonial feminist international relations, and poststructural feminist international relations. Two case studies of women's organizations are presented: the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

13. Social constructivism  

Michael Barnett

This chapter examines constructivist approaches to international relations theory. It explores whether there is a possibility of moral progress in world politics, whether some cultures and countries are more (or less) inherently violent, and whether states are motivated by power or by ideas. The chapter also discusses the rise of constructivism and some key concepts of constructivism, including the agent–structure problem, holism, idealism, individualism, materialism, and rational choice. It concludes with an analysis of constructivist assumptions about global change. Two case studies are presented, one relating to social construction of refugees and the 2015 European migration crisis, and the other considers what it means to be a ‘victim’.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

1. Introduction Myth-Making  

This chapter introduces the concept of myth-making and global politics. It begins by explaining how myths about global politics disempower us because they rest on convention, established power relations, and particular interests that should be questioned. One way of overcoming limiting myths about global politics is to adopt a similar critical orientation towards the academic disciplines and theories we use to study global politics. These include the ‘traditional’ and ‘critical’ theories of International Relations, such as Liberalism, Realism, Constructivism, Marxism, Feminism, Postcolonial Theory, and Poststructuralism. The chapter then outlines specific myths and mysteries, before introducing the idea of ‘everyday global politics’. It also explores theoretical thinking, asks why students should be encouraged to theorise from the start of their studies, and why the myths upon which intuitive understandings of politics are based are a good place to start this theorising.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

6. The Social Science of Political Violence  

Stefan Malthaner, Donatella della Porta, and Lorenzo Bosi

This chapter examines the concept of political violence. Political violence is analysed through the process of radicalization, escalation, transformation, and disengagement resulting from interactions between multiple actors. The chapter explains how processual approaches offer a new way of trying to understand dynamic and continuously changing phenomena. Using processual approaches means taking on a critique of political violence explanations as an effect of socio-economic structural conditions, individual predispositions, or ideologies. The chapter also looks at the social movement theory, political opportunity structure approaches, and resource mobilization theory as alternative ways to study political violence. Appreciating continuity, interaction, context, and contingency are vital in understanding political violence.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

14. Green Theory  

Robyn Eckersley

This chapter examines how environmental concerns have influenced International Relations theory. It first provides a brief overview of the ecological crisis and the emergence of green theorizing in the social sciences and humanities in general, along with the status and impact of environmental issues and green thinking in IR theory. It then investigates green theory’s transnational turn and how it has become more global, while critical IR theory has become increasingly green. It also considers the different ways in which environmental issues have influenced the evolution of traditional IR theory. It concludes with a case study of climate change to illustrate the diversity of theoretical approaches, including the distinctiveness of green theories.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

2. Colonialism and Post-Colonial Development  

James Chiriyankandath

This chapter examines the impact of colonialism on post-colonial political development. It first provides an overview of the post-colonial world, noting how politics in developing countries are influenced by their pre-colonial heritage as well as colonial and post-colonial experiences. In particular, it considers post-colonial theory, which addresses the continuing impact that colonialism has on post-colonial development. The chapter proceeds by describing pre-colonial states and societies such as Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australasia, where varying patterns of state formation influenced both the kind of colonization that they experienced and their post-colonial development. It also considers colonial patterns in the post-colonial world and the occurrence of decolonization before concluding with an assessment of the legacy of colonialism to post-colonial states.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

10. The State  

This chapter explores why the state is treated in International Relations (IR) as the most significant actor in global politics. It looks into interrelated myths that the state was founded by some divinely inspired social compact, and that today’s versions of sovereignty and anarchy are the only way to truly grasp the mechanics of global politics. These IR building blocks suggest that the locus of all power in global politics lies naturally and exclusively with the state. However, the chapter demonstrates that states are more often shaped and maintained by a myriad of power relations which operate beyond the remit of state authority. It also discusses the social contract theory variations of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

2. Feminist and Activist Approaches to Human Rights  

Ackerly Brooke

This chapter explores the theoretical and political history of human rights that emerges out of the struggles that have been waged by feminists and other non-elites. It first considers the bases for the moral legitimacy of human rights and challenges to those arguments before discussing three aspects of feminist approaches to human rights: their criticism of some aspects of the theory and practice of human rights, their rights claims, and their conceptual contributions to a theory of human rights. It then examines the ways in which feminists and other activists for marginalized groups have used human rights in their struggles and how such struggles have in turn shaped human rights theory. It also analyses theoretical and historical objections to the universality of human rights based on cultural relativism. Finally, it shows that women’s rights advocates want rights enjoyment and not merely entitlements.

Book

Cover Foreign Policy

Edited by Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne

This text provides an introduction to the ever-changing field of foreign policy. Combining theories, actors, and cases, chapters provide an interesting introduction to what foreign policy is and how it is conducted. With an emphasis throughout on grounding theory in empirical examples, the text features a section dedicated to relevant and topical case studies where foreign policy analysis approaches and theories are applied. Chapters clearly convey the connection between international relations theory, political science, and the development of foreign policy analysis, emphasizing the key debates in the academic community. New chapters focus on such topics as public diplomacy, and media and public opinion. A new case study on Syria examines the forms of intervention that have and have not been adopted by the international community.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

10. Feminism  

J. Ann Tickner and Laura Sjoberg

This chapter examines feminist perspectives on international relations. It first provides a historical background on the development of feminist IR, paying attention to different kinds of feminist analyses of gender. It then considers feminist perspectives on international security and global politics, along with developments in feminist reanalyses and reformulations of security theory. It illustrates feminist security theory by analysing the case of the United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iraq following the First Gulf War. The chapter concludes by assessing the contributions that feminist IR can make to the practice of world politics in general and to the discipline of IR in particular.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

3. Cooperation and Conflict in the Global Political Economy  

Vinod K. Aggarwal and Cédric Dupont

This chapter discusses the problems of collaboration and coordination in the global political economy. It first identifies situations that might require states to work with each other to achieve a desired outcome. It then turns to a focus on basic game theory as an analytical tool to tackle the nature of collaboration and coordination efforts. International cooperation can help to address three typical problems associated with the process of global economic integration: a temptation to free ride, an inhibiting fear, and a need to find meeting points in situations where collaboration will produce differing costs and benefits to governments. Different types of problems associated with the process of global integration call for different solutions to address these three typical problems, ranging from the provision of binding rules to facilitating mechanisms. A country's need for international cooperation depends on its sociopolitical structure as well as on the structure and flexibility of its economy. Finally, the chapter considers how institutions might play a role in enhancing the prospects for cooperative behaviour.