Offering an analysis of the relation between concepts of internationalism, imperialism and exceptionalism, as well as the implications of spatiotemporal dislocation for claims about democracy, the book links contemporary claims about the transformation of boundaries to various ways in which political life is said to be in crisis and in need of novel forms of critique. Brought up to date by a new and extensive introductory essay and an assessment of the status of political judgement after 9/11, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of politics, international relations, political theory and political sociology.
It argues that the ever-present possibility of a world outside the international both sustains the structuring of relations between inclusion and exclusion within the modern internationalized political order and generates desires for escape from this order to a politics encompassing a singular humanity, cosmopolis, globe or planet that are doomed to disappointment. On this basis, the book develops a critique of prevailing traditions of both political theory and theories of international relations. It especially examines what it might now mean to think about sovereignties, subjectivities, boundaries, borders and limits without automatically reproducing forms of inclusion and exclusion, or universality and particularity, expressed in the converging but ultimately contradictory relationship between international relations and world politics.
-How should we frame, assess, and apply theories in the social sciences? "I am unpersuaded by the view that the prime rules of scientific method should differ between hard science and social science. Science is science."
-A section on case studies shows novices the ropes.
-Van Evera contends the realm of dissertations is often defined too narrowly "Making and testing theories are not the only games in town.... If everyone makes and tests theories but no one ever uses them, then what are they for?"
-In "Helpful Hints on Writing a Political Science Ph.D. Dissertation," Van Evera focuses on presentation, and on broader issues of academic strategy and tactics.
-Van Evera asks how political scientists should work together as a community. "All institutions and professions that face weak accountability need inner ethical rudders that define their obligations in order to stay on course."