Transforming World Politics: From Empire to Multiple Worlds

Routledge
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This book provides a critical understanding of contemporary world politics by arguing that the neoliberal approach to international relations seduces many of us into investing our lives in projects of power and alienation. These projects offer few options for emancipation; consequently, many feel they have little choice but to retaliate against violence with more violence.

The authors of this pioneering work articulate worldism as an alternative approach to world politics. It intertwines non-Western and Western traditions by drawing on Marxist, postcolonial, feminist and critical security approaches with Greek and Chinese theories of politics, broadly defined. The authors contend that contemporary world politics cannot be understood outside the legacies of these multiple worlds, including axes of power configured by gender, race, class, and nationality, which are themselves linked to earlier histories of colonizations and their contemporary formations. With fiction and poetry as exploratory methods, the authors build on their ‘multiple worlds’ approach to consider different sites of world politics, arguing that a truly emancipatory understanding of world politics requires more than just a shift in ways of thinking; above all, it requires a shift in ways of being.

Transforming World Politics will be of vital interest to students and scholars of International Relations, Political Science, Postcolonial Studies, Social Theory, Women's Studies, Asian Studies, European Union and Mediterranean Studies, and Security Studies.

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About the author

Anna M. Agathangelou is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Women’s Studies at York University, Canada and co-director of the Global Change Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus.

L.H.M. Ling is an Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School, New York, USA.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jun 2, 2009
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Pages
194
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ISBN
9781135979942
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book offers a non-Western feminist perspective on world politics and international relations. Creative, innovative, and challenging, it seeks completely to transform contemporary Eurocentric and masculinist IR by re-presenting it in non-Western, non-masculinist, and non-academic terms. Drawing on Daoist dialectics, the stories of Sihar and Shenya aim to redress such hegemonic imbalance by completing the IR story. To the yang of power politics, this book offers a yin of fairy-tale. (Both are equally fantastical but to different purposes.) To the yang of binary categories like Self vs Other, West vs Rest, hypermasculinity vs hyperfemininity, Sihar and Shenya show their yin complementarities and complicities, inside and out, top and bottom, center and periphery. And to the yang of intransigent hegemony, Sihar & Shenya explores the yin of emancipation through porous, water-like thought and behavior through venues like aesthetics and emotions. From this basis, we begin to see another world with another kind of politics.

Written with students of IR and world politics in mind, this book offers a postcolonial bridge for IR/WP. Following an academic introduction to assist the reader, Ling moves away from traditional scholarship and into three interlocking fables:

Book I shows what an alternative world could look and feel like. Book II makes the implications for IR/WP more explicit. It draws on the traditional Chinese notion of the five movements (wu xing) -- fire, metal, earth, wood, and water -- to illustrate iconic elements of IR/WP -- power, wealth, security, love, and knowledge -- and how they could change according to circumstance and context. Epilogue/Introduction: The Return brings the reader back into the Western world and focuses on modern-day PhD student Wanda who is troubled by what she is learning, and searches for a different perspective.

Engaging with the substantive problematiques at the heart of international relations studies, this work is a unique and innovative resource for all students and scholars of international relations and world politics.

Time transforms the way we see world politics and insinuates itself into the ways we act. In this groundbreaking volume, Agathangelou and Killian bring together scholars from a range of disciplines to tackle time and temporality in international relations. The authors – critical theorists, artists, and poets – theorize and speak from the vantage point of the anticolonial, postcolonial, and decolonial event. They investigate an array of experiences and structures of violence – oppression, neocolonization, slavery, war, poverty and exploitation – focusing on the tensions produced by histories of slavery and colonization and disrupting dominant modes of how we understand present times.

This edited volume takes IR in a new direction, defatalizing the ways in which we think about dominant narratives of violence, ‘peace’ and ‘liberation’, and renewing what it means to decolonize today’s world. It challenges us to confront violence and suffering and articulates another way to think the world, arguing for an understanding of the ‘present’ as a vulnerable space through which radically different temporal experiences appear. And it calls for a disruption of the "everyday politics of expediency" in the guise of neoliberalism and security.

This volume reorients the ethical and political assumptions that affectively, imaginatively, and practically captivate us, simultaneously unsettling the familiar, but dubious, promises of a modernity that decimates political life. Re-animating an international political, the authors evoke people’s struggles and movements that are neither about redemption nor erasure, but a suspension of time for radical new beginnings.

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