Rethinking International Relations
Politics is not just about who gets what, when and how. It is also about how we come to be who we are, and how we select issues, constitute them as problems and render them in particular ways. Conceptual choices frame our practical options.
The study of international politics and security has undergone a profound transformation in the last three decades. New approaches informed by critical social theory have questioned the established conceptual parameters of the field. My work has been part of this intellectual development, concerning itself with how identity, security and war affect the boundaries and possibilities of politics. I have argued that we should move from treating states as pre-given subjects to a concern with the problematic of subjectivity, thereby focusing on the constitution of political identity.
Animated by contemporary political issues, and combining both the theoretical and the practical, I have examined some of the practices (such as the interpretation of danger, foreign policy, media representations, photographic documentation and war) through which states, political communities and social identities are constituted. I have outlined, in an article entitled Why Fight, the ethical principles that animate my approach. And I have applied this in my work on Bosnia, Iraq and United States foreign policy.
Image credit: iStockphoto.
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