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  • Author: Yongjin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace
  • Institution: Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: Chinese studies of International Relations constitute today an integral part of the claim of IR as a global discipline. This paper starts by providing a critical evaluation of the contribution made by the so-called ‘Chinese School of IR’ to the global production of knowledge. Against this background, it teases out a curious case of ‘schools of IR’ as commonly labelled in the global IR theoretical conversation and looks at how such labels have been used by the ‘core’ to create a parallel but explicitly inferior universe of knowledge production to localize theoretical noises from the ‘peripheries’. Situating the Chinese School of IR in such global context, it considers how ‘school’ label has been proactively appropriated by Chinese scholars to engage in a purposely contentious politics in the disciplinary IR, which questions the claim of the American ‘core’ as the creator, depositor, and distributor of universal knowledge, and seeks to unveil the geo-historical linkage between the political and the epistemic. School labelling therefore matters, it is argued, because it has become a site of contestation of geopolitics of knowledge and reflects the perils and promises in our collective pursuit of constructing a truly global IR.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Academia, Knowledge Production
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Hayriye Asena Demirer
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace
  • Institution: Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: My main argument in this article is that there have been at least three important barriers to the development of non-Western international relations theory (NWIRT): intellectual barriers (traumatizing effects of the imposition of the “standard of civilization”); ideational barriers (dominance of Western concepts and contexts); and scientific barriers (imposition of the standard of science). I argue that the silence of NWIRT is substantially a side effect of the strategy of mimicking the West, which was developed as an intellectual defense mechanism or as a camouflage strategy for the (re)establishment and the survival of non-Western states after their traumatic encounter with the Western states. Therefore, the surfacing of NWIRT discussions in the last decades can be attributed primarily to the maturation of an internal condition that is the revival of self-confidence in the residuals of former empires due to their regaining of rising power status and, thus, can be seen as a new phase of the ‘revolt against the West.’ On the other hand, I argue that the rise of NWIRT discussions are also related to the ripening of an external condition: some European schools of IR have been attempting to intellectually balance against the hegemony of American mainstream IRT, therefore, publication of edited books and special issues on NWIRT can also be read as searching for intellectual alliance with NWIRT.
  • Topic: International Relations, Trauma, Civilization, Ottoman Empire
  • Political Geography: China, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Emilian Kavalski
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace
  • Institution: Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: The rise of China troubles the taken-for-granted epistemological and ontological constitution of International Relations (IR) theory. The Greek term ‘theoria’ implied travelling to foreign locales with the aim of gaining illumination that can then simultaneously inform and transform the ‘home’ of the traveler. Yet, instead of travelling, IR theory engages in silencing. This paper undertakes an interpretative journey of China’s IR concepts. In particular, it looks at the notion of guanxi – one of the two terms that goes into the Chinese phrase for International Relations (guoji guanxi). The contention is that ‘relationality’ renders a more accurate translation of guanxi in English. In the process, the paper uncovers the practices of ‘international relationality’ as an opportunity to redefine the ‘international’ as a co-dependent space where two or more actors (despite their divergences) can interface into a dialogical community.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Academia
  • Political Geography: China, Asia