Author profile: Peter Vale

Peter Vale

Peter Vale is Director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study & Professor of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg. He is also Nelson Mandela Professor of Politics Emeritus, Rhodes University. He is the curator of the E-IR blog Thoughts from the Global Periphery.

Crossings and Candles

Crossings and Candles

There is a paradox which stalks the discipline of IR: as it speaks of peace, the principle of sovereignty, which is at the centre of its world view, looks out upon messy – and often very violent – social relationships.

The Way We Were: Studying Europe Forty Years Ago

The Way We Were: Studying Europe Forty Years Ago

Reflecting on masters courses in the 1970s, questions emerge on whether these courses help or hinder England understand its view of itself in the world.

Neglected Yarns and New Beginnings: A Delhi Diary

Neglected Yarns and New Beginnings: A Delhi Diary

There are two paths in IR and, for all the claims of plurality, IR’s equivalent of the dirty little secret is that the margins and the mainstream seldom converge

Postcard from Copenhagen: On Experts, Expert Opinion and Expertise

Postcard from Copenhagen: On Experts, Expert Opinion and Expertise

Expert opinion has been drawn upon to shape public opinion on all manner of issues; yet there are some important questions to raise about what passes for expertise.

Faustian Pacts and the War beneath My Feet

Faustian Pacts and the War beneath My Feet

As quickly as mining shafts were sealed in Johannesburg they have been re-opened and worked by a new generation of illegal miners run by gangs.

Sacred Cows and the Idea of Political Economy in Southern Africa

Sacred Cows and the Idea of Political Economy in Southern Africa

South African politics must move beyond narrow thinking and recognise political economy as a tool not only for sound analysis, but also for good policy-making.

Lessons From WWI

Lessons From WWI

Next year marks the Centenary of the First World War. Watching the tragic events unfold in Syria provokes one to think of the lessons learned from the carnage brought about by WWI.

Fifty Years On, Midway Through the Cuban Missile Crisis: A Report Card

Fifty Years On, Midway Through the Cuban Missile Crisis: A Report Card

The Cuban Missile Crisis remains of great interest to scholars, but a lack of public interest suggests that understanding how humans make history takes a little longer.

Understanding the World 50 Years Hence

Understanding the World 50 Years Hence

It has become apparent how dependent IR is on hiding behind jargon. The work of economic historians provides a valuable guide to making things more intelligible.

Responsibility for Anders Breivik

Responsibility for Anders Breivik

The Norwegians may be living through a painful ordeal, or switching off, as they choose. Yet, the truth is that we are all responsible for Breivik and this terrible crime against humanity.

Postcard From the IR Zone

Postcard From the IR Zone

Will the IR-Zone always be, as Stanley Hoffman noted, an American discipline? Something other than an obsession with exercising America’s place and power in the world?

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