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.

A hectic season for IR junkies

This is a hectic season for IR junkies – another American-led war, several new African catastrophes, another crisis over the Euro, and (perhaps, best of all) the return of the nuclear issue. As these have arisen I’ve been wondering what kind of a creature IR is in the aftermath of […]

Tortured Ideas: a response to Harvey Sapolsky

IR – SO, WHO IS IT FOR? It is often said that the study of International Relations is either for the world’s people or for national politics. This cliché usefully explains the chasm between Harvey Sapolsky and myself. And anyone reading his Blogs and my own will recognise that we […]

Tortured Ideas: The responsibility of IR scholars

Tortured Ideas: The responsibility of IR scholars

Those eager to advise the prince often take the logic of Realist IR into dark places where fateful decisions are made. Why are so few voices in IR raised in dissent? And what must/should happen to those who carried the craft towards those fateful moments? And, most importantly, what’s to be done?

So, whatever happened to the idea of globalisation?

Now, happily, it seems the Globalisation has run its course. Gone from the local conversation and largely gone too from the discipline’s lexicon. What will replace it? Any guesses?

Whose “World Cup” is this?

As the drift of this (admittedly) curmudgeonly blog suggests, I’m keen to invest in a T-shirt which is carrying a somewhat different slogan, “FICK FUFA”!

Postcard from the Balkans

In the exquisite beauty of Balkans, I also found a story incomplete, but I found few of the qualities which seem to have marked South Africa’s twenty-year journey.

IR and the Global South: final confessions of a schizophrenic teacher

IR and the Global South: final confessions of a schizophrenic teacher

As I’ve hacked my way through the thicket of the Great Debates these thirty-odd years past, I’ve increasingly wondered what my students must have made of my passion for ideas which appear at odds with the lives they lead – even, indeed, the countries they have come to know.

Re-discovering Kwame Nkrumah

The recent centenary of the birth of Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, passed without murmur in this little corner of the continent. Why this happened has both puzzled and, yes, hurt me a little.

Cartoons and International Relations

Perhaps the energetic young folk running this interesting website might run more IR cartoons and, who knows, the ISA or BISA might invite cartoonists to talk on their takes on our world.

Understanding the fall of the wall and other time tales

The 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall offers has understandably generated a number of opportunities to look backwards to what happened, and to ask why it was that IR specialists seemed unable to see what was coming.

South Africa’s general election: ‘win-win’ or still a worry?

South Africa’s general election: ‘win-win’ or still a worry?

South Africa’s general election which was held on April 22 has yielded the proverbial ‘win-win’ situation for all the participants except the tiny parties, who failed to impress voters and whose futures now hang in the balance. Although this outcome-and the peaceful and well-organised poll-augur well for democracy in the former apartheid state, many still believe that the country’s fifteen year-old democracy may be in peril.

Migration and State-making: Explaining Xenophobia in South Africa

Migration and State-making: Explaining Xenophobia in South Africa

What has become of the idea of the Rainbow Nation, the triumphant trope broadcast by the irrepressible Nobel Laureate, Desmond Tutu, and in which all the country’s people, under Nelson Mandela, rejoiced?

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