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
Thoughts from the Global Periphery – With Peter Vale
In far-off days, IR and its -speak was said to be a way of building a prosperous, peaceful world. Today, however, seemingly different understandings of the international are finding it difficult to speak to each other. Thoughts from the Global Periphery, with Professor Peter Vale, is interested in exploring what has happened, why, and to what effect. And, of course, what this means for IR scholarship.
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.
IR textbooks are stubbornly Westphalic, and with limited exceptions merely pay lip-service to non-Western histories, voices and perspectives.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
South Africa’s achievements rest on interdependence and an unwavering belief in constitutionalism. This is Nelson Mandela’s lasting legacy.
This September will mark the 50th Anniversary of Hammarskjöld’s death in a plane-crash in the country now called Zambia. A Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, he was an early Secretary-General of the United Nations. How should we remember his life and his work?