Author profile: 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.

The ‘Forgotten Double’: Reflections at a Johannesburg War Memorial

Peter Vale • Nov 19 2018 • Articles
Experiences of ‘the international’ include folklore, legend, and oral history - places where IR is unable to go because of its preoccupation with rationality and order. It is time this cloak is removed.

Crossings and Candles: A Reflection on the Discipline of International Relations

Peter Vale • Jan 21 2017 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Mar 1 2016 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Jan 22 2016 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Nov 3 2015 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Oct 1 2015 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Aug 5 2015 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Sep 13 2013 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Oct 24 2012 • Articles
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

Peter Vale • Jul 17 2012 • Articles
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.

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