chapter  3
22 Pages

How to access others’ conceptions of the international

The previous chapter considered the contributions of critical theorising in identifying and addressing IR’s limits. Arguably, it was the very accomplishments of critical IR scholarship in fulfilling this task that has rendered more visible those limits that remain to be addressed (as with Eurocentrism). I suggested that this eventuality could be viewed as a consequence of the manner in which the students of critical IR sought to address IR’s limits, that is, by asking ‘who does the theorising?’ and endeavouring to reflect on the geo-cultural situatedness of IR scholars – those who ‘founded’ the discipline and those who were apparently ‘absent’. As such, what was left out of the discussions was IR’s ‘constitutive outside’, that is, the ways in which the ideas and experiences of ‘others’ have shaped IR even as they were not always visible in debates. It is this very contradiction (that others’ ideas and experiences have shaped IR and yet these contributions and contestations have not been acknowledged explicitly in the literature) that has rendered more complicated the task of addressing IR’s limits. Chapter 3 further develops this point by considering the efforts of those

scholars who sought to understand how ‘others’ approach the international. Here I look at two sets of efforts in two parts: (1) those studies that focused on IR scholarship around the world to see how ‘others’ do IR; (2) those studies that inquired into conceptions of the international as found in texts and contexts outside IR and/or North America and Western Europe. Where the latter set of efforts pointed to a rich potential for thinking differently about the international, the former revealed the persistence of ‘standard’ concepts and theories of IR outside North America and Western Europe.