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As highlighted by Paul Sharp, whose words I quoted above, such responses to ‘cultural’ arguments overlook the way in which the very notions of ‘reason’, ‘righteousness’, ‘interest’, ‘necessity’ and ‘power’ are defined by someone and for some purpose (to invoke Robert W. Cox (1981)). Students of postcolonial studies and feminist IR have invariably pointed to how prevalent understandings of ‘reason’ tend to be white and male (Haraway, 1988, Smith, 1999). Key notions such as those mentioned above, which are utilised by the ‘strong’ are embedded in the very cultures where they are produced; yet they deny their cultural embeddedness, portraying themselves as ‘free’ of culture, i.e. objective. That some are able to offer their culturally embedded concepts as ‘objective’, thereby rendering others’ as ‘subjective’ or ‘cultural’ is an instance of the limits of our theorising about IR and security. This is where the book begins.