This volume provides a novel approach to international relations. In the course of fifteen essays, scholars write about how life events brought them to their subject matter. They place their narratives in the larger context of world politics, culture, and history.
Autobiographical International Relations believes that the fictive distancing associated with academic prose creates disaffection in both readers and writers. In contrast, these essays demonstrate how to reengage the "I" while simultaneously sustaining theoretical precision and historical awareness. Authors highlight their motives, their desires, and their wounds. By connecting their theoretical and practical engagements with their needs and wounds, and by working within the overlap between theory, history, and autobiography, these essays aim to increase the clarity, urgency, and meaningfulness of academic work.
These essays are autobiographical, but focused on the academic aspect of authors’ lives. Specifically, they are set within the domain of international relations/global politics. They are theoretical, but geared to demonstrate that theoretical decisions emerge from theorists’ needs and wounds. Theoretical precision, rather than being explicitly deduced, is instead immanent to the autobiographical and the historical/cultural narrative each author portrays. And, these essays are framed in historical/cultural terms, but seek to bind together theory, history, culture, and the personal into a differentiated and vibrant whole.
This book moves the field of International Relations towards greater candidness about how personal narrative influences theoretical articulations. No such volume currently exists in the field of international relations.