23 Pages

6S/N: International theory, balkanisation and the new world order

This essay is a story drawn from a travelogue that begins in July 1985 aboard the Baltic Peace and Freedom Cruise and ends in June 1990 at a Billy Bragg concert in Prague. It is both a travelogue in the conventional sense of a record of events that I kept as an observer and minor participant, and a study (in the root sense of travel + logue) of how words and images travel and take on a discursive power in international relations.1 In the first part of this essay, a genealogy of one concept in particular, ‘balkanisation’, is undertaken to show how discursive practices delimit the conditions of possibility for a new Central and Eastern European order.2

The second part is an experimental argument for the political and intellectual benefits of dissidence in international relations. The third is a speculative inquiry: it looks down the road from a moribund nowhere to somewhere new, from the degenerative utopia of the communist order to the possibility of a regenerative heterotopia emerging from the Eastern andCentral European experience.3 In short, this travelogue inscribes the political transformation of a region, the intellectual practices of a discipline and the prospects for a new world order.