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Beyond Sovereign Territory

The Space of Ecopolitics

Thom Kuehls

How should we think about politics in a world where ecological problems-from the deforestation of the Amazon to acid rain-transcend national boundaries? This is the timely and important question addressed by Thom Kuehls in Beyond Sovereign Territory. Contending that the sovereign territorial state is not adequate to contain or describe the boundaries of ecopolitics, the author reorients our thinking about government, nature, and politics.

Kuehls argues that changes in technology and the scope of governmental aims have rendered conventional ecological and internationalist aims anachronistic-and ultimately ineffective-in the face of impending environmental collapse. He questions the process by which land is transformed into an object of sovereignty-into “territory”-demonstrating how representations of political space that focus on territorial sovereignty fail to come to terms with much of what is involved in ecopolitics.

Engaging social and political theory texts from such diverse thinkers as Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari, Kuehls moves through the fields of ecopolitical thought and international relations on his way to articulating an ecological politics that exceeds the space of the sovereign territorial state. Throughout, Beyond Sovereign Territory juxtaposes traditional conceptualizations of nature with unorthodox-and enlightening-alternatives. Kuehls articulates a governing “eco-ethic,” what he calls an “ethics of care,” one that insists on the centrality of ethics to the space in which ecopolitics exists. Ultimately, Kuehls critiques an orientation that privileges a certain utilitarian relationship between humans and nonhuman nature, one in which the earth is largely interpreted as given to humans. Deeply humanistic and challenging conventional wisdom, Beyond Sovereign Territory will be of interest to readers of environmental politics, geography, international politics, and political theory.

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Borderscapes

Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory’s Edge

Prem Kumar Rajaram

Connecting critical issues of state sovereignty with empirical concerns, Borderscapes interrogates the limits of political space. The essays in this volume analyze everyday procedures, such as the classifying of migrants and refugees, security in European and American detention centers, and the DNA sampling of migrants in Thailand, showing the border as a moral construct rich with panic, danger, and patriotism.

 

Conceptualizing such places as immigration detention camps and refugee camps as areas of political contestation, this work forcefully argues that borders and migration are, ultimately, inextricable from questions of justice and its limits.

 

Contributors:  Didier Bigo, Institut d’Études Politiques, Paris; Karin Dean; Elspeth Guild, U of Nijmegen; Emma Haddad; Alexander Horstmann, U of Münster; Alice M. Nah, National U of Singapore; Suvendrini Perera, Curtin U of Technology, Australia; James D. Sidaway, U of Plymouth, UK; Nevzat Soguk, U of Hawai‘i; Decha Tangseefa, Thammasat U, Bangkok; Mika Toyota, National U of Singapore.

 

Prem Kumar Rajaram is assistant professor of sociology and social anthropology at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

 

Carl Grundy-Warr is senior lecturer of geography at the National University of Singapore.

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Civilization And Violence

Regimes of Representation in Nineteenth-Century Colombia

Cristina Rojas

Civilization and violence are not necessarily the antagonists we presume-with civilization taming violence, and violence unmaking civilization. Focusing on postindependence Colombia, this book brings to light the ways in which violence and civilization actually intertwined and reinforced each other in the development of postcolonial capitalism.

The narratives of civilization and violence, Cristina Rojas contends, play key roles in the formation of racial, gender, and class identities; they also provide pivotal logic to both the formation of the nation and the processes of capitalist development. During the Liberal era of Colombian history (1849-1878), a dominant creole elite enforced a "will to civilization" that sought to create a new world in its own image. Rojas explores different arenas in which this pursuit meant the violent imposition of white, liberal, laissez-faire capitalism. Drawing on a wide range of social theory, Rojas develops a new way of understanding the relationship between violence and the formation of national identity-not just in the history of Colombia, but also in the broader narratives of civilization.


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Constructing National Interests

The United States and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Jutta Weldes

Not simply an “event” or merely an “incident,” the 1962 standoff between the U. S. and the Soviet Union over missiles in Cuba was a crisis, which subsequently has achieved almost mythic significance in the annals of United States foreign policy. Jutta Weldes asks why this occurrence in particular should be cast as a crisis, and how this so significantly affected “the national interest.” Here, Weldes analyzes the so-called Cuban missile crisis as a means to rethink the idea of national interest, a notion central to both the study and practice of international relations.
   
Why did the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba constitute a crisis for U.S. state officials and thus a dire threat to U.S. national interests? It was, Weldes suggests, more a matter of discursive construction than of objective facts or circumstances. Drawing on social theory and on concepts from cultural studies, she exposes the “realities” of the crisis as social creations in the service of a particular and precarious U.S. state identity defined within the Cold War U.S. “security imaginary.” 

Constructing National Interests shows how this process allowed for a redefining of the identities, interests, and likely actions of various states, so that it seemed to logically serve the U.S. national interest in removing the missiles from Cuba.

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Critical Security Studies

Concepts and Cases

Keith Krause

Critical Security Studies was first published in 1997. Many of the most interesting issues in post-Cold War international relations can be usefully examined through a prism labeled “security studies.” These issues include challenges to the state from “below” by ethnic and regional fragmentations, and from “above” by global economic, cultural, and environmental dynamics. This new volume brings together a diverse group of analysts seeking to explore these issues and contribute to the development of a self-consciously critical perspective within security studies. The contributors to this volume offer a range of essays that share the goal of establishing the grounds for a broad and reflective dialogue about the nature of security and the practice of security. Chapters address such topics as security-building in postapartheid South Africa, the discourse of security in post-Cold War Europe, the construction of the problem of weapons proliferation, and the role of multilateral institutions in peace and security operations.Operating on both conceptual and practical levels, Critical Security Studies directly engages substantive issues and questions of contemporary security studies in order to contribute to a theoretical reevaluation and practical reorientation of the field.

Contributors: Amitav Acharya, York U, Toronto; Mohammed Ayoob, Michigan State U; Ken Booth, U of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK; Beverly Crawford, U of California, Berkeley; Simon Dalby, Carleton U, Ottawa; Karin M. Fierke, Nuffield College, Oxford U, UK; Bradley S. Klein, Clark U; Ronnie D. Lipschutz, U of California, Santa Cruz; David Mutimer, Keele U, UK; Thomas Risse-Kappen, U of Konstanz, Germany; Peter Vale, U of the Western Cape, South Africa; R. B. J. Walker, U of Victoria, British Columbia. Keith Krause is associate professor of political science at York University in Toronto. Michael C. Williams is a professor of international politics at Aberystwyth University, Wales.Copublished with the University College London Press

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Divided Korea

Toward a Culture of Reconciliation

Roland Bleiker

In 2002, North Korea precipitated a major international crisis when it revealed the existence of a secret nuclear weapons program and announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Earlier in the year, George W. Bush had declared North Korea part of the "axis of evil," and soon afterward his administration listed the country as a potential target of a preemptive nuclear strike. Pyongyang's angry reaction ensured the complete deterioration of relations on the Korean peninsula, where only two years before the leaders of North and South Korea had come together in a historic summit meeting. Few international conflicts are as volatile, protracted, or seemingly insoluble as the one in Korea, where mutual mistrust, hostile Cold War attitudes, and the possibility of a North Korean economic collapse threaten the security of the entire region. For Roland Bleiker, this persistently recurring pattern suggests profound structural problems within and between the two Koreas, that have not been acknowledged - until now. Expanding the discussion beyond geopolitics and ideology, Bleiker places peninsular tensions in the context of an ongoing struggle over competing forms of Korean identity. Divided Korea examines both domestic and international attitudes toward Korean identity, the legacy of war, and the possibilities for - and anxieties about - unification. Divided Korea challenges the prevailing logic of confrontation and deterrence, embarking on a fundamental reassessment of both the roots of the conflict and the means to achieve a more stable political environment and, ultimately, peace. In order to realize a lasting solution, Bleiker concludes, the two Koreas and the international community must first show a willingness to accept difference and contemplate forgiveness as part of a broader reconciliation process.

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Ethos Of Pluralization

William Connolly

How plural, really, is pluralism today? In this book a prominent political theorist reworks the traditional pluralist imagination, rendering it more inclusive and responsive to new drives to pluralization. Traditional pluralism, William E. Connolly shows, gives too much priority to past political settlements, allotments of public space and power relations already made and fixed. It deflates the politics of pluralization. The Ethos of Pluralization explores the constitutive tension between pluralism and pluralization, pursuing an ethos of politics that enables new forces of pluralization to find receptive responses in public life. Connolly explores how contemporary drives to pluralize stir the reactionary forces of political fundamentalism and how fundamentalism generates the cultural fragmentation it purports to resist. The reluctance of traditional pluralists to address the tension between pluralism and pluralization plays into the hands of fundamentalist forces. The Ethos of Pluralization eventually ranges beyond the borders of the territorial state to explore relations between the globalization of economic life and a more adventurous pluralization of political identities. Engaging images of pluralism and nationalism advanced by Tocqueville, Schumpeter, Ricoeur, Walzer, Herz, and Kurth, Connolly draws selectively upon Nietzsche, Foucault, Butler and Deleuze to delineate an ethos of politics that makes for new identities while protecting conditions that make pluralism and governance possible.

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Geopolitical Exotica

Tibet in Western Imagination

Dibyesh Anand

Geopolitical Exotica examines exoticized Western representations of Tibet and Tibetans and the debate over that land’s status with regard to China. Concentrating on specific cultural images of the twentieth century—promulgated by novels, popular films, travelogues, and memoirs—Dibyesh Anand lays bare the strategies by which “Exotica Tibet” and “Tibetanness” have been constructed, and he investigates the impact these constructions have had on those who are being represented.

 

Although images of Tibet have excited the popular imagination in the West for many years, Geopolitical Exotica is the first book to explore representational practices within the study of international relations. Anand challenges the parochial practices of current mainstream international relations theory and practice, claiming that the discipline remains mostly Western in its orientation. His analysis of Tibet’s status with regard to China scrutinizes the vocabulary afforded by conventional international relations theory and considers issues that until now have been undertheorized in relation to Tibet, including imperialism, history, diaspora, representation, and identity.

 

In this masterfully synthetic work, Anand establishes that postcoloniality provides new insights into themes of representation and identity and demonstrates how IR as a discipline can meaningfully expand its focus beyond the West.

 

Dibyesh Anand is a reader in international relations at the University of Westminster, London.

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Identities, Borders, Orders

Rethinking International Relations Theory

Mathias Albert

Political Science An interdisciplinary exploration of the role of sovereignty, national identity, and borders in international politics. Informed by current debates in social theory, Identities, Borders, Orders brings together a multinational group of respected scholars to seek and encourage imaginative adaptations and recombinations of concepts, theories, and perspectives across disciplinary lines. These contributors take up a variety of substantive, theoretical, and normative issues such as migration, nationalism, citizenship, human rights, democracy, and security. Together, their essays contribute significantly to our understanding of sovereignty, national identity, and borders. Contributors: Didier Bigo, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris; Lothar Brock, U of Frankfurt am Main; Chris Brown, London School of Economics; Neil Harvey, New Mexico State U; Martin O. Heisler, U of Maryland; Rey Koslowski, Rutgers U; Friedrich Kratochwil, Ludwig Maximilians U, Munich; Ronnie D. Lipschutz, UC Santa Cruz; Richard W. Mansbach, Iowa State U; David Newman, Ben Gurion U of the Negev, Israel; Antje Wiener, Queen’s U of Belfast; and Frankie Wilmer, Montana State U.

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Imperial Encounters

The Politics of Representation in North-South Relations

Roxanne Doty

“Developed/underdeveloped,” “first world/third world,” “modern/traditional”-although there is nothing inevitable, natural, or arguably even useful about such divisions, they are widely accepted as legitimate ways to categorize regions and peoples of the world. In Imperial Encounters, Roxanne Lynn Doty looks at the way these kinds of labels influence North-South relations, reflecting a history of colonialism and shaping the way national identity is constructed today. Employing a critical, poststructuralist perspective, Doty examines two “imperial encounters” over time: between the United States and the Philippines and between Great Britain and Kenya. The history of these two relationships demonstrates that not only is the more powerful member allowed to construct “reality,” but this construction of reality bears an important relationship to actual practice. Doty is particularly interested in the way in which the South has been represented by policymakers, scholars, and journalists, and how these representations have influenced specific encounters. Doty also uses the insights of Edward Said to argue that the power dynamic that allows the North to define the global identity of nations in the South ultimately tells us more about northern powers than about their southern neighbors. Doty then considers the persistence of representational practices, particularly with regard to Northern views of human rights in the South and contemporary social science discourses on North-South relations. She ends with the argument that the discipline of international relations needs to be reformed by broadening the repertoire of theoretical and analytical tools available to scholars studying global politics. Important and timely, Imperial Encounters brings a fresh perspective to the debate over the past-and the future-of global politics.

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