Vol.25, No. 1

I mistrust all systematizers and avoid them;: Nietzsche, Arendt and the Crisis of the Will to Order in International Relations Theory
Paul Saurette

The Liberal Ironist, Ethics and International Relations Theory
Molly Cochran

Emancipating International Relations Theory: an Ecological Perspective
Eric Laferrière

Getting Out from Under: Rethinking Security Beyond Liberalism and the Levels-of-Analysis Problem
Robert Latham

Levinas, Buber and the Concept of Otherness in International Relations: a Reply to David Campbell
Daniel Warner

The Politics of Radical Interdependence: a Rejoinder to Daniel Warner
David Campbell

I mistrust all systematizers and avoid them;: Nietzsche, Arendt and the Crisis of the Will to Order in International Relations Theory
Paul Saurette

The 1996 Northedge Essay argues that the normative dimensions of International Relations (IR) theory have been radically limited by its understanding of politics. Traditional IR theory, from Realism to Cosmopolitanism, has understood the goal of politics to be the creation and institutionalisation of order and rule. Considering the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Hannah Arendt, this paper suggests that this conceptualisation of 'politics' is a specific manifestation of the fundamental philosophical foundation of Western culture which has conceived of political action in terms of hierarchical control. From this perspective, the problem is not only that this conception of politics legitimated domination, but also that it rests on a philosophical foundation whose very disappearance characterises late-modernity. Our response, however, should not be to yearn for its polar oppositean absolute, transparent 'anti-foundationalism' as some have suggested. Rather, the paper concludes that a 'post-modern' reconceptualisation of IR theory is necessary, but that it must be one which discards the false opposition of 'foundationalism' and 'anti-foundationalism' in an attempt to reconsider the bases and possibilities of international politics.

The Liberal Ironist, Ethics and International Relations Theory
Molly Cochran

This article explores the work of Richard Rorty and its relevance for International Relations theory. It is argued that Rorty's writings have particular import for normative IR theory and its two ethical approaches: cosmopolitanism and communitarianism. The first section of the article introduces Rorty's ideas. The second section offers a brief introduction to the cosmopolitan and communitarian positions, followed by an analysis of Rorty's relation to the debate. The third section examines Rorty's discussion of human rights, and evaluates the liberal, yet antifoundational ethics that results, and its significance for IR theory.

Emancipating International Relations Theory: an Ecological Perspective
Eric Laferrière

This article seeks to expand the critical literature in International Relations through an ecological approach. First, it explores various arguments in the philosophy of ecology, discarding the 'eco-authoritarian' literature as inimical to the emancipatory project of a critical theory, and building instead a radical approach from two important strands of ecological thought: deep ecology and social ecology. These two ecological schools, when probed for their similarities, yield a radical framework with a coherent ontology, epistemology, and ethical/political programme. Secondly, I apply this framework to a review of realist and liberal theory in IR. This ecological approach underscores realism's spurious conception of security, and the failure of liberalism's attempt at emancipation. Finally, I discuss the distinct contribution of ecology to critical IR theory, stressing its broad conception of emancipation and its role in balancing essentialist and antifoundationalist discourses.

Getting Out from Under: Rethinking Security Beyond Liberalism and the Levels-of-Analysis Problem
Robert Latham

In trying to fashion as new post-Cold War security agenda, many scholars and policy-makers have turned to principles and practices associated with the liberal tradition. These include collective security, arbitration, and liberal zones of peace, all of which appear to offer a conceptualisation of security that is more expansive than the focus on national security associated with realism and the Cold War. However, in the recent recourse to liberalism, little attention has been given to whether its intellectual foundations are well-suited as starting points for expanding security frameworks in a post-Cold War world.

While liberalism offers a substantial basis for pursuing security within national civil societies, the state-centricity of the liberal tradition renders it ill-suited as an approach to building more expansive security structures. Liberal thinkers have remained committed to the classic levels-of-analysis framework, which may not be appropriate for pursuing security today. Instead of focusing on levels-of-analysis, it may be necessary to focus on different dimensions of social existence, associated with agency, collectivity, social and political space, exchange, and historical modalities.

Levinas, Buber and the Concept of Otherness in International Relations: a Reply to David Campbell
Daniel Warner

The concept of Otherness is fundamental to international relations. What distinguishes 'us' from 'them' is essential to ethical/political discourse and behaviour. Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas emphasise intersubjective relationship as the basis of all ethics, and hence the precondition for politics. Nevertheless, there are important differences in their understandings of intersubjectivity. This discussion piece, in the form of a reply to David Campbell's criticism of my use of Buber, reviews those differences before examining their implications and possibilities.

The Politics of Radical Interdependence: a Rejoinder to Daniel Warner
David Campbell

This article responds to Daniel Warner's commentary on the relative merits of Emmanuel Levinas' and Martin Buber's ethical arguments about the relationship to the Other and its implications for IR. Central to the argument is the notion of radical interdependence. While critiques of poststructuralist accounts of ethics underplay its affirmative potential, the author highlights the manner in which an appreciation for radical interdependence and the desire to foster responsibility give rise to an important and practical refiguration of politicsas the struggle for or on behalf of alteritythat is necessarily democratic in a radical manner.

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