Abstracts Volume 30, No. 1

MACHIAVELLI, A MAN OF 'HIS' TIME: R.B.J. WALKER AND THE PRINCE Colin Hoadley

This paper is a critique of R.B.J. Walker's The Prince and the 'Pauper' from a post-structural perspective. Specifically Walker, based on Quentin Skinner, John Pocock, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida establishes, through the language and concepts that become attached to his work, what 'postmodernity' means, so that it becomes certain/determined. Moreover, he reads Machiavelli and finds a correspondence between the meaning he established and the author, and not with the Realist concepts, which Machiavelli is traditionally associated with. In other words, through a juxtaposition of language and postmodern themes, Walker claims an 'authentic' postmodernity and that Machiavelli himself is postmodern through finding evidence of this in the text. As a consequence, Walker downplays instead of supplements these authors' contributions, and so detracts from the context of his own vision. This paper is not, therefore, an indictment of Walker's work, but an affirmation of its calling and an insistence that it is still valid/relevant. To engage a critical work critically, is to carry on the tradition of criticism it began.

WHY INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS HAS FAILED AS AN INTELLECTUAL PROJECT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT Barry Buzan and Richard Little

Despite its many successes, International Relations has failed as an intellectual project. As it has widened away from inter-state relations towards non-state actors and transnational relations it has effectively become the study of humankind as a whole. Its logical role is thus to act as a kind of meta-discipline, linking together the macro sides of the other social sciences and history. Yet while IR touts its multi-disciplinarity, and imports ideas from other disciplines, it exports virtually nothing, and makes little impact outside its own borders. Wallerstein's world-systems theory, despite its manifest shortcomings, has totally outperformed IR's concept of international systems in this role, in the process demonstrating what could and should be done by IR. Two major reasons for IR's failure are: the alienation from world history caused by an excessively Westphalian conception of international systems; and the loss of interest in grand theory caused by a passion for theoretical atomisation. With its openness to world history and its theoretical pluralism, the English School points a way out of this self-isolation, albeit one that itself needs more work.

GLOBAL LIBERAL GOVERNANCE: BIOPOLITICS, SECURITY AND WAR Michael Dillon and Julian Reid

This paper forms part of our continuing exploration of the diverse character of global liberal governance as a form of global biopolitics. Here we are concerned to draw attention to the ways in which global biopolitics deploys force and violence. We argue that global biopolitics operates as a strategic game in which the principle of war is assimilated into the very weft and warp of the socio-economic and cultural networks of biopolitical relations and that in the process it has been developing a form of biopolitical strategic discourse. Biopower is however in the process of moving from the carceral to the molecular via the digital. We therefore also observe how a common biophilosophical strategic interest in the initiation and the manipulation of life, seeking to govern it through the laws of connectivity, network forms of organisation and reproduction, has been engendered by the confluence of the digital and the molecular revolutions. We trace this development through noting its impact on the biopolitical strategic discourse characteristic of the liberal way of war, in particular its current Revolution in Military Affairs, and how the emergence of network society has been paralleled by the emergence of network-centric warfare.

SOCIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS: INSTRUMENTAL, LEGITIMIST AND COERCIVE INTERPRETATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY Tim Dunne

International society is arguably the master-concept of academic international relations. Just as society is said to be present when individuals take account of others, international society exists because states recognise each other and act according to shared interests and norms. The article begins by noting the paradox that, despite the relative importance of the concept, it remains under-developed. Why is this the case? One reason is that the classical English School literature has left us with a highly undifferentiated notion of international society. It is important not only to bring greater analytical clarity to bear on the concept/practice - in terms of specifying the necessary conditions for its existence - but also to understand that these are open to multiple interpretations. To this end, the article sets out a typology for thinking about institutional variations on international society, based on instrumental, legitimist and coercive formations. Further progress in understanding the nature and limits of international society requires sociological rather than diplomatic investigations.

THE FEMININE EXCESS: CAN WOMEN WHO HEAR DIVINE VOICES FIND A NEW SOCIAL LINK?

Far from being gender-neutral, the uncanny excess of life which condenses the utmost characteristic of humankind is feminine. Sexual difference is ultimately not the difference between the two species, men and women, but between man, 'human being', qua species and its (feminine) excess. Consequently, one should resist the temptation to historicise this disparaging of the feminine, reading it as the expression of the passage from the old matriarchal order, in which the ruling divinity itself was feminine, to the new patriarchal order, from which what was before elevated into the sublime feminine figure appears as the abyss of the feminine excess threatening to swallow the male subject. More than ever, one should insist that the two, the elevation and the condemnation of the Feminine, are two sides of the same strategy of coming to terms with the feminine excess. It is rather history itself which should be conceived as the series of attempts to come to terms, through temporal displacement, with the unbearable 'eternal' antagonism of the Feminine: the history of literature (and of the 'real life') from Antiquity onwards offers a series of figures which endeavour to 'normalise' this excess.

THE DIFFERENT WORDS OF REALISM IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Stefano Guzzini

Ever since Realists can no longer assume that the boundaries of the discipline coincide with their paradigm, ever since the terms of the first debate are no longer self-evident to structure theoretical discussion, Realism needs to openly redefine and demarcate itself. The article deals with the present stage of this redefinition. It shows that a coherent redefinition is not yet of available. Either such an attempt leaves scientific respectability which was so essential for Realist credentials. Or Realist theorising simply becomes ambivalent, if not indistinguishable from other approaches; a tendency exacerbated when so-called Realist classics, such as E.H. Carr, are carefully studied.

RADICALISM FOR A CONSERVATIVE PURPOSE: THE PECULIAR REALISM OF E.H. CARR Peter Wilson

E.H. Carr was one of the most gifted writers and scintillating thinkers on international affairs of the twentieth century. His provocative attack in the name of Realism on the 'Utopian' thinkers of the inter-war period, The Twenty Years' Crisis, has influenced generations of students. Yet Carr's reputation as a Realist, propagated largely by that great success story of late twentieth century academic publishing, the 'IR' textbook, is misleading in many ways. Carr's work comprises many different elements. He was catholic in his approach to sources, and possessed an unusual capacity for intellectual synthesis. The result was a complex weave of ideas and assertions which belie simple classification. This article examines some of the key contributions to our understanding of Carr, in particular the recently published works of Charles Jones and Jonathan Haslam. It concludes that Carr's radicalism, pronounced in so many ways, was ultimately designed for the conservative purpose of keeping Britain in the front rank of nations. In this regard it would be hard, notwithstanding the important Realist element in his thought, to separate Carr from his Fabian and socialist contemporaries.  

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