Rethinking Power, Institutions and Ideas
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By Amitav Acharya
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The Dao of World Politics: Towards a Post-Westphalian, Worldist International Relations
Edited By L. H. M. Ling
New York: Routledge, 2014, 277 pages, £31.99, ISBN: 9780415603782.
Knowledge Production in the Arab World:
The Impossible Promise
By Sari Hanafi and Rigas Arvanitis
New York: Routledge, 2016, 354 pages, £90, ISBN: 9781138948815.
In 2015, the philosopher Hamid Dabashi published a book with the provocative title, Can Non-Europeans Think?. Over its pages Dabashi echoes authors from what have been labelled “post-colonialism” approaches (from founding fathers like Frantz Fanon to Edward Said, to provocative interlocutors like Gayatri Spivak and Walter Mignolo), and questions the contemporary “regime of knowledge.” According to Dabashi, this by-product of modernity/colonialism silences the voices and experiences of many “subaltern” thinkers whose work is dismissed, neglected and delegitimized.
International Relations is not alien to this meta-theoretical debate. For some years now an ongoing debate has been unfolding, mainly on the margins of the discipline, about the need to internally confront the problem underlined by Dabashi, Mignolo and the Rest. It is nothing new to hear critical voices from within (Buzan, Olson and Onuf, Nayak and Selbin) pointing out the discipline’s need to advance towards a truly global theorization of international reality by incorporating non-Western voices into our theoretical corpus.