By Dirk Nabers
This e-book develops a discourse conception of challenge and alter in international politics. trouble is conceptualized as structural dislocation, resting on distinction and incompleteness. Change is visible because the non-stop yet eventually futile attempt to achieve an entire identification. The incompleteness and contingent personality of the social represents crucial for democratic politics to turn into attainable and for a concept of challenge and alter to develop into achieveable. during this new realizing, problem loses its daily that means of a periodically taking place occasion. as a substitute, problem turns into an omnipresent characteristic of the social textile. It represents the absence of flooring, of social beginning, and it rests in the topic in addition to in the social entire.
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Additional resources for A Poststructuralist Discourse Theory of Global Politics
This leads to a second aspect that will be elaborated further in part III of this book: If crises are indeed “what actors make of them,” then they are characterized by uncertainty over what they signify and imply. In other words, they can only be incorporated within existing, previously formulated frameworks of intelligibility. A number of “critical” interventions in the field of IR, which are characterized by their focus on radical contingency, draws on this argument. It is here where one can leave the familiar terrain of the traditional crisis literature and conceptualize contingent historicity instead.
Whereas Waltz assumes a certain stability of bipolar structures, Gilpin at first sight seems to stress the power dynamics over time, allowing him to introduce a tentative concept of change, which is, however, solely based on the expected utility of state actors. ”18 As I will attempt to illustrate, to understand social change, one has to go beyond mere material structures and develop a notion of social structure instead. A summary of Waltz and Gilpin must not lead to the conclusion that realism is necessarily static and confined to the sphere of problem-solving theory.
Claiming that crises are always “cultural constructions,” Weldes illustrated that crisis management does not follow from crises, but produces crises in the first place. In other words: There is no ontology of crisis graspable beyond the practices that generate it in the first place. One cannot assume an objective status of crisis that requires nothing but immediate action. ”86 For instance, the Cuban Missile Crisis was represented as a challenge to the very identity of the United States, whereas the Soviet Union articulated a threat to worldwide socialism by US imperialism, and the Cuban government characterized it as part of the tremendous and all-encompassing insecurity the aggression of the United States entailed.
A Poststructuralist Discourse Theory of Global Politics by Dirk Nabers