International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis
By Necati Polat
Routledge – 2012 – 198 pages
International Relations, Meaning and Mimesis is an innovative assessment of the uses of theory in making sense of international politics, opening up new pathways to thinking about the basics of the study area.
Insights drawn from an interdisciplinary corpus of critical scholarship are synthesized and brought to bear on key concepts such as sovereignty, the state, peace, law, justice, ethics, and supranationality. The mainstream characteristically dismisses the narrativity that accompanies these concepts as derivative, tending to treat meaning attributable to them as static. The work shows how problematic this disdain of mimesis (exchange, reproduction, imitation) is and how this mindset effectively incapacitates conventional theorizing in both predicting phenomena and providing a normative vision. Integrating the study of international politics into debates in the wider academia over meaning and mimesis, this ambitious work is fluent and accessible at the same time, with exceptional lucidity in presenting difficult philosophical notions.
A series of radical positions advanced in the book on theory and methodology not only address and call to account the mainstream imagination on international politics but also outline the implications of this critique for a host of specific issue areas, including peace research, normative theories, international law, and European studies.
International Relations Meaning and Mimesis is a virtuoso work re-theorizing international relations through one of its key textual tropes. It will be widely read for the inspiration and many fresh insights that it offers.
Michael Dillon, Emeritus Professor of Politics, Lancaster University, Professor of Politics, Sehir University, Istanbul & Fellow of the London Graduate School.
The writing is enviously clear, presenting material that is often difficult and dense in ways that are highly accessible without sacrificing the complexity of issues under consideration, particularly valuable from the perspective of teaching post-graduate courses.
Ritu Vij, University of Aberdeen.
1. Introduction 2. International 3. Peace 4. Difference 5. Law 6. Integration
Necati Polat is Professor in the Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, where he teaches international political theory, international law, human rights and the philosophy of social science.