Internal Relations

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We—as editors and contributors of the special issue Internal Relations—each variously research and write in the margins of International Relations (IR). These liminal spaces take different form for each of us but all are committed to critical approaches to IR. Some are on the margins due to the increasing reliance on part-time teaching contracts and adjunct positions; some for approaching the discipline qualitatively rather than through the more favored quantitative approaches particularly in the self-nominated ‘home’ of IR, the United States; and one studies IR from another discipline completely. For all, we have contributed to an academic discipline where the objects and approaches of disciplinary study have changed over time (anarchy, norms, institutions, feminism, Marxism, affect, the postcolonial, etc.), but one constant is that the experience—or narrative—of the individual scholar remains invisible. We study distant and sometimes metaphorical structures and foreign agents, and the social relations that count to be studied are those that exist among other humans. Thus, the international relations of a world ‘out there’ is routinely hyper-separated from the worlds we inhabit in highly-individuated ways, within wider collectivities. In other words, missing from this international gaze is an acknowledgement of the field’s internal relations.

Stefanie Fishel and N.A.J. Taylor’s special issue, “Internal Relations”was published by Borderlands as Vol.16 No.2 in 2017. [LINK]