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POLSCI 2I03 (101)

Session8 Political Sci 2I03 Summer 2013

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Political Science
Mark Busser

Session 8 June 3, 2013 2I03 Session 8 Bosnia War – Peace Settlement 1995 “Ethnic Partition” David Campbell  Writing Security 1992  National deconstruction  Otherness – representations, violence, complicity, responsibility these are some of the many provocations forced upon The deconstruction of Bosnia  The conflict in Bosnia was made worse by the fact that the peacemakers shared the attitudes about identity politics of the paramilitary groups  Western interveners were limited in their imagination about the possibility of heterogeneous communities  The response to the conflict all too easily took up tropes and metaphors about „ancient rivalries‟ and „blood feuds‟ that put limits on what was possible  Idea that nations and people can‟t live within the common space  informed international relations for a long time. Post structuralism Post Modernity  Modernism was a historical period marked by certain attitudes, styles, and approaches to art, literature, philosophy, science and society o One of the key „themes‟ of modern life was the confidence that scientific progress could unravel nature‟s mysteries and help people to discover underlying „facts, „truths‟, and „laws‟  Postmodernism is a historical period marked by certain attitudes, styles, and approaches to art, literature, philosophy, science and society o One of the key „themes‟ of post modern life is doubt about the existence or accessibility of universal truths or facts o General refers to a style and set of avenues that flowed, expressing skepticism o Modernism as a certain time period and post modernism as a certain period with certain attitudes o Tradition of post-modernity, post modernism is an experience or condition that human beings find themselves in. Reasons to be skeptical. o Jean-Francois Lyotard (1979) – Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity towards metanarratives.  Underlying motors of history that are driving human forward  Explain most of international relations, but not all of it.  Reference to some insights Discourse or Narrative  A narrative is a story or an explanation. Portrayal, or dominant understand of how things are or how things work  A Meta-narrative is a master explanation that helps to organize other insights and observations within a framework underpinned by a united set of confidently asserted, fundamental truth claims. Session 8 June 3, 2013 2I03  A trope is a repeated narrative, metaphor or recurring symbol that portray a „common sense‟ understanding o Set of associations that help shape how people understand things  Good link, to link the ideas of meta-narratives to grand theory. Social theories that try to paint a picture of how all things fit together.  Realist theories try to adopt a „grand‟ theory – explanation that helps explain how these theoretical forms work together. Post structuralism  Post structuralism is an approach that responds to the post modern condition  It does this trying to find ways to apply theoretical insights without generalization, abstraction, or (false) claims to objectivity  Post structuralism offers no „grand theory‟ of international relations, but offers theoretical tools for examining the relationship between ideas and power Positionality: concept  It is a concept that reflects an idea about social insights and people do theory from a particular position in time, history and in space. A particular geographic position and often times a class position.  Look through the world with these covered lenses, but through these sets of eyes that have been conditioned, and trained in certain ways over a lifetime.  Objectivity becomes an illusion  Important to be reflexive when doing social theory  Conscious of the limit of Positionality and the privilege of coming from a certain way or having a certain authority.  It is an attitude, and approach to doing theory  Post structuralism is more of an „ethos‟ – a way of doing things, instead of approaches? “Broadly speaking, post structuralists and their allies see their works as interpretive interventions that have political effects, whereas mainstream (in both its orthodox and relatively progressive guises) perceives itself as engaged in the objective pursuit of cumulative knowledge central to a distinct social science, even as it sometimes acknowledges the difficulties therein” – Campbell (1992)  Building of a massive set of facts?  Post structuralists questions this because you can‟t simply add to the „pile‟ of knowledge  International theory is political – creates possibilities for some people and eliminates possibilities for others  Interested in value claims, what is good, what is evil.  Fact claims – what is true, and how things work Social Theorists Michael Foucault  The archaeology of knowledge (1969) Session 8 June 3, 2013 2I03  Discipline and Punish: The birth of the prison (1975)  The history of sexuality (1976)  The Subject and power (1982)  “Power exists only when it is put into action” (1982)  Foucauldian Concepts o Power is relational, meaning it is not something that you „have‟ but something that is exercised in relations between people: power relations o The power/knowledge nexus describes the relationship between „truth‟ and power relations o Society is organized around certain regimes of truth reflecting „common knowledge‟ and outlooks o Rather than being „how many tanks, bombs and guns‟ – Power is something that happens and is exercised any time a social actor affects another social actor o Power is something that flows and takes place in power relations, when I do something that stops my friend from being able to do something. o Discipline? Influence? o Challenge – If you count power as limitations, it defines power in almost everywhere and everything. Power relations occur in classrooms, in households, romantic relationships, etc.  Power relations – Happen everywhere in society  Individual – Individual people‟s lives.  Power & Knowledge – It isn‟t something that is just physically applied; but by the limitations that social actors put on each other. Power can be exercised in power relations through the power knowledge nexus. Ideas are power. To participate in discourse is an act of power.  Regimes of Truth – Big blocks of ideas, and unchecked assumptions that are represented by tropes and metaphors, that pose limits to what social actors can do. o Disciplinarily – Describes the power relations of positive and negative reinforcement through which „normal‟ behaviors, actions and lifestyles are encouraged within certain truth regimes.  Reshaping and Impact – It had the impact of the social consciousness, ideas, and the identities of people in the audience.  Change in form – Only changed in form, founding new ways to shape how individuals act and behave, through regulations, through ideas about sanitation, public health, good grooming and family relations. Personal & PoliticalSha o Actors – are constituted as certain types of social actors through disciplinary power relations  Push & Pull – Of arguing and suggesting and implying and bullying. That makes some things proper and some things wrong.  Necessary – To do a form of social theory that examines how these relations work and is maintained by certain types of truth regimes, and to explore how other ways of doing things could be examined… o Genealogy – Is an approach based on a „history of the present‟ exploring how other ways of thinking and understanding became suppressed or marginalized. Session 8 June 3, 2013 2I03  Exploring & Regimes of truth that dominate today and could have been otherwise  Ideas, arguments and exceptions that don‟t seem to find in how things are portrayed? Those elements have been left behind in order to build a meta-narrative to do a simplified way of thinking.  Examining how we got here, from our position. Examining some of the arguments and debates that have led to where we are today, and the regimes of truth that dominate. o Shaping ideas of themselves – sexually, nationally, etc. “Compared to constructivism, which also includes knowledge and identities, post structuralism looks more critically at how actors get to be constituted as actors in the first place” Lene Hansen Pg. 172 New World Order – Invasion of Kuwait (1990) and Gulf War (1991)  Operation Desert Storm  Persian Gulf Crisis  Relationships with Kuwait in the aftermath  Resulted in Military bases being deployed in Saudi Arabia o Frustrated many Islamist groups o Anti-Americanism?  The responses and the way the responses were framed were really revealing to a lot of post structuralists and critics o Sadam Hussain was made into the enemy o Replaced Soviet Union  David Campbell o What functions have difference, danger, and otherness played in constituting the identity of the United States as a major actor in International Politics. o Different representations of danger, otherness and enemy have helped shape America views of International relations and what it is like. o Challenges are represented as dangers  Threatening the security of internal and external security  Shape understandings of what this insight is in the first place o America tends to map on its own anxieties and concerns and interests, on to it‟s enemies by portraying them and depicting them that serves being put into „otherness‟ Otherness Alterity Difference Post colonial research theme, and post structuralists research.  Make certain actions seem justified and other possibilities not worth pursuing  Understanding the role of otherness and differences  Jacques Derrida o Of Grammatology (1967) o Declarations of Independence (1986) o Limited Inc (1988) o Focused on the role of language o “We are all mediators, translators” Session 8 June 3, 2013 2I03 o “There is nothing outside of the text”  Unlike many other linguistic theories, Derrida argued that all we are able to access and focus on, that there isn‟t actually a place where we can link back definitions to some thing, but definition just rely on definition on definition. Binary Oppositions Europe and North America Africa, Asia, and Latin America Civilized, advanced, active, mature, reational,Barbaric, backwards, passive, childlike, light, mind irrational/emotional, dark and body Opposites and Binary pairs, shape and underscore our subconsciousness. Derrida and Deconstruction  Binary Opposition are pairs of concepts or values that are usually held to compare and contrast to each other – and which rely on each other for meaning  Rational = Irrational  Weak = Strong  Corrupt = Pure  Autonomous = Dependent  Deconstruction is an approach that looks to unsettle the dominant hierarchy between binary opposition that shape our language – and the web of associations between them. o Examine written texts in order to tease apart the common senses and oppositions. Judith But
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