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Political Science

Lecture 5 The Third Debate 05292013Chapter 10 Poststructuralism Lene Hansen Argues that state stands at the centre of world politics and we should understand it as a particular form of political community identities have no fixed meaning but are constituted in languageEmerged in the 1980s from the second cold war in fear of a nuclear holocaust but still remains relevant in high politics themes in security war militaryCritical perspective in study of world politics in two important respects 1 Critical of most IR theories disagree with realisms selfhelp as understanding a state is a particular way of understanding political community also disagree with realisms view that the system is anarchic as it is only so through states perpetuating this 2 Takes power and the state very seriously but considers what is excluded and marginalized by existing policies and theoriesCalls onto questions of ontology what is in the world and epistemology how we can study the world Realism and liberalism disagree on a ontological level but agree that states are the main building blockThe reason why it is called a critical theory is because it challenges the conceptions of IR on an epistemological level It argues in favour of a constitutive postpositivist and antifoundationalist position Mainstream approaches usepositivist epistemology where they strive to find the causal relations that rule world politics Poststructuralists hold that causality is inappropriate because there are no such things as structures as they are constituted through human actionstructures are not independent variablesDefinition of facts is not concrete realists and liberals look for factors that explain why ethnic wars occur while poststructuralists ask what calling something an ethnic war implies for our understanding of the war and the policies that could be used to stop it4 philosophical concepts that are important to the study of world politics discourse deconstruction genealogy and intertextualityDiscourse developed by Michel Foucault linguistic system that orders statements and concepts of which poststructuralists find language essential to understand our worldoPoststructuralists understands language not as a neutral transmitter but as producing meaningthings do not have an objective meaning outside what we produce of themUsing the concept of discourse heart attacks are constituted differently within a lifestyle discourse a genetic discourse and a religious discourse which all provides different views of
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