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  • 1.
    Boin, Arjen
    et al.
    Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section.
    Rhinard, Mark
    Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section.
    Managing Transboundary Crises: what Role for the European Union?2008In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 1-26Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Friedner Parrat, Charlotta
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Maritime Operations Section.
    Change in International Society: How Not to Recreate the 'First Debate' of International Relations2020In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 758-778Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The English school of international relations is in large parts focused on the study of historical change; at the same time, however, it is remarkably unclear on how to understand change in between the idealist belief in progress and the realist eternal cycles of recurrence. This article seeks to avoid this dead end by questioning the school's understanding of change as a commonsensical concept. It is argued that change would be better understood as composed of three facets: one ontological (what is change?), one explanatory (what causes change?), and one normative (is change desirable?). This metatheoretical reconceptualization of change permits cross-checking the three facets against each other for internal coherence, but most importantly, it makes visible the underlying assumptions used to study change, so that ideas of history, causes, and normative ideals can be openly scrutinized, questioned, and defended rather than treated as self-evident. The resulting suggestion of an internally metatheoretically coherent understanding of change in international society signifies a much-needed addition to the English school tool-kit. It brings a promise of a significant metatheoretical overhaul of the theory, which, if taken up, will open up new horizons for the school. In addition, it opens up similar metatheoretical inquiries into other international relations theories’ views of change.

  • 3.
    Hagström, Linus
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för säkerhetespolitik och strategi. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.
    Nordin, Astrid
    Lancaster University China Centre, Lancaster University, United Kingdom (GBR); Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden (SWE).
    China's “Politics of Harmony” and the Quest for Soft Power in International Politics2020In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 507-525, article id viz023Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article engages with China's “politics of harmony” to investigate the dangers and possibilities of soft power as a concept and practice. Chinese sources claim that China will be able to exercise soft power due to its tradition of thinking about harmony. Indeed, the concept of harmony looms large in Chinese soft power campaigns, which differentiate China's own harmonious soft power from the allegedly disharmonious hard power of other great powers—in particular Western powers and Japan. Yet, similarly dichotomizing harmony discourses have been employed precisely in the West and Japan. In all three cases, such harmony discourses set a rhetorical trap, forcing audiences to empathize and identify with the “harmonious” self or risk being violently “harmonized.” There is no doubt that the soft power of harmony is coercive. More importantly, the present article argues that it has legitimized and enabled oppressive, homogenizing, and bellicose expansionism and rule in the West and Japan. A similarly structured exercise of soft power may enable violence in and beyond China, too. Ultimately, however, we argue that China's own tradition of thinking about harmony may help us to theorize how soft power might be exercised in less antagonistic and violent ways.

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  • 4.
    Hedström, Jenny
    Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
    Confusion, Seduction, Failure: Emotions as Reflexive Knowledge in Conflict Settings2019In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 21, no 4, p. 662-677Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article highlights the influence of emotions, affective experiences, and rumors on the construction of knowledge within research on conflict and in international politics, as well as within the research process itself. Drawing from fieldwork undertaken in a conflict zone in Myanmar, it suggests that academic knowledge production practices are informed both by the (violent) context in which research is undertaken and by the demands of the discipline to produce a scientifically accepted piece of research. It proposes that attention to emotions may facilitate strong objectivity (Harding 1992) by foregrounding the relationship between research participants, researchers, and the broader research (institutional and immediate) contexts. It introduces the term “rumors-as-affect” as a means to discuss how affective atmospheres or events in the research environments inform research. Three interview situations are presented, in which different emotional reactions are highlighted, focusing on “confusion and guilt”; “seduction”; and finally, “failure and ignorance.” These events illustrate how, in recognizing the role emotions and affective atmospheres play in research on conflict and in international politics (cf. Crawford 2014; Hutchison and Bleiker 2014; Ross 2013), researchers may begin to do justice to our representations of what is encountered in the field and how knowledge is constructed within the discipline.

  • 5.
    Karlén, Niklas
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.
    Rauta, Vladimir
    University of Reading, Reading, (GBR).
    Salehyan, Idean
    University of North Texas, Denton, (USA).
    Mumford, Andrew
    University of Nottingham, Nottingham, (GBR).
    San-Akca, Belgin
    Koç University, Istanbul, (TUR).
    Stark, Alexandra
    New America, Washington, (USA).
    Wyss, Michel
    Military Academy at ETH Zurich, Zurich, (CHE).
    Moghadam, Assaf
    Reichman University, Herzliya, (ISR).
    Duursma, Allard
    ETH Zurich, Zurich, (CHE).
    Tamm, Henning
    University of St Andrews, St Andrews, (GBR).
    Jenne, Erin K
    Central European University, Vienna, (AUT).
    Popovic, Milos
    Leiden University, Leiden, (NLD).
    Siroky, David S
    Arizona State University, Tempe, (USA).
    Meier, Vanessa
    University of Oxford, Oxford, (GBR).
    Chinchilla, Alexandra
    Dartmouth College, Hanover, (USA).
    Rickard, Kit
    University College London, London, (GBR).
    Spatafora, Giuseppe
    University of Oxford, Oxford, (GBR).
    Forum: Conflict Delegation in Civil Wars2021In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 2048-2078Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This forum provides an outlet for an assessment of research on the delegation of war to non-state armed groups in civil wars. Given the significant growth of studies concerned with this phenomenon over the last decade, this forum critically engages with the present state of the field. First, we canvass some of the most important theoretical developments to demonstrate the heterogeneity of the debate. Second, we expand on the theme of complexity and investigate its multiple facets as a window into pushing the debate forward. Third, we draw the contours of a future research agenda by highlighting some contemporary problems, puzzles, and challenges to empirical data collection. In essence, we seek to connect two main literatures that have been talking past each other: external support in civil wars and proxy warfare. The forum bridges this gap at a critical juncture in this new and emerging scholarship by offering space for scholarly dialogue across conceptual labels.

  • 6.
    Nymalm, Nicola
    et al.
    The Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.
    Plagemann, Johannes
    GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Germany.
    Comparative Exceptionalism: Universality and Particularity in Foreign Policy Discourses2019In: International Studies Review, ISSN 1521-9488, E-ISSN 1468-2486, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 12-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Existing research on exceptionalism in foreign policy suggests a number of confrontational features making it a threat to peaceful international relations. Largely based on US and European cases, and hardly ever taking a comparative approach, this literature overlooks a variety of exceptionalisms in non-Western countries, including so called “rising powers” such as China and India. A comparison between exceptionalist foreign policy discourses of the United States, China, India, and Turkey shows that exceptionalism is neither exclusive to the United States, nor a “new” phenomenon within rising powers, nor necessarily confrontational, unilateralist, or exemptionalist. As a prerequisite for comparative work, we establish two features common to all exceptionalist foreign policy discourses. In essence, such discourses are informed by supposedly universal values derived from a particular civilization heritage or political history. In order to systematize different versions of exceptionalism, we then propose four ideal types, each of which reflects exceptionalism's common trait of a claim to moral superiority and uniqueness but diverges across other important dimensions, with implications for its potentially offensive character. The article concludes by formulating a research agenda for future comparative work on exceptionalist foreign policy discourses and their repercussions for great power relations and global politics.

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1 - 6 of 6
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