International Theory and the Problem of Sustainable Critique
An Adornian-Biblical parable
Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Colgate University, USA
Surveying recent developments in the discipline of International Relations, this article argues for sustainable critique: a mode of theorizing about world politics that is both responsive to real world-events, and deeply self-reflexive vis-à-vis its normative commitments. Using Genesis 34 as a parable, and drawing on the work of Theodor W. Adorno, I show why sustainable critique is needed in IR, and what work it would do; I then indicate those normative commitments needed to advance it. Finally, I survey recent theoretical innovations in IR in light of the challenge that sustainable critique poses.
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© borderlands ejournal 2011