New Forum: Our Work is International Relations

Several years in the making, a forum ‘Our Work is International Relations: On Exclusion, Negotiation, and Engagement Against Disciplinary Boundaries’ that began as part of a 2019 Millennium conference is now published in Alternatives.


The pieces included in the forum include:n

Introduction: Our Work is International Relations: On Exclusion, Negotiation, and Engagement Against Disciplinary Boundaries written by me an Anupama Ranawana

‘Which Part of Your Work is IR?’ on Western Dominance and the Discipline of International Relations in Indonesia by Ahmad Rizky Mardhatillah Umar

Queer Experiences Within the Bounds of International Relations written by me and Alex Edney-Browne

Conclusion: Un-Disciplining the International by Roland Blieker


About the forum:

With this forum we aim to contribute to the debate within International Relations (IR) scholarship about the space that has opened up since the inter-paradigmatic debate 30 years ago and the challenges still experienced by those of us coming from the “margin” yet committed to the “globalization” of the discipline. That is to say, to building a pluriverse of IR. In the first contribution Anupama Ranawana begins by considering the practical difficulties for Southern research and knowledge creation in IR, detailing a snapshot of how current funding structures continue to relegate academics and researchers in the Global South to a relationship of dependency on their counterparts in the Global North. The next two contributions to the discussion reflect on how these problematic bounds of the disciple are then embodied by those of us working in more marginal spaces in IR.

First, Ahmed Rizky Mardhatilla Umar writes of the policing of IR within the Indonesian University which continues to leave most critical work as outside of IR. Another point of embodied experience in what for many continues to be marginal or even outside of the discipline is considered by Jamie J. Hagen and Alex Edney-Browne who write about queer IR and specifically the experience of being a part of a community of LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allies) in IR scholars. In conclusion Roland Bleiker reflects and evaluates “the potential and limits of International Relations as an academic discipline” even as the discipline continues to call for greater diversity. As such, each contributor speaks separately to a jointly articulated provocation regarding what counts and is centered as “real” International Relations scholarship, based on their own encounters with being told explicitly (i.e., through rejections, lack of institutional support) or implicitly (i.e., through what we are taught) that our work is not International Relations.