Handbook of Critical International Relations
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Handbook of Critical International Relations

Edited by Steven C. Roach

Comprising a plurality of perspectives, this timely Handbook is an essential resource for understanding past and current challenges to democracy, justice, social and gender equality, identity and freedom. It shows how critical international relations (IR) theory functions as a broad-based and diverse critique of society.
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Chapter 19: Afterword

Steven C. Roach


This chapter discusses several current challenges to critical international relations (IR) theory, including the problematic “Western” boundaries of knowledge, anthropocentrism – which continues to determine the human focus of critical IR – and the rise of global populism or nationalist identity politics. In doing so, it critically examines the notion of open-endedness against these rising challenges, concluding that such open-endedness is ultimately about confronting the built-in, systemic bias against non-Western knowledge, which has long constructed and reinforced these boundaries. As such, critical IR theory, in order to strive for such open-endedness, will need to become more proactive in engaging the political effects of such bias.

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