Non-Western International Relations Theory: Perspectives On and Beyond Asia

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Given that the world has moved well beyond the period of Western colonialism, and clearly into a durable period in which non-Western cultures have gained their political autonomy, it is long past time that non-Western voices had a higher profile in debates about international relations, not just as disciples of Western schools of thought, but as inventors of their own approaches. Western IR theory has had the advantage of being the first in the field, and has developed many valuable insights, but few would defend the position that it captures everything we need to know about world politics.

In this book, Acharya and Buzan introduce non-Western IR traditions to a Western IR audience, and challenge the dominance of Western theory. An international team of experts reinforce existing criticisms that IR theory is Western-focused and therefore misrepresents and misunderstands much of world history by introducing the reader to non-Western traditions, literature and histories relevant to how IR is conceptualised.

Including case studies on Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, Southeast Asian, Indian and Islamic IR this book redresses the imbalance and opens up a cross-cultural comparative perspective on how and why thinking about IR has developed in the way it has. As such, it will be invaluable reading for both Western and Asian audiences interested in international relations theory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book adds a critically needed voice that specifies areas of deficiency and methods which may allow for alternative and reasonable disciplinary guidance that can finally address the historical inequity within the study of IR. The authors provide key insights to a problematic theme regarding how to overcome “colonization of the mind” by the limiting and framing scopes of inquiry so as to essentially set an agenda with regard to an entire disciplinary field of academia and its requisite effects." - William J. Jones, Mahidol University International College; Journal of International and Global Studies Volume 4, Number 1, (November 2012).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415474740
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/5/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Amitav Acharya is Professor of International Politics at American University, USA.

Barry Buzan is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, UK.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

List of contributors viii

Acknowledgements ix

1 Why is there no non-Western international relations theory? An introduction Amitav Acharya Barry Buzan 1

2 Why is there no Chinese international relations theory? Yaqing Qin 26

3 Why are there no non-Western theories of international relations? The case of Japan Takashi Inoguchi 51

4 Why is there no non-Western international relations theory? Reflections on and from Korea Chaesung Chun 69

5 Re-imagining IR in India Navnita Chadha Behera 92

6 Southeast Asia: Theory between modernization and tradition? Alan Chong 117

7 Perceiving Indonesian approaches to international relations theory Leonard C. Sebastian Irman G. Lanti 148

8 International relations theory and the Islamic worldview Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh 174

9 World history and the development of non-Western international relations theory Barry Buzan Richard Little 197

10 Conclusion: On the possibility of a non-Western international relations theory Amitav Acharya Barry Buzan 221

Index 239

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