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The national and the international

Alejandro, Audrey ORCID: 0000-0002-3675-8986 (2018) The national and the international. In: Western Dominance in International Relations? The Internationalisation of IR in Brazil and India. Worlding beyond the west. Routledge, Abingdon, UK. ISBN 9781138047983

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The narrative of Western dominance describes IR as a field organised around national traditions. It denounces the existence of Eurocentric international gatekeeping practices that silence the voices of ‘scholars from the Global South’ and prevent the internationalisation of their publications. Such gate-keeping practices would prevent scholars from ‘the Global South’ from expressing their national traditions, distinct from what is produced internationally, as the gatekeepers of the journals (mainly ‘Western’ scholars) are Eurocentric. This narrative that I have called the narrative of Western dominance contains a series of implicit assumptions regarding the relationship between what is defined as ‘national’ and ‘international’. The obviousness or naturalness (naturalité) of these assumptions is questioned by elements exposed in the first three chapters. First, analysing the geographical, linguistic and disciplinary scope of Brazilian and Indian publications reveals (by way of contrast) that the literature implicitly reduces the international space of publication to ‘the West’. Or, more precisely, it reduces it to Anglo-American, English-speaking IR journals. However, Brazilian scholars publish abroad in languages other than English. A large share of their publications is produced outside the geographical networks of IR scholars, in Latin America. Moreover, the multi-disciplinary nature of IR in Brazil and India (for example in history and area studies) makes some Indian and Brazilian scholars epistemically closer to other disciplines abroad than to IR as defined by Anglo-American journals. Second, internationalisation of national fields resulting from transnationalisation of the education of Brazilian scholars challenges the clear-cut division between national and international IR traditions. Scholars’ experiences of national specificities do not reflect the meaning attributed to them by the critical literature. Scholars do not invest in them or construct them as national anti-hegemonic tools against an alleged international ‘mainstream literature’. Third, the role played by the state (regarding foreign policy and higher education policies) challenges the idea that the practices of ‘non-Western’ scholars, and their visibility, is a result of international IR dynamics. Scholars’ professional habits are mainly conditioned by their relationship with the government and the relationship between IR and other national fields.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 13:31
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021 23:04

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