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Non-Western Reflection on Politics

Petr Drulák and Sárka Moravcová

Recent rise of the non-Western parts of the world makes the need for a genuine global dialogue more urgent than ever before. To take an effective part in it, the West needs to face a conceptual challenge. The Western understanding of the political world is based on such deeply ingrained concepts as power, politics, statecraft, cooperation, multilateralism, dependence, identity or human rights. The Westerners tend to wrongly assume that everyone else is bound to share these concepts. This book shows that the reality is different. Investigating African, Asian, Islamic and Latin American political thinking, the book introduces non-Western concepts of politics as well as non-Western readings of seemingly familiar Western concepts. By doing this, it points to the obstacles to the global dialogue as well as to opportunities which may be exploited.

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Introduction: For a Global Dialogue - Petr Drulák

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Introduction: For a Global Dialogue Petr Drulák In recent decades, Europe and the USA witnessed dynamic growth in non- Western parts of the world. At first, this growth was mainly economic. But re- cently it has also started to change political realities, and has made non- Western elements much more present in the Western imaginary than ever be- fore. The former peripheries are starting to see eye to eye with the former cen- tre. The time of genuine global dialogue has come. However, while non- Western leaders, thinkers and activists are familiar with Western perspectives of the world, their Western counterparts tend to ignore non-Western perspec- tives. This dooms any attempt at dialogue between the two sides. This book tries to remedy these conditions. It starts with the assumption that the greatest challenge for the West when it faces “the rest” is conceptual. Westerners understand the world on the basis of deeply ingrained concepts while assuming that everyone else is bound to share these concepts. This book shows that the reality is different. It introduces non-Western concepts but it also provides non-Western readings of seemingly familiar Western concepts. By doing this it points to the obstacles which may hamper a genuine dialogue as well as to opportunities which may be exploited. It may also offer non- Western experiences as a potential remedy for some of the current woes of the West. The obstacles start with an unavoidable need for such labels as those of the West and the non-West....

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