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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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Core-Periphery Knowledge Exchange: The Case of Latin America - Arlene B. Tickner

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Core-Periphery Knowledge Exchange: The Case of Latin America Arlene B. Tickner Knowledge designed in the global North often has limited relevance when in- serted into distinct social and cultural contexts, and may even be dysfunctional and counterproductive. In the case of International Relations (IR) theories such as realism and liberalism, which are rooted in the roles and actions of great powers, conceiving of the centrality of power in either strategic-military or economic terms is largely unhelpful for thinking about countries located in the global South (Neumann 1998). Even worse, dicta such as “the strong do what they will while the weak do what they must”, spoken by Thucydides over 2,000 years ago, reinforce the idea that the periphery is irrelevant to the study of world politics. In this sense, Kenneth Waltz’s (1979: 72) claim that “it would be […] ridiculous to construct a theory of international politics based on Malaysia and Costa Rica” provides a fairly accurate picture of the state of the field, even today. Notwithstanding the considerable gap that exists between North and South in academic disciplines such as IR in terms of the intellectual division of labour, and of the power relations derived therein, relatively few efforts have been made to determine how knowledge travels between core and periphery, and how it is transformed in the process of being absorbed by local geocultural fil- ters. In this chapter, I briefly explore some distinct instances of IR knowledge production in Latin America and its exchange with the United...

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