Realism’s Timeless Wisdom and its Relevance for the Global South

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Since the numerous calls for developing a truly global and plural IR discipline, a growing spate of IR studies have sought to contextualize and critique the Euro-centeredness of the field. One of the most significant problems scholars have pointed out is the hegemonic status of Anglo-American IR theories, which seemingly assert an ontological preeminence and universality at the expense of local knowledge and homegrown theories. While the present article shares many of global IR’s concerns, it nevertheless proposes that in our quest to teach IR and develop homegrown theories, we should not lose sight of the importance of traditional contributions to the field. Our argument is based on a series of reflections about the relevance of realist scholarship for the developing world. Through an analysis of the major criticisms of classical IR theories, we seek to show that classical and, to a lesser extent, structural and neoclassical realism contain several and diverse arguments that speak directly to audiences in the global South. Classical realism, in particular, shares some interesting commonalities with postcolonial theory, which could pave the way for a more systematic engagement between the two approaches. Therefore, we argue that a global IR founded primarily on critiquing classical theories would be an impoverished IR, and “the thousand small steps” to a globalized discipline ought not neglect the valuable insights and reflections of traditional theory.

Idioma originalInglés
PublicaciónAll Azimuth
EstadoPublicada - 2024
Publicado de forma externa

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© (2023), (Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research). All Rights Reserved.


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