Introduction - Dialectics and World Politics
Dialectics has remained an underutilised analytical tool in international relations (IR) and across the political and social sciences more generally. This Special Issue of the journal Globalizations—Dialectics and World Politics—provides a necessary redress to this signiﬁcant gap, offering scholars a useful resource for deploying dialectics in their own research and showcasing how dialectics can be an effective approach for understanding and transforming world politics. While there has been a widespread suspicion held against dialectics, its reception has been particularly cold in American IR scholarship, given its association with Marxism. This hostility has been a great hindrance to its acceptance, given that the orthodoxy of the discipline gravitates around this centre. Exaggerated by Cold War hostilities, such ideological mystiﬁcation should, however, no longer cloud the beneﬁts that can ﬂow from dialectical thinking. The aim of this volume is nothing less than to reinvigorate dialectics in the so-called intersubjective turn in IR theory, a period that should make the discipline, now, more than ever, potentially receptive to this dynamic approach. For given the fundamentally interactive character of world politics, dialectics—with its focus on contradictions, relations, and change—seems especially well suited to IR’s subject matter and its dynamic approach a spur for looking at our subject in a different and transformative manner. Dialectics offers a unique approach to world politics by focusing on: particular phenomena within the totality of social relations, the contextual analysis of the interconnectedness between such phenomena, and the immanent tendencies for social transformation that this engenders. This rehabilitation of dialectics is an important task that may yield impressive results in the study of IR, particularly regarding our ability to understand the processes of social change that are considered by dialectical analysis as something reliant on human agency rather than self-perpetuating systemic forces and which understands change as ontologically open-ended or ‘possibilistic’, rather than determined or teleological.
Dialectics in World Politics
Comparative Government and Politics