Skip to main content
×
Home

White Man’s IR: An Intellectual Confession

Abstract

Drawing largely on my own career in academia, I elaborate on the need for greater gender, racial and other forms of diversity in International Relations. Although theories are thought to be “objective,” what goes into those theories and, in turn, their explanatory power is ultimately shaped by subjective, lived experiences. Different individuals with different life stories will develop different intuitions about how the world “works,” and thus will write different theories to capture those intuitions and, in turn, larger patterns of politics. I explain here how my life experience as a privileged white male has shaped the intellectual contours of my work on international hierarchy. Building from this foundation, I then explore how professional practices elevate as gatekeepers individuals with generally similar life experiences and, thus, intuitions about what constitutes “good” work in the field, which in turn reinforces those professional practices and priorities. The final section focuses on problems of eroding the disciplinary hierarchy and broadening the pipeline into the profession.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Acharya Amitav. 2007. “International Relations Theory and Western Dominance: Reassessing the Foundations of Interantional Order.” Presented at Seminar Series, Centre for International Studies, Febuary 22, Oxford University.
Adamson Fiona B. 2016. “Spaces of Global Security: Beyond Methodological Nationalism.” Journal of Global Security Studies 1(1): 1935.
Akhtar Parveen, Fawcett Paul, Legrand Tim, Marsh David, and Taylor Chloe. 2005. “Women in the Political Science Profession.” European Political Science 4: 242–55.
American Political Science Association. (APSA). 2004. “Women’s Advancement in Political Science: A Report of the APSA Workshop on the Advancement of Women in Academic Political Science in the United States.” Washington, DC: American Political Science Association.
Axelrod Robert. 1984. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.
Axworthy Lloyd. 2001. “Human Security and Global Governance: Putting People First.” Global Governance 7: 1923.
Ayoob Mohammed. 2002. “Inequality and Theorizing in International Relations: The Case for Subaltern Realism.” International Studies Review 4(3): 2748.
Brandes Lisa, Buker Eloise, Burgess Constance Cook, Flammang Janet, Geiger Shirley, Okin Susan, Yoon Bang-Soon, and Ackelsberg Martha. 2001. “The Status of Women in Political Science: Female Participation in the Professoriate and the Study of Women and Politics in the Discipline.” PSOnline http://www.apsanet.org/portals/54/Files/Status%20of%20Women/200106WmnReport.pdf
Brems Christiane, Baldwin Michael R., Davis Lisa, and Namyniuk Lorraine. 1994. “The Imposter Syndrome as Related to Teaching Evaluations and Advising Relationships of University Faculty Mentors.” Journal of Higher Education 65(2): 183–93.
Breslin Shaun and Christou George. 2015. “Has the Human Security Agenda Come of Age? Definitions, Discourses and Debates.” Contemporary Politics 21(1): 110.
Clance Pauline R. and Imes Suzanne A.. 1978. “The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therpetic Intervention.” Psycholotherapy: Theory, Reserach & Practice 15(3): 241–7.
Cohen Dara Kay. 2016. Rape During Civil War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Colgan Jeff. Forthcoming. “Gender Bias in IR Graduate Education? New Evidence from Syllabi.” PS: Political Science and Politics.
Cooley Alexander. 2005. Logics of Hierarchy: The Organization of Empires, States, and Military Occupations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Curley Melissa. 2012. “Human Security’s Future in Regional Cooperation and Governance?” Australian Journal of International Affairs 66(5): 527–41.
Donnelly Jack. 2006. “Sovereign Inequalities and Hierarchy in Anarchy: American Power and International Society.” European Journal of International Relations 12(2): 139–70.
Dunne Tim. 2003. “Society and Hierarchy in International Relations.” International Relations 17(3): 303–20.
Easton David. 1953. The Political System: An Inquiry into the State of Political Science. New York: Knopf.
Enloe Cynthia. 1990. Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Enloe Cynthia. 2000. Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Enloe Cynthia. 2004. The Curious Feminist: Search for Women in a New Age of Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Foucault Michael. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Sheridan A.. New York: Vintage Books.
Frieden Jeffry A., David A. Lake, and Schultz Kenneth A.. 2016. World Politics: Interests, Interactions, Institutions. 3d ed. New York: W. W. Norton.
Greenhill Kelly. 2011. Weapons of Mass Migration: Force Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Grieco Joseph M., John Ikenberry G., and Mastanduno Michael. 2015. Introduction to International Relations: Enduring Questions and Contemporary Perspectives. New York: Palgrave.
Griffin Penny. 2007. “Refashioning IPE: What and How Gender Analysis Teaches International (Global) Political Economy.” Review of International Political Economy 14(4): 719–36.
Hancock Kathleen J. 2009. Regional Integration: Choosing Plutocracy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hobson John M. and Sharman J. C.. 2005. “The Enduring Place of Hierarchy in World Politics: Tracing the Social Logic of Hierarchy and Political Change.” European Journal of International Relations 11(1): 6398.
Homolar Alexandra. 2015. “Human Security Benchmarks: Governing Human Wellbeing at a Distance.” Review of International Studies 41(5): 843–63.
Jost John T., Rudman Laurie A., Blair Irene V., Carney Dana R., Dasgupta Nilanjana, Glaser Jack, and Hardin Curtis D.. 2009. “The Existence of Implicit Bias Is Beyond Reasonable Doubt: A Refutation of Ideological and Methodological Objections and Executive Summary of Ten Studies that No Manager Should Ignore.” Research in Organizational Behavior 29: 3969.
Kang David C. 2003/04. “Hierarchy, Balancing, and Empirical Puzzles in Asian International Relations.” International Security 28(3): 165–80.
Keene Edward. 2007. “A Case Study of the Construction of International Hierarchy: British Treaty-Making Against the Slave Trade in the Early Nineteenth Century.” International Organizaiton 61(2): 311–39.
Keohane Robert O. 1984. After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kuhn Thomas S. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2d, enlarged ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Lake Brenden M., Ullman Tomer D., Tenenbaum Joshua B., and Gershman Samuel J.. 2016. “Building Machines That Learn and Think Like People.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1604.00289.
Lake David A. 1988. Power, Protection, and Free Trade: The International Sources of American Commercial Strategy, 1887–1939. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Lake David A. 1993. “Leadership, Hegemony, and the International Economy: Naked Emperor or Tattered Monarch with Potential?” International Studies Quarterly 37(4): 459–89.
Lake David A. 1999. Entangling Relations: American Foreign Policy in its Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lake David A. 2009a. Hierarchy in International Relations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Lake David A. 2009b. “Hobbesian Hierarchy: The Political Economy of Political Organization.” Annual Review of Political Science 12: 263–83.
Lake David A. 2011. “Why ’Isms’ Are Evil: Theory, Epistemology, and Academic Sects as Impediments to Understanding and Progress.” International Studies Quarterly 55(2): 465–80.
Lake David A. 2014. “Crises of Authority: Domestic Structures and the Chaning American Imperium.” In Power in a Complex Global System, ed. Pauly L. W. and Jentleson B.. New York: Routledge.
MacNell Lillian, Driscoll Adam, and Hunt Andrea N.. 2015. “What’s In a Name: Exposing Gender Bias in Student Ratings of Teaching.” Innovative Higher Education 40(4): 291303.
Maliniak Daniel, Powers Ryan, and Walter Barbara F.. 2013. “The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations.” International Oganizaiton 67(4): 889922.
McCormack Tara. 2008. “Power and Agency in the Human Security Framework.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 21(1): 113–28.
McCormack Tara. 2011. “Human Security and the Separation of Security and Development.” Conflict, Security and Development 11(2): 253–60.
Moss-Racusin Corrine A., Dovidio John F., Brescoll Victoria L., Graham Mark J., and Handelsman Jo. 2012. “Science Faculty’s Subtle Gender Biases Favor Male Studies.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(41): 16474–9.
Nau Henry R. 2009. Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, Ideas. 2d ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Oye Kenneth A., ed. 1985. Cooperation under Anarchy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Page Scott E. 2007. The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Soceities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Paris Roland. 2001. “Human Security: Paradigm Shift or Hot Air?” International Security 26(2): 87102.
Peterson V. Spike. 2003. A Critical Rewriting of Global Political Economy: Integrating Reproductive, Productive, and Virtual Economics. New York: Routledge.
Phillips Katherine W. 2014. “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter.” Scientific American, October 1.
Preston Michael B. and Woodard Maurice. 1984. “The Rise and Decline of Black Political Scientists in the Profession.” PS: Political Science and Politics 17(4): 787–92.
Reus-Smit Christian. 2005. “Liberal ierarchy and the Licence to Use Force.” Review of International Studies 31(SupplementS1): 7192.
Rich Wilbur. 2007. African American Perspectives on Political Science. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Robinson Fiona. 1997. “Feminist IR/IPE Theory: Fulfilling Its Radical Potential?” Review of International Political Economy 4(4): 773–81.
Robinson Fiona. 2008. “The Importance of Care in the Theory and Practice of Human Security.” Journal of International Political Theory 4(2): 167–88.
Schelling Thomas C. 1969. “Models of Segregation.” American Economic Review 59(2): 488–93.
Sjoberg Laura. 2013. Gendering Global Conflict: Towards a Feminist Theory of War. New York: Columbia University Press.
Sjoberg Laura. Forthcoming. “Revealing International Hierarchy through Gender Lenses.” In Hierarchies in World Politics, ed. By Zarakol Ayse. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Steinpreis Rhea E., Katie A. Anders, and Ritzke Dawn. 1999. “The Impact of Gender on the Review of the Curricula Vitae of Job Applicants and Tenure Candidates: A National Empirical Study.” Sex Roles 41(7): 509–28.
Tickner J. Ann. 1992. Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security. New York: Columbia University Press.
Vattel Emer de. 2008 (1758). The Law of Nations. Edited and with an Introduction by Bela Kapossy and Richard Whatmore. University Park, IL: The Liberty Fund.
Vitalis Robert. 2000. “The Graceful and Generous Liberal Gesture: Making Racism Invisible in American International Relations.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29(2): 331–56.
Vitalis Robert. 2015. White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Weber Katja. 2000. Hierarchy Amidst Anarchy: Transaction Costs and Institutional Choice. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Wendt Alexander and Friedheim Daniel. 1995. “Hierarchy under Anarchy: Informal Empire and the East German State.” International Organization 49(4): 689721.
Zarakol Ayse and Mattern Janice Bially. 2016. “Theorising Hierarchies in World Politics.” International Organization 70(3): 623654.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 67
Total number of PDF views: 598 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 2926 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 28th December 2016 - 20th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.