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National Identities and International Relations

$110.00 (C)

  • Date Published: October 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107166301

$ 110.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Identity is the master variable for many constructivist scholars of international politics. In this comparative study, Richard Ned Lebow shows that states do not have identities any more than people do. Leaders, peoples, and foreign actors seek to impose national identifications consistent with their political projects and psychological needs. These identifications are multiple, fluid and rise in importance as a function of priming and context. Leaders are at least as likely to invoke national identifications as rationalizations for policies pursued for other reasons as they are to be influenced by them. National identifications are nevertheless important because they invariably stress the alleged uniqueness of a people and its country, and are a principal means of seeking status and building self-esteem. Lebow tracks the relative appeal of these principles, the ways in which they are constructed, how they influence national identifications, and how they in turn affect regional and international practices.

    • Shows the relationship between principles of justice, national identifications, and international practices
    • Explores the interactions between identifications and foreign policy
    • Introduces and explains the use of the concept of 'identifications' as a substitute for identity
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'With characteristic analytical sweep and rich theoretical synthesis, Richard Ned Lebow throws down a friendly gauntlet to fellow constructivists. State identity is not a driver of foreign policy, avers Lebow, for it is plural and ever-changing, it is the focus of constant domestic political contest, and it is more product than cause. In this wide-ranging and challenging text, Lebow suggests not only that change in international affairs is more common than we usually think, but that its chief engine is the ongoing domestic battle over identity and values. This is an important and provocative book.' Ronald R. Krebs, University of Minnesota

    'In this important book, Richard Ned Lebow obliterates misleading assumptions IR scholars have long held about the concept of (national) identity and how it plays out in international relations. He is not the first to do this, but few can match the impressive theoretical and empirical scope Lebow brings to the table. Building on his previous work, and in his distinct style, Lebow masterfully explores the multiple sources of national identifications, the tensions between them, and their complex relationship to behavior. The result is a deeply learned treasure trove of insights, and a rich reminder that understanding conflict and co-operation requires attention to how political actors navigate, negotiate, construct and change their ‘identities’ in international society.' Felix Berensköetter, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107166301
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Ontological insecurity
    3. National vs individual identifications
    4. Roles
    5. Affiliations, bodies, biographies
    6. Agency
    7. Challenges for constructivism

  • Author

    Richard Ned Lebow, Dartmouth College
    Richard Ned Lebow is author, co-author or editor of thirty-four books - six with Cambridge University Press - and has written perhaps 250 peer-reviewed articles. His research is multidisciplinary and bridges international relations, psychology, history, classics, philosophy, and philosophy of science. He has recently completed fifty years of university teaching at institutions in North America and Europe. He has held positions, or visiting appointments, in political science, public policy, international relations, psychology and classics departments. He has served as president of the International Society of Political Psychology, has won five book awards, and has received honorary degrees.

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