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Critical theories, international relations and the anti-globalisation movement : the politics of global resistance

Eschle, Catherine and Maiguashca, Bice, eds. (2005) Critical theories, international relations and the anti-globalisation movement : the politics of global resistance. Routledge. ISBN 9780415343916

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Abstract

This book explores the interface between social movement resistances to neoliberal globalisation and a range of critical theories in the discipline of International Relations (IR). Since the late 1980s, mainstream theories in IR have come under sustained attack from a range of critical perspectives. Indeed, many commentators see the rise of these perspectives as challenging the very constitution of the discipline (see e.g. Hoffman 1987; Lapid 1989; Linklater 1992; George 1994; Smith et al. 1998; for a more sceptical view see Navon 2001). Critical theorists share the notion that, in Robert Cox's famous phrase, '[t]heory is always for someone and for some purpose' (Cox 1986:207): that is, the act of theorising is always political. Given this, critical theorists interrogate the relation between power and knowledge production; they expose and denaturalise power hierarchies and relations of domination more generally; and they seek out immanent possibilities for disruption, resistance and transformative change. In this context, all acknowledge the importance of exploring social struggles and resistances, whether conceptualised as social movements or not, as crucial sites of world politics.