Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT)

People

Director

Benno Teschke, Reader in International Relations

B.G.Teschke@sussex.ac.uk

Benno Teschke’s research comprises IR Theory, International Historical Sociology, Marxism and Critical Theory, and the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. His central preoccupation concerns the reformulation of critical social theory and, in particular, Political Marxism, to capture the international relations and political geographies of historical capitalism. His explorations into epistemology have led him towards historicism and the philosophy of praxis as premises for the substantive reconstruction of the geopolitical history of Europe and beyond from the Middle Ages onwards. Teschke also engages with the classical and contemporary canon in social and political theory – from Karl Marx to Carl Schmitt – and issues in historiography and the theory of history. Amongst his publications are the award-winning Myth of  1648: Class, Geopolitics, and the Making of Modern International Relations (translated into German, Japanese, Russian, and Turkish) and a series of articles on Carl Schmitt's thought in the New Left Review, International Theory, and The Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt

Management Committee

Beate Jahn, Professor of International Relations

B.Jahn@sussex.ac.uk

Beate Jahn is interested in the role of liberalism in world affairs. Her publications fall into three related areas. First, she analyzes the foreign policies of liberal states – modernization policies, democracy promotion, (humanitarian) intervention – as well as the role of liberalism in the constitution of the current world order. The paradoxical outcome of these policies and their internal contradictions, Jahn argues, have their roots in the international – specifically imperialist – origins of liberalism. Yet, by ignoring or downplaying the constitutive role of imperialism, liberalism turns into an ideology. The second pillar of Jahn’s work thus explores the role of ideology in the constitution of the discipline of International Relations itself and the workings of liberal ideology in a variety of theoretical approaches within the discipline. This work has led to a third pillar of research exploring the nature of ideology as such and appropriate methods for its analysis. Here, Jahn systematically uses the work of classical authors such as Vitoria, Locke, Pufendorf, Vattel, Burke, Paine, Tocqueville, Kant as interlocutors whose alternative temporal, spatial, and disciplinary standpoint serves to highlight the limitations inherent in contemporary ideologies. Jahn is currently working on a comprehensive study of liberal internationalism.

Kamran Matin, Senior Lecturer in International Relations

K.Matin@sussex.ac.uk

Kamran Matin’s research explores intellectual potentials of cross-fertilization between international theory and historical sociology. He has written on the constitutive impact of Iran’s international relations on the formation of Safavi and Qajar states, and on the political thought of Ali Shariati and Ayatollah Khomeini. Matin’s first book, ‘Recasting Iranian Modernity: International Relations and Social Change’, retheorises the historical ambivalence of Iran’s experience of modernity and revolution through a critical deployment of the idea of ‘uneven and combined development’ that redresses the ontological elision of international relations marking Marxist and Weberian approaches. In ‘Redeeming the Universal: Postcolonialism and the Inner Life of Eurocentrism’ (EJIR) Matin problematizes postcolonial critiques of eurocentrism through an interrogation of their rejection of the category of the universal, which, following poststructuralism, they equate with intersocietal homogeneity. Through a comparative study of Hegel and Trotsky, Matin shows that homogeneity is not generic to the category but the result of its internalist mode of construction. Overall, Matin’s research programme advances the argument that overcoming eurocentrism requires the formulation of a non-ethnocentric international social theory central to which is the ontological incorporation of the international, the interactive co-existence of all historical forms of social coherence into mutually recognised integrities.

Louiza Odysseos, Senior Lecturer in International Relations

L.Odysseos@sussex.ac.uk

Louiza Odysseos's research interests lie at the juncture of international theory and continental philosophy with special emphasis on ethics, critical theory and post-structuralist thought. 

Her book, the first book-length treatment of the work of Martin Heidegger in IR, The Subject of Coexistence: Otherness in International Relations (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) pioneered a philosophical critique of the subjectivist ontology of International Relations, interrogating the much neglected question of coexistence. Following this she organised, with Fabio Petito, a project highlighting the international political thought of Carl Schmitt, leading to special issue on the interconnections between the international law and international theory of Carl Schmitt in the Leiden Journal of International Law and also to an edited volume on The International Political Thought of Carl Schmitt: Terror, Liberal War and the Crisis of Global Order (Routledge, 2007). Louiza's particular interest in Schmitt concerned the theorisation of the global liberal order emerging in the so-called ‘post-Westphalian era'. Her research theorised the global liberal order as a 'global civil war', pursued as a series of engagements through the international writings of Carl Schmitt and his interlocutors, such as Giorgio Agamben, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, and Jean-Luc Nancy. 

Louiza's current project examines human rights in the global liberal order and, in particular, how rights might be theorised as a political technology of government. Recent writings have examined human rights and their subjectivising effects in world politics and how the incitation of rights-holding subjectivities channels our political dissenting conduct into particular paths of action. She has recently co-organised two workshops on The Human Rights of Power/The Power of Human Rightsand Counter-Conduct in Global Politics. This research project will lead to a research monograph provisionally entitled The Reign of Rights. For a fuller description of her projects and publications see https://sussex.academia.edu/LouizaOdysseos

Akanksha Mehta, Lecturer in International Relations

Akanksha Mehta is interested in feminist and gender theory, queer theory, critical race theory, and postcolonial thought. In particular, her work focusses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and political violence in South Asia and the Middle East. As a photographer and artist, she is also interested in the relationship between visuals and images and writing/researching/teaching the international. 

Her current book project (based on her PhD research) has the working title, Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Israeli Zionist Settler Women in Palestine. It uses ethnography and narrative to elaborate on the everyday mobilisations and politics of right-wing women in India and Palestine/Israel arguing for the need to re-think feminist theorizations on agency, space, and violence. By examining the politics of pedagogy, 'charity', friendship, leisure, and intimacy, and violence, the research project highlights the gendered and complex everyday perpetuations of cultural nationalism and settler colonialism. Drawing on the legacy of feminist and queer scholars of the international (many of whom have been excluded from the disciplinary boundaries of IR), the project 'plays' with form and style, incorporating images and visuals, film, textual ethnographic narratives, and auto-ethnography to interrogate global flows, exchanges, and connections in right-wing women's politics. Akanksha is also interested in the thought and praxis of decolonial and critical intersectional pedagogies in international relations and gender and sexuality studies.