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’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 forthcoming monograph 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 a recent article, ‘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. The article, among other things, argues 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'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). She has recently begun work on a new project entitled Global Civil War: Order, Violence and Enmity in the Post-Westphalian Era, which analyses the global liberal order emerging in the ‘post-Westphalian era' through the international writings of Carl Schmitt and his interlocutors, such as Giorgio Agamben, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Jean-Luc Nancy and Michel Foucault.
Patricia Owens’ work sits at the intersection of political and international theory and the history and theory of warfare. She has written on the main theories of international politics, including classical realism, liberalism, critical theory, cosmopolitanism, neo-conservatism, and post-structuralism, and on thinkers such as Arendt, Habermas, Strauss, Schmitt and Agamben, usually in relation to some aspect of war. Her first monograph was a study of war in the thought of Hannah Arendt, including engagement between Arendt’s political theory and each of the main theories in IR. Owens’ current project is a study of the relatively recent invention of the ‘social realm’ as a concrete historical entity, category of political and international thought, and object of military and political strategy. Rather than a timeless and universally applicable concept, Owens argues that the definition and meaning of the social is best understood in the historical context of late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century imperial Europe, specifically the exigencies of capital accumulation, demands for the regulated behaviour of populations, and inter-state and imperial antagonism. Taking seriously the historical rise, transformation, and expansion of distinctly 'social' forms of governance has important consequences for how we think about the main theories of politics and international relations.
Benno Teschke’s research programme comprises aspects in 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 social history of geopolitics and the critical geography of power. 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 Europeand beyond from the Carolingian Empire onwards. This multi-disciplinary research focus is accompanied by an engagement with the classical and contemporary canon in social and political theory – from Karl Marx to Carl Schmitt – and in historiography and the theory of history – from Leopold von Ranke to Otto Hintze. Teschke is the author of the award-winning 'Myth of 1648: Class, Geopolitics, and the Making of Modern International Relations' (translated into German, Japanese, and Russian) and has, more recently, published a series of articles on Carl Schmitt's thought in the 'New Left Review' and in 'International Theory'. He is currently a Research Fellow at the ERC-funded Research Project 'Europe, 1815-1914' at theUniversity of Helsinki, directed by Bo Strath and Martti Koskenniemi.