Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT)

‘Decolonising IR Theory’ Workshop

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017, 1.00 - 3.00pm

This workshop is intended as an opportunity to discuss how some of the key themes emerging from the School of Global Studies’ ‘Decolonising Sussex’ Agenda can be pursued in IR Theory. It forms part of a wider one-day programme organized by CAIT on ‘Decolonising IR Theory’. This includes the 2017 Sussex IR Theory Prize Lecture delivered by Professor Robert Vitalis (Pennsylvania University) entitled ‘A Mongrel-American Social Science: International Relations’ (22 March, 5.00 – 7.00 pm, Fulton Lecture Theatre B). Professor Vitalis received the 2016 Sussex IR Theory prize for his book White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations (Ithaca: Cornell University Press 2015)

The workshop will be structured around three thematic sessions:

1)    Anglo-American IR as a Science of Colonial Management (Robert Vitalis)

  • The colony as the object of early Anglo-American IR Theory
  • How to write counter-histories of IR Theory?
  • Limits of the Decolonisation Agenda?

2)    Critical Pedagogy and the Decolonisation of the IR Curriculum (Akanksha Mehta)

  • Why and how do we teach IR? 
  • What would critical pedagogy bring to IR?
  • What makes a decolonial classroom and curriculum?

3)    Decolonising Security Studies (Nadya Ali)

  • Who is Security Studies for?
  • What is the purpose of Security Studies?
  • Is race the unacknowledged referent object of Security Studies? 

Each of these thematic sessions will involve one short (10 min) presentation followed by discussion. Presenters have been asked to speak to one or more of the above questions:

The workshop is open to faculty, doctoral and Masters students, as well as undergraduate students, and will be chaired by Benno Teschke. Tea and coffee will be provided.

In preparation for the session, participants should have read Part I of Robert Vitalis’ White World Order: Black Power Politics, and the Introduction plus chapter 1 of Bell Hooks, 'Teaching To Trangress'.