Post-Critical IR?

Has critique in IR has failed?

Its endeavours have changed little across the world, to be sure. More than this, critique in IR has been co-opted. Today, critical approaches to studying world politics are most effectively employed by military organizations, populist (even fascist) political movements, and corporations. ‘Emancipation’ now seems unimaginable. Indeed, critical approaches to IR have themselves become normalized, coagulating into a Lakatosian normal science, sheered of their originary radicalism.

Put simply, critique in IR is at an impasse, an impasse that Post-Critical IR? addresses. It does so by introducing IR to post-critical social theory. Post-critique pursues the development of a constructive, rather than deconstructive, form of critique: an applied critique connecting critical theorizing to praxis. Based on insights from philosophy, social theory, sociology, and anthropology, the Post-Critical IR laid out in this collective writing project provides A) a sustained critique of critique and its internal pathologies, B) a systematic ‘revision’ of key theoretical lineages within the field, and C) a cogent discussion of already existing and future strategies of direct critical engagement with praxis, policy-relevance, and/or activism.

Taken as a whole, the contributions explore what is vital to the survival of critical approaches to the social sciences under contemporary conditions.



Post-Critical IR is a research project based led by Jonathan Luke Austin and based at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Funding for the project is provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation and its events are being co-organized with the University of Copenhagen and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.