Power in a Postcolonial World: Race, Gender, and Class in International Relations

  • Citation: Chowdhry, Geeta, and Sheila Nair. "Introduction: Power in a postcolonial world: Race, gender, and class in international relations." Power, postcolonialism and international relations: Reading race, gender and class. Taylor and Francis, 2003. 1-32.
    • Topics:
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • inequality
    • justice
    • IR theory
    • global hierarchies
    • International Relations theory

This book comes out of our concerns with the relative neglect of questions concerning inequality and justice in the field of international relations (IR).l With the ascendance of a neo-liberal paradigm, one that shapes not only the field but also international and national politics and policy, we find an increasing dissimulation around questions concerning equity, poverty, and powerlessness. With the end of the cold war, global infatuation with neoliberal economics has intensified the peripheralization of the South along economic, political, social, and cultural lines. The facile notion that we have reached the “end of ideology” obscures the workings of power in a global capitalist political economy, and disguises its cultural and ideological underpinnings. It further elides the racialized, gendered, and class processes that underwrite global hierarchies. Conventional IR with its focus on great power politics and security, read narrowly, naturalizes these hierarchies and thus reproduces the status quo. The theoretical insights generated by postcolonial studies offer a different vantage point than conventional IR from which to explore these concerns in international relations.

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