Unveiling the 'international: ' Process, identity and alterity

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    Abstract

    Process-based approaches avoid ontological consideration of social entities as substances, avoid epistemological reification of social entities or phenomena into static units and, on the contrary, integrate the idea of change into their whole conceptualisation of the social world. Finally, process-based approaches also aim to endogenise social phenomena theoretically in order to have a better understanding of their complexity. In sum, the key ideas of process-based approaches basically lie in the prioritisation of process over substance, relation over separateness, and activity over passivity. Starting from this position, the aim of this article is to offer a more concrete approach to a specific dimension of the 'international' by focusing on the identity-alterity nexus. It will be shown how the spatial understanding of the 'international' still characteristic of most contemporary IR theories is at odds with issues about the identity-alterity nexus that is partly constitutive of the 'international', which rather than being thought of as a spatial dimension should be thought of as a process in itself. The French 'veil affair' will be presented as an example to highlight the limits of our current spatial perspective about the 'international'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)741-758
    Number of pages18
    JournalMillennium-Journal of international studies
    Volume35
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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