Current international relations (IR) theories and approaches, which are almost exclusively built in the West, are alien to the non-Western contexts that engender the most hard-pressing problems of the world and ultimately unhelpful in understanding or addressing the needs surrounding these issues. Our supposedly revolutionary new concepts and approaches remain largely insufficient in explaining what happens globally and in offering lessons for improvement.
This deficiency can only be addressed by building more relevant theories. For theory to be relevant in accounting for contemporary international relations, we argue, it should not only apply to, but also emanate from different corners of the current political universe. In other words, diversity and dialogue can only come about when periphery scholars do not just "meta-theorize" but also "theorize." Aydinli and Biltekin propose a new form of theorizing through this collection of work, one that effectively blends peripheral outlooks with theory production. They call this form "homegrown theorizing," or original theorizing in the periphery about the periphery. Arguing that disciplinary culture is oblivious to the diversity that might be achieved by theorizing based on indigenous ideas and/or practices, this book intends to highlight that potential, showing diversity in the background of the authors, because wherever one looks at the world from, paints the picture that is being seen. Therefore, we bring together scholars from Eastern Europe to South Africa, from Iran to Japan to cover the extant diversity in ideas.
This work will be essential reading for all students and scholars concerned with the future of international relations theory.
Ersel Aydinli, Bilkent University, Ankara.
Gonca Biltekin, Binghamton University, USA.
1 Introduction: Widening the World of IR - Ersel Aydinli and Gonca Biltekin
PART I: Homegrown Theorizing in Perspective
2 A Typology of Homegrown Theorizing - Ersel Aydinli and Gonca Biltekin
3 Would 100 Global Workshops on Theory Building Make A Difference? - Knud Erik Jørgensen
4 Homegrown Theorizing: Knowledge, Scholars, Theory - Deniz Kuru
PART II: Theorizing at "Home"
5 Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges - Homeira Moshirzadeh
6 Chinese Concepts and Relational International Politics - Emilian Kavalski
7 The Genealogy of Culturalist International Relations in Japan and Its Implications for Post-Western Discourse - Kosuke Shimizu
8 Reshaping International Relations: Theoretical Innovations from Africa - Karen Smith
PART III: Innovative Encounters
9 Unpacking the Post-Soviet: Political Legacy of the Tartu Semiotic School - Andrey Makarychev and Alexandra Yatsyk
10 Transcending Hegemonic International Relations Theorization: Nothingness, Re-Worlding, and Balance of Relationship - Chih-yu Shih
11 Conceptual Cultivation and Homegrown Theorizing: The Case of/for the Concept of Influence - Eyüp Ersoy
12 Conclusion: Towards a Global Discipline - Ersel Aydinli and Gonca Biltekin