approach which addresses accounts of narrative identity does much
to capture the social, cultural and ontological assumptions which inform our
interpretation of war.
This chapter stems from the recent contributions to theoretical debate by
focusing on a turn in IR which is concerned with meaning, and which is
tied into the real world relations of global politics through narratives.1 The
chapter begins by acknowledging the role of radical phenomenology as one
root of interpretivism – which in turn has influenced narrative. The following sections address the theme of
Alternative approaches to violence in International Relations
that phenomenology does not allow us to engage
with ‘real’ experiences such as suffering, and on this, from the ‘other side’ of
the argument, there is some convergence of sorts with more recent writing by
some writers in the Anglo-Saxon tradition14 who have criticised empiricism
without abandoning some kind of engagement with practical experienced
realities (what Husserl calls, the ‘life-world’).
Some recent theoretical contributions have engaged with hermeneutics
in a rewarding manner.15 This work has provided a useful array of theoretical interventions based upon
and knowledge. These replaced the triadic theism of Christianity, but they did not disrupt
the universal absolutes that theism entailed. Thus, the legacy of the Enlightenment
remains an insular, unassailable species of theology, with science standing in for God.
William Connelly notes that: ‘Contemporary social theory contains within it a set
of secular reassurances that compensate for those lost through the death of God . . .
(p. 16) [T]his phenomenology presupposes a relatively stable and serene context of selfidentity, social practice, state and
Smith, Daniel Rodriguez, and J. Marcos Garcillazo.
Bauböck, R. (2015) ‘The three levels of citizenship in the European Union’, Phenomenology and Mind , 8, 66–76.
Bauder, H. (2014) ‘Domicile citizenship, human mobility and territoriality’, Progress in Human Geography , 38:1, 91–106.
Beckwith, K. (2007) ‘Mapping strategic engagements: women's movements and the state’, International Feminist Journal of Politics , 9:3, 312–338, DOI
Phenomenology of Spirit ( 1977 ) prepares the student to grapple with
his system of Logic ( 1975 ) by positing
that the dialectic between consciousness and self-consciousness is a
necessary existential as well as philosophical pursuit. Does it
prepare the student to recognize the Abyssinian general?
Over a number of different sections of The
Phenomenology , Hegel replays the
recognition by calling attention to
the nature of self-consciousness. His great innovation is to show that
consciousness is always consciousness of something other than itself –
both inanimate objects and animate others. Hegel's phenomenology of
consciousness was popularized when it deeply informed the thinking of
leading French scholars such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty,
Jacques Lacan, Emmanuel
's most infamous passage on
recognition – that which gets all of the attention, that which
brings Johann Fichte's concept of recognition into the light,
radicalizes it, transforms it – is presented in the second section
of The Phenomenology of Spirit ( 2000 ).
There are many different and varied interpretations of this section,
some perhaps more convincing than others. What I
World: The third term of recognition
Hegel gestures towards the
possible political significance of evil as world annihilation but
does not fully conceptualize this dynamic, and the more recent
variants of recognition theory inspired by Hegel seem to offer
little help in this regard. This underdeveloped but tantalizing
aspect of his phenomenology of ‘voiding’ a shared world of
, to a large extent, on whether language is seen as a
transparent conveyor of meaning or not. If language is seen as a neutral
conveyor of meaning (as is mostly the case in phenomenology and symbolic
interactionism), this naturally leads to little interest in the systematic
study of linguistic practices and the language in texts.
Social constructivist approaches drawing
), p. 26; David Campbell, Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), p. 92.
Neumann, ‘Self and Other in international relations’, p. 147; Nancy M. Wingfield (ed.), Creating the Other: Ethnic Conflict and Nationalism in Habsburg Central Europe (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004); Philip J. Kain, Hegel and the Other: A Study of the Phenomenology