Chapter 4 charts the conduct of US–UK relations following the return to office of Harold Wilson in March 1974. Wilson sought to re-establish closer US–UK relations and hoped it would engender a level of influence on US policy and that, in turn, it would allow the British to play a more decisive and influential world role. Wilson, however, was ultimately unsuccessful because his continual defence cutbacks to the UK military weakened the utility of Britain as an ally for the US, and the Cyprus crisis of 1974 demonstrated that British policy-makers had limited influence over US policy. Wilson’s defence cuts would be a constant irritant to Washington and again the intelligence and nuclear relationship between the two countries was utilised as a diplomatic tool by Washington to convince Wilson to limit the scope of his defence cuts. Ultimately, such efforts proved rather ineffectual. Yet, this chapter balances such judgments by demonstrating that political cooperation between the two sides remained remarkably close. Wilson continued to support the main currents of US international policy, and, even though threats were made about its cancellation, the nuclear and intelligence partnership continued.
Chapter 3 shows how the Nixon–Heath relationship deteriorated to such an extent that both Nixon and Kissinger would declare that the special relationship was over. Indeed, both intelligence and nuclear collaboration between the two sides were suspended on a number of occasions at Washington’s behest. This chapter highlights that US–UK relations had assumed a virtually antagonistic agenda because of differences surrounding what Henry Kissinger termed the ‘Year of Europe’. It is also in this chapter that the Nixon-Kissinger notion of coercive diplomacy, as usually associated with their diplomacy towards the USSR, Red China and North Vietnam, was also applied to their handling of the US-UK relationship. Therefore, in order to encourage Edward Heath to take a more positive attitude towards the ‘Year of Europe’; to persuade him to support the US’s Middle East diplomacy, and to convince the prime minister to side with the United States at the Washington Energy Conference, the United States, largely under the direction of Henry Kissinger, suspended nuclear and intelligence cooperation with their British ally and made a number of threats regarding future security commitments to Europe and to the world economic system. As shown, this had the desired effect upon London and resulted in Heath changing policy course.
Simone de Beauvoir and a Global Theory of Feminist Recognition
This chapter critically assesses the ability of Nancy Fraser’s status model of recognition to foster an international, or ‘cosmopolitan’, feminist theory of recognition. Fraser’s tripartite account of recognition, redistribution and political representation supports women’s empowerment as cosmopolitan agents of their own needs, rights and choices world-wide. However, Fraser’s objectivist understanding of misrecognition as status subordination fails to acknowledge the importance of lived experience of social suffering and injustice. The chapter therefore turns to Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘ethic of ambiguity’ to counter these problems and to reformulate our understanding of recognition. This approach emphasizes the tension between the human freedom to choose and the body, materiality and circumstances that perpetually constrain this freedom. Arguing that Beauvoir’s account of lived, embodied social suffering comprises two distinct ‘moments’ of gender misrecognition, namely the ‘suppressed potentiality’ and ‘resistance within commonality’ moments, the chapter argues that her philosophy sheds more light than is commonly thought on the way in which diverse women experience globalization today. The chapter concludes that Beauvoir’s emphasis on ambiguity points to cosmopolitan hope that consciousness of our essential ambiguity as human beings will form the basis for solidarity with those who exist beyond liberal rights or struggles for cultural recognition.
This chapter traces the radical non-recognition of persons by the powerful. What, it asks, if there is absolutely no chance of being recognized as a person by those who wield the power of law over you? I address this question by making us face a Black plantation worker in British Guyana who, during the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935, identifies himself as an Abyssinian General. How can this General by recognized by the colonial authorities? Facing the Haitian Revolution, wherein Africans authored and executed their own liberation, Hegel can provide no answer to such a question. For European enlightenment thought did not engage with enslaved Africans except as ‘slaves’, humans in biology only, tragically devoid of reason and agency, especially what Hegel would call ‘world-historical’ agency. Working through Frantz Fanon’s critique of the excisions and exclusions in Hegel’s dialectic of recognition, I turn to African-American ethnographer Zora Neale Hurston and Jamaican author Erna Brodber in order to elaborate some of the practices of self-meaning and self-valuation undertaken by descendants of enslaved Africans who have been denied recognition. Returning, by way of these authors, to the Abyssinian General, I pose the question: with what creative matter would it be possible to cultivate a new humanism – not the thin particular of European philosophy that masquerades as a universal, but a thick decolonised humanism that propels liberation? What might it look like to re-recognise one’s own personhood communally, drawing on spiritual resources to redeem a collective self?
This chapter explores the possibility of formulating linkages between theories of recognition and the problem of political evil by paying particular attention to the world, rather than the self or the other. The main point of departure for this analysis revolves around distinguishing between evil and non-evil harms, given a shift in emphasis from dyadic interpersonal relationships to triadic intermediations with the worldly contexts that enable recognition. I first examine some of the key features of contemporary recognition frameworks that attempt to make sense of human vulnerability and harm, and outline how these frameworks, in contrast to Hegel’s philosophy, stop short of the phenomenon of evil. I then move on to discuss how Hegel’s insight into evil as the annihilation or ‘voiding’ of a shared world at the limits of recognition opens up an alternative paradigm, informed by Hannah Arendt’s thinking, that moves recognition outward toward the third term of a common world. I finish by considering some of the ways that genocide can be said to constitute a special type of harm, appropriately considered evil, which aims at and results in the irretrievable loss of plural human worlds.
In this chapter, I address the problem of paternalism in the ethics of care through a consideration of the idea of recognition. Discourses and practices of ‘care ‘ in international politics have been used regularly to justify paternalistic acts of domination through the use structural and physical violence – in the treatment of indigenous peoples, the ‘protection’ of women and children in warfare, and in the practices of contemporary humanitarianism, including humanitarian interventions. This suggests the need to ensure the ‘other-regarding’ nature of care involves not only acting to address the needs of the other, but acting to recognize the other as a person in her own right. I argue that, in contrast to much of the literature on justice as recognition, which emphasizes the need for powerful or dominant voices to ‘recognize’ the ways of life of marginal groups, ‘recognition’ in the context of globalized relations of care must involve an unsettling of the categories of those who ‘bestow’ care and recognition, and those who receive them. I develop an approach to transformative recognition that involves sustained analysis of the politics of representation – or what Narayan calls the ‘accounts’ that are given of the interdependencies and relationships – which are so crucial to an ethic of care.
Within political theory the concept of recognition has been generally drawn upon to develop a particular form of ethical theory. The concept has been deployed in debates over culture, feminism, multiculturalism, individual and group rights, and as a means of conceptualising colonialism. A less dominant contemporary line of inquiry is the use of the concept of recognition to think through modes of pre-capitalist and capitalist accumulation. Much of the early philosophical radicalism contained within the concept of recognition has been lost via its subsumption within liberal political theory. Against such a liberal ‘flattening-out’ of recognition this chapter builds an alternative interpretation which focuses upon the relationship between recognition and accumulation. This is done by way of examining how questions of economic power and accumulation were central G.W.F. Hegel’s theory of recognition. In this light, the chapter develops an understanding of recognition as a ‘hinge concept’ – one which links economic relations, the juridical form, moral claims and political struggle. By focusing upon its antagonistic basis, as struggle, a concept of recognition gives us a useful way of thinking about both historical and contemporary modes of global capitalist accumulation.
Recognition and Global Politics examines the potential and limitations of the discourse of recognition as a strategy for reframing justice and injustice within contemporary world affairs. Drawing on resources from social and political theory and international relations theory, as well as feminist theory, postcolonial studies and social psychology, this ambitious collection explores a range of political struggles, social movements and sites of opposition that have shaped certain practices and informed contentious debates in the language of recognition.
Over the past two decades, critical debates and insights within philosophy, sociology and political theory have focused on the concept of recognition. However, while the literature on recognition has had a significant impact within social and political theory delimited to the ‘self-contained’ space of the territorially-bounded state, it has been comparatively neglected in international political theory. Only recently has recognition begun to move from being a marginal concern for theorists of international politics to a more prevalent current of thought. In this chapter, we concentrate, first, on sketching the tradition of Hegelian recognition inaugurated in the early nineteenth century and, second, on some of the main extensions and transformations of this tradition throughout the late twentieth century and the outset of the twenty-first. We then explore why and how bringing the political theory of recognition into dialogue with international political theory can enrich our understanding of a host of issues within international, global or world politics. The final section presents the three core themes explored in this volume, and provides an overview of the essays that follow.
World society has become something of a trope in International Relations (IR) theory to capture a web of relations between diverse actors operating outside the formal rubric of the state. One presupposition of world society and its cosmopolitan iterations is particularly problematic, as it concerns reciprocal, inter-human recognition. Given multiple practices and instances of dehumanization and misrecognition which undermine or deny the rights and status claims of certain ‘types’ of people – or even their claim to being human in the first place – we must turn this assumptive ideal of universal recognition into a question. How, this chapter asks, is recognition cultivated if it is not automatically bestowed? The chapter explores a set of processes that aid in the constitution of inter-human recognition. Because of their socio-political ramifications, these generative processes function as a first-order practice or, in IR theoretical terms, a primary, constitutive institution of world society conceived of as an inter-human society.