Advertisement

Act 1. Shahrazad: Disarming Charm

  • Matthew Breay BoltonEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Each night, to save her own life, Shahrazad is spared by her discursive skill, able to persuading a murderous ruler to stay her arbitrary execution. This ancient story, from the 1001 Nights, is a potent metaphor for disarmament advocacy, which seeks to persuade violent people to moderate their behavior. Traditional international relations (IR) scholarship has focused on the role of “hard power”—military and economic might—as the driver of change in the global system. However, academics and practitioners are increasingly realizing the role of narrative, stories and imagination in shaping what is seen as possible. In demonstrating the power of disarmament activists’ persuasion, this chapter highlights and reviews the insights of the “discursive turn” for IR.

Keywords

Disarmament International relations Imagination 1001 Nights Discourse Narrative Mythology 

References

  1. ACBL. (1998). Annual Report 1998. Retrieved from http://www.afghandata.org:8080/xmlui/handle/azu/7338
  2. ACBL. (2000). Annual Report 2000. Retrieved from http://www.afghandata.org:8080/xmlui/handle/azu/7339
  3. Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities (Rev. ed.). New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  4. Barnes, P. (2000). The Arabian Nights. Part 1. London: BBC.Google Scholar
  5. Biswas, S. (2014). Nuclear Desire: Power and the Postcolonial Nuclear Order. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bliesmann de Guevara, B. (2016). Myth in International Politics: Ideological Delusion and Necessary Fiction. In B. Bliesmann de Guevara (Ed.), Myth and Narrative in International Politics: Interpretive Approaches to the Study of IR (pp. 15–46). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Bolton, M. (2010). Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance: Governance, Politics and Security in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  8. Bolton, M. (2015). From Minefields to Minespace: An Archeology of the Changing Architecture of Autonomous Killing in US Army Field Manuals on Landmines, Booby Traps and IEDs. Political Geography, 46, 41–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bolton, M., & James, K. (2014). Nascent Spirit of New York or Ghost of Arms Control Past?: The Normative Implications of the Arms Trade Treaty for Global Policymaking. Global Policy, 5(4), 439–452.Google Scholar
  10. Bolton, M., & Minor, E. (2016). The Discursive Turn Arrives in Turtle Bay: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ Operationalization of Critical IR Theories. Global Policy, 7(3), 386–395.Google Scholar
  11. Bolton, M., & Mitchell, C. (2014, August). The Peloponnesian War and Killer Robots: Norms of Protection in Security Policy. e-International Relations. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from http://www.e-ir.info/2014/08/29/the-peloponnesian-war-and-killer-robots-norms-of-protection-in-security-policy/
  12. Bolton, M., Sakamoto, E., & Griffiths, H. (2012, February). Globalization and the Kalashnikov: Public-Private Networks in the Proliferation and Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons. Global Policy, 3(3), 303–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bousquet, A., Grove, J., & Shah, N. (2017). Becoming Weapon: An Opening Call to Arms. Critical Studies on Security, 5(1), 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carpenter, C. (2016). Rethinking the Political/-Science-/Fiction Nexus: Global Policy Making and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Perspectives on Politics, 14(1), 53–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cohn, C. (1987). Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals. Signs, 12(4), 687–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cooper, N. (2018). Race, Sovereignty, and Free Trade: Arms Trade Regulation and Humanitarian Arms Control in the Age of Empire. Journal of Global Security Studies, 3(4), 444–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Das, R. (2017). A Post-colonial Analysis of India–United States Nuclear Security: Orientalism, Discourse, and Identity in International Relations. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 52(6), 741–759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Davies, B., & Davies, C. (2007). Having and Being Had By, “Experience”: Or, “Experience” in the Social Sciences After the Discursive/Poststructuralist Turn. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(8), 1139–1159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Der Derian, J. (2008). Critical Encounters in International Relations. International Social Science Journal, 59(191), 69–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eichler, M. (2014). Militarized Masculinities in International Relations. Brown Journal of World Affairs, 21(1), 81–94.Google Scholar
  21. Foucault, M. (2003). “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–1976. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  22. Graham, S. (2016). Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  23. Grayson, K., Davies, M., & Philpott, S. (2009). Pop Goes IR? Researching the Popular Culture-World Politics Continuum. Politics, 29(3), 156–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gusterson, H. (1998). Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the End of the Cold War. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  25. Haddawy, H. (1990). The Arabian Nights. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  26. Herscher, A. (2008). Warchitectural Theory. Journal of Architectural Education, 61(3), 35–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jameson, F. (1998). The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983–1998. Brooklyn, NY: Verso.Google Scholar
  28. Mansfield, I. (2015). Stepping into a Minefield: A Life Dedicated to Landmine Clearance around the World. Newport: Big Sky Publishing.Google Scholar
  29. Mathur, R. (2016). Sly Civility and the Paradox of Equality/Inequality in the Nuclear Order: A Post-Colonial Critique. Critical Studies on Security, 1(4), 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mathur, R. (2018). Techno-Racial Dynamics of Denial & Difference in Weapons Control. Asian Journal of Political Science, 26(3), 297–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moser-Puangsuwan, Y. (2008). Outside the Treaty Not the Norm: Nonstate Armed Groups and the Landmine Ban. In J. Williams, S. D. Goose, & M. Wareham (Eds.), Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy and Human Security. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  32. Nichols, M. (2018). ‘You’ll Be Sorry,’ Russia Tells Britain at U.N. Nerve Agent Attack Meeting. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia-salisbury-un/youll-be-sorry-russia-tells-britain-at-u-n-nerve-agent-attack-meeting-idUSKCN1HC2M2?utm_source=applenews
  33. Nobel Prize. (2017). 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1daV8n6fTY
  34. Paolini, A. J. (1993). Foucault, Realism and the Power Discourse in International Relations. Australian Journal of Political Science, 28(1), 98–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. p’Bitek, O. (1986). Artist the Ruler: Essays on Art, Culture and Values. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers, Ltd.Google Scholar
  36. Price, R. (1995). A Genealogy of the Chemical Weapons Taboo. International Organization, 49(1), 73–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Roy, A. (1998). The End of Imagination. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://ratical.org/ratville/nukes/endOfImagine.html
  38. Said, E. (2012). Culture and Imperialism. New York: Knopf Doubleday.Google Scholar
  39. Shelley, P. B. (2009). A Defence of Poetry. Poetry Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69388/a-defence-of-poetry
  40. Stavrianakis, A. (2019). Controlling Weapons Circulation in a Postcolonial Militarized World. Review of International Studies, 45(1), 57–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Thurlow, S. (2017). International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)—Nobel Lecture (English). Retrieved from https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2017/ican/26041-international-campaign-to-abolish-nuclear-weapons-ican-nobel-lecture-2017/
  42. Virilio, P. (1997). Bunker Archaeology. New Haven, CT: Princeton Architectural Press.Google Scholar
  43. Weizman, E. (2012). Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  44. Welty, E. (2016). The Theological Landscape of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty: The Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches and the Bomb. Global Policy, 7(3), 396–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Whitehead, N., & Finnstrom, S. (Eds.). (2013). Virtual War and Magical Death: Technologies and Imaginaries for Terror and Killing. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political SciencePace UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations