Narrative IR, Worldly IR

  • Jessica da Silva C. de Oliveira
Part of the Global Political Sociology book series (GLPOSO)


This chapter addresses the ongoing debate on the subjects of narrative and voice in International Relations (IR). The first section explores the epistemological and methodological implications of taking narratives seriously as discussed in emblematic works in social sciences. The second section is a mapping exercise of the more recent turn to “Narrative IR” and the attention to the themes of voice, subjectivity, and power in writing world politics. What is at stake—academically and politically speaking—in narrative writing in general, and in Narrative IR, more specifically? Are narrative approaches more prone to genuinely promote dialogue and to open space for subaltern voices to world politics? The third section develops the argument that there is a shared concern—or anxiety—guiding IR scholars toward narrative strategies as a means to bring the world back into the study of international and global affairs.


  1. Ashley, Richard K. 1989. Living on Border Lines: Man, Poststructuralism and War. In International/Intertextual Relations: Postmodern Readings of World Politics, ed. Michael Shapiro and James Der Derian, 259–323. Lexington, MA: Lexington.Google Scholar
  2. Bartelson, Jens. 1995. A Genealogy of Sovereignty. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blaney, David, and Arlene B. Tickner. 2017. Worlding, Ontological Politics and the Possibility of a Decolonial IR. Millennium Journal of International Studies: 1–19.Google Scholar
  4. Brigg, Morgan, and Roland Bleiker. 2010. Autoethnographic International Relations: Exploring the Self as a Source of Knowledge. Review of International Studies 36 (3): 779–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Campbell, David. 1992. Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  6. Campbell, David, Luiza Bialasiewicz, Stuart Elden, Stephen Graham, Alex Jeffrey, and Alison J. Williams. 2007. Performing Security: The Imaginative Geographies of Current US Strategy. Political Geography 26: 405–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carr, David. 1986. Time, Narrative, and History. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cohn, Carol. 1987. Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals. Signs 12 (4): 687–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Darby, Phillip. 2006. Introduction. In Postcolonizing the International, ed. Phillip Darby, 1–10. Hawai’i: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar
  10. Dauphinee, Elizabeth. 2010. The Ethics of Autoethnography. Review of International Studies 36 (3): 799–818.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. ———. 2013a. Critical Methodological and Narrative Developments in IR: A Forum. Accessed 11 November 2016.
  12. ———. 2013b. The Politics of Exile. London & New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. ———. 2013c. Writing as Hope: Reflections on The Politics of Exile. Security Dialogue 44 (4): 347–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. ———. 2015. Narrative Engagement and the Creative Practices of International Relations. In Reflexivity and International Relations: Positionality, Critique, and Practice, ed. Brent J. Steele and Jack Amoureux, 44–60. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Doty, Roxanne Lynn. 2004. Maladies of Our Souls: Voice and the Writing of Academic International Relations. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 17 (2): 377–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. ———. 2010. Autoethnography – Making Human Connections. Review of International Studies 36 (3): 1047–1050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Enloe, Cynthia. 2000. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2004. The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  19. Fanon, Frantz. 2004 [1963]. The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Weidenfeld.Google Scholar
  20. Foucault, Michel. 1984 [1969]. What Is an Author? In The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow, 101–120. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  21. Giroux, Henry A. 2004. Edward Said and the Politics of Worldliness: Toward a “Rendezvous of Victory”. Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies 4 (3): 339–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hanisch, Carol. 2006 [1970]. The Personal Is Political – The Women’s Liberation Movement Classic with a New Explanatory Introduction. Accessed 3 May 2017.
  23. Hansen, Lene. 2006. Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Henderson, Errol A. 2013. Hidden in Plain Sight: Racism in International Relations Theory. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 26 (1): 71–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Horn, Andrew R. 2011. Time, Narrative, and IR Theory. ECPR General Conference. University of Iceland, August 25–27: 24p.Google Scholar
  26. Inayatullah, Naeem. 2011. Falling and Flying: An Introduction. In Autobiographical International Relations – I, IR, ed. Naeem Inayatullah, 1–12. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 2013. Foreword. In The Politics of Exile, ed. Elizabeth Dauphinee, viii–viix. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Inayatullah, Naeem, and David Blaney. 2004. International Relations and the Problem of Difference. New York/London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Inayatullah, Naeem, and Elizabeth Dauphinee. 2016. Permitted Urgency – A Prologue. In Narrative Global Politics – Theory, History and the Personal in International Relations, ed. Naeem Inayatullah and Elizabeth Dauphinee, 1–4. London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jackson, Patrick Thaddeus. 2011. The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. King Jr., Martin Luther. 1963. I Have a Dream…. Washington, DC, August 29. Accessed 22 October 2017.
  32. Krishna, Sankaran. 1993. The Importance of Being Ironic: A Postcolonial View on Critical International Relations Theory. Alternatives 18: 385–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. ———. 2009. Globalization and Postcolonialism – Hegemony and Resistance in the Twenty-First Century. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2013. IR and the Postcolonial Novel: Nation and Subjectivity in India. In Postcolonial Theory and International Relations – A Critical Introduction, ed. Sanjay Seth, 124–143. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. ———. 2015. A Postcolonial Racial/Spatial Order: Gandhi, Ambedkar, and the Construction of the International. In Race and Racism in International Relations – Confronting the Global Colour Line, ed. Alexander Anievas, Nivi Manchanda, and Robbie Shilliam, 139–156. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Malmvig, Helle. 2006. State Sovereignty and Intervention: A Discourse Analysis of Interventionary and Non-Interventionary Practices in Kosovo and Algeria. London & New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mandaville, Peter. 2011. Cosmography Recapitulates Biography: An Epilogue. In Autobiographical International Relations – I, IR, ed. Naeem Inayatullah, 196–203. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Mayer, Frederick. 2017. Why Stories are Powerful Spurs to Political Action. Accessed 7 June 2017.
  39. Meuter, Norbert. 2011. Narration in Various Disciplines. In The Living Handbook of Narratology, ed. Peter Hühn, John Pier, Wolf Schmid, and Jörg Schönert. Hamburg: Hamburg University. Accessed 5 January 2017.Google Scholar
  40. Milliken, Jennifer. 1999. The Study of Discourse in International Relations. European Journal of International Relations 5 (2): 225–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Moulin, Carolina. 2016. Narrative. In Critical Imaginations in International Relations, ed. Aoileann Ní Mhurchú and Reiko Shindo, 136–152. London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Muppidi, Himadeep. 2012. The Colonial Signs of International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. ———. 2013. Reflections on Narrative Voice. The Disorder of Things. Accessed 7 May 2017.
  44. Park-Kang, Sungju. 2015. Fictional IR and Imagination: Advancing Narrative Approaches. Review of International Studies 41 (2): 361–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rao, Rahul. 2010. Third World Protest: Between Home and the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Said, Edward. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  47. ———. 1983. The World, the Text and the Critic. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  48. ———. 1994. Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  49. ———. 2001. Beginnings. In Power, Politics, and Culture – Interviews with Edward W. Said, ed. Gauri Viswanathan, 3–38. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  50. Sajed, Alina. 2010. Late Modernity/Postmodernity. In The International Studies Encyclopedia, ed. Robert A. Denemark and Renée Marlin-Bennett, vol. VIII, 4787–4805. Oxford: Willey-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  51. ———. 2013. Postcolonial Encounters in International Relations: The Politics of Transgression in the Maghreb. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sartre, Jean-Paul. 2004 [1963]. Preface. In The Wretched of the Earth, ed. Franz Fanon, xliii–xlxii. Trans. Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Weidenfeld.Google Scholar
  53. Seth, Sanjay. 2013. Postcolonial Theory and the Critique of International Relations. In Postcolonial Theory and International Relations – A Critical Introduction, ed. Sanjay Seth, 15–31. London & New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shapiro, Michael J. 1988. The Politics of Representation: Writing Practices in Biography, Photography and Policy Analysis. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  55. ———. 1989. Textualizing Global Politics. In International/Intertextual Relations – Postmodern Readings of World Politics, ed. James Der Derian and Michael J. Shapiro, 11–22. New York: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  56. Sheeran, Paul. 2007. Literature and International Relations. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  57. Shindo, Reiko. 2012. Rethinking Community: Translation Space as a Departure from Political Community. International Political Sociology 6: 149–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous People. London & New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  59. Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 1990. The Postcolonial Critic. In The Postcolonial Critic – Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues, ed. Sarah Harasym, 67–74. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Suganami, Hidemi. 2008. Narrative Explanation and International Relations: Back to Basics. Millennium – Journal of International Studies 37 (2): 327–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tharoor, Shashi. 1996. Making the World Safe for Diversity. The New York Times, May 18, 1996. Accessed 22 October 2017.
  62. Vaughan-Williams, Nick. 2005. International Relations and the ‘Problem of History’. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 34 (1): 115–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Vitalis, Robert. 2005. Birth of a Discipline. In Imperialism and Internationalism in the Discipline of International Relations, ed. D. Long and Brian C. Schmidt, 159–181. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  64. Vrasti, Wanda. 2010. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Methodology and Love Writing. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 39 (1): 79–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. ———. 2017. Ethnography/Autoethnography/Autobiography. In Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology, ed. Xavier Guillaume and Pinar Bilgin, 272–280. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  66. Walker, Rob B.J. 1993. Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Weber, Cynthia. 2001. International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. White, Hayden. 1984. The Question of Narrative in Contemporary Historical Theory. History and Theory 23: 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wibben, Annick T.R. 2011. Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica da Silva C. de Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International RelationsPontifical Catholic University of Minas GeraisPoços de CaldasBrazil

Personalised recommendations