Editorial: Seeing, Blindness and the Politics of (Interdisciplinary) IR


Benjamin Tallis

This editorial discusses the recent #EISAPEC17 in Barcelona and the diversity of perspectives it offered on IR. Postcolonialisms, feminisms, poststructuralisms and environmentalisms jostled with critical political economies and historical, sociological and aesthetic work. Critical Military Studies rubbed shoulders with Security Studies, EU Studies and other more approaches with diverse thematic, geographic or historic foci. These rich juxtapositions demonstrated the value of facilitating encounters between different perspectives in order to provoke new constellations of knowledge and understanding (as we like to call it round here). However, like this issue of New Perspectives they also showed the difficulties of doing so – they showed our respective blindnesses as well as how we see certain issues. This points to a politics of (interdisciplinary) IR and the importance of bringing a spirit of generosity and reflexivity to such encounters, which can be in short supply when making claims, or staking out turf. The editorial discusses the ways in which our perspectives offer new (in)sight but also how our blindnesses can prevent us from realising the potential of our work but also how that can change, through encounter, over time.