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  • Author: Harald Muller
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Liberal discourse should have a hard time looking for 'evil' in international relations. Standing on the pillar of rationalism and humanitarianism, there seems to be little space for the morally and emotionally charged notion of evil to enter considerations. Yet, the liberal belief in the freedom of will implies that humans are capable of turning against the advice of reason and opt for evil behavior and underlying principles. This possibility is epitomized by Kant's construction of the 'evil enemy'. Since 'evil' appears sporadically in international relations, with Hitler's Germany as prototype, its existence in the real world of international relations cannot be ruled out a priori. Designating an 'other' as evil is thus a discursive possibility. The practice to turn this possibility into reality is conceptualized here as 'evilization' in analogy to 'securitization'. There is strong variance among liberal democracies in applying this practice, ranging from 'pacifism' to 'militancy', which often leads to dire consequences. Deriving the principles of fallibility and prudence from liberal reasoning, this article concludes with the proposition that 'liberal pacifism' is the preferable option in most conceivable circumstances, but that the possibility of confronting political evil is rare, but existing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Germany, Cameroon
  • Author: Ian Bruff
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article argues that in many cases the theoretical resources for a revived and enriched 'critical International Political Economy' already exist, and we would do well to revisit earlier works when seeking to intervene in contemporary debates. Through an initial engagement with the recent plethora of contributions on 'the international', I contend that Nicos Poulantzas' later writings deserve a rereading. In particular, his work on the historicity of territory and the internationalisation of capital constitutes a series of rich and suggestive commentaries. The significance of his remarks are later illustrated via a consideration of Germany, where I argue that the changes wrought by the growing imbrication of the German economy with transnational circuits of capital have been taking place through, and not necessarily against, the historicity of German capitalism's emergence and evolution.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Germany