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Uses of 'the West'
Security and the Politics of Order


Benjamin Herborth, Gunther Hellmann, Stefano Guzzini, Ole Wæver, Harald Müller, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Brent Steele, Gabi Schlag, Christian Weber, Ted Hopf, Matthew Evangelista, Lene Hansen
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  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107168497

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About the Authors
  • The notion of 'the West' is commonly used in politics, the media, and in the academic world. To date, our idea of 'the West' has been largely assumed and effective, but has not been examined in detail from a theoretical perspective. Uses of 'the West' combines a range of original and topical approaches to evaluate what 'the West' really does, and how the idea is being used in everyday political practice. This book examines a range of uses of 'the West', and traces how 'the West' works in a broad array of conceptual and empirical contexts, ranging from the return of geopolitics - via a critical review of the debates surrounding Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilization thesis - to the question of the future of 'the West'. Analysis extends further to the repercussions of the war on terror on Western democracy and the processes of delineating the Western from the non-Western, as well as observations of the institutional transformations of Western order.

    • Challenges our understanding of 'the West' and critically evaluates what 'the West' does and how the idea is being used in everyday practice
    • Provides a variety of theoretical and methodological tools to study 'the West'
    • Draws on a broad array of conceptual and empirical contexts to unpack the concept of 'the West'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The grand simplifier of 'the West' perniciously pervades scholarship as often as the daily news. The editors of this book have performed a great service to all of us in theorizing this concept, examining its use and inquiring into its transformative potential. The complexity that the concept of the West blankets reminds the reader of Jacob Burckhardt's dictum: 'beware of the terrible simplifiers.' Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr Professor of International Studies, Cornell University

    'This book offers an exemplary thick description that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. 'The West' may be less of a commonplace than it was, but the energy that goes into denouncing it is still more than enough for it to remain a key concept.' Iver B. Neumann, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics

    'This is a superb collection of original essays on the ubiquitous, yet ambiguous, category of 'the West'. Uses of 'the West' helps to both de-essentialize received verities and to open up new pathways for interrogating the historical present. Hellmann and Herborth have done a remarkable job in steering a meaningful and thought-provoking conversation in International Relations and Historical Sociology.' Mustapha Kamal Pasha, Chair in International Politics, Aberystwyth University, Wales

    'Paradoxically, the 'West' is one of the most constant and undertheorized categories within International Relations, even among critical scholars. By 'unpacking' the concept the contributors to this brilliant volume offer key insights into its diverse roles in world-making.' Arlene B. Tickner, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107168497
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: uses of 'the West' Benjamin Herborth and Gunther Hellmann
    Part I. Theorizing 'the West':
    2. Foreign policy identity crises and the uses of 'the West' Stefano Guzzini
    3. 'The West' versus other Western 'we's': a discourse analysis in reverse Ole Wæver
    4. Between polarization and appeasement: democracy and its 'other' Harald Müller
    5. After 'the clash': uses of 'the West' after the Cold War Patrick Thaddeus Jackson
    Part II. 'The West' in Use:
    6. Aesthetics, power and insecurity: self-interrogative imaging in 'the West' Brent Steele
    7. Everyday exceptions: the paradox of a perpetual state of emergency Benjamin Herborth
    8. Reconstituting the North Atlantic Alliance: a reconstruction of NATO's strategic discourse since 1949 Gabi Schlag
    9. Transatlantic policies towards China and Russia: self-conceptions and contradictions of a universalizing West Christian Weber
    10. Russia becoming Russia: a semi-periphery in splendid isolation Ted Hopf
    Part III. Transformations of the Western Institutional Order:
    11. Defending 'the West'? The transformation of national security in the European Union Gunther Hellmann
    12. How the 'end of the Cold War' ended Matthew Evangelista
    13. Conclusion: the ways of 'the West' and the road ahead Lene Hansen.

  • Editors

    Gunther Hellmann, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Am Main
    Gunther Hellmann is Professor of Political Science at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Am Main and Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence on 'The Formation of Normative Orders'. His recent work has appeared in Foreign Policy Analysis, the Journal of International Relations and Development and the International Studies Review.

    Benjamin Herborth, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
    Benjamin Herborth is Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations and International Organization at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands. His recent work has appeared in the Journal of International Relations and Development, International Theory and the Review of International Studies.


    Benjamin Herborth, Gunther Hellmann, Stefano Guzzini, Ole Wæver, Harald Müller, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Brent Steele, Gabi Schlag, Christian Weber, Ted Hopf, Matthew Evangelista, Lene Hansen

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