Patrick and Dan work their way through a piece of international-relations scholarship. And drink whiskey.
In this installment of “Whiskey Optional,” Stacie Goddard (Wellesley), Evelyn Goh (Australian National University), and Kyle Lascurettes (Lewis and Clark) join the podcast. You’ll never guess what the subject of discussion is.
Unless you read the title of this episode.
Then you’ll know that it’s about “International order.”
The panelists tackle such pressing questions as: What is international order, anyway? Is it everything… or nothing at all? Why do academic debates about international order give a lot of scholars a sense of déjà vu? How can a concept that’s taken on such a central place in policy debates remain so elusive?
Arnold Wolfers is one of the most important figures of “mainstream” mid-20th century international-relations theory, but is now mostly cited for his definition of “revisionism” and for perhaps his most famous essay, “‘National Security’ as an Ambiguous Symbol.” Discord and Collaboration (1962) collects previously published essays and intersperses them with new ones that are aimed at making the collection more cohesive. It covers a variety of issues that remain subjects of debate in the field, such as state-centrism. Patrick and Dan discuss its arguments, the events that drive some of its analysis, and how it slots into later debates in IR theory, such as the “False Promise” dispute covered in the prior two episodes.
This is our first episode to come out since affiliating with the academic international-relations website, the Duck of Minerva. If you have questions or reactions to this episode, you might consider leaving a comment on this episode’s associated blogpost.