Narrative and Critical Imaginations in International Relations

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Narrative strategies have gained growing attention in IR. One key promise is mobilizing a diversity of interpretations and exploring the politics contestedness in ways that support the view of IR as focused on the multiplicity of the world(s) of international and global affairs. This article brings a broad map of the use of narrative approaches in IR and connects it with Edward Said’s notion of “worldliness” in order to highlight the political aspects of writing and representation within academia. It situates this “narrative turn” within the complexities of a broader context of crisis in Eurocentric forms of knowledge and representation. In addition, it reveals a double movement of scholarly disenchantment and re-enchantment that signals towards the productivity of intellectual unease about representational practices and the place of the “I” voice in academic writing. Bearing in mind these reactions and shared pursuit of a more empathetic relationship between researcher and researched, scholars and the public in general, teachers and students, I thus briefly tell the experience of openly discussing and practicing a narrative approach in the classroom and how students tended to engage (or not) with narrative as a way of making sense of their “I” in IR.

About the authors

Jessica da Silva C. De Oliveira

Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais

Author for correspondence.
Poços de Caldas, Brazil

PhD (International Relations), Lecturer, the Department of International Relations


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