Non-Western International Relations Theory: Myth or Reality?

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In recent years, Russian and foreign literature increasingly raises the question on national theories of international relations. A special interest is manifested towards non-Western theories of international relations. The article analyzes the reasons for such interest. It is noted that the main motive for scholars to search for national schools is the transformation of the political organization of the world that emerged in the West and was developing largely on the Western model. This transformation encompasses three levels of political organization of the modern world: the Westphalian system, the system of international (interstate) relations and the political systems of a state. Three levels of political organization of the world changing at the same time today reinforce each other and generate synergies. With such a large-scale transformation, when all three levels are “moving”, the world is facing for the first time, although the change of the second and especially the third levels were before. As far as the system of political organization of the world undergoes major changes, IR theories, which appeared in the West, are in crisis. Researchers’ attention to non-Western, primarily Asian TMO to find answers due to the following reasons: 1) the rapid economic growth of the region; 2) the development of scientific research in Asia; 3) the crisis of the Western model of political organization in the world that encourages the search for solutions in other civilizational structures. The article substantiates the necessity and possibility of “project activities” for reforming the political organization of the world and include practices that exist in different regions of the world. In order to implement such activities, the work of specialists from different brunches of social sciences is required.

About the authors

Marina Mikhailovna Lebedeva

MGIMO University of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
Moscow, Russia


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