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Laffey, Mark and Barkawi, Tarak (2002) 'Retrieving the Imperial: Empire and International Relations.' Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 31 (1). pp. 109-127.

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This essay uses Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's Empire, one of the most widely read accounts of international politics in recent years, as a vehicle to rethink International Relations' engagement with the notion of empire. We begin with the observation that Westphalian models of the international obscure the role of imperial relations in world politics. We go on to develop a conception of the international as a `thick' set of social relations, consisting of social and cultu ral flow s as wellas political-military and economic interactions, which often take place in a context of imperial hierarchy. Retrieving the imperial thus offers a way out of the `territorial trap' set by Westphalia and alerts us to a range of phenomena occluded by IR's central categories. From this perspective, we analyse Empire as an innovative but flawed effort to take seriously the imperial character of international relations. In particular, we focus on the role of the multitude in world politics, Hardt and Negri's genealogy of sovereignty, and their claim that imperialism in the old-fashioned sense is over.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISSN: 03058298
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:39

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