Postmodernism Theory

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Postmodernism is a late 20th century movement in the arts, architecture, and criticism that was a departure from modernism. It is often associated with deconstruction and post-structuralism because its usage as a term gained significant popularity at the same time as 20th century post-structural thought. It remains among the most controversial of theories in the humanities and social sciences. It has regularly been accused of moral and political delinquency. This chapter is divided into four main sections, which are the relationship between power and knowledge in the study of international relations, the textual strategies employed by postmodern approaches, how postmodernism deals with the state, and postmodernism’s attempt to rethink…show more content…
The Kant’s caution is that the possession of power inevitably corrupts the free judgment of reason, stands as a classic example of this view. It is important to grasp the notion of genealogy, as it has become crucial to many postmodern perspectives in International Relations. Genealogy is a style of historical thought which exposes and registers the significance of power–knowledge relations. Genealogy affirms a perspective which denies the capacity to identify origins and meanings in history objectively. A genealogical approach is anti-essentialist in orientation, affirming the idea that all knowledge is situated in a particular time and place and issues from a particular perspective. Genealogy is a reminder of the essential agonism in the historical constitution of identities, unities, disciplines, subjects and objects. One of the important insights of postmodernism, with its focus on the power–knowledge nexus and its genealogical approach, is that many of the problems and issues studied in International Relations are not just matters of epistemology and ontology, but of power and authority; they are struggles to impose authoritative interpretations of international…show more content…
There are four main elements that explained postmodernism’s quasi-phenomenology of the state. First one is a genealogical analysis of the modern state’s ‘origins’ in violence. Modern political thought has attempted to transcend illegitimate forms of rule where power is unconstrained, unchecked, arbitrary and violent, by founding legitimate, democratic forms of government where authority is subject to law. The second one is an account of boundary inscription. To inquire into the state’s constitution, as postmodernism does, is partly to inquire into the ways in which global political space is partitioned. The world is not naturally divided into differentiated political spaces, and nor is there a single authority to carve up the world. The third one is a deconstruction of identity as it is defined in security and foreign policy discourses. A detailed account of the relationship between the state, violence and identity is to be found in David Campbell’s post-structuralist account of the Bosnian war, in National Deconstruction (1998a). His central argument there is that a particular norm of community has governed the intense violence of the war. This norm, which he calls ‘ontopology’, borrowing from Derrida, refers to the assumption that political community requires the perfect alignment of territory and identity, state and nation. The last one is a
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