In newspaper reports -- specifically, in the week after the attacks -- the terrorists were presented as evil and irrational, their stated political motivations were effaced and instead terrorists were repeatedly spoken of as crazed and apolitical. Heydebrand, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. Post-Structuralism is a late 20th Century movement in philosophy and literary criticism, which is difficult to summarize but which generally defines itself in its opposition to the popular Structuralism movement which preceded it in 1950s and 1960s France. This discourse argues that post-structuralism as a theoretical and philosophical perspective may be beneficial to the study of international politics within the field of International Relations. ECONOMICS | support open access publishing. One of the most common binary oppositions is to establish different groups or countries in terms of 'them' versus 'us'. As the defining global terrorist attack of the twenty-first century, the attacks of 11 September 2001 on the United States can be used to convey how dominant discourses, instigated by governmental elites, were perpetuated and reinforced by the media. EDUCATION | LATIN AMERICA | Personal freedoms -- such as the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly -- have been placed as the limit against which security exists. An example of this can be found in the security versus liberty debate. Themes of patriotism and civility were deployed within the media to further distance the cohesive 'us' from the generic barbarian terrorist. LIFESTYLE | While the presentation of terrorists as irrational and evil has found solid ground and the dominant perceptions of terrorism and terrorists are of an illogical and apolitical act and actor, there always will be deviation from this conceptualisation. International Relations as a discipline is full of these oppositions and they are used by elites to both create favourable meaning out of certain events and to allow for this meaning to be easily absorbed and accepted by the wider public. As the work of post-structuralists is mainly concerned with challenging the aims and motives of existing theories and discourses, it is perhaps more accurate to think of post-structuralism in the field of international politics as a method or tool of analysis. To underscore this link to death and destruction, the media narrative also consistently linked both the acts and actors of 9/11 to images and metaphors of pestilence and disease. WEALTH | Post-Structuralism has been attacked as relativist and nihilist by a range of critics and, lacking a clear manifesto and coherence of approach, certainly seems to be an amorphous collection of ideas difficult to apply in practice. The terrorists were plagued by ‘inexplicable neurosis’ and driven by ‘ethnic, superstitious and tribal madnesses’ (Toynbee 2001). UNITED STATES | Hence, this binary opposition enabled Bush to claim that the United States was opposite to all that this trio represented and would be justified in taking various actions during a global campaign against states that were judged to sponsor, or harbour, terrorists. Additionally, these terrorists were set apart as different from more traditional forms of terrorism that the world had previously witnessed through the highlighting of the lethality and deadliness of mass murdering transnational terrorism -- a move which heightened the emotions of fear and anxiety further. One answer has been the identification of how this 'good versus evil' construct prepared and almost rallied the American public for war. With the passage of time, we are also able to trace the gradual disruption to and destabilising of this regime of truth. Your donations allow us to invest in new open access titles and pay our BUSINESS | Thus, the official discourse regarding terrorism and intervention was changing and this shift can be identified by a shift to more clandestine forms of intervention in the Middle East from 2009 onwards – watermarked by the presidency of Barack Obama. In the late nineteenth century, Western science expended considerableenergy on the problem of perception of the physical world, inparticular the surprising results of the Michelson-Morley experiment.One of the most influential figures of this time was Ernst Mach.I would like to quote a few words from his most famous work, TheAnalysis of Sensations: "The vague image which we have of a given permanent complex[of sensations], being an image which does not perceptibly changewhen one … This is particularly because, as it is examined throughout this essay, post-structuralism generally does not seek to present a specific worldview of its … In contrast to this, was the cultivation of the idea of ‘American innocence’ (Boswell 2001) that was ‘vulnerable to hate’ (Boyd 2001), coupled with the persistent repetition and reminder of the suffering of the victims of 9/11 and the heroism of the first responders. ASIA | EUROPE | Click Here: International Relations Theory (E-IR Foundations) Butler argues that thousands of people are lost to conflict in countries such as Palestine and Afghanistan, often at the hands of Western powers, and yet these people are not mourned or memorialised or even heard of within Western reports of war. As such, the official discourse as crafted by elites never fully accounts for or subsumes the whole of a society. Poststructuralists always call into question how certain accepted 'facts' and 'beliefs' actually work to reinforce the dominance and power of particular actors within international relations. Poststructural/postmodern international relations (IR) is a mode of critical thinking and analysis that joined disciplinary conversations during the 1980s and, despite the dismissive reception it has initially faced, it is a vibrant and expanding area of research within the field today. Yet, similar attacks in Beirut and Nigeria in November 2015 and Baghdad in July 2016 (to name but a few) went largely unnoticed and were silenced within regimes of truth that mourned for, or favoured, the ‘innocent’ Western victim. An elite programme to restrict civil liberties can be justified to a society conditioned by the ‘expert’ repetition of this discourse by appealing to the objective logic it asserts and discounting all other interpretations. Poststructuralism encourages a way of looking at the world that challenges what comes to be accepted as ‘truth’ and ‘knowledge’. Post-structuralism wants us to take think critically about how we construct the world. The international relations schools of thought known as Realism and Idealism identify specific and similar characteristics of actors in the conceptual development of their theories. SPORTS, RSS Feeds | Within the regime of truth of the War on Terror, then, this emotive discourse was extended to every Muslim, every Arab, and, eventually, every non-Westerner. Critical theory seeks to provide analyses that further progressive and egalitarian social goal, structuralism also uses critical theory. ENVIRONMENT | The term "critical theory" is associated with the Frankfurt School, which developed the twentieth century version of scholarly Marxism. In the field of International Relations (IR) this can cover diplomacy, negotiation and the difference between war and peace. This hierarchy of grief can also be seen in the outpouring of sympathy for victims of terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 and Nice in July 2016. Foucault is usually described as a post-structuralist, as is Derrida; deconstruction is also said to be a form of post-structuralism. With the simplistic interpretation of the historical relations between the ‘West’ and ‘East’ that was encouraged in this discursive construction, the regime of truth played upon and amplified the notion of the Muslim or Arab world as backward and primordial. Available now on Amazon In the study of international relations, discourse analysis is associated with post-structuralism, a theoretical approach that shares realism’s concern with states and power, but differs from realism’s assumption that states are driven by self-interest. The ‘linguistic turn’ is presented in this essay from the basis of modern philosophies of language (particularly the contributions of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, and Walter Benjamin) and in relation to contemporary adaptations of these philosophical critiques of representation in post-structuralism. Site Map | Thus, the official discourse regarding terrorism and intervention was changing and this shift can be identified by a shift to more clandestine forms of intervention in the Middle East from 2009 onwards -- watermarked by the presidency of Barack Obama. If we look to the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001 (commonly known as 9/11) we can see these categories of differentiation and their influence begin to manifest themselves. For instance, they include government ministers who decide policy focus and direction for a state, business leaders who leverage vast financial resources to shape market direction, and media outlets that decide how a person is portrayed while reporting a story. The starting point for a post-structural theoretical vision is language and signification. Elites take on a range of forms and occupy many different roles in contemporary society. For this reason, poststructuralists encourage researchers to be sceptical of universal narratives that attempt to offer an objective worldview, as these assumptions are heavily influenced by pre-existing assumptions of what is true – and usually underlined by the views of those in power. The importance of the recognition of this discourse is not to attempt to present these political actors -- the terrorists -- in a better light, but to recognise how the consistent and universal portrayal of them as evil and irrational made certain reactions and foreign policy actions more amenable and immediately cut off other methods of responding to these terrorist attacks. This is an excerpt from International Relations Theory – an E-IR Foundations beginner’s textbook. bandwidth bills to ensure we keep our existing titles free to view. Structuralism proposes that the world should be understood through structures. Introducing Poststructuralism in International Relations Theory Written by Aishling Mc Morrow whereby if a state wishes to be secure then the public must endure a reduction in personal freedoms. All Rights Reserved | Site by Rootsy. Discourses which augment the power of elites are called dominant or official discourses by poststructuralists. Along with these fatalities, as the media began to report on the abuses that were carried out, the regime of truth that had been centred on the foreign policy directives of the Bush presidency started to falter. Additionally, these terrorists were set apart as different from more traditional forms of terrorism that the world had previously witnessed through the highlighting of the lethality and deadliness of mass murdering transnational terrorism – a move which heightened the emotions of fear and anxiety further. It held that language is not a transparent medium that connects one directly with a ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ outside it but rather a structure or code, whose parts derive their meaning from their contrast with one another. Moreover, the emotions that the narratives of these actions evoked related back to feelings of love, empathy and altruism that the media utilised to engender further cohesion in society against the 'other' of the terrorist. Panel Number 46. Structural Realism - International Relations (1/7) - Duration: 9:22. Though post-structuralists all present different critiques of structuralism, common themes among them include the rejection of the self-sufficiency of structuralism, as well as an interrogation of the binary oppositions that constitute its … amount, in any currency, is appreciated. International Relations as a discipline is full of these oppositions and they are used by elites to both create favourable meaning out of certain events and to allow for this meaning to be easily absorbed and accepted by the wider public. Post Structuralism In International Relations. The conventional paradigms of International Relations (IR) have been designing global politics until the 1980s. The terrorists were plagued by 'inexplicable neurosis' and driven by 'ethnic, superstitious and tribal madnesses' (Toynbee 2001). For poststructuralists, language is one of the most crucial elements for the creation and perpetuation of a dominant discourse. The reactions of the public that gathered together to pray, support each other, volunteer and eventually join the military juxtaposed radically with the destructive actions of the terrorists. As such, the official discourse as crafted by elites never fully accounts for or subsumes the whole of a society. Additionally, elites are often also categorised as 'experts' within society, giving them the authority to further reinforce the viewpoints that serve their best interests to a wide audience. How we receive information and the way that news events are presented to a society shapes how we conceptualise and react to political events. This is an excerpt from International Relations Theory an E-IR Foundations beginner’s textbook. The term "structuralism" refers to a study of mental structures in society. The importance of poststructuralism is to highlight existing regimes of truth and show that conventional ways of thinking and analysis in international relations are unable to point out how certain other possibilities are excluded by these discourses from the very start. The increased use of special forces and drone strikes allowed Obama to continue to exert influence over the region without overtly declaring war -- while also distancing his administration from the military intervention that defined that of his predecessor. WORLD | The media is a prime example of a site where discourses within regimes of truth are (re)produced and can be identified. If we look to the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001 (commonly known as 9/11) we can see these categories of differentiation and their influence begin to manifest themselves. theories of international political economy. For example, let us take language. Besides the critical perspective, post-structuralism also brings philosophical ideas and concepts to the study of international relations (Baylis, 2011, p. 69). Over time, the discursive construction of terrorists by the media was not strong enough to override the concurrent media accounts of large numbers of casualties resulting from the intervention. Post-structuralism wants us to take think critically about how we construct the world. Along with these fatalities, as the media began to report on the abuses that were carried out, the regime of truth that had been centred on the foreign policy directives of the Bush presidency started to falter. This messy entanglement of the everyday and the elite shows that a plethora of discourses can coexist and craft the view of international relations that we are offered. This chapter examines the use of discourse analysis in the study of foreign policy. As such, if we want to observe   how people have come to conceive and frame both terrorism and terrorists, the poststructuralist can analyse media accounts in order to analyse the discursive construction of these political actors and associated terrorist events. Personal freedoms – such as the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly – have been placed as the limit against which security exists. Within the regime of truth of the War on Terror, then, this emotive discourse was extended to every Muslim, every Arab, and, eventually, every non-Westerner. Find out more about E-IR's range of open access books here. Post-structuralism differs from most other approaches to international politics because it does not see itself as a theory, school or paradigm which produces a single account of the subject matter. 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