International Relations and International Political Economy Cluster
The International Relations and International Political Economy (IR/IPE) cluster in Government and International Affairs brings together academic staff, visiting fellows, and research students working in the broad interdisciplinary fields of international politics, international political economy, and international political theory.
More details of the interests and activities of Staff members are on the Staff page.
Details of student interests and activities are on the Students page.
A New Strategic Triangle? Europe-Asia-America
Programme of Activities, Epiphany 2007
Thursday 24 January 2008 at 1.00pm
Andrea Teti, Aberdeen
Securitising Middle East Studies: Interdisciplinarity and the Politics of Crisis
Andrea Teti is a Lecturer in Strategic Studies at the University of Aberdeen. His research interests are post-positivist political theory and Middle East politics. His publications include work on Egyptian domestic and foreign policy, disciplinary relations between Social Sciences and Area Studies, and democratization in the Middle East.
Abstract: Despite repeated calls for interdisciplinary bridges since the inception of International Relations (IR) and Middle East Studies (MES), the ‘gap’ between them has never been bridged because the necessity of that ‘gap’ is embedded into the very nature of the division between Social Sciences and Area Studies. Emerging as complementary counterparts within a Positivist organization of knowledge, while the latter’s original purpose was to gather ‘data’, the former’s was to arrive at ‘law-like generalizations’. Since then, partly owing to the convergence of ‘Area Studies’ with ‘Humanities’ and its historicist-interpretive methodologies MES has come to understand itself largely in opposition to social science. These largely incompatible epistemic commitments lie at the heart of their inability to find a shared ground upon which ‘interdisciplinary’ research can be carried out. This paper supplements conventional intellectual histories with sketches of an archaeology and genealogy of the organization and production of knowledge, arguing that while intellectual compatibility may be a necessary condition for ‘interdisciplinarity’, only a shift in epistemic grounds within which fields understand their scholarship can bring this about, and that this requires a shift in the way knowledge is organized and produced. First, the paper provides a genealogy of calls for interdisciplinary scholarship. Secondly, it locates interdisciplinary relations in the universalist organization of knowledge within which they emerged and which still (re)produce inter- and intra-disciplinary divides today. Finally, it argues against Constructivism’s much-vaunted ability to provide an interdisciplinary bridge.