Theorizing Bodies, Subjects, and Violence in International Relations
Bodies have long been outside the frame of International Relations, unrecognizable even as modes of violence that use, target, and construct bodies in complex ways have proliferated. The Introduction establishes the need for thinking theoretically about bodies in order to understand the dynamics of violence. One of the ironies of security studies is that while war is inflicted on bodies, bodily violence and vulnerability, as the flip side of security, are largely ignored. By contrast, feminist theory is at its most powerful when it denaturalizes accounts of individual subjectivity so as to analyze the relations of force, violence, and language that compose profoundly unnatural bodies. Challenging this theorization of bodies as natural organisms is a key step in not only exposing how bodies have been implicitly theorized in IR, but in developing a reading of IR that is attentive to the ways in which bodies are both produced and productive.
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