Mustapha Kamal Pasha (Aberdeen)

Many thanks for your most thoughtful and transparent messages. I share your misgivings about so-called critical IR, which remains wedded to ‘white mythology’. In fact, in a frank encounter with some friends in Osaka last summer I used the term ‘white ontology’ to refer to critical IR–in a Malcolm X sense. You are right about all the issues. The principal concern remains: why do we need affirmation from critical theory to construct non-western IR? Here, Gandhi becomes quite relevant: to make the West irrelevant. Neither Chakraborty nor Spivak seem to grasp this insight; only Nandy does. There is a sickness that lies at the heart of the Enlightenment project. That sickness is the source of Western IR. I also agree that the new generation has been seduced by the French. We cannot ignore what we are contesting. Showing the limits of the French is necessary, but quite inadequate. Why not build on other sources? To be honest, a more ambitious project is to rewrite the history of IR from the other side altogether. This requires real dedication. Regrettably, I see too many folks enamored by the easy charms of craft consciousness and the dismal perks that that consciousness materializes.

Best,

Mustapha

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