This essay explores Siba Grovogui's publication of Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy: Memories of International Order and Institutions as a way to ponder how histories of international relations are told. Clarke considers Grovogui's central point concerning the relationship between Western intellectual anxieties and postcolonial methods and modes of thought. One domain for interrogating the contemporary significance of the work is the call for new ontologies and interpretive humility. This commentary examines these new ontologies through the rethinking of ways that agents engage in particular political projects through an examination of the way that particular forms of meaning production are invigorated through communicative forms that can involve critical shifts to the moral order. Finally, the essay examines the shifts related to the formation of the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine and the related aesthetic modalities that are changing the way mainstream adherents understand new democratic forms of participation. This example represents an attempt to consider what this means for the way we understand the transformation of contemporary democracy and how Grovogui's work has set the stage for these transformations.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Africa, Democracy, International relations, Ontology, Postcoloniality
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-3486343
Journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Citation
Clarke, K. (2016). The urgency of new historiographies in international relations. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 36(1), 213–219. doi:10.1215/1089201x-3486343