Racial and Imperial Thinking in International Theory and Politics: Truman, Attlee and the Korean War

Parmar, I. (2016). Racial and Imperial Thinking in International Theory and Politics: Truman, Attlee and the Korean War. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 18(2), pp. 351-369. doi: 10.1177/1369148115613657

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Abstract

- Connects the background ideas of race and empire to world politics
- Uses case of Truman and Attlee in the Korean War
- Argues that liberal-realist internationalists’ assumptions about the US-led post-war order obscure those background ideas and fail to understand the character of the post-war order
- Argues liberal-realist internationalism is akin to a legitimating ideology rather than an explanatory theory
- Argues that such failings render liberal internationalism inadequate to explain or prescribe ways for the United States/West to manage the ‘rise of the rest’ today

This article connects the background ideas of race and empire to world politics by looking at the world views and actions of Truman and Attlee in the Korean War. The article argues that liberal-realist internationalists’ assumptions about the US-led post-war order obscure those background ideas and fail to understand the character of the post-war order. I consider two kinds of ‘background ideas’—policy-makers’ and those embedded in liberal internationalism. Put together, these ideas render liberal-realist internationalism akin to a legitimating ideology rather than an explanatory theory. More broadly, and in the longer run, such failure to comprehend the character of the post-war order, and the roles of race, empire and periphery war in it, renders the theory inadequate to explain or prescribe ways for the United States/West to manage the ‘rise of the rest’ today.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2016
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of International Politics
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/12161

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