Comparing IR Plots : dismal tragedies, exuberant romances, hopeful comedies and cynical satires

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Kuusisto , R M 2018 , ' Comparing IR Plots : dismal tragedies, exuberant romances, hopeful comedies and cynical satires ' , International Politics , vol. 55 , no. 2 , pp. 160-176 . https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0076-2

Title: Comparing IR Plots : dismal tragedies, exuberant romances, hopeful comedies and cynical satires
Author: Kuusisto, Riikka Maaria
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Political and Economic Studies (2010-2017)
Date: 2018-03-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: International Politics
ISSN: 1384-5748
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/298091
Abstract: In a world where convincing explanations take narrative form, IR theories, too, resort to the basic plot alternatives of tragedy, romance, comedy and irony/ satire. While the tendency to view the human condition as tragic pertains especially to the so-called realist school, romantic IR storytellers dwell, for example, among liberals, Marxists and peace researchers. This paper focuses on the lesser analysed plots of comedy and irony/satire, finding comic traces in normative, constructivist and critical IR research, and the ironic/satiric mood in poststructural studies. Using the criteria of nonviolence, flexibility, self-reflection and innovativeness, the paper evaluates the relative merits and downsides of the different plots, and takes a stand in favour of comic IR theories. The paper argues that comic theories are best equipped to come up with novel solutions to grave world political problems. Mildly hopeful comedies steer clear of tragic despair, exuberant romantic optimism and satiric cynicism.
Subject: 517 Political science
IR theory, narratives, plots, comedy, tragedy
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