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Identitiy,difference and IR

Uygur, Ayşegül
Today, especially after various critical evaluations of mainstream theories of International Relations (IR), it is common place to observe that IR discipline is Eurocentric. Natural outcome of this Eurocentric character of IR discipline has been the privileging of modern identity (and thus, modernity) and the marginalization of different cultures and identities as "others". This thesis analyzes the relationship between the concepts of modern identity, national interest and difference within the framework of IR theory. The thesis asserts that IR discipline should solve the problem of exclusion of the "other" or suppression of differences since International Relations means first and foremost interaction with the "Other". In order to solve this contradiction, I argue that IR theory should be deconstructed on the basis of a treatment of differences and heterogeneity. However, criticizing the creation of the "others" necessitates also the critique of modern identity since "heterophobia" is the result of the homogenizing character of European identity. Therefore, a deconstruction of the hegemony of modern identity in IR is the main concern of this thesis. The thesis finally argues that “other worlds” which leave room for different identities and other "truths" are also possible.