Aesthetics and World Politics

Paperback | December 11, 2012

byRoland Bleiker

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Is it trivial, or perhaps even irresponsible, to explore aesthetic themes at a time when the world is engulfed by war, genocide, terrorism, poverty, climate change and financial turmoil? Why indulge in painting, poetry or music when lives and livelihoods are at stake? Can we really afford to entertain questions of taste while concrete political action is urgently required? This book offers a passionate but systematically sustained defence of an aesthetic engagement with world politics. It argues that aesthetic sources can offer alternative insight: a type of reflective understanding that emerges not from applying the analytical skills that are central the social sciences, but from cultivating a more open-ended level of creativity and sensibility about the political. We then might be able to appreciate what we otherwise cannot even see: perspectives or people excluded from prevailing purviews, for instance, or the emotional nature and consequences of political events. Drawing on detailed case studies that range from Stalinist Russia to Cold War Germany and contemporary Korea, the author compellingly demonstrates how the poetic imagination can help us understand – and perhaps even shape - some of the most difficult political challenges.

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From the Publisher

Is it trivial, or perhaps even irresponsible, to explore aesthetic themes at a time when the world is engulfed by war, genocide, terrorism, poverty, climate change and financial turmoil? Why indulge in painting, poetry or music when lives and livelihoods are at stake? Can we really afford to entertain questions of taste while concrete ...

ROLAND BLEIKER is Professor of International Relations at the University of Queensland, Australia. He worked as a Swiss diplomat in the Korean DMZ and held visiting fellowships at Harvard, Cambridge, Humboldt, Tampere, Yonsei and Pusan National University as well as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Institute of Social...

other books by Roland Bleiker

Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 10.98 × 5.69 × 0.62 inPublished:December 11, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230390633

ISBN - 13:9780230390638

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
The Aesthetic Turn in International Political Theory
Art after 9/11
The Sublime Nature of Global Politics
Poetic World Politics
Poetry after Auschwitz
Poetic Resistance to Cold War Politics
Come See the Blood in the Streets
Poetics and the Politics of Memory
The Poetic Search for Identity and Community
Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

'This is a spirited yet remarkably humble defence of the heretical idea that the future of international relations as a vigorous academic discipline depends on the willingness of its representatives to take a radical 'aesthetic turn'. Bleiker's intellectual vision unfolds in exemplary lucid prose.' – Manfred B. Steger in Australian Book Review'Bleiker presents a coherent and sustained argument in support of the aesthetic insight in international politics. He demonstrates the book's usefulness most effectively when reflecting on the particular security challenges that were posed by the 9/11 attacks.' – N.A.J. Taylor in Global Change, Peace & Security'This book is not only accessible to readers outside academia, but it also a useful contribution to the methodological and theoretical study of social science in general and global politics in particular.' – Monica Ingber in In-Spire Journal of Law, Politics and Societies