International Relations Theory

Topics: Culture, International relations theory, Constructivism in international relations Pages: 337 (111453 words) Published: October 28, 2012
As the orangish-red map on the cover of this volume suggests, the earth—and debates about the earth—have been heating up in recent times. Concerns about global warming are recontextualizing IR Theory and being recontextualized within IR Theory. They recontextualize IR Theory by changing the scale of IR concerns from clashes or cooperation among sovereign nation-states or (more recently) “civilizations” to clashes and cooperation between humans and the earth, “culture” and “nature” on a planetary scale. As such, concerns about global warming are reconstituted within IR Theory as genuine security risks to all states and all of civilization. And we are told that we have a moral imperative to tackle this planetary emergency if we want our children and our planet to survive. This third edition includes a new chapter devoted to the newly dominant myth about global warming, “human-made climate change is an inconvenient truth.” Popularized by Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former US Vice President Al Gore, Jr., this myth is interesting not just because of what it says but also because of how Gore says it. In particular, among the most interesting things about Gore’s myth is that it was visual before it was textual. First a slideshow, then a film, and only later an accompanying book and supportive website, An Inconvenient Truth crystallizes Gore’s ideas into a succinct soundbite supported by stunning imagery presented in the “high tech” format of documentary. It is therefore unsurprising that it takes an even more visually spectacular film to get us to think about what must go without saying in order for Gore’s myth to appear to be true. What might be surprising, though, is that this film comes from a company renowned for producing animated fiction films (like Toy Story and The Incredibles) that are accessible to children but edgy enough for adults. The company is Pixar Studios, and the film is their 2008 production WALL-E. Reading Gore’s myth through WALL-E, this new chapter explores not the truth or falsity of human-made climate change but its convenience or inconvenience, for whom, and at what cost to the environment and to Gore’s claim to be an environmentalist.

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In writing this new edition, I owe all my usual intellectual debts. Richard Ashley and François Debrix bear mentioning again, as they kindly read and commented on this new chapter. So, too, did a diverse group of individuals situated at the intersections of IR Theory and critical environmental studies—Simon Dalby, Tim Luke, Matthew Patterson, and Mark Lacy. Thanks to all of them, and thanks also to three anonymous reviewers. I also want to thank the editorial team at Routledge – including Craig Fowlie, Nicola Parkin, Emma Hart and Eleanor Rivers – who all made this a better book. In particular, I want to thank my editor Craig Fowlie, who has worked with me on these last two editions. Craig not only grasped the promise of a new chapter on Gore’s myth about global climate change; he also exercised extreme patience in waiting for me to find the right film through which to analyze it. Finally, my thanks go to Anne-Marie Fortier, for her support throughout.

The authors and publishers would like to thank the following for granting permission to reproduce material in this work.
Dialogue quoted from the following films are transcrips made by the author: •
Memento: Courtesy of the Ronald Grant Film Archive © Newmarket Capital Group

East is East: Courtesy of the Ronald Grant Film Archive © FilmFour •
Fatal Attraction: Courtesy of the Ronald Grant Film Archive © Paramount Pictures

Independence Day: Courtesy of the Ronald Grant Film Archive © Centropolis Entertainment

Wag the Dog: Courtesy of the Ronald Grant Film Archive © New Line Cinema •
The Truman Show: Courtesy of the Ronald Grant Film Archive © Paramount Pictures

Lord of the Flies Plates 2.3 and 2.4: Courtesy of Lord of the Flies co, Source: Ronald Grant Film Archive

Lord of the...
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