Rearticulating the meaning of community in international theory : territoriality, identity and the political
The thesis examines the concept of community in international relations theory. It is my contention that articulating the concept of community as the sovereign state in international relations ultimately places limits on political space, hampering the extent to which the discipline is able to understand and explain the varieties of global politics and political actors that increasingly affect international relations. The thesis argues that in order to redefine political space, it is necessary rearticulate the meaning of community in international theory. To examine the feasibility of rearticulation, the thesis focuses on international theory. The first chapter sets out the problem of political space in international relations, arguing that it tends to be rather narrowly and problematically demarcated by the sovereign state. With the meaning of community in international relations therefore in need of rearticulation, the second chapter turns to social theory for a concept of community that is not framed by the sovereign state, and argues that the concept of community may be understood by way of three components: territoriality, identity and the political. The subsequent three chapters examine exemplars from international theory for each of these three components. These three chapters consider the extent to which it is viable to seek rearticulation, what this might involve and the extent to which it is already underway in international relations. The thesis determines that rearticulation is possible, given that the existing work on territoriality, identity and the political suggests that the necessary conceptual tools are already employed in the discipline and are applicable for rearticulating the meaning of community. Moreover, with the addition of work from social theory, the thesis concludes that rearticulation is not only feasible but also essential. The conclusion sets out what is required to continue the process of rearticulating the meaning of community in international theory.