“Contrapuntal Reading” as a Method, an Ethos, and a Metaphor for Global IR

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  • Pinar Bilgin
How to approach Global International Relations (IR)? This is a question asked by students of IR who recognize the limits of our field while expressing their concern that those who strive for a Global IR have been less-than-clear about the “how to?” question. In this article, I point to Edward W. Said’s approach to “contrapuntal reading” as one way of approaching Global IR that embraces diversity and reflects multiple and overlapping experiences and perspectives of humankind. More specifically, I suggest that contrapuntal reading offers students of IR a method of studying world politics that focuses on our “intertwined and overlapping histories,” past and present; an ethos for approaching IR through raising the “contrapuntal awareness” of its students and offering an anchor for those who translate the findings of different perspectives; and a metaphor for thinking about Global IR as regional and global, one and many.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Studies Review
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)134-146
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 169961123