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Fall 2017 Tea Talk: Sept 28th with Dr. John Agnew

Please join the Department of Geography as we kick off our Fall Tea Speaker Series on Thursday, September 28th with prominent political geographer Dr. John Agnew, from the Department of Geography at UCLA. Dr. Agnew will give us a talk entitled: Putting China in the World: From Universal Theory to Contextual Theorizing. 

This talk will be at 4pm in Condon 106. Please join the department community as we gather beforehand in Condon 108 for snacks and socializing.

Abstract: By considering the geography of international relations (IR) knowledge this article attempts to use the rise of China to geopolitical prominence to question the applicability of universal theory. What usually goes for universal theory is in fact a perspective based very much in the experience of the West in general and the United States in particular. In its place the paper argues for the importance of competing IR narratives within Chinese policymaking and the bureaucratic politics of narrative framing for putting China in the world. After showing why universal theory is so attractive because of its familiarity, the article provides a survey of IR knowledge production and circulation and then argues for the perspective on theorizing that rejects the conventional wisdom for contextualized understanding of China’s place in the world.