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Different voices

Understanding global politics beyond Anglo-American academy

Teaching and Learning

By Chad Pelley

A professor of political science will be speaking at a prestigious virtual roundtable on Feb. 11, alongside 11 scholars from all over the world.

And he’s taking his students with him.

Lucian Ashworth standing in front of a map of the world
Dr. Lucian Ashworth says the roundtable will give his students an opportunity to discuss what they’re learning in class with global thought leaders.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

The event will give Dr. Lucian Ashworth’s students the opportunity to discuss what they’re learning about in class with a number of global thought leaders.

“Political Science 6200 – International Politics – is a graduate course, so part of the exercise is to introduce them to cutting-edge research being discussed by scholars,” Dr. Ashworth explained. “I hope to give them the sense that they are part of a wider scholarly community.”

He also wants to introduce them to voices outside the Anglo-American mainstream.

“Since many are international students, they are already aware that there are different voices and different ways of viewing international politics. I want to show them that their own experiences and the experiences of others are valid, and that there are different ways of looking at the complex world of global politics.”

Different ways of looking at things is the very crux of the roundtable.

“I want to show them that their own experiences and the experiences of others are valid.” — Dr. Lucian Ashworth

The event is being hosted by U.K.-based DoingIPS, a global-scale hub that brings together researchers working in the broad area of international political sociology (IPS). IPS is defined by challenging and articulating critique of generally western-centric and well-accepted beliefs in international relations.

‘Our understanding of the world’

The roundtable will feature 12 scholars who, like Dr. Ashworth, wrote articles for a special issue of the Journal of International Relations and Development, titled Uses of the East in International Studies.

“We will be discussing issues associated with our papers,” said Dr. Ashworth. “There are two main aspects of this: what looking at international relations from Central and Eastern Europe adds to our understanding of the world, and how Central and Eastern Europe has been portrayed in international relations.”

The roundtable is titled Worlding/Provincialising International Relations from Eastern Europe.

Dr. Ashworth says that, in international relations, the term “worlding” refers to “extending our understanding of global politics to include the world beyond the Anglo-American academy or the North Atlantic. It means being cognizant of how other regions, especially the global south, see global issues.”

Dr. Ashworth’s contribution is titled Czechs and Germans in the Twenty Years’ Crisis. In it, he discusses how Central and Eastern Europe was viewed by three British-based international relations experts during the inter-war period (November 1918–September 1939).

The experience will provide his students a chance to see their instructor involved in scholarly debate and research, and to underscore how what they are learning in class gets created in scholarly meetings, workshops and conferences.

The scholars the students will be hearing from are Maria Mälksoo, University of Copenhagen; Katarzyna Kaczmarska, University of Edinburgh; Stefanie Ortmann, University of Sussex; Marko Lovec, University of Ljubljana; Katerina Kočí, Prague University of Economics and Business; Katarina Kušić, University of Rijeka; Filip Ejdus, University of Belgrade; Marko Kovačević, University of Belgrade; András Schweitzer; Eötvös Loránd University; Dovilė Budrytė, Georgia Gwinnett College; and Akos Kopper, Central European University.

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