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Contemporary “Dissidence” in American IR: The New Structure of Anti-Mainstream Scholarship?

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Hamati-Ataya, Inanna. (2011) Contemporary “Dissidence” in American IR: The New Structure of Anti-Mainstream Scholarship? International Studies Perspectives, doi: 10.1111/j.1528-3585.2011.00430.x
© 2011 International Studies Association

Dissidence in IR, as in any other social field, reflects both an identity and a practice of opposition to the system. While the fact of dissidence is largely manifested in its very discursive occurrence, this article attempts to go beyond the performative nature of dissidence in order to identify the collective, common ground that unites self-acclaimed dissident scholars, to understand whether they form an objectively constituted social group, and to what extent they encompass dissidence in the field. Based on the analysis of a survey sent to American IR academics, this article shows that contemporary dissidence in American IR is structured not only by its opposition to mainstream IR, but also by internal divisions between the first generation of now established Critical dissidents, and an emerging group of Constructivist scholars who do not claim, but do practice, a clearly dissident and more marginalized scholarship.

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