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Title: Time Perspectives in IR: Long-term and Short-term Time Perspectives and their Effects on Theoretical Claims and the Political Practice of Peace Processes
Authors: Wheeler, Christopher James
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study is a meta-theoretical inquiry on how long-term and short-term time perspectives articulated in both theory and political practice shape understandings and practices of international politics. Pursuit of this inquiry was motivated by a dissatisfaction with the existing International Relations (IR) literature’s limited understanding of the significant roles long-term and short-term time perspectives play in shaping theoretical claims and political practices. This dissatisfaction is addressed in this study in three ways. First, it conceptualises and differentiates articulated time perspectives into five distinct categories: long-term historical, short-term historical, short-term present, short-term future, and long-term future. Second, this study uncovers and details the salient functions of each distinct time perspective and their potential effects on theoretical claims or political practices. Finally, this study provides analyses of illustrative examples pulled from two unconnected case studies, one theoretical and one practical, to show how time-related aspects (e.g. perennial, ephemeral, and contingent) attributed to claims or practices by different time perspectives delimit what a theory can convey or a political practice can achieve. As a consequence, this study is intended to provide readers with new analytical tools and insights that are necessary to unpack the complex relationship between theories and practices of international politics and time. To make this study and its resultant contributions possible, an analytical framework and language of time perspectives were developed predominantly from the fields of Organisational Management, Organisational Behaviour, and History. This new analytical framework and language was used to examine time perspectives and their effects within two case studies, one theoretical (i.e. Morgenthau’s theory of international politics) and one practical (i.e. the Oslo Accords). Illustrative examples of each of the five time perspectives and their effects were pulled from each case study and analysed to highlight the co-existence of multiple time perspectives within each case, the ubiquity of time perspectives in IR, and how they collectively shape claims and political practices.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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