States of Emergence, States of Knowledge: A Comparative Sociology of International Relations in China and India

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This paper examines the relationship between the geopolitical rise of new powers in international relations and knowledge production in International Relations. It draws on the science studies literature on the “co-production” of science and politics to conceptualise and analyse this relationship between the ‘state of emergence’ and ‘state of knowledge’. I argue that the ‘state of emergence’ should not only be conceptualised as a real-world condition external to science that imposes itself on an otherwise pure internal ‘state of knowledge’, but also as a scholarly sensibility, ethos and motivation that operates ‘within’ it. The paper illustrates the argument ethnomethodologically by interviewing IR scholars in China and India on how they themselves make sense of the emerging condition and justify their own positions and actions within it. Based on the interviews, I identify four co-productive registers connecting the state of emergence to the state of knowledge (the constitutive, civic, infrastructural, and psychological) but also find that scholars in China and India differ in their enactment of these registers.
Original languageDanish
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)772-799
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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