Myth and narrative in international politics: Interpretive approaches to the study of IR

Berit Bliesemann de Guevara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

21 Citations (Scopus)


This book systematically explores how different theoretical concepts of myth can be utilised to interpretively explore contemporary international politics. From the international community to warlords, from participation to effectiveness - international politics is replete with powerful narratives and commonly held beliefs that qualify as myths. Rebutting the understanding of myth-as-lie, this collection of essays unearths the ideological, naturalising, and depoliticising effect of myths. Myth and Narrative in International Politics: Interpretive Approaches to the Study of IR offers conceptual and methodological guidance on how to make sense of different myth theories and how to employ them in order to explore the powerful collective imaginations and ambiguities that underpin international politics today. Further, it assembles case studies of specific myths in different fields of International Relations, including warfare, global governance, interventionism, development aid, and statebuilding. The findings challenge conventional assumptions in International Relations, encouraging academics in IR and across a range of different fields and disciplines, including development studies, global governance studies, strategic and military studies, intervention and statebuilding studies, and peace and conflict studies, to rethink ideas that are widely unquestioned by policy and academic communities.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages313
ISBN (Electronic)9781137537522
ISBN (Print)9781137537515
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2016


  • myth
  • international politics
  • global governance
  • international relations
  • interventionism


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