The Politics of Representing the International
: International Society and the Russian World

  • Katarzyna Barbara Kaczmarska

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis, rising from the field of reflexive International Relations (IR), is an engagement with knowledge production in the domain of international relations. Guided by sociology of knowledge, it offers a critique of representations of the international produced by IR theory and practice. The thesis argues that such representations may gain power to frame the thinking and policy action with respect to objects beyond their immediate description. In my work I expose how thinking about international relations in particular ways affects conceptions of and policies implemented with regard to the state. I focus specifically on the idea of international society developed by International Relations theory and the idea of international community, flourishing in policy practice. Both are contrasted with representations of the international produced in Russia with particular reference to the idea of the Russian World. The idea of international society and the cognate concept of international community reinforce the production of universal norms and standards of what a state is and should be. They are conducive to thinking about a state in terms of well-functioning institutions allowing it to meet international standards and to form part of the society of states. The idea of the Russian World, in turn, facilitates the portrayal of Russia as a polity greater than a state and helps legitimize disregard for the sovereignty of other post-Soviet states. Constructing the international in terms of a confrontation between the Russian World and the West requires efforts to strengthen a polity transcending Russian borders. In the broader scheme, the research project is dedicated to thinking through similarities in the processes of knowledge production cutting across easily permeable boundaries between the academia and policy practice, the West and Russia.
Date of Award03 Nov 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorHidemi Suganami (Supervisor) & Jenny Mathers (Supervisor)

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