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Journal article Open Access

The Race Between Autarchic Structuralism and Ecumenical Citizenry: Aufhebung Without Reserve

Milić, Igor; Nikolić, Luka

Not many, yet proliferating are the contributions within the discipline of international relations (IR) which explicitly dwell upon the question(s) of race and racism. By parting from Hegelian idealism, I argue, in this paper, that a racial and racist structure qua structural necessity underlies the discipline in question as well as (social) science and knowledge more generally. To show how, I rewrite the history of IR as the history of unexpressed race and racism, developing the concept of sublation (Aufhebung) as well as the thesis-antithesis-synhesis dialectic, in the manner of the Hegelian lord-bondsman dialectic. This paper is not so much an exegesis of Hegel’s work, but rather a development in the direction of positing race and racism precisely where one is in order to take them for granted and treat them as faits accomplis. Race and racism turn out not so much as circumscribed and situated instances of vehement difference, although the vehemence of difference itself at work. For, races are never (as many), but rather heuristics most aptly straddling the liminality between the promise of self-sufficiency and the necessity of an internalised exteriority.

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