Global Conversations: Relationality, Embodiment and Power in the move towards a Global IR

Karin M. Fierke, Vivienne Jabri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
292 Downloads (Pure)


The ‘global turn’ in International Relations, like postcolonial and decolonizing approaches, moves away from the Eurocentric dominance of the discipline, and towards the inclusion of plural perspectives on global politics. The article investigates what such a call means in epistemological and ontological terms by focusing on the concept of ‘global conversations.’ In section one, we show that the concept of ‘global’ conversations necessarily shifts from an individual ontology to a relational ontology of intra-action within a global space. In section two we explore why ‘conversation,’ as distinct from dialogue fits more comfortably with this relational shift and has practical implications for how the engagement takes place. The third section engages in an exploration of some of the obstacles to global conversation, and not least the emotional obstacles, in light of historically embedded and embodied relations of power that shape who can speak and who is silenced or heard. The final section then engages in a discussion of the types of practical engagement and research that might flow from this analysis. In moving beyond ‘dialogue’, the article reveals the intersection of power, language, emotion and embodiment in the constitution of ‘global conversations’, and how these in turn come to constitute the global, its normative structuring, contestations and transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-535
Number of pages30
JournalGlobal Constitutionalism
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • conversation
  • global
  • Global IR
  • intra-action
  • relationally


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